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ASA: What are theTop 5 Publisher Requests?
Bddmed




msg:3790004
 10:37 pm on Nov 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

From another thread here: [webmasterworld.com...]

I'll make you a deal: if you all, the members of the AdSense WebmasterWorld forum, can agree on your top 5 asks in order of priority, I will personally email the Director of Product Management for all AdSense products with your list.

So lets get it started.

 

IanCP




msg:3796751
 11:03 pm on Nov 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

I've also an easy one...

Reverse the order in "Payments History".

I (and prolly everyone else) only want to know the latest info, not having to scroll down through the last three months.

true_INFP




msg:3796951
 12:26 pm on Nov 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

they would probably dominate the top ranks.

Yes, and rightfully so.

Leonard0




msg:3796987
 3:57 pm on Nov 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

Here are some voting systems:
1) One round of voting, one vote per person, top five make the final list
Not very accurate because each person is only able to select (at most) one of the five winners

2) One round of voting, five votes per ballot, limit each voter to one vote for each candidate, winners are those with the most votes
Medium accuracy, each person has a chance to decide each of the five winners, but doesn't get to weight their choices from highest to lowest
Limit voters to one one vote per candidate to ensure that every person has an equal say in deciding each winner

3) One round of voting, five votes per ballot, limit of one vote for each candidate, weight each choice (eg: 10 points for the voter's first choice, 9 points for their second choice, and so on), winners are those with the most points
Accuracy is possibly better, but weighting is arbitrary

4) Five sequential rounds of voting, one vote per person, one winner each round (Reverse Idol method?)
Highest accuracy because there is no need to weight your choice but will take a long time to complete, voter fatigue

I'm heavily in favor of #2. It would be interesting to analyze the results by other methods to see what different results could be obtained by the various voting systems.
Should people be able to add suggestions after voting starts?

OnlyToday




msg:3797042
 6:18 pm on Nov 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

Should people be able to add suggestions after voting starts?

I think it would be irresponsible and reckless for Google to not conduct this survey themselves. If it is done on a forum there are too many things that can go wrong and it would be a self-selecting group that could easily cheat.

I think these AdSense folks are too successful for their own good, we need a nice long and harsh recession to clear the deadwood and make that place efficient. Some hard times might wake them up.

IanCP




msg:3797053
 6:47 pm on Nov 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

Some hard times might wake them up.

The down side is that it might also wake some of us up as well.

I'm a sleepy retiree.

MsHuggys




msg:3799779
 6:30 am on Dec 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

I keep forgetting, now I remember. The Google Mastercard Debit Card. Let me start taking my money out with the debit card, like I do with my in-house payments via Paypal. Give me a kickback everytime I use it for a non-pin number transaction.

Chapman




msg:3800345
 10:17 pm on Dec 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

The easiest request of all... show ANY degree of sincerity! Do ANYTHING... do anything, big or small, for anyone in the AdSense publisher community.

After years of being baited and toyed with, in threads very similar to this one, I think discussing what voting method we need to use to determine which wishes are to be granted is preposterous!

The "What are the Top 5 Publisher Requests?" seems to simply be the next "hoop jumping" contest for the amusement of our "silent partners" until some display of sincerity is produced!

[edited by: Chapman at 10:56 pm (utc) on Dec. 4, 2008]

ArtistMike




msg:3800365
 10:54 pm on Dec 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

There seems to be an undercurrent of deep dissatisfaction with Google and the way they treat the publisher community. I wonder if that dissatisfaction will ever gain the momentum to rise up? Probably not.

AdSenseAdvisor




msg:3800373
 11:15 pm on Dec 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

There seems to be an undercurrent of deep dissatisfaction with Google and the way they treat the publisher community.

What can we do to fix that?

So far we've been talking a lot about your requests for the product, but not a lot about what you want from us as an organization. I'm happy to pass your feedback to the team that builds the product, but that's clearly not the whole story.

