|ASA: What are theTop 5 Publisher Requests?|
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.
Sorry for drifting off topic again, but I have believed that there is a trust factor employed already on the AdSense side.
No proof, just a hunch from looking at some obscure AS sections.
Could be. But if there is, making the fact public might send a useful message to AdSense publishers. (Of course, it could also spawn a never-ending series of complaints, like the complaints about smart pricing.)
|What are theTop 5 Publisher Requests? |
How about someone fixing the existing product before even thinking about new features?
Type example: filter. I identified a bunch of useless ads (advertising pure made-for-ads sites) by using the famous preview tool that has not seen an update in - how long? Must be years. Anyway, five of the seven domains I found have been in my filter for two months?! To me, this looks like some advertisers are "immune" to filtering, or the preview tool is broken, or both.
Type example: ad quality. We talked about diet ads already. How about an ad that goes straight to a discussion forum that contains just a post with a banner ad for an affiliate company? Zero content. Enforce your guidelines, Google, enforce 'em!
It's not that these things have not been mentioned before here, though. So I don't believe that Google will fix this, either because they don't want to, or because they can't.
But wait, I don't want anyone to get depressed when reading a post that tells Google what to do. Maybe we should turn this thread into a collection of new features that takes us into a bright new future with Adsense?
(I seriously doubt that any of these features will ever be implemented though.)
Someone earlier mentioned that ASA was using "boilerplate language".
I have to agree, but it doesn't need to be that way.
Google has the ability to change the internet instead of just reacting to it.
Removing adverts off parked domains would fundamentally change the way domain names are bought and sold. It would reduce the shortage of domain names and let millions of cheap domains back onto the market, where REAL webmasters could build REAL websites.
Google can be proactive, not just reactive.
By making a statement over what is a 'quality website' it would raise the benchmark for web designers and reward quality.
Google can do that, not just live behind "policies and procedures", but actively shape the way the net can be used.
Maybe thats part of the reason why publishers get annoyed at the seemingly inaction of Google to requests.
Better filtering being worked on is tremendously great news.
Now, take it a notch further:
- report top X000 blocked advertisers on the adwords side, maybe they make look not just us, but also google and the entire Internet look bad and we'd all be better off without them. Policy enforcement on the adwords side is something that I see way too little (you guys are probably working on it, but it's not enough). Using the fact us publishers don't like the ads/advertiser should be a reason to investigate the advertiser and their business a bit (I'm not asking for an automated ban, but if many of us dislike him/her perhaps at east suspend it till you can manually confirm it's kosher in the end.)
- we need a dramatically better way to know what ads are shown. Perhaps the adsense/analytics integration gives this, but I doubt it (can't see, still not invited, despite having both adsense and analytics accounts for years)
The preview tool for IE is ridiculous (sorry I've no good to say about that).
- IE only ... (come on!)
- You can only see a sample of the ads for one geo location at a time, think quite a few types never get shown at all (e.g. those promoting google maps with a search box in the ad itself, never seen it on the preview tool, nor in the ad manager).
- You get RSI before you have clicked enough to get a rough idea of what ads are showing now, let alone during the past.
We need something to give a decent overview of what ads show on what channels with what frequency in what geo location. Such reporting is complex, but no more complex than what analytics does for web pages, now we need something for ads and advertisers, so we can use that knowledge in filters
- reporting on filters
Let us know what we filter away, what filters do actually do something. Right now the 200 list: we've no clue which are still being used and which are just using a slot for no purpose. Updating the filter just isn't possible without that.
Two way communication is also great to see. And you deserve applause for starting that. Even if it are baby steps, it are steps that were never taken by previous ASAs.
To push the envelope a bit: Any idea of when we can get a peek at what the new filters will be, when the first tests could start, how we can bet on a "beta" program for it, give you more and better feedback ?
Can only speak for myself: I'd be happy to sign an NDA and help on things like this, and I think quite a few others out here would be willing to do the same.
