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Google AdSense Forum

This 31 message thread spans 2 pages: 31 ( [1] 2 > >     
Google SERPs and AdSense
See Brett's "featured homepage discussion" about AJAX
signor_john




msg:3842341
 6:52 pm on Feb 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

In a "Featured Homepage Discussion," [webmasterworld.com] Brett Tabke describes a Google experiment that could lead to the following scenario:

Imagine, just mousing over a result on a serp, and having that result open up further and further - showing you more-n-more information from that site.

This could be a game-changer for AdSense publishers:

1) Sites with useful content and effective page design would be at an advantage in the SERPs.

2) Sites that were designed as AdSense platforms (such as those that display three ad units above the foldt) would see their Google search referrals and AdSense revenues shrivel.

If you haven't read the thread, now is a good time to do so:

[webmasterworld.com...]

 

radix




msg:3842497
 9:34 pm on Feb 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

Kind having my fill of BIG G. Already started my secession out of AS. Considering rewrites of robots.txt-s for a couple of my sites.

LostOne




msg:3842551
 10:27 pm on Feb 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

But what I don't understand is what's the sense? If the information is there when you mouse over why would someone click to get to the site? No adsesne clicks, no revenue for Google.

Screen shot would be great.

radix




msg:3842555
 10:37 pm on Feb 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

No adsesne clicks, no revenue for Google.

I believe G is creative enough to find some space for ads. Ads don't necessarily have to be displayed on your site. G might simply abuse your content.

LostOne




msg:3842563
 10:47 pm on Feb 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

Oh, so maybe folks can click an ad without actually hitting the site? Take the publisher out of the equation.

signor_john




msg:3842572
 11:20 pm on Feb 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

>>But what I don't understand is what's the sense? If the information is there when you mouse over why would someone click to get to the site?<<

Depends on the implementation and the page. (I haven't seen this in action.)

In terms of its effect on AdSense publishers, I think it's a step toward making content--and content presentation--more important than ever.

leadegroot




msg:3842574
 11:30 pm on Feb 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

I don't think it would affect actual ctr - the code would still have the publisher ID in it, so the credit should still go to the publisher.

Unless... would this affect folks who are using the Allowed Sites feature? Interesting...

caribguy




msg:3842579
 11:42 pm on Feb 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

That would open up a whole new can of copyright issue worms. Remember the discussion about searchme a few months ago?

[webmasterworld.com...]

zett




msg:3842580
 11:45 pm on Feb 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

Ads don't necessarily have to be displayed on your site. G might simply abuse your content.

Oh, how cynical - and how true!

It makes perfect business sense for Google. Just think about the fact that they are driving most of their *profit* from "Google property", i.e. Google search. If they could display a screenshot thumbnail next to a SERP and display THEIR ads on THEIR property, then they get a 100% revenue share.

It's all about the money.

signor_john




msg:3842606
 12:17 am on Feb 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

It's all about the money.

Actually, it's all about the search experience--which translates into a better search product, greater market share, and "the money."

But that's a topic for another forum (or for a "Google is evil" rant late at night after having too many drinks). This is the AdSense forum, so why not discuss what effect such a change might have on AdSense?

dibbern2




msg:3843093
 4:49 pm on Feb 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

Thanks for posting this s_j. The implications of this possible change in serps go far beyond just ranking well.

I hope this discussion stays on the search experience and how it will change our business. Google good/bad comments just add noise.

dibbern2




msg:3843261
 7:44 pm on Feb 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

The more I think about this, the more questions arise.
Just for starters,

1. This could be the death knell for scrapers and really crummy MFAs?
2. Will site design become the make-or-break factor in getting someone to click on a serp's listing? What are the implications for content vs. design?
3. How will small niches be affected? There is talk in the thread over in the search forum that small niche categories will kind of be "absorbed" into larger general searches.
4. How will long-tail traffic be changed? Like #3 above, there is discussion about this point also, and it worries me.
5. Would we loose the value of data mining in logs? Will G search referrer data dissapear?
6. Would this be a good or bad development for AdSense?

(Disclaimer: All this is still just a guess at this point, but worth discussing.)

signor_john




msg:3843305
 8:58 pm on Feb 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

It's early days yet, but:

1) Death knell for scrapers and crummy MFAs? Maybe. (At least for the ones who get traffic from search.)

2) Good question. It might encourage placement of content, headlines, etc. higher on the page, and it might also encourage big template-driven sites to clean up the clutter that makes real content hard to find on their pages.