I get that many of the publishers in this forum are dissatisfied, but there are a bunch of people (including me) whose job it is to maximize not only your revenue, but also your happiness. And we all take our jobs very seriously.

Keeping in mind that there will always be way more publishers than there are of us, what can we do better?

ASA

coachm




msg:3800378
 11:38 pm on Dec 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

Keeping in mind that there will always be way more publishers than there are of us, what can we do better?

Thank you for asking. There are some semi-specific things that we (almost universally on both adsense and adwords side) have been asking for. These are things that legitimate publishers and advertisers need.

1) Above everything, including new features, interface re-designs, etc, ENFORCE YOUR TERMS OF SERVICE, both in terms of the letter of the rules, and the spirit. That IS your role. That IS what makes you credible or just another third line fly-by-night company.

I hope you read what is next carefully.

I DO NOT want to advertise on sites that are dirty, made for adsense, cloned domains, parked domains or contentless domains. PERIOD. I do not want to spend my days clearing out the stables. I do not want to compete with other advertisers who cheat. PERIOD>

On the flipside, as an adsense person, I do not want to see junk advertisers, ads that are cloned, ads that use the keyword feature regardless of appropriateness, etc. I do not want to see ANY of these things, and it's because:

I value my visitor's experience, just like you do.

By not enforcing your own rules (which in itself would make me much happier) you make me ashamed to have adsense ads on my site, and make it a problematic decision on the adwords side.

I do not want my ads to appear on #*$! sites, but I also don't want them on parked domains, no content sites. I WILL not knowingly support the pollution of the net with my advertising dollars.

I'm upset at the financials re adsense, but I can live with that. What really really drives me insane, and caused me to pull ads completely from one of our sites, is:

the problems with ads, both aesthetic and financial seem caused by google's non-enforcement of its own terms of service.

we've talked about these issues and enforcement for YEARS, and now I believe we are all paying the price for google's relative inaction.

google adsense, to my view (and this is generally speaking) is no longer a reputable source for ads for my visitors. The recent diet ads situation is an obvious example. As is the ongoing "buy dead popes" ads, or similar stupidness you allow and encourage.

I really no longer care WHY you won't enforce your rules, or why you don't do anything to PREVENT cheats in the first place (thus leaving it to publishers to police on your behalf). It's YOUR job. It's that simple.

If you aren't going to enforce the rules, then be honest and change your TOS, so we can all know what to expect. Of course, you will then officially be a third rate provider of ads rather than just being an unofficial third rate provider of ads.

Ok. ONE point. I'd like other stuff, but this one is the deal breaker. Enforce your rules, prevent their breakage in the first place, and formulate new standards (which you will TELL us about) as new cheat methods come up.

PS. I've been in business since 92, and doing business on the net before through and after the Internet/tech bubble burst in 2000. We've always had a toe in the ad. world, but today I've started implementing a plan to eliminate ALL adsense ads on our new flagship sites.

I think adsense has been a great program, but it isn't now, and we are preparing. If you clean up and enforce things in a clear way so the ad quality goes up, and hence the CTR, we're with you. If not, I'm looking forward to our new sites, without you.

leadegroot




msg:3800380
 11:43 pm on Dec 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

We have had these 'what would you like to see improved/changed in Adsense' threads many many (many many many) times.
To my knowledge, we have never had any feedback afterwards.
None
At all.
Ever.
(I'm happy to be corrected, but I've never seen it)

You know, we wouldn't mind so much if you guys came back and said 'we can't do X, Y & Z'. Even better if you can give us an overview of why not - it'll stop us asking for it again. We are professionals, we realise there are sometimes commercial reasons that mean you can't always tell us why, but I can't think of any reason for never ever ever giving any feedback at all.

Saying 'Yes, we're going to do X, and its because you asked for it' would be, frankly, mind blowing.
But at this point, we'd be ecstatic to get some 'No's because all we get at the moment is stonewalled silence.
And thats disheartening.

signor_john




msg:3800384
 11:54 pm on Dec 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

There seems to be an undercurrent of deep dissatisfaction with Google and the way they treat the publisher community. I wonder if that dissatisfaction will ever gain the momentum to rise up? Probably not.

