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What does an MFA Website look like?
pageoneresults

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3688703 posted 6:46 pm on Jul 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

I need to make sure my perceptions are correct. When you visit a site and see three AdSense units blended into areas that are typically reserved for on site navigation, would you consider that a Made for AdSense Website?

What do you feel "makes up" a website that is MFA (Made for AdSense)? What causes you to make that immediate determination and in many cases hit your back button?

 

iridiax

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3688703 posted 6:49 pm on Jul 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

More ads than content.

wyweb



 
Msg#: 3688703 posted 7:05 pm on Jul 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

When you visit a site and see three AdSense units blended into areas that are typically reserved for on site navigation, would you consider that a Made for AdSense Website?

Or website that got caught up in adsense greed. That could be called MFAATF

Made for adsense after the fact...

pageoneresults

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3688703 posted 7:18 pm on Jul 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

More ads than content.

When you say more, are we talking size or are we talking Ad Units?

If I visit a site and go to that left menu and find an AdSense Unit, I'm leaving! Even after surfing the net for as long as I have, I've come across some AdSense Blending that even duped me because I was clicking around so quickly and not paying attention, that is the goal I would assume. Just get the user to click the ad, doesn't matter what happens afterwards, just click the damn AdSense links please!

I'd really like to get many opinions on this. I think some have a misconception about their AdSense implementation and they need to "see" what people perceive as an MFA site.

For me, any Ad Unit in an area that is typically reserved for primary navigation automagically puts the MFA label on it.

jetteroheller

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jetteroheller us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3688703 posted 7:25 pm on Jul 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

The ads give more information than the content of the page.

The content looks like copied together.
Like a quick web search for a topic, list some links, content finished.

OutdoorWebcams

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3688703 posted 7:53 pm on Jul 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

What does an MFA Website look like?

Like an AdLink landing page, that's MFA per definition. ;)

purplecape

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3688703 posted 8:22 pm on Jul 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

A site that has content that consists only of ads (and I've seen plenty of those)--clearly MFA.

A site that has substandard content, and lots of ads--almost certainly MFA.

A site that has good content, and ads that take up no more than 1/3 of the available space--almost certainly not MFA.

There's definitely a grey area, and as we can't know people's motives, I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt, but even then I see a lot of sites that I consider to be MFATTM (Made for Adsense to the Max).

netmeg

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 3688703 posted 8:24 pm on Jul 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

I don't think you'll find one solid definition of MFA. Heck, I've got sites that I created because I could make money on them, and I've got sites that existed long before there was AdSense (or Google, for that matter). In general, when the ads outstrip the content, or the content is scraped or stolen from someplace else, I tend to think of that as "MFA" - but I don't necessarily think Made for AdSense is always a bad thing.

This thread reminds me of George Carlin saying everyone who drives slower than you is an idiot and everyone who drives faster is a maniac.

I think of MFA in kind of the same way.

Scurramunga

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3688703 posted 8:36 pm on Jul 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

What about a site, with a landing page targeted to every niche or topic imaginable. Once the user lands. Once the user lands on the landing page. all they see in terms of content are giant ad blocks with nothing or very little else.

wyweb



 
Msg#: 3688703 posted 8:50 pm on Jul 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

I don't think you'll find one solid definition of MFA

You won't, because as purplecape said, there's a grey area there.

I have 2 MFA sites myself. They offer good, original content and ad placement is minimal and unobtrusive. However, I built them for no other reason than to take advantage of adsense clicks. Strictly speaking - they ARE MFA sites. You wouldn't think so just to look at them though.

We have a sort of pre-defined definition of what an MFA site should look like. The most overt are pretty obvious for sure. There are webmasters, like myself, who recognized an online opportunity and simply took advantage of it, putting together sites that, while they offered unique and original content, were constructed for no other reason than to make an adsense buck.

I have 2 MFA sites. If adsense hadn't tanked on me I'd probably have 22.

pageoneresults

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3688703 posted 9:18 pm on Jul 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

You wouldn't think so just to look at them though.

I probably haven't seen them yet! ;)

There are webmasters, like myself, who recognized an online opportunity and simply took advantage of it, putting together sites that, while they offered unique and original content, were constructed for no other reason than to...

Me too! < I'm getting more of those in lately.

I left out the "make a buck" portion as that has been a secondary concern in most instances. I have a few myself but they are nowhere near that blending fenceline.

I have 2 MFA sites. If adsense hadn't tanked on me I'd probably have 22.

Interesting, why did it tank on ya?