3 and 4) Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't see why niche pages or long-tail searches would be affected.

5) Dunno. Maybe Google referrer data will be available through Analytics when everything is in place?

6) On the whole, it could be a good development if improves the Google Search and/or AdSense user experience. Better SERPs = more qualified traffic = higher-quality clicks for advertisers and publishers. Still, whether it's good or bad for AdSense publishers is almost a rhetorical question. If the Google Search team can improve the user experience through more informative SERPs, the improvements won't be withheld bcause some or even many AdSense publishers might not benefit from them.

koan




msg:3843314
 9:19 pm on Feb 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

I'm in favor of any changes that benefit people with real, user friendly web sites, but if people can access content on the site without leaving Google search, that's a problem.

Maybe Google referrer data will be available through Analytics when everything is in place?

If referrers from all search engines will only be available through their own private services, that would really suck. What's wrong with an open web?

signor_john




msg:3843406
 12:00 am on Feb 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

The topic of referrer stats is already being discussed in the existing Google News forum thread [webmasterworld.com] that was mentioned above.

rytis




msg:3843428
 1:36 am on Feb 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

I know the solution. Semi-dressed girl, or jamesBond image above the fold, depending on what you sell, toolkits vs sewing machines.

Seriously, a new element in addition to Title and Description comes into play - a snippet. It will have the similar role - "come in, there's gold inside", but different in that graphics or even rich media can be used too.

p.s. I hope this was only test, no more

signor_john




msg:3843429
 1:57 am on Feb 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

As a user and as a publisher, I think the idea holds great promise.

Just today, I was researching a "long-tail" topic to find pages that were worth citing as related resources in an article. I found a lot of pages, but very few of them had much information, and some of them had nothing more than a a statement like "Whatsit.com does not yet have an article on this topic."

My article, when it's done, will be the definitive Web article on the topic. Now, let's say that it and ranks #7 in a list of 10 results on the first Google SERP for "[search string]". Normally, users would have to click on seven results and be disappointed before landing on my useful article. Under the "mouseover" scenario that Brett described, a user would be able to slide his cursor down the SERP and quickly separate the wheat from the chaff. I'd have a much better chance of getting a clickthrough than I would with a traditional Google SERP, which means I'd have a better chance of getting click earnings from related AdSense ads.

On the other hand, the sites with nothing but keyword-rich page titles, headlines, and "Whatsit.com does not yet have an article on this topic" would likely be skipped over by the user, even if they ranked higher on the SERP than my article did. Why would anyone who isn't the owner of Whatsit.com object to that?

dibbern2




msg:3843528
 6:17 am on Feb 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

No objections to that scenario, s_j, but lets take it a few months down the line. Your definitive web article gains audience, and you realize an opportunity to expand the content and grow the audience.

Can you do a slow walk through your logs to uncover hidden topics by looking at query strings from G? Possibly not. Can you use your Analytics data to see what people are searching for on G? Maybe not. Can you use a different tracking program to any effect? Absolutly not. Is Google passing ANY useful data into your site records?

I don't know the answer to these questions, but they don't make me feel real warm and cozy.

One small comfort: we're all in the same boat. No one has an edge.

jetteroheller




msg:3843537
 6:26 am on Feb 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

Imagine, just mousing over a result on a serp, and having that result open up further and further - showing you more-n-more information from that site.

I have done this with all navigation links leading to a directory.

At mouse over, there is an overlay over the content area showing the directory.

All this is stored in 2 javascripts, total about 130 kb GZ compressed long.

incrediBILL




msg:3843597
 9:15 am on Feb 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

2) Sites that were designed as AdSense platforms (such as those that display three ad units above the foldt) would see their Google search referrals and AdSense revenues shrivel.

Google's revenues would shrivel too, and they already are, so this FUD probably won't happen unless they plan to kill AdSense altogether to keep all the revenue and stop sharing it.

koan




msg:3843656
 11:21 am on Feb 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

Google's revenues would shrivel too, and they already are

There are levels of survival we are prepared to accept.
- The Architect

signor_john




msg:3843793
 3:18 pm on Feb 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

Google's revenues would shrivel too

I'm not so sure about that. It might lead to a reduction in lowball clicks on worthless "AdSense sites," but average CPC could easily rise if more clicks were coming from relevant quality sites that from junk sites. Don't forget, too, that Google wants to expand its share of the CPM market (specifically the display market), and quality starts to matter when advertisers are paying by the impression.