Rise up against what?

As for the notion that the "publisher community" is satisfied, I think the folks at Google have a much better handle on the level of publisher satisfaction or dissatisfaction than we do. They can monitor their publisher churn rate and, just as important, they can see which types of publishers are sticking with or leaving the network. (Some turnover is inevitable--and indeed, it may be welcome now that AdSense has secured an overwhelming share of the contextual ad market.)

farmboy




msg:3800393
 12:08 am on Dec 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

What can we do to fix that?

...Keeping in mind that there will always be way more publishers than there are of us, what can we do better?

Two-way communication.

I know. I know. There are things you can't reveal because bad guys will exploit the situation, etc.

But there's a huge gap between giving specific details of every possibility being discussed and not providing any details.

Channels for example - seems harmless enough. Lots of people want more channels. Is it too much to ask for some feedback such as, "More channels isn't going to happen anytime soon so you might as well stop asking" or "We've heard your requests for more channels but don't understand why you want more" or "We've heard your requests and we're working on it"? For the life of me, I can't think of a reason the status of the many "more channels" requests can't be commented on.

FarmBoy

jaynl




msg:3800395
 12:18 am on Dec 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

@signor_john, just 'sticking' or 'leaving' is a bit too simplistic. In another thread I mentioned that for new sites, I've choosen to do more business with Amazon, and put my energy in developing product centered sites. Otherwise, I would have built new informational portal sites with Adsense (that's what I like most, in fact). My current Adsense sites are still running since 2003, but Google certainly missed a lot of new business, in my case.

Malibucreek




msg:3800399
 12:34 am on Dec 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

I want to echo and amplify what coachm wrote.

This might challenge some of Google's assumptions about publishers, which I suspect are reflected in its ad-selection algorithm.

Here are *my* priorities for ad selection on my website:

1. It be from a real business, engaged in direct sales to my readers. No MFA sites (although other original-reporting websites looking to build readership are OK). No e-mail harvesting "contests." No affiliates that bring no added content to my readers.
2. It be targeted to the content of my website's niche topic.
3. That it be targeted to the content of the specific page on my site. Note that this is slotted *below* #2. Like many sites, we drift from our core topic from time to time. But I don't want one post about Topic X to drive away relevant ads about my site's Topic Y.
4. That it be the highest-paying available ad.

That's right. Highest EPC is *number four* on my list, not number one. I am willing to sacrifice short-term EPC because I believe that I, Google and our advertisers will make more money over the long term if my readers see Google Ads on my site as useful, reputable content.

When Google's system places irrelevant, spammy or ROS ads above ads targeted to my websites, even if those are higher paying ads, it diminishes the value of the ad space on my website for the long term.

I'm not in this for a quick buck. (As, I fear, many AS publishers are.) Please help publishers like me create and provide value for readers and advertisers. That's why I've suggested what I have in this thread.

dibbern2




msg:3800469
 2:36 am on Dec 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

No MFA sites... It be targeted to the content of my website's niche topic

If this discussion is going to have any value to ASA and the team, it has to stay grounded in reality.

Wish lists that include MFA's and what is -or isn't-- an appropriate advertiser will just take us down into the endless debates of the past about what is an MFA, and what is useful, reputable content.

I'm not defending junk sites; I hate them too. But how is ASA to understand what we mean when we could never agree among ourselves?

Chapman




msg:3800491
 3:16 am on Dec 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

There seems to be an undercurrent of deep dissatisfaction with Google and the way they treat the publisher community.

I certainly don't feel that way and hope my post wasn't the source of of ArtistMike's comment.

At this point, I've become immune (numb) to how Google treats it's publishers (partners). What does irritate me, however, is the perpetration of this disingenuous ruse... forever insinuating that Google has any interest in our part of the business equation at all!