One of the factors we've not discussed here is viewport size and the fold. If I get more than 50% AdSense in my Viewport, C'Ya! Unless of course you are one of my trusted resources which I don't think I have any that have become MFA.

Hey, I'm all for capitalism. I surely don't like the MFA business model in some instances but I understand the revenue opportunities. Heck, they pay for my bandwidth nut every year so I cannot complain. But, those were more than likely valid "clicks" from an interested visitor and not an "invalid click" from a confused visitor. ;)

Some MFAs have taken the Confusion Concept to new levels. They basically throw things so far out of whack with their navigation themes and ad unit placement that the visitor is confused and ends up clicking on an ad most of the time if they don't no how to use their back button. Ummm, that would have been my Mom a few years ago until I showed her the way! She now uses the MFA term regularly when browsing, she is becoming my protege. Ya gotta love Moms.

zett

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3688703 posted 9:35 pm on Jul 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

Made for Adsense (rare these days)
Ad units blended.
Ad units in places where you would expect navigation or content.
Mediocre/generic/useless content.
No outbound links except Adsense ads or link to the same site (with more crap).
New domain, no PR, only way to get traffic is to buy cheap Adsense traffic (with ads that promise things the landing page cannot keep).
Private domain registration.
No real contact information on site.

Made for ads (common these days)
No content at all (or too little to be recognized as such).
Just ads.
Parked pages.
New domain, no PR, only way to get traffic is to buy cheap Adsense traffic (with ads that promise things the landing page cannot keep).
No real contact information on site.

@pageone: If interested, I'll send you a copy of my filter list. After about twenty entries or so you'll know exactly how a MFA looks like. (No, you don't have to go through all 200 entries.) :-) Just sticky me.

farmboy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member farmboy us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 3688703 posted 10:19 pm on Jul 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

...an area that is typically reserved for primary navigation...

There are areas that are reserved for navigation? According to who?

FarmBoy

wyweb



 
Msg#: 3688703 posted 10:43 pm on Jul 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

P1R

Interesting, why did it tank on ya?

Smart pricing initially... lately (last 18 months) a significant traffic loss from google.

G giveth and G taketh away. I'm not bitchin'. I made a good living with this. If I have to get a real job - oh well.

pageoneresults

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3688703 posted 10:46 pm on Jul 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

There are areas that are reserved for navigation? According to who?

Eye tracking and usability studies. The well blended MFAs that I refer to definitely did some eye tracking research and filled those "hot spots" with ad units.

farmboy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member farmboy us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 3688703 posted 12:00 am on Jul 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

Eye tracking and usability studies.

I didn't get the memo. I guess I qualify as a rebel .... and maybe even an MFA also!

FarmBoy

pageoneresults

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3688703 posted 12:16 am on Jul 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

I didn't get the memo.

Bummer! I sent out a few of them years ago. :)

wyweb



 
Msg#: 3688703 posted 12:33 am on Jul 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

Eye tracking and usability studies..

Well.. beyond that there's just a sort of general awareness of where navigation should be on a website. I mean we can make it difficult or not and farmboy may want to do that but still, if enough websites have a consistent navigation theme surfers will eventually get accustomed to seeing internal site links in the same place.

Across the top and down the left side and maybe something in the footer every now and then. Put adsense in those places and mimic internal link colors and I think it could be safely said that imitation, whether intentional or otherwise, was taking place.

It'll get you smart priced too... yup...

wyweb



 
Msg#: 3688703 posted 12:43 am on Jul 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

And I mean no offense farmboy. You consistently provide a counterpoint to commonly held conceptions and misconceptions that invites a deeper examination.

I like your posts and read them all. That's all I'm saying...

Scurramunga

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3688703 posted 1:27 am on Jul 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

You consistently provide a counterpoint to commonly held conceptions and misconceptions that invites a deeper examination.

And that is what one prefers to see in a forum.

pageoneresults

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3688703 posted 2:34 am on Jul 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

Oh, about the memo, I guess I should resend it, huh? ;)

I just reviewed this topic again and its actually a really good read with links to some excellent eye tracking studies complete with pictures, references, heat maps, etc. Heck, they paint a visual for you that tells you where to put your ad units precisely, how's that for blending ad units?

Companies conduct eye tracking study on Google
2005-03-02 - [webmasterworld.com...]

P.S. While the above deals with eye tracking in the SERPs, the studies referenced also provide information on website eye tracking. Some very detailed information too.

