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Related Searches on AdSense Ads

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

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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.

2:26 am on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

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yes i see it too. i don't like it at all. this is turning into a google ad.
2:30 am on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

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You beat me to it! I just saw that too, and there does not appear to be any sort of tracking on it, that would identify it as coming from my referral ID. I bet you many more people would end up clicking that before an ad, and publishers are not going to be credited for any of those clicks. It will also cause people to leave my site quicker, thinking "yes, I'll see what else is out there in that search."

On the flip side, it does give an interesting insight into what keywords they are using to provide the targeting ads.

2:30 am on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Really bad when 1 ad, 10 searches in listing. Anyone else noticed ad serving performance also poor after this change? Really slow coming up on website now?
2:32 am on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

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It looked Google just turned on this new "feature".

This could help Google to "persuade" more advertisers to join/try Adsense program. This set up a "bridge" between Adsense and SE ads.

2:32 am on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Agreed Jenstar from a webmaster's view it does give a good insight into what keywords etc are being used. But that means we know have three or more no profitable links on the ad.

After the surprise and welcome news of the colours this is a bit of a disapointment.

Ads should be cleared and uncluttered. The Ads by Google was a nice limit imho.

2:32 am on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

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1) This seems more like a Microsoft trick than what I would have expected from Google.

2) The "related searches" topics seem pretty random--more so than they'd be on a search page, where at least the user has entered a keyword or keyphrase that Google could use to make an educated suggestion.

2:34 am on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

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relax guys - i think they are adding more options, they are probably testing things by going live every now and then.
2:35 am on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I would like to know more about "Related Searches"
What are they going to put on the AdSense next without informing publishers? I think Google should ask before putting certain things on the code. But then again who am I? Google? Not! ;)

It seems very unfair though...

2:36 am on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I would like to know more about "Related Searches"
What are they going to put on the AdSense next without informing publishers? I think Google should ask before putting certain things on the code. But then again who am I? Google? Not! ;)
It seems very unfair though...

deja vous?

2:36 am on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Seeing them too..

this will reduce ctr for sure.. especially on pages with just a few links..

OK so thats two links to google on every page now. a text link to adwords and now one straight to google.

We knew that any changes were possible. This may well sort out the waverers who were not sure if they were going to implement Adsense throughout their pages.

I remember many years back, google used to pay 5c for every click on a google search box on your site. I wonder if they are planning the same? :(

2:37 am on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

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relax guys - i think they are adding more options, they are probably testing things by going live every now and then.

Am relaxed but I really do not like this as the reason to have AdSense on pages is for revenue not to increase the number of searches Google does.

Plus because of the size of the ads if you wanted to click the left ad in a banner you could accidentally click the search links instead which would leave no revenue it seems.

2:39 am on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

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This new "feature" could have "dramatic" impact on publishers - lower "everything".

Good for SE ads advertisers while "bad" for publishers.

Maybe too early to draw the conclusion. I would keep one eye on those stats.

2:39 am on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I am guessing this move is permanent not temporary. When you log into your control panel at AdSense, their AdSense ad examples now show the ads with the "Related Searches: term " on the bottom. If they were only testing it out for a few hours, they probably wouldn't have bothered to change the ad examples.
2:40 am on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

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chiyo not so bad in banners, but in skyscrappers if only 1 ad is serving up 10 links to related searches. In banners small, in unfilled skyscrapper ads is huge:(
2:42 am on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

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<think> Is this pirating, or fair game? and is displaying adsense now a sign that a publisher is "selling out" seeing most of their links now go to google for similar sites and adwords. </think>

Maybe it will cause only serious content publishers who are confident of their brand and site to use adsense to any extent in the fullness of the time. So I can see at least one silver lining.

the final effect may be that people who are looking to buy will have an extra link to leave your site without any compensation - and probably click on the same adwords from the google serps they were directed to which were on your site to start with. I think its unlikely they will return to your site from the google serps, unless you have a very original niche, and leading site, and they would be highly unlikely to click on the ad after returning.

I can already see certain people chuckling and snickling surriptuously this morning. (other affiliate and ad servers, overture, publishers who have not started using adsense or put much effort into it yet!

Whatever, this is a highly significant change.

[edited by: chiyo at 2:53 am (utc) on Aug. 7, 2003]

2:43 am on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Interesting...when no ads...related searches replaces charity ads....lists out 10 related searches in skyscrapper
2:44 am on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

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With Yahoo/OV and MSN coming out with search solutions this is yet another way to keep people searching at Google.