In any case, we can be pretty sure that, if Google is doing large-scale testing (as it appears to be doing), AdWords/AdSense clicks and revenues are being tracked along with everything else. Google isn't likely to make significant changes without a pretty good idea of what the consequences might be.

dibbern2




msg:3844240
 2:37 am on Feb 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

From Bret's post in the search forum:
Imagine, just mousing over a result on a serp, and having that result open up further and further - showing you more-n-more information from that site. You would never have to leave Google again. That is the kind of ajax testing Google is doing.

signor_john




msg:3844245
 3:21 am on Feb 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

Dibbern2, I'd love to see a screen shot of that!

radix




msg:3844319
 8:04 am on Feb 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

Now, let's say that it and ranks #7 in a list of 10 results on the first Google SERP for "[search string]". Normally, users would have to click on seven results and be disappointed before landing on my useful article.

Isn't this bad performance on Google's side? Not being able to "separate the wheat from the chaff"? Why would they put chaff into top positions in the first place?

onepointone




msg:3844351
 9:22 am on Feb 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

No adsesne clicks, no revenue for Google

once google controls all the information, clicks .... not that important...

signor_john




msg:3844485
 4:34 pm on Feb 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

Isn't this bad performance on Google's side? Not being able to "separate the wheat from the chaff"? Why would they put chaff into top positions in the first place?

A spidered search engine can do only so much. It can't know which of the 10 search results on a page are most relevant to the user's needs or desires at a given point in time.

To use an analogy, if I go to a bookstore and look for a book about programming in C++, there may be 20 books to choose from. Maybe they're all great books, and maybe all of the titles on the shelf are equally relevant to the topic at hand. But which of the books will I like best or find most useful? That's a judgment that only I, the user or shopper, can make. And if I can glance at each of those books quickly, without moving from where I'm standing, I'll have a better customer experience than I'd have if each of those books had to be retrieved from a back room and placed before me, one at a time.

If you want an even better example, think about video and image results on Google search pages. You can preview those directly from the SERP, so why shouldn't you be able to preview text? From a usability standpoint, having to rely on a page title and a small text snippet or meta description to judge a page's content before you click away from the SERP is unintuitive and annoying.

But let's get back to the topic of AdSense. (After all, this is the AdSense forum.) For us as AdSense publishers, the important question is how changes in search presentation might affect our AdSense earnings. I tend to be a "the glass is half full" kind of guy, and I try to build pages that are intrinsically useful to readers, so I believe that on-SERP previewing would:

1) Give me an advantage over sites that rely more on SEO techniques than on content; and...

2) Improve the quality of my search-driven traffic, resulting in higher conversions for advertisers and, ultimately, higher earnings per click.

On the other hand, if I were using scripts to crank out template-based, keyword-driven "Write a user review" pages by the millions, or if I were creating poorly-written pages with three AdSense units above the fold, I might not want Google's searchers to see what my pages have (or don't have) to offer--and I might be worried about losing revenues from "There's no information on this page, and how do I get outta here?" clicks by frustrated users.

radix




msg:3844608
 7:17 pm on Feb 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

ok, I won't push further this, but I can't resist

@signor_john: your original example was a situation where there were a couple of poor content or simply contentless, useless pages versus a well-written page with plenty of content. If Google can't make a difference or God forbid, puts those trash pages before the nice one in the SERPs, Google certainly has a problem! Even if they won't admit it, their algorithm, whatever, is botched.

From a usability standpoint, having to rely on a page title and a small text snippet or meta description to judge a page's content before you click away from the SERP is unintuitive and annoying.

I can imagine all the people tearing their hair during this 10 years of Google. Utterly unintuitive and annoying display what they have been showing us for all that time.

signor_john




msg:3844632
 8:02 pm on Feb 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

I can imagine all the people tearing their hair during this 10 years of Google. Utterly unintuitive and annoying display what they have been showing us for all that time.

Are you suggesting that search shouldn't improve? In the last few years alone, Google has introduced Google News, Google Image Search, Google Universal Search, and other improvements on the search theme. It's unrealistic to expect that Google Web Search isn't ready for a model change after 10 years.

Anyway, whether people here like or don't like change is beside the point. The real issue is how site owners can prepare for--and profit from--a WYSIWYG search experience, which is bound to occur at some point because it will make Web search easier, faster, and more productive for users.

dibbern2




msg:3845107
 7:03 pm on Feb 8, 2009 (gmt 0)

I wonder how many of the webmasters here would welcome the mouse-over preview that is being discussed in this topic?

This 31 message thread spans 2 pages: 31 ( [1] 2 > >
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