To give you some ammo against those worried it would get abused to only get higher paying ads: filtering means less ads (or none if we filter too much), not "other" ads from adsense, so our (short term) earnings go down due to it, not up. We're betting on long term results by better associations and better reputation.
|I'm curious why you're asking this - does increasing the number of channels per account take so much effort that other things will be pushed back for a significant period of time? Seriously, it almost sounds like a "you can only have one" statement even if that's not how you meant it. |
Itís not a matter of only having one. Frankly, Iím perfectly happy to bring your asks to people who actually do product prioritization. But in order for me to not look like a lightweight, I need to build an actual business case. Saying ďour publishers want these hundred thingsĒ is not a compelling reason to implement any one of them individually. Saying ďthe publishers of WebmasterWorld, who we know are savvy and knowledgeable about our product, want X, Y, and Z, in that order," will have a much bigger impact. No promises either way, but Iím trying to give you guys the best shot at getting heard.
We do have a pretty comprehensive development process for products and features, but you guys represent one of many many sources of feedback. Thatís not to say youíre not influential, and itís not to say you canít make a difference, but WebmasterWorld is not the only way we gauge what publishers, and we hear different things from each source.
|You asked for the top 5 suggestions. To all two are very obvious and they are more channels and minimum EPC. The question WE need to know is how easy would this be for Google to implement? |
I honestly donít know. Iím not an engineer. I do know that engineers and product managers donít like it when you say, ďJust out of curiosity, how hard is X to do?Ē without making a real case for why youíd want it.
|What I would like to see are G ideas BEFORE they are trialled without ANY notice! I bet there are some discarded ideas that would work but have never seen the light of day. |
To be perfectly honest, I wouldnít hold my breath on this one. Weíre in a really competitive industry, and announcing what weíre doing in advance can really hurt our ability to stay on the cutting edge.
And swa66, you have some good ideas. I can't tell you what we're working on for the reason given above, but I can tell you that I'll pass these ideas along.
|I do know that engineers and product managers donít like it when you say, ďJust out of curiosity, how hard is X to do?Ē without making a real case for why youíd want it. |
The person who wrote the above wasn't asking the , "Just out of curiousity..." question of engineers and product managers, it was being asked of you.
And my guess is the person who wrote it was under the assumption that with all the prior requests for more channels made to other ASA's and now yourself, there was no need for us publishers to make a case for more channels. Apparently that might have been an inaccurate assumption.
In response to netchicken1:
|Removing adverts off parked domains would fundamentally change the way domain names are bought and sold. It would reduce the shortage of domain names and let millions of cheap domains back onto the market, where REAL webmasters could build REAL websites. |
Take a look at the AdSense announcement today. AdSense for domains for everyone! This is the exact opposite of what you & I want. I made a resolution a few months back to let any domain I'm not using expire, now I'm going to redirect them to Google and make cash. Those poor domain names will never go to anyone else now ;-) I'm off to register a pile more domains in the hopes of cashing in. No longer do I need to build quality content sites to be successful with Google....
Wouldn't it make more sense to compile all the requests and then let the AdSense members prioritize them ourselves?
Perhaps a survey of the top 100 requested features, everyone picks their top 10 and the most frequently chosen wins.
When you have that much demand from thousands of people it certainly makes a business case!
|I'm off to register a pile more domains in the hopes of cashing in. No longer do I need to build quality content sites to be successful with Google.... |
Maybe, and maybe not. How many domains can you afford to buy?
Also, since when did anyone need to build "quality content sites" to be successful with AdSense? That's one approach, but the popularity of keyword-driven, template-based sites with hundreds of thousands or even millions of pages makes it pretty clear that "quality content sites" haven't been the only way to earn AdSense revenue.
|Iím perfectly happy to bring your asks to people who actually do product prioritization. But in order for me to not look like a lightweight, I need to build an actual business case. |
Which again speaks volumes about your flawed product implementation process. They should be happy to collect the feature requests from this board and feed it into the prioritization process (along with the many other sources you are listening to) instead of asking for a business case. Sure, at some point in time someone has to make a business case. But it's not you, unless you are the "product manager".
|We do have a pretty comprehensive development process for products and features... |
...which brought us the Adsense-for-all-parked-domains feature? Funny. I did not hear the request for that feature very often here. It was not on the top-10 list, and certainly not on the top-3 spots.
I guess the business case for Adsense-for-all-parked-domains was straight forward though. For Google, the only risk was/is to pollute the web further, which is not really an issue if you want to organize the worlds information. This feature will leave the remaining Adsense program and business ecosystem mostly unaffected. Looks like Google implements just features that yell "no risks, under no circumstances".
