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Related Searches on AdSense Ads

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2:24 am on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Has anyone noticed the Related searches on the AdSense Ads? Just below the ads are two links to a Google Related Search.

I for one do not like that as people may click on that rather than the ad.

ADD IN

In fact I have now just seen one add that had no ads but just a whole bunch of links for related searches.

4:33 am on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



This is a sleezy move by Google. Just goes to show anything you can get away with goes in Cyberspace.

Heh, I guess it gives spammers a taste of their own medicine ... the spammee becomes the spammer!

4:33 am on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I am not sure I like it as legitimate users can now leave my site without me earning anything, which is not what I signed up for.

When you have legitimate users that have not come from a SE then why should I have related searches on my site, ads OK but am not comfortable with this move.

We have a loyal following of people that come to our site daily, the ads were great but related searches is a waste of space not a useful addition.

I don't think a lot of people here are giving their visitors enough credit! Oh no! The Sheep will be confused and not click the ads!

If they are a loyal following, they're going to surf your site *and* other sites. If you make it even easier for them to search other (related) sites, they'll keep coming back.

I do like the idea that it will cut the desire for people to throw up Adsense sites w/out too much 'real' content.

I don't know. I don't think it's so bad a move on their part. When I signed up I knew they could change w/out notification and accept that. It woulda been nice to have the announcement come out in an email, but I can live with it.

4:34 am on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Now I have an important page which had perfectly fine targeted ads displaying NO ads and 10 Related Searches! ****.
4:38 am on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Jenstar - I'm getting more than 2 per page as well. Thought it might depend on how many 'ads' showed at first, but it doesn't seem to matter. I can refresh and get different amounts.

Also, the terms coming up in the related search are interesting. I wonder if you optimized for some of those terms as well more ads would show up and less targeted searches?

I don't know. Interesting development...

4:41 am on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member chiyo is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Jason, in my view this would reduce spamming sites because spammers only work in areas which have high return for limited effort. Before they could set up a database driven site with hundreds of pages targeting adwords ads with say 50 words of content and one link back to the home page, and then SEO it like crazy. These pages would wok well because they are highly targeted and when people got to the page they would find low quality content, and nowhere else to go than the 2 to 4 adsense links, all of which made money.

Now, there will also be competing links back to google so the percentage of paying links is much less, and its much easier for browsers to go straight back to a search for better results.

4:42 am on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)



There was a discussion two weeks ago about related searches showing on premium partner websites. They also got the color options first. Those who plan to stay with Adsense should watch what happens with these partner websites, as it seems they are often used for beta testing.

Funnily enough, in that particular thread, nobody actually gave a second thought to the idea of related searches on every publishers' adsense ads. What does that tell you?

4:51 am on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



chiyo, the spammer has a site that doesn't require much effort to maintain, and gets free income...

Worse case situation, things might not be as attractive, but regardless, as long as there are ads, statistics say the spammer will get clicks. He still wins.

Now, if the spammer finds an alternative that starts to earn him more money than adsense, he'll switch over. I would too, as would you.

So until the spammer finds a better revenue stream, he'll remain with adsense. I don't see this changing much, unless of course, you run a legit website.

4:55 am on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Also.. there is another major problem with related search.

Lets say my site is about widgets.. and using AdSense interface I am blocking few of my major competitors.. now when google puts links like "Related Searches: widgets" what they are doing is exposing my site users to my competitor sites.. as I have no control of Google Search result page and hence.. I am also risking my sites existance on a long run.. (I don't mind competition.. but why to work hard on giving away the users you already have.)

I hope google reconsiders the use of this feature.. before publishers start having second thoughts about using Adsense.

NS

6:01 am on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Here's an earlier discussion on this topic (when related searches were first seen on premium partners)

[webmasterworld.com...]

6:17 am on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)



I for one do not like that as people may click on that rather than the ad.

I do not like it and it is again unfair on part of Google to do such thing! I understand that "Ads by Google" link is OK, because they need to attract Advertiisers too, but these related searches are totally annoying, bad and unfair

6:25 am on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member chiyo is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Havent checked myself, but im wondering if those search links actually omit the site where the click came from. If not, for someone well ranked in Google for the related terms and with highly niched content, clicking on the related link may well result in the visitor seeing your site at the top of the SERPS in more than a few cases and coming straight back!
6:29 am on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

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



>>>wondering if those search links actually omit the site where the click came from

No the SERP's are unchanged chiyo, still included. Talk about pagerank loops eh ;)

I was surprised as anyone else in the thread when I first seen them. Perhaps Google though the reaction to adsense was so good they could milk it a little more with this.