Periodically introducing a rogue ASA to "query the troops and boost morale" only to disappear with not so much as "Sorry can't do that!" year-after-year is a compromise to our intelligence and integrity.

Tell me why this time will be different then all the other fruitless feedback sessions, Dear ASA, and I will once again be hopeful! Otherwise... cease the insult and I'll make do with the injury!

netchicken1




msg:3800534
 4:23 am on Dec 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

Remove adsense off parked domains. Parked domains are just the biggest scam out there. Buy a domain name, get money, skip the website work totally.

It totally subverts the underlying ethos of the internet and creates and artificial shortage of domain names.

zett




msg:3800596
 6:26 am on Dec 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

coachm:

There are some semi-specific things that we (almost universally on both adsense and adwords side) have been asking for.

100% spot-on. What a great post. Thanks for saving half an hour to write this by myself.

signor_john




msg:3800869
 3:03 pm on Dec 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

Remove adsense off parked domains.

I'm not a fan of ads on parked domains, either, but it's worth noting that advertisers can exclude parked domains as a category. See this AdWords help page:

"How do I stop my ads from showing up on parked domain sites?" [adwords.google.com]

As for the notion that ASA's presence is a mere ploy to calm the troops and keep morale up, it's worth noting that many of the things requested by publishers have become AdSense features, including such things as more ad formats, the ability to change ad colors, an increased number of channels, more capacity for the competitive ad filter, etc. AdSense has evolved quite a bit over the last 5-1/2 yearc, and both publishers and advertisers have more control and more choices than they did in he past.

farmboy




msg:3800880
 3:07 pm on Dec 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

1. It be from a real business, engaged in direct sales to my readers...No affiliates that bring no added content to my readers.

There's a point where if all our wishes are granted, there won't be any advertisers available to us.

If this discussion is going to have any value to ASA and the team, it has to stay grounded in reality.

I agree.

FarmBoy

coachm




msg:3800990
 4:42 pm on Dec 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

If this discussion is going to have any value to ASA and the team, it has to stay grounded in reality.

Wish lists that include MFA's and what is -or isn't-- an appropriate advertiser will just take us down into the endless debates of the past about what is an MFA, and what is useful, reputable content.

I'm not defending junk sites; I hate them too. But how is ASA to understand what we mean when we could never agree among ourselves?

This issue isn't rocket science. If someone from google can't determine that a site with no content, links from search engine programs, etc, should not be monetized through a reputable program, then that's the wrong person for the job.

Of ALL the things one might want, determining junk or MFA sites is one of the easiest things a human can do, although I'm not sure about how easy it would be for a computer. I suspect it can be done, with some error rate, but still.

As for parked domains, I'll be clear here. Have these things OPT-IN, NOT OPT-Out. It's an issue of reputation, and that's one thing google needs to look at.

If, in the eyes of web users, google's rep. is as low as some of those other ad networks with no standards, they don't look at ads. Low CTR.

Not to mention that through its lax standards, google has been the single most powerful push to make much of the Internet useless, by helping people monetize junk.

Come on. It CAN be done. Any three 10 year olds can distinguish quality from junk, good intent from simple greed.

I say again to google. Do you really want to be adbrite?

OnlyToday




msg:3801078
 5:55 pm on Dec 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

Of ALL the things one might want, determining junk or MFA sites is one of the easiest things a human can do...

OK, let those in the gray area pass. There are many, many that are so blatantly scamming the system and cloning themselves like bacteria that if AdSense just eliminates the worst of the worst we will all be a lot happier.

Any three 10 year olds can distinguish quality from junk...

But apparently not the geniuses at Google.

dibbern2




msg:3801183
 8:32 pm on Dec 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

I think OnlyToday makes a good point: getting rid of the worst and not debating the gray areas of MFA's would make us happier.

Any three 10 year olds can distinguish quality from junk...
This is one of those statements that sounds like common sense when you first read it, and then when you give it serious thought, has a truly dangerous potential. Not in the words about 10 year olds, but in these: distinguish quality from junk.