If only they could track these searches and credit the publishers... That would be awesome!

[edited by: RobbieD at 2:45 am (utc) on Aug. 7, 2003]

2:48 am on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

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A newly generated page on one page of my site shows a white box instead of charity ads with "This blank space brought to you by Google". I think I'd rather have charity ads than a big white nothing on my page that is from Google. No related searches listed at all.
2:58 am on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

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This blank space brought to you by Google

Me too... but in fact, the "blank space" on my site is courtesy of me, because I'm the one paying for it.

Not cool... not cool at all.

2:58 am on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

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well buckworks..

whatever you call it, it's hardly not unexpected yes? We always knew that the agreement meant that Google could do whatever they wanted. And signed up with that knowledge. Most people were expecting a "bait and switch", reduced CPC's or whatever they want to call it.

How many publishers really seriously read the TOS before inserting the code. Even a quick read should have suggested this was highly risky territory.

Its juts business. I dont have any problems with it at all. If at one time in the future the disadvanatges of adsense outweight their benefits, in comparison with other revenue options, we would just drop it, like any business.

I certainly dont see any breach of trust by google.

3:00 am on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

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First of all, it's true that you can't please all of the people all of the time! Only a couple of weeks ago some people were complaining about the PSAs and saying they would rather have blank space, and now some are saying exactly the opposite.

But, I think everyone who has tried AdSense has been hugely impressed with the ease of use/amount of money/speed of payment, no? We can't start moaning because everything is not as we would like - Google's primary concern is to get searchers to use their product, so they can a) licence it and b) sell advertising. The related searches is just an extension of that.

If you feel this will hurt your site more than not having the ads, take them off. But if you only feel it will hurt your google revenue - well, it looks like they've found a good way to kill the spammers who were looking for the highest paying words so they could throw up crappy sites and watch the money roll in!

One last thing, we all thought that they were watching for big changes in CTRs for 'suspicious behaviour' - with the ad colour changes + related searches will that even be possible now?

[edited by: seaboy at 3:02 am (utc) on Aug. 7, 2003]

3:02 am on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

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This is really awful the more I think about it. I guess Google just thinks they can do whatever they want with small sites. Which is of course, true. If only I had 20 million pageviews I wouldn't have to put up with this crap.
3:03 am on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Woops, looks like I missed this topic.

I posted my thoughts about it on the other "related searches" thread on this board: [webmasterworld.com...]

Basically, I've completely removed google adsense from my sites.

Major problems are:

- Related searches links look like content on your site, rather than ads by google.

- Related searches seem to have the tendency to list similar content as that on your site, giving users a link OUT from your site to others of similar content. This would be fine if you got paid for it, but uh.... I don't remember ever having feelings of wanting to become a charity for Google.

- No revenue generated by clicks.

3:03 am on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I use the 468 x 60 banner ad because it better suits the layout of my site. With the 2 related search links and the ads by google link now I have 3 free links or every 2 paid links. Also the related search links are extremely well targeted. I could see losing a lot of visitors to them.
3:03 am on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

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"Only a couple of weeks ago some people were complaining about the PSAs and saying they would rather have blank space, and now some are saying exactly the opposite."

Yes, but not an empty box of a different color from the background! If it were transparent then fine. But a big colored box? Gimme a break.

3:04 am on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I was one that didn't mind the charity ads, of course I would have rather had targeted ads. But I could tell in my niche that those charity ads were somewhat targeted to my site, and different from what I was seeing on other sites. I don't really like the looks of that big empty space, especially with the "this blank space brought to you by Google" on it. I must admit, I did have a chuckle the first time I read that little caption.
3:05 am on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

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More from the FAQ:

11. What are related searches?

"As part of the AdSense program, Google may suggest up to two relevant search queries below the AdWords ads on your website. These queries are labeled as 'Related searches.' If we do not yet have relevant ad inventory or have not yet crawled your web pages for content, related searches may appear in place of ads."

They go on to say it's not possible to opt out of related searches.

Up to two relevant search queries? That's not what they're doing! ... On some of my pages I'm seeing four related searches -- unpaid, unwelcome exit points -- even though the tower has a full complement of targeted ads.

3:05 am on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Google has been showing these related search ads for weeks on Blogger sites -- looks like they decided to migrate them to the AdSense program....
3:07 am on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

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from faq:

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.

We believe related searches are an integral and valuable part of the AdSense program. Therefore, we don't have an opt-out feature this time.
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