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A questionable website for AdSense?

opinions please



2:48 pm on Jan 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Hi everyone,

I seek opinions. There is a site I joined recently, and here's the basic model: it's a blog site which tries to attract members by getting folks to join, start their own blog, and have AdSense ads running. You give your AS ID to the site and they run their AS ads half the time, and yours half the time on your pages.

I am wondering if this may qualify as one of those *dubious neighborhoods* one should be wary of, so I have yet to offer my code.

Instead I have been monitoring the site and making comments. Several members have had their AS accounts banned (for clicking on their own ads or asking others to), and the owners are trying to fix problems. They do warn against clicking on your own ads or asking others to in postings, but the potential for click rings seems obvious (I get the distict impression that they dove right in, and now are scrambling to try and plug holes). Here are some questions which I don't know the answer to:
1. Is it permissable to give out your AS code or ID to a third party?
2) Is it permissable for said party to write a program which runs your ads half the time and their ads the other half? Maybe everything is fine in that regard - but I just don't know.

Another problem is there is a lot of stupidity masquerading as writing, and Google supposedly frowns upon sites which have pages full of lousy content whose only purpose seems to be to have ads running. There seems to be very little editorial control, even in terms of what constitutes an article (ie: a few lines with no real point being made, a recipe, an argument with another member). My suspicion is that this is reason enough for Google to ban the site's account, and possibly everyone who joined and submitted their code. Comments? Opinions?


2:55 pm on Jan 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Think of the number of banned Adsense users who have recieved an email with the words.... "related to a banned account"

You have no control over what these people do with this site or any of their other sites, they have none over what others who use the site do with theirs. But they are all associated with each other through this site.

Personally, I would not even consider it.


3:07 pm on Jan 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

abbey...thanks for that. I actually haven't heard of the "related to a banned account" email.
I've asked for written confirmation from the site admin. that they are in full compliance with Google's TOS. They say that it is notoriously difficult to get a hold of anyone at G. Well that may be true, but that still doesn't lend much confidence. And so I remain very wary and will not give out the ID. I just thought of another thing: suppose you join even for a short while and then pull your ads as some have done - if the site is eventually banned, you may still be banned in future, for having once been associated.


3:26 pm on Jan 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Eeek! Do the words "avoid" "like" and "the plague" ring any bells ;) Sounds like a sure-fire way to end up banned.


3:26 pm on Jan 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

While giving the ID is not such a problem, (you can anyway see it in your site's HTML code) the "related to banned account" part would scare me.

Another user might be dumb enpugh to click on his own ads and get banned.

The hoster is STRONGLY linked to the baner user (ads alternating on the same pages)

You are linked to the hoster too (ads alternating on other pages)

Is the risk worth while?


4:38 pm on Jan 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

does the 'related to banned account' mean that even if one of those millions sigining up there is a banned one, then I'm doomed or does that only relate me with the blog owner.


4:56 pm on Jan 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

I just dug a client out of an 18 month old ban in the SERPS; they'd hired an overseas SEO firm that had put them into some weird huge link farm, and Google banned them as a result of it. They *just* were let back in two days ago. How much more so is it likely that AdSense will ban you for being in such a dubious neighborhood? I'd run like blazes.


5:25 pm on Jan 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

does the 'related to banned account' mean that even if one of those millions sigining up there is a banned one

Who knows? It is unlikely to be 'good company' from Google's persective, so I would just get out.

My main concern though would be getting fraudulent clicks. The site is likely to be frquented not by those who are working to increase their Adsense earning by dint of hard work and effort on their quality sites. Much more likely they will be people willing to push the boundaries just a bit too far and increase it in the short term by ANY means, with little view to the longer term.

They will be more likely to be click happy and to have click happy friends.

Run, don't walk.


5:29 pm on Jan 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

That's a tough call, a certain well known webmaster forum that shall remain nameless does this for its posters and they were recently reported in a news article as bringing in over 10k a month doing this, so I would assume that the people who post split the other 10k (at a 50% viewing split) and there haven't been any complaints that I've seen about people being banned for doing it.

There are safeguards built in such as the inability to view ads with your own code in them so that you can't accidently click on your own ads.


5:41 pm on Jan 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

That webmaster forum has many participating members that say earnings are very low if anything at all...these are the members with 2k+ posts.

Personally I wouldn't ever participate.

Not enough reward for the risk.


6:09 pm on Jan 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

As I have pointed out to the administrator of the site in question, I think one of the problems with the business model is that most of the traffic is going to be confined to the members, (call them the *intranet* user), who are not there to click on ads (and if they are, that signals another problem).
Also, the more members, the less chance of each of making much money.
Making it so that it is impossible to see or click on your own ads (like the other site mentioned), is a minimal first step for any such site.
So is attracting lots of off-site traffic. The way I would ensure that (aside from the usual SEO methods), is to make it more difficult to join and post and retain one's membership, (read: serious writers only please), thus making the ratio of organic traffic to *intranet* user more natural, and thus less suspicious in Google's eyes. All of this involves editorial control. As usual, no easy way to make a fast buck.

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