Are we sure that we'd welcome Big G taking a bigger role in deciding which site is quality and which one is junk? Can you imagine such a role growing with more and more restrictions, more "black box" decisions that reach ever further into our community?

Perhaps we should be a little more careful about what we wish for, lest we get it.

What's best for us in the long run might not be rocket science, but its not kindergarten, either. I for one lean towards staying with the devil I know rather than the one that could be waiting out there.

zett




msg:3801201
 9:03 pm on Dec 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

getting rid of the worst and not debating the gray areas of MFA's would make us happier.

To quote one of my favorite movies - All the Presidents Men: "Just ... follow the money!"

If Google would look at the top 1000 advertisers and their credit cards, and at the top 1000 publishers and their EFT details, it should be easy to find the black sheep.

zett




msg:3801205
 9:10 pm on Dec 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

Are we sure that we'd welcome Big G taking a bigger role in deciding which site is quality and which one is junk? Can you imagine such a role growing with more and more restrictions, more "black box" decisions that reach ever further into our community?

That's why minimum bids have been requested for ages.

By destroying the business model of advertisers who seek cheap traffic, publishers will contribute to the clean-up of the system. Pull the rug under the feet of the shady folks, and just the genuine advertisers (with a valid business model and a good ROI) will remain. Anyone who wants minimum bids (including me) should be aware that this may lead to reduced revenue, though.

OnlyToday




msg:3801208
 9:17 pm on Dec 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

...at the top 1000 publishers and their EFT details, it should be easy to find the black sheep.

I wouldn't take it quite that far because if what you say is true then Google is committing the profoundest of evils: selling out humanity and civilization. While I am occasionally a harsh critic of Google I don't want to believe that they are something I want destroyed. Certainly it can't be that bad.

IanCP




msg:3801243
 10:17 pm on Dec 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

If Google would look at the top 1000 advertisers and their credit cards, and at the top 1000 publishers and their EFT details, it should be easy to find the black sheep

I seem to recollect similar comments being made 6 - 7 years ago about another very well known affiliate programme where the "black hats" found ways to scam fellow associates income via replacing ID's in links.

Took months to get it remedied no matter how much proof was gathered and tendered.

Never occurred to them to check some top earners against that earners one page web sites with three improbable links.

AdSenseAdvisor




msg:3801246
 10:23 pm on Dec 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

Iím seeing three main themes emerging here, so Iíll address them one by one:

Ads that show on your site:

Weíve talked a lot about this issue in the past few weeks, and Iím afraid there isnít anything new I can add to this conversation beyond what Iíve already said: Iím passing along what youíre saying, and weíre working on more customized filtering options.

AdSense policy stuff

This issue isn't rocket science. If someone from google can't determine that a site with no content, links from search engine programs, etc, should not be monetized through a reputable program, then that's the wrong person for the job.

Of ALL the things one might want, determining junk or MFA sites is one of the easiest things a human can do, although I'm not sure about how easy it would be for a computer. I suspect it can be done, with some error rate, but still.

OK, let those in the gray area pass. There are many, many that are so blatantly scamming the system and cloning themselves like bacteria that if AdSense just eliminates the worst of the worst we will all be a lot happier.

This is one of those statements that sounds like common sense when you first read it, and then when you give it serious thought, has a truly dangerous potential. Not in the words about 10 year olds, but in these: distinguish quality from junk.

Are we sure that we'd welcome Big G taking a bigger role in deciding which site is quality and which one is junk? Can you imagine such a role growing with more and more restrictions, more "black box" decisions that reach ever further into our community?

Perhaps we should be a little more careful about what we wish for, lest we get it.

I canít tell you exactly how we enforce AdSense policies. I just canít. But there are some things I can say.

1. Policy enforcement is not easy. We have a lot of people working on it, including many of the smartest people Iíve ever met. Theyíre doing amazing and innovative things. Theyíre even outpacing the policy violators, who multiply like you wouldnít believe. The job my co-workers do is astounding. You may have to trust me on this, but I promise you itís true.