6:30 am on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member chiyo is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Polich Guy. I note you use the term "unfair" a lot. Truth is that a lot of business is unfair, especially depending on whether you end up on the losing or winning end.

I may be over-socialised however.

Whenever i pulled a tantrum and bawled out that something was unfair when i was a toddler, my papa used to belt me over the ears and say "...And so was that..."!

OK maybe its brain damage and deafness, but i sure never say that ever now. It rarely gets you anywhere, and best to just study your situation and see how you yourself can make it "fairer" for you.

6:31 am on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



On one of my page, I noticed one block of ad and 3 blocks of related searches.

The relatd searches are so targeted that the user won't click on that one ad, rather he would go to google search clicking on any of that related search.

This makes me think that google is using all its publishers to send traffic to its site and earn more share of revenue from its own site where it displays those text ads.

One more point is:

The related searches feature is intended solely to enhance the user experience and serve as a valuable information resource. Neither Google nor AdSense publishers earn any revenue from clicks on related searches.

When I click on the related search, it goes to google and searches that term, but in addition it also displays text ads on right side. Those text ads definitely pull some revenue in, so in the end google does earn from it and we lose our surfers as well as some revenue.

They must make it such that a user earns some cents on each click.

[edited by: Imaster at 6:46 am (utc) on Aug. 7, 2003]

6:32 am on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jenstar is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I just went surfing around one of my sites to see if they were all targeted ads, and I noticed that AdSense is taking 2 or 3 seconds to serve up the ads.

I am wondering if the additional time it takes to grab the keywords for related searches is causing the delay - you can hit reload a few times on the same page and get different related searches each time.

6:33 am on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Well we have added some 30 odd pages this morning all with AdSense code in, each is manually visited and each one shows the appalling 'empty space brought to you by Google' message but I have to hand it to Google the targetted ads were all up within 5 minutes on each of the new pages.
7:12 am on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



According to the adsense policies we cannot :-

AdWords ads may not be placed on search results pages.

But Google feels it's ok to use our pages to streamline a visitors search, and send them elsewhere.

I'm not sure I like it, but the adsense algo does "appear" to have more smarts when it comes to working out the content of a page the ads server (at least on my sites) are usually very relevant.

Also when I click on a "related search link" it results page has one of my sites listed - so I'm guessing that maybe I have an extra chance at adsense revenue.

In general I'll give some time and see how it pans out - but a heads up from google would have been nice.

7:19 am on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



"Also when I click on a "related search link" it results page has one of my sites listed - so I'm guessing that maybe I have an extra chance at adsense revenue."

Oh, what a great deal that is!

7:47 am on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Scumm:

Funnily enough, in that particular thread, nobody actually gave a second thought to the idea of related searches on every publishers' adsense ads. What does that tell you?

Here's what I said when it was mentioned first:

I'd LOVE to see an example of this. If it's true, that is a serious abuse of power.

Chiyo felt it was optional, although I had my doubts, I kept silent after that figuring he knew something I didn't.

I think the feeling was the same then and now...

8:07 am on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I haven't been here in a while now, but this new Google "related searches" brought me back. I think it stinks. I think we're all being used as gateways back to ALL our competitors, some of whom are probably in our filtered sites list. Today has been my lowest day yet revenue wise, and I won't be surprised if it stays down.

I've written them telling them what I think and I recommend we all do. I think they've made a big mistake introducing it, and I think it will kill the whole program off, which would be a real shame.

Write them and tell them what you think.

8:18 am on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



It'd be good if we were provided with a way to Opt-Out of the related stuff, AND a way Opt-In and monetize from it.

That said, I had to giggle when my main index page had this tacked onto the bottom of the adsense block:

Related Searches:
cool sites

9:01 am on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)



I've written them telling them what I think and I recommend we all do. I think they've made a big mistake introducing it, and I think it will kill the whole program off, which would be a real shame.

Write them and tell them what you think.

Me too, but I don't expect answer.

People, please keep posting to Google to allow for optional removal of "related searches" links.

This is really outrageous that Google did it - without even giving possibility to publishers to switch it off!