I have to admit, that this makes sense from a business point of view.
|Saying ďthe publishers of WebmasterWorld, who we know are savvy and knowledgeable about our product, want X, Y, and Z, in that order," will have a much bigger impact. No promises either way, but Iím trying to give you guys the best shot at getting heard. [...] You guys represent one of many many sources of feedback. Thatís not to say youíre not influential, and itís not to say you canít make a difference, but WebmasterWorld is not the only way we gauge what publishers, and we hear different things from each source. |
It's difficult to say "we don't care", eh? All this discussion about feature requests will not lead anywhere if you continue to implement UNWANTED features. I remember when you started the silly "optimization tips" mailbox thing. 100% not needed. Noone EVER asked for that. But you spent time on it, instead of spending that time on fixing essential bugs and problems (see above).
Good luck with that.
Google will be the next Lycos.
Sure it is a bit like herding cats, but it isn't impossible to establish a consensus.
If the members care enough about these ideas, they should be willing to work together to debate the ideas and figure out a way of evaluating which ideas have the most support.
Here is one approach that might work:
1. Generate a master list that succinctly summarizes all of the ideas that have been tossed out during the initial "brainstorming" phase.
2. Get reactions from the members to confirm that the list is complete, and that each idea on the list has been described fairly and concisely.
3. Reach a tentative consensus that we actually have a list of all the worthwhile ideas (e.g. the debate about what goes on the full list dies down, and the flow of new ideas slows to a trickle or stops completely).
4. Set up some sort of "voting" system, which will allow members to indicate their preferences.
5. Run the voting system to cull the list and establish the group's overall priorities.
I personally would prefer a weighted voiting system -- one that gives the most weight to the votes coming from members who have been the most active for the longest time.
We could use the existing system of membership classifications to give more voting "juice" to the most senior membership classifications.
I would also prefer a system that lets each interested member vote by making a post that lists their favorites, in priority order, and which allows them to vote for as few or as many of the items on the list as they care about. The more items they choose to include in their post, the less weight given to any one item on their list.
Members should have the freedom to list as many or as few of the items on the master list as they want -- they can put all of their "votes" on one item, or spread their votes across multiple items.
This isn't something that can be accomplished in a day or two. It will take some time, but it is doable.I suspect it would be helpful to establish a separate thread for the official "vote" posts. This will make it easier for everyone to monitor the voting as it takes place, without having to wade through other posts, containing commentary, discussion of tangential topics, debates about the merits of different ideas, shock and dismay that a particular member didn't agree with our own priorities, etc.
This could be fun, and is worth trying. Even if it fails, it would be an interesting experiment which might help us learn something about the limits involved in trying to use online tools to create a consensus, etc.
Just came across this revealing article [australianit.news.com.au] where Stuart Smith, Google's strategic planning director of Google's Creative Lab in New York, goes on the record on Google's product management skills:
|"What typically happens is it is just a load of engineers producing a load of things and then refining until it finds an audience," Smith says. "What they have never really done is to look at audiences and understand audiences and say 'perhaps there is a need over here -- let's meet that need'." |
Quite telling indeed.
I'd like to see Adwords forbid the use of "tracking redirector" sites altogether, as there are so many spammers abusing them lately. I thought it was already against the TOS to show one URL in the ad and then go to a different site, but I'm seeing it in at least one on almost every block of ads on our more competitive keyword pages lately. Most of the times the keywords don't even relate to the landing page, or they simply take one to a list of sponsored links from another PPC monetiser. They almost never show up on the Preview in order to get a URL for them. And often times when they DO show up the URL they use is too long to fit into the filter line (they only allow something like 50 chars?). And you can't even filter them by the displayed URL, because they use displayed URLs which are big legitimate advertisers which you HOPE will, and often times DO advertise on your pages, so you can't use the displayed URL to filter them. Then if they are using a popular tracker/redirector you can't filter the URL in the url= section, because you could also be filtering out legitimate ads. Reporting them to Adsense in the past has gotten a reply that they can't do anything about it, it is an Adwords issue. Reporting them to Adwords, doesn't get a positive response either because they don't care about Adsense filtering issues.
Please do something about it soon!