Performance depends on Placement

Those eye tracking studies were a real "eye opener" for me, pun intended of course. To be able to see literally where the eye is traveling and where it fixates is data that has to be priceless for an MFA site. And, the ones that have used those studies are probably some of those who are sitting on the back of their yacht right now with a name like AdSensical or something like that, cursing me at this very moment for being so forthright in my offerings. :)

Huntster

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3688703 posted 3:40 am on Jul 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

don't think you'll find one solid definition of MFA. Heck, I've got sites that I created because I could make money on them, and I've got sites that existed long before there was AdSense (or Google, for that matter). In general, when the ads outstrip the content, or the content is scraped or stolen from someplace else, I tend to think of that as "MFA" - but I don't necessarily think Made for AdSense is always a bad thing.

Yeah. I agree with most of this. I mean, what is another MFA - Made For Advertising or Made For Affiliates? Most of my sites for made for something. If you own a decent amount of them, you created them to make money and most of the time - ad money.

Having said ALL that I would say a "Made For Adsense" site in it's negative connotation (probably what the first poster is referring to) is IMO a site created to capture high volume or high paying keywords in adsense with little useful content around the ads for the average user. Basically gibberish in sentences to get high paying ads to show.

tomda

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3688703 posted 6:36 am on Jul 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

Another category of MFA are the "How to make 1 billion dollars a month with Adsense"...

jardel

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3688703 posted 2:17 am on Jul 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

i'm really thinking in doing one of these sites (kind of), i just got the equivalent of "internetgames.tld" and "wherearetheoffers.tld" (they sound better in the country language btw) in one country and i was thinking in doing a home page with offers, then blogs and content, but the main point would be a site with ads for ppl who looks for ads with discounts (offer, if you prefer the jargon).

This posts just make me more concerned about it and the way i'm going to design it.

dailypress

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3688703 posted 5:04 pm on Jul 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

If I visit a site and go to that left menu and find an AdSense Unit, I'm leaving!

Facebook has its ads on the left column directly under its left menu links! And it doesn't look like an MFA site to me!
The ads are well distinguished from its main content.

MFA sites:

1: a site with too many ads (page download time is longer than usual)

2: a site that is focused on getting ad clicks rather than focusing on providing content

3: a poor designed template with ads on the top and/or left side of its pages or blended in within the main content.

4: a site that confuses its visitors where to click.

5: a site with more ads than content/pages

[edited by: dailypress at 5:12 pm (utc) on July 5, 2008]

FourDegreez

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3688703 posted 5:12 pm on Jul 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

For me, the worst offenders are sites that have adsense boxes in the content area, so that you have to scroll down before you see the content. Also, those about.com pages that are essentially just links, with extremely blended adsense ads amongst the links.

iamlost

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3688703 posted 5:31 pm on Jul 5, 2008 (gmt 0)


The well blended MFAs that I refer to definitely did some eye tracking research and filled those "hot spots" with ad units.

I will take issue with you on that comment.

Just because 'most' people 'traditionally' put web navigation in certain spots that correspond to where people using ltr writing tend to focus does not mandate such behaviour. Indeed it is a waste of valuable real estate and a barrier to improving ROI.

Some folks, including myself, have long placed side navigation on the right, as do most blog templates, in order to highlight content. The point of the page is the content not the navigation.

Further, well designed ads compliment copy and vice versa. At least those that maximise ROI. Just as B&M stores place high value and impulse goods in specific locations so do knowledgeable web sites.

There is no 'one' page layout.

My definition of MFA or MFAff is when the point of the page are the ads or the aff links. It is not so much a space allotment or location but a perspective. It is usually rather obvious, i.e. the persian rug going out of business sale - for the past twenty years. :)

Many/most non-ecommerce sites are actually 'made for AdSense' or at least for ads, or for affiliate referral, or some combination - it is when the value of the ad exceeds the value of the content, especially when the content is scraped or is kindergarten Markov generated that we get upset. Newspapers, after all, have been doing the exact same thing, wrapping ads in some copy, for centuries. :)

purplecape

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3688703 posted 5:36 pm on Jul 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

For me, the worst offenders are sites that have adsense boxes in the content area, so that you have to scroll down before you see the content.

I know a site that places an adblock (the only one on the page) directly under the header, and above the rest of the content. It's a top site in its area, not mine by the way, goes back long before AdSense, and has tons of unique content. The webmaster implemented that setup to boost income, which it has, after having an adblock in a less conspicuous place for a long time. She has an active and loyal following and has not, apparently, alienated them.

I don't think you can assume "MFA" based only on that kind of placement, particularly on a page that has good, unique content. Aren't sites with no content other than ads and nav. links even worse?

