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MFA sites in Google search network

Time to opt out?

     
3:44 pm on Feb 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I don't use the content network because the ROI isn't there for my AdWords campaigns (about $80K-$100K per year). How much of this is due to AdSense fraud and how much is due to particulars about my campaigns is hard to tell. When I started with the content network and saw a lot of the crappy sites my ads ran on, I opted out. I've been tempted to come back in with the separate bidding for content ads, but if I'd do, I'd be bidding incredibly cheap.

I use Google search and the search network. I use the search network for access to searchers from AOL, Earthlink, and other ISPs because I look at them as the same quality clicks as Google search. To get those ISP searchers, I also have to put up with all the crappy parked domain and price comparison stuff. It's too hard to tell how much profits a lot of these sites either contribute or suck out of my overall income. Looking at some of the sites my ads are running on today, it looks like MFA sites are now part of Google search network. I see my ads running on site that are almost nothing but ads, or tons of ads followed by scraped directory listings.

Maybe it's time to opt out of the search network and just go with Google search. I wonder what the criteria is to become part of the search network. It doesn't look difficult to get in. Anyone know a link to request addition to the search network? I'd love to see what Google has to say about it.

3:51 pm on Feb 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The bar seems awfully low. I see plenty of sites with "no results found" as the reply to even popular queries - with a pop-up window suggesting other popular searches - that are unusual variations but tinted with enough distasteful examples that they are appealing to click on. It's these "queries" that I get killed with. On keywords that perform extraordinarily well across the board, such sites account for upwards of 20% of the traffic and exactly 0% of the sales.

I reported these sites and have heard that they are, in fact, legitimate. I've begun the process of opting-out of these sites... we'll see how this goes.

7:32 pm on Feb 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

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It took us a while to get a list of the "public" search network syndicated sites out of Google. Even after that, individual sites can choose whether or not to display your ad. I think you can ask Google to opt out of a site of your choice, but honestly we haven't tried yet. Even if we could, you then have to wonder what "private" syndication sites are messing with your numbers. In Google's defense (sort of) it is assumed that any stats accrued by the syndication sites do not harm your current Quality Score. The only problem with this that I have personally is that it throws the whole CTR x Max CPC equation to the dirt, since now you can't tell which stats are affecting your account and which aren't. C'est la vie.
11:53 pm on Feb 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Hello,

Two questions. 1) What is an MFA site?
2) Where is there a public listing of the Google Search Network Partners?

Thanks in advance for any help.

12:26 am on Feb 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

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It has not been clear to us that the domain parking sites convert significantly differently than the rest of the traffic. The comparison shopping stuff also seems to convert fine.

We haven't run a lot of testing on it because the amount of traffic from these sites is very small in proportion to the overall amount of traffic from search partners. I monitor it just closely enough to know that we get a little traffic rather than a lot and that it occasionally converts. Out of our a $60-80k/year campaign, I would be shocked it we received more than $100-$200 of clicks from these type of sites.

From the first part of your posting, you said that the ROI from content wasn't there for you, but at the same time you said that you shut off the content network once you saw the quality of sites that were sending traffic. Was your ROI decision based on data or on your opinion of the sites?

We've had excellent ROI from content though it converts at a much lower rate than search. We just work the bids down until we get a cost-per-acquisition price that we like. But, that's no different than we do with any of our campaigns - all which have somewhat different converion rates.

2:27 am on Feb 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The ROI was based on data analysis. When I realized how much poorly it converted compared to the search network, I went looking for sites that were displaying the ads. It wasn't a tough decision to drop the content network and concentrate the money available on the search network. It's paid off for me.
3:03 am on Feb 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I reported these sites and have heard that they are, in fact, legitimate. I've begun the process of opting-out of these sites... we'll see how this goes.

How do you begin the process of opting out of sites on the search network?

3:19 am on Feb 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Please, what is an MFA?
4:31 am on Feb 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Made for Adsense.
2:20 pm on Feb 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

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First and foremost, I don't believe you can (yet) opt out of sites on the search network. And to be fair, from the public list I have, most of them are major corporations that do not need to have AdSense on their site. Now the content network on the other hand will of course be MFA sites.

Personally, our sites are on search network only, although for some accounts I manage I question the validity of even that network. Many of the impressions from those sites are from search queries hard wired into links. People aren't actually searching for the phrase, they are just following a link, which accounts for the low CTR.

Some sectors do very well on the content network, others anything but. Site targeting helps a little but I seem to think the content network either converts for you or it doesn't. Nothing much you can do to change that situation. It relies heavily on the product your selling.

Although I don't think that Google has publicly posted the entire list of public search network partners (since they do phase in and out a lot) I have a pretty current version. Sticky me if you want a copy.

6:23 pm on Feb 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

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You most definately can opt out of sites on the search network.
7:54 pm on Feb 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Poster Boy,
If that is true then could you let me know how to do that? I would love to pick and choose the sites that are most relevant to our industry. Thanks!
1:46 am on Feb 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Just click campaign settings and it's on the right side of the screen.
2:03 am on Feb 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Is there a part that lets me opt out of individual sites? I know site exclusion only works for the content network and I don't see a way to choose search network sites. It seems to be an all or none choice...
2:26 am on Feb 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I don't see a way either. I suspect the other posters are refering to opting out of the search network in general rather than specific sites on the search network.
2:39 am on Feb 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Yet another thing to add to the Things I'd Like To See In Adwords thread...
2:47 am on Feb 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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You need to do so through your rep. Yes, I'm referring to search network, not content.
3:05 am on Feb 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Okay, that's good to know. Hopefully I can get my rep on the phone ;)