Not really. It's a quote from a former ad-agency guy with a very specific mission within the advertising community that's unrelated to core Google products like Google Search, Google Search, etc. Those core Google products are engineering-driven, and rightly so.
Getting back to the topic of AdSense, is there anyone here who seriously believes that AdSense was invented and introduced as an engineering exercise?
|Not really. It's a quote from a former ad-agency guy with a very specific mission |
And this statement tells a lot about how Google actually develops products. One of my statements in this thread was that Google is as clueless as it gets when developing (new) products. They can't even prioritize feature requests on their own.
This statement from a Google employee (and not one who sits low in the foodchain) underlines this.
|They can't even prioritize feature requests on their own. |
I don't interpret his request that way at all. To the contrary, I think he is gently pushing us to provide more valuable information than could be gained from a long thread filled with various ideas of widely ranging merit.
Obviously, if he passes anything along from this thread, the folks who decide whether an idea has merit or not will make those decisions through an internal process of prioritization. Our suggestions will be evaluated and prioritized within a much larger group of ideas, including ideas that have been generated internally as well as those obtained from other external sources.
This is an opportunity for publishers to do more than complain, or to engage in wishful thinking. But to take full advantage of this opportunity, we really should go to the extra effort of winnowing the list, and to carefully define the items that remain on the list after winnowing. That would make the list more useful to Google, and increases the chances that they will take positive action in response to this effort.
What about measuring ad quality (and thus: chance of serving) by allowing the user to vote ads up or down? Or is this already done through clicking on the ad itself?
|Obviously, if he passes anything along from this thread, the folks who decide... |
If the folks who actually decide never read this thread it says a lot about the state of the Google bureaucracy. A company with such rapid growth and (until now anyway) excess cash, is probably bloatified beyond its own capacity to act. While I'm not in favor of the coming recession, one benefit it may render is a serious reality check for Google. Hard times will clear the dead wood.
|I don't interpret his request that way at all. To the contrary, I think he is gently pushing us to provide more valuable information than could be gained from a long thread filled with various ideas of widely ranging merit. |
We have been pushing for years for better, bigger filters. We have discussed at length the pros and cons of filtering. While we can not expect ASA to re-read all those discussions, Google should not expect us to discuss this all over again. Their product folks had the chance to lurk here (and I am very very sure they did), and they did not use this chance. Bad luck.
|This is an opportunity for publishers to do more than complain, or to engage in wishful thinking. But to take full advantage of this opportunity, we really should go to the extra effort of winnowing the list, and to carefully define the items that remain on the list after winnowing. That would make the list more useful to Google, and increases the chances that they will take positive action in response to this effort. |
We can not and should not do the work that a Google product manager is supposed to do. Where is the point in listing, for example, a "bigger, better filter" for the ump-teenth time now (probably after some painful discussion) when we do not know what prevents the implementation of such a feature?
It could well be that a "bigger, better filter"...
- is technically impossible, because their database is limited to 200 entries per user ;-)
- is against company mission (to milk the system as fast and as long as possible) because lower-paying ads may be served instead of the blocked URLs
- the code is a complete mess and needs to be re-written from scratch
- the ad-filtering process has been implemented in a way that prevents increasing the filter size (because something else may fail due to this)
- they think that blocking ads lowers the user experience
- Eric Schmidt does not think highly of a better filter
WE DON'T KNOW. Only Google knows (if at all).
I don't think it can be expected from this group to make the prioritizations without knowing the limiting factors. If we spend time on prioritization of feature requests, the only way (IMO) to do this would be in an engaged dialogue with the folks knowing the limiting factors. If we understand what the limits are, we probably will come to a different prioritization.
But most of us know that Google is not very good at dialogue with partners (or customers), especially when it comes to discussing their products and the way they are implemented. It's a black box, and it needs to remain that way.
