Scraper sites have been an inevitable consequence of AdSense 1.0, the goal of which was to achieve a dominant market share for contextual ads.
Already, though, we're seeing signs of change, most notably:
- Advertiser blocking by domain (currently limited to 25 domains, but likely to increase just as publisher's limits on blocked domains and channels have increased)
- Site-targeted CPM ads (which will attract mainstream advertisers but will also tend to drive up eCPMs for sites that deliver quality audiences while reducing eCPMs for scraper and other low-quality sites).
Google may feel that, over the long term, the best way of dealing with scraper sites and other low-quality "made for AdSense" sites is to:
- Let the Google Search team deal with them, since such sites depend almost exclusively on search for traffic;
- Let scraper sites continue to exist as venues for cheap advertising (the online equivalent of weekly shopping supplements and "occupant" bulk mail), since there will always be advertisers who are willing to buy low-quality traffic for a few pennies per click.
Remember, AdSense is still a first-generation product that's lumped in with gmail, parked domains, and other parts of Google's "content network." This potluck/lowest common denominator approach is already beginning to change (with site-targeted CPM ads and advertiser domain blocking), and scraper sites are likely to become marginalized as the rate of change accelerates.