OutdoorMan

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3688703 posted 8:08 pm on Jul 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

My definition of a MFA site: When the ads are more valueable to visitors than the content itself, I would label a site "MFA".

pageoneresults

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3688703 posted 8:27 pm on Jul 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

Yeah. I agree with most of this. I mean, what is another MFA - Made For Advertising or Made For Affiliates? Most of my sites for made for something. If you own a decent amount of them, you created them to make money and most of the time - ad money.

Yup, that would be Made for AdSense, or the others.

I would say a "Made For AdSense" site in it's negative connotation (probably what the first poster is referring to) is IMO a site created to capture high volume or high paying keywords in AdSense with little useful content around the ads for the average user. Basically gibberish in sentences to get high paying ads to show.

Yup, that would be Made for AdSense too.

Facebook has its ads on the left column directly under its left menu links! And it doesn't look like an MFA site to me!
The ads are well distinguished from its main content.

Okay, let's set aside those that are going to fall under the rule of "exception to the rule".

1: a site with too many ads (page download time is longer than usual)

Hehehe, that's most sites these days.

2: a site that is focused on getting ad clicks rather than focusing on providing content.

The Eye-Tracking Heat Map

3: a poor designed template with ads on the top and/or left side of its pages or blended in within the main content.

Does it have to be a "poorly designed template"? I've seen some rather sharp looking ones. They did their homework.

4: a site that confuses its visitors where to click.

The "usual" AdSense Blending technique, no?

5: a site with more ads than content/pages

That's starting to become somewhat regular too.

For me, the worst offenders are sites that have AdSense boxes in the content area, so that you have to scroll down before you see the content.

Made for AdSense. If you fill my fold with more ads than content, its Made for AdSense from "my perspective". < Note that...

I will take issue with you on that comment.

I was able to see that forthcoming so I am prepared to opine.

Just because 'most' people 'traditionally' put web navigation in certain spots that correspond to where people using ltr writing tend to focus does not mandate such behaviour.

Hey, you're talking to a Baby Boomer, one of millions upon millions. We are "traditional" in our everyday lives at times. We "expect" the sun to come up tomorrow just as we expect to find a link to another part of the website over there on the left side or somewhere "highly visible" and not "off the beaten path" as they say.

Some folks, including myself, have long placed side navigation on the right, as do most blog templates, in order to highlight content. The point of the page is the content not the navigation.

That's a different model altogether. When you visit a Blog, you "expect" to see exactly what you are describing. Not every website is a Blog although I'm starting to wonder these days.

There is no 'one' page layout.

Thank you! No there isn't and it all comes down to the users "perception". Much of what is described above would put you (not you particularly) in my MFA category. Now, the site may be a solid resource and I will have already established a level of trust prior to visiting in most instances. But I'll tell you what, as soon as that website browsing experience interferes with what "I would expect" to be in "certain places", I'm outta there, you're loss, not mine. There are "millions" of other websites that will allow me unimpeded access to their content and be a bit more subtle with their ad placements. In fact, there are quite a few blending methods that I like myself but they are not designed to trick someone into clicking. Thankfully Google does a fairly decent job of keep their ads "visible" even in some of the most camouflaged MFA environments.

For me, the worst offenders are sites that have AdSense boxes in the content area, so that you have to scroll down before you see the content.

Arrrggghhh! Back, Back, Back. I'm watching an MFA'er sphamm a particular resource right now. Sure enough, that landing page is all AdSense above the fold. That place is too phunny!

I don't think you can assume "MFA" based only on that kind of placement.

Oh yes I can, and I do it every day. My right click function gets quite a workout throughout the day. Much of it what "I perceive" to be MFA stuff. There might be some good unique content somewhere down there and/or in there but, I'm not searching for it. Nope, I'll find someone else who has it without all that "interference".

And, you know who I'm going to link to? Yup, the one that has the least obstrusive browsing experience for my visitors. How's that for where you place your ads? ;) Also, we continually monitor those resources so if an ad unit is moved and becomes a bit overwhelming, the link goes away. No warning, no shot over the bow, it just gets removed.

I think there are quite a few who have this whole misconception about how they've implemented their AdSense. I think you can really alienate your visitors with "too much" of a good thing.

Aren't sites with no content other than ads and nav. links even worse?

Those are Made for SpamSense, a totally different topic. I'm referring to what could be classified as a good site that has maybe implemented their AdSense a bit too aggressively and is now causing a loss in traffic and not a gain. Oh sure, the income has gone up from AdSense but at what expense to the visitors, those who may have driven you to where you are today.

This 58 message thread spans 2 pages: 58 ( [1] 2 > >
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