Thus, I see the request to come up with a prioritized list of features as nothing else than using peer pressure [en.wikipedia.org]. It must be fun looking at webmasters starting to haggle over features while knowing that they have very little chance to ever get implemented anyway. (But at least the webmasters are not complaining but engage in "some positive discussion".)
|Obviously, if he passes anything along from this thread, the folks who decide whether an idea has merit or not will make those decisions through an internal process of prioritization. Our suggestions will be evaluated and prioritized within a much larger group of ideas, including ideas that have been generated internally as well as those obtained from other external sources. |
|If the folks who actually decide never read this thread it says a lot about the state of the Google bureaucracy. |
I'm not the only Googler reading this thread, I'm just the only one posting.
|Thus, I see the request to come up with a prioritized list of features as nothing else than using peer pressure. It must be fun looking at webmasters starting to haggle over features while knowing that they have very little chance to ever get implemented anyway. (But at least the webmasters are not complaining but engage in "some positive discussion".) |
I've been reading all the comments in this thread, and many of them are not particularly positive (especially towards me). That is not fun for me. I'm asking you to do it this way because I can't think of a better way to tell people definitively "this is what they want" so I can try my best either to get it done or to tell you why we can't or won't do it. The answer may end up being "no comment" in some cases, but I will try to tell you as much as I can.
|I've been reading all the comments in this thread, and many of them are not particularly positive (especially towards me). |
Speaking only for myself, I can assure you that the pent up hostility is not directed at you personally. I have been doing business in many capacities for many years and Google's unwillingness to talk to people who are partners with them to the tune of exchanging many thousands of dollars per month is more frustrating than anything I've ever experienced.
If I knew in 2002 what I know now, I would not be an AdSense publisher and to anyone contemplating a new business I would advise staying far away from the internet, BECAUSE OF GOOGLE. I have had more problems on the search side than as an AdSense publisher but of all the people I have dealt with over a long period of time I regret no other association more.
But then I must be the rare exception, everybody else seems pretty happy.
[edited by: OnlyToday at 1:19 am (utc) on Dec. 19, 2008]
Here is an attempt at listing all of the ideas mentioned in this thread (including some that were extracted from the parallel thread).
There may be some redundancy in this list, but I've tried to keep it to a minimum. I've made no attempt to organize or prioritize the list.
Once we have a reasonably complete list, it should be feasible to start winnowing things with some sort of voting system, like those discussed in earlier posts.
1.Way more than 200 sites in the Competitive Ad Filter.
2.Allow blocking by keyword in domain name (e.g., just "example" instead of having to add example.com, example.net, example.info, and 30 other example.tld).
3.More ad channels.
4.A minimum CPC option especially for targetted ads.
5.Minimum bid: set by channel or ad block.
6.Blocking by phrases on the landing page
7.Blocking by wild card, ebay.* for example.
8.Blocked ad list, what ads would have been, when there is no filter.
9.Blocking by keyword. (Negative keyword filter for ads.)
10.Wild card feature for URL channels.
11.Have a referral system so when advertisers contact me for advertising I can send them a link and make a commission from any money they spend.
12.Be able to sell specific sizes of ads without the Ads by Google, approve them myself and have GAS manage all the payments etc.
13.Create code that I can use on my site which sells ads via Google Adsense.
14.The design of the "AdSense AdManager" needs a total overhaul so that it is user friendly and easy to use.
15.Opt out of run-of-network ad sales. Only ads relevant to page content or targeted to site accepted.
16.Minimum bid filter for channels.
17.Bring options from Ad Review Center to Competitive Ad Filter, i.e. 'Block this URL/domain only' and 'Block all URL/domains from this advertiser.'
18.Instant removal of ads in filter from website. (Okay, I'll take less than one hour.)
19.The ability for trusted publishers to categorize the topic of a site so we can avoid ambiguous themes/keywords.
20.More information on the status of a site being smart priced or not.
21.Adsense preview tool for Firefox.
22.Better control of ad links unit landing page colors. The colors for the ad doesn't always (make that almost never) translate well for the whole page listing all the advertisers.
23.A time stamp on the earnings report page.
24.When I put a URL in the filter, give me a few check boxes or space for text so I can tell you why I placed that URL in my filter. It may be a competitor, it may be an ad that has nothing to do with my site topic, it may be a misleading ad, it may be an ad for an MFA site, etc. I think Google can learn a lot just by knowing why certain advertiser URL's are rejected by publishers.
25.The ability to block all ads from a specific advertiser.
26.The ability to block an ad from all of my sites or just one or two of my sites.
28.Allow publisher to specify that each ad slot must be filled with the number of ads it was designed for, even if this hurts their revenue.