2. Scalability is a factor. As I said before, there are always going to be way more publishers than there are people working for AdSense. Itís just not possible to have a person look at every site, and we do have technology that helps. But fewer issues than youíd think are truly black and white. Which brings me to my final pointÖ

3. Weíre not in the business of judging the quality of websites. We create and update a list of criteria and things that are not allowed, and we go from there. I think dibbern2 has a good point (though I would think of the AdSense team as more of a friendly Ďlittle gí). Apart from policy violations, should it be up to us to determine the value of a site to advertisers or to internet users? Would you trust me to do that? I sure wouldnít.

So I canít tell you what we do or how we do it in terms of policy enforcement. All I can say is that itís harder than you might think.

With that said, how would you do it? What kinds of policies would you create, and how would you enforce them if you had a bajillion people applying every day and an infinite number of pages in your network?

If you have any innovative solutions, weíd love to hear them.

Feedback and transparency:

You know, we wouldn't mind so much if you guys came back and said 'we can't do X, Y & Z'. Even better if you can give us an overview of why not - it'll stop us asking for it again. We are professionals, we realise there are sometimes commercial reasons that mean you can't always tell us why, but I can't think of any reason for never ever ever giving any feedback at all.

Channels for example - seems harmless enough. Lots of people want more channels. Is it too much to ask for some feedback such as, "More channels isn't going to happen anytime soon so you might as well stop asking" or "We've heard your requests for more channels but don't understand why you want more" or "We've heard your requests and we're working on it"? For the life of me, I can't think of a reason the status of the many "more channels" requests can't be commented on.

We know that ďmore channelsĒ is a request that we hear a lot. The people who build the product know that itís a request we hear a lot. What would be useful to know is this: would you rather have more channels than more custom filtering? Would you rather have more channels than Google Analytics integration? Would you rather have more channels than any of the other things you want [webmasterworld.com]?

Tell me why this time will be different then all the other fruitless feedback sessions, Dear ASA, and I will once again be hopeful! Otherwise... cease the insult and I'll make do with the injury!

Iím not telling you this time will be different. Iím telling you that Iím talking about the stuff youíre saying with the people who you would want to hear it. Thatís the best I can do.

As for the notion that ASA's presence is a mere ploy to calm the troops and keep morale up, it's worth noting that many of the things requested by publishers have become AdSense features, including such things as more ad formats, the ability to change ad colors, an increased number of channels, more capacity for the competitive ad filter, etc. AdSense has evolved quite a bit over the last 5-1/2 yearc, and both publishers and advertisers have more control and more choices than they did in he past.

Thank you for bringing this up, signor_john. We build and implement a ton of things based on publisher feedback and suggestions. We should probably do a better job of communicating that back to you when it happens, and itís something weíre working on doing more.

ASA

icedowl




msg:3801253
 10:43 pm on Dec 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

We know that ďmore channelsĒ is a request that we hear a lot. The people who build the product know that itís a request we hear a lot. What would be useful to know is this: would you rather have more channels than more custom filtering? Would you rather have more channels than Google Analytics integration? Would you rather have more channels than any of the other things you want?

Custom filtering is my first choice with more channels being my second. I use Google Analytics but I honestly have no feelings one way or the other about it being integrated with AdSense.

OnlyToday




msg:3801336
 12:40 am on Dec 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

Iím talking about the stuff youíre saying with the people who you would want to hear it. Thatís the best I can do.

And these are the same people who have been in place for months, years? This dialog will become more frank and earnest or we will all disappear. We are going to see a lot of 'creative destruction' this coming year as marginal business evaporates, the pie shrinks and our ranks thin. So, I'm going to put a little more effort into communicating on this forum, at least for now.

Having bailed out of GOOG at $600 seems just a distant sweet memory, but now I still can't afford to get back in. <sigh>

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