It is like putting big banner saying "ok, here are some unimportant ads, but if you really like to find something about this topic, then go to google!".

Google therefore with these "related search" links bahaves much worse, much much much much worse than Microsoft. I am very sad. Lately Microsoft employed 200 people to improve MSN search algorithms so maybe Microsoft will launch similar program as AdSense.... Google should not do such thing like forcing AdSense users to display "related searches" links. It is evil and bad. Very evil.

9:04 am on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)




"Also when I click on a "related search link" it results page has one of my sites listed - so I'm guessing that maybe I have an extra chance at adsense revenue."

Oh, what a great deal that is!

I sincerely hope that you are just joking, man. It is not a great deal - your web site may appear among search results but in many related searches your site will not appear at all or just as minor position on the list.

I thought that Google is good and fair company, but with this forcing of "related searches" links, I changed my mind.

9:06 am on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Power Corrupts

Absolute Power.. Corrupts Absolutely

9:14 am on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I think my major complaint must be that people leaving my site through 'related searches' may click on adwords adverts on google for which I receive no payment. Not to mention the additional exposure (free of charge) for competitors over which I have absolutely zero control.

Worse still are cases where the keywords are right but there are relatively few AdSense adverts. In these cases the 'related searches' can look extremely attractive, particularly if the chosen adverts aren't all that well targetted.

I didn't mind the 'Ads by Google' as this encouraged the expansion of the AdSense customer base.

A striking thing about the 'related searches' links is that had I wanted them I could have so easily created them myself, and what is more I could have done a better selection job.

Ultimately I would like to be able to make an informed choice about where to go from here, but to do that I need to know just how many people click through these 'Related Searches'. If google wants to put up free links on my website then I want to know how much they are used and what they are. It might even help me to improve my pages because I will better know what people are looking for on that page.

9:24 am on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)



I think my major complaint must be that people leaving my site through 'related searches' may click on adwords adverts on google for which I receive no payment. Not to mention the additional exposure (free of charge) for competitors over which I have absolutely zero control.

you hit it exactly: I don't mind that my competitors are in the AdSense banners because I am being paid when users clicks on them, but I get nothing when users click on them through searches or thorough AdWords ads in on the right side of searches. This stinks.

Zero control is simply outrageous. Google is evil.

9:36 am on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member chiyo is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



>>Chiyo felt it was optional, although I had my doubts, I kept silent after that figuring he knew something I didn't<<

no didnt know anything you didnt Clark, but was making the point that with premium partners (20 mill impressions a month) the design and content of the block was more a consultative process between google and the client, including the price.

I dont know the process but expect that as a specific example, if the premium publisher did not want to include an "Ads by google" type link or even related sites, or even leave off any google branding at all they would get less share of click revenue.

Certainly the option NOT to include related links for us small publishers would be good, but are you willing to then take a cut on your revenue percentage as a result, because google would be losing a significant secondary revenue/branding stream from that.

I have read what GG has said on that related searches are meant to benefit all of publisher, advertiser and google. I wish he had been more forthcoming on the percentage of benefit. To me the massive benefit is to google which should be acknowledged.

If they need this to keep publishers percentages up due to the advantage that it gives to google and passing on that through CPC percentages, all well and good and understood. But even blind freddy could see that 99% of the benefit of related links on adsense panels goes to google rather than the other 2 players.

As far as readers go, webmasters can already use google API's to insert these on their own accord, or create dynamic or static links to google searches. On some sites having related searches is not useful for readers.

9:40 am on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member chiyo is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



>>Google is evil.<<

Hehe! i love your posts Polish Guy - many are great for facilitating discussion, and you love injecting humour like this as well :)

9:49 am on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



What a great move by Google.

1. Visitor clicks on a related keyword on Webmaster's site.
2. Visitor sees AdWords.
3. Visitor clicks on AdWords.
4. Google does not have to pay Webmaster his cut.

Brilliant.

9:54 am on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Google does not have to pay Webmaster his cut.

1) Webmaster cuts google (adsense) from their site
2) Webmaster knows that google does not have good ethics
3) Webmaster knows that google is wanting relationship just for their selfish purpose
4) Webmaster stops recommeneding google to everyone
5) When asked about google, webmaster speaks their heart off.
....
7) google dies within few years..?

I am not sure if adsense can have this bad effects.. but I still don't think this is right road for google in developing a long term relationship with webmaster & publisher community.

NS

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