29.Customizable fonts, at least within a certain range, to match look of site and reduce ad blindness.
30.Unlimited filter by keywords, domains, advertisers, ip address.
31.Show per-channel conversion rates and Smart Pricing status (so we can remove ads from poorly-converting pages).
32.An official Google Firefox plugin to show Adsense stats in the status bar.
33.Manual review of the top 30 results for elementary kws.
34.Dedicated cooperation with high quality publishers.
35.Be able to block your own IP's from generating paid clicks; removes all the excuses / fears / paranoia around accidentally clicking your adverts.
36.Share revenue sharing details with the publisher, or at least the premium publishers.
37.Ability to view aggregate of Adsense for content, mobile, search at one place.
39.Foreign currency conversions problem - GeorgeK
40.Adsense Review Center should show which site was targeted
41.EFT to more countries
42.Announce important news on this forum.
43.Check that landing page URL matches the display URL and no IP in URL.
44.Prompt and meaningful communication
45.Link unit ads should have same CPC as Search network ads.
46.Improve the filter to block or limit ads on any criteria.
47.Filter improvements: abliliy to restrict the number of times an ad appears.
48.Better communication and collaboration with quality publishers.
49.Filter improvements: ability to set for family-oriented sites.
50.Develop more bidding strategies appropriate for the content network.
51.Promote the content network.
52.Make the Adwords system far simpler and transparent for small businesses.
53."view-through" for CPM placement-targeted ads.
54.Make Western Union payments more widely available.
55.Speed up roll out of Adsense-Admanager integration.
56.SMS/Email reports in HTML or one line, not as an attachment.
57.Combination text and image ads like Amazon's.
58.Show income in local currancy.
59.Pre-approval of advertisers by ad content.
60.Investigate the Smart Pricing algo for unexpected price fluctuations.
61.Filter CPC ads in Ad Review Center.
|I've been reading all the comments in this thread, and many of them are not particularly positive (especially towards me). That is not fun for me. |
I concur. Too many posts here, including the one you quoted, are simply a mix of complaints, irrational thinking and poor attempts at sarcasm, adding zero value to the discussion. If we all want Adsense to improve for publishers, it's time to get serious and leave our emotions, or whatever it is that's bugging some, at the door. Ignoring the noise, there are a lot of great ideas in this thread (and in many others), but the only way for those to cumulatively have an effect on the Adsense program is, for now, to compile that top 5 list.
econman, thanks for putting in the work to compile that list. Perhaps we should open up a new topic where every member can put in a single vote for their top 5, using only the numbers on your list, without further comment. It's probably a good idea to start the voting in January, after the holidays, and have it run for at least a week or two.
System: The following message was spliced on to this thread from: http://www.webmasterworld.com/google_adsense/3819102.htm [webmasterworld.com] by martinibuster - 5:48 pm on Jan. 4, 2009 (utc -8)
A little while ago ASA indicated that he/she would take our most popular requests to the powers that be at Mountain View. If I recall correctly there was even some suggestion about the comp. ad filter getting fixed or improved slightly(or was I dreaming?)
Has ASA relayed anything back to us on that?
|If I recall correctly there was even some ... |
If I recall correctly, and I could be wrong about this, but the last news from ASA was we hadn't properly made a case for the requests being made.
Not "made a case" or couldn't reach a consensus on request priority?
I would not be surprised if it was the latter, however for ASA to say that we haven't made a case for some of our most talked about requests is absurd.
|I would not be surprised if it was the latter, however for ASA to say that we haven't made a case for some of our most talked about requests is absurd. |
What I remembered was the post in this thread made by ASA on December 11, 2008, at 12:14 PM e.s.t.
Just read it. Thanks.
Simply for the sake of finally just having a top 5, here's a quick compilation based on all that has been posted in this thread.
Top 5 Adsense Publisher Requests
- 1. Minimum CPC
- 2. More channels
- 3. Block ads by keyword
- 4. Bigger competitive filter
- 5. Smart pricing information
Obviously, this is very much a simplified list. Wading through the noise in this thread, I've come across many good ideas on, for example, improving the filter and blocking advertisers more effectively, as well as good arguments against a minimum CPC, which I tend to agree with personally. I don't have the time to make a thorough, detailed list, nor do I see it as my task. Hope it helps, nonetheless.