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You could always file a report, but you know that already, don't you?
People's views of the threshold of acceptable content varies. What matters is Google's view.
If you're a moderator and you're just trying to keep the forums clean, then a better aproach (though more rude) would be just to delete the message and email the user privately IF that is (cleanup) the intention.
If education is the intention, well, I'll see you here for a while ;)
There is a huge difference between using copyright free content from a place like wikipedia or the ODP and using a program to automatically scrape the search engine results pages and vomit back the results in a pseudo directory.
We all learn something new everyday, and most learn from this board. If I had to email Google every time I had a question then I would have sent them something like 500 emails over the last year. If your saying we should doubt everything that experience webmasters may write on here then what's the point in visiting WW?
Lighten up a bit mate.
I run a dmoz directory. It has been up for at least 5 years now. I started it primarily because I wanted to see what it would be like to tackle the task of parsing the data, importing the data, creating the various java classes and python scripts to parse the data, creating various PHP and JSP web applications to display the data, etc etc.
I did it all on my own and I am very proud of my work.
I used to enjoy coming here and reading the various posts, but ever since I've read here that my site is a scum scraper site, I've decided that it is better for me to concentrate on my web sites.
FWIW, Google runs a dmoz clone. Displaying adsense on directory results pages is within the TOS. Furthermore, I can think of no better place to be as an advertiser than on a dmoz category page. You can't get more targeted than that.
I think it borders on nuttiness, this habit of seeking approval of any doubtful practice, from one's peers, for actions that may result in account terminations - or at least brining your website(s) under closer scrutiny - which could result in a termination for other reasons.
It's misguided to rely on us - WW -versus them - the AdSense team - because 1) there's an actual process in place for getting approval from Google that would certainly innoculate you IF you follow the AdSense team's advice; 2) approval by one's peers is no defense whatsoever to the dreaded "improper clicks" letter; 3) there are people at WW who are obviously willing to push the envelope, as evidenced by the recent slew of "I got the termination email" threads. Do you know, if you adopt the advice given here, if you are following the advice of a conservative WW member or a risk taking WW member?
Do you? No, you don't. You don't even know if the person responding is a competitor. Do you understand that there's reasons why many members don't post their website address?
So, no, I don't see it as unfriendly at all to be blunt on the score of answering questions that could potentially lead to someone's account being terminated. Indeed, I think it's unfriendly to offer assurances to someone who has reason to doubt. I think the only good advice is 1) Read the Google AdSense TOS and other guidelines; and, 2) If you're still not certain then ask the AdSense team.
While I have the greatest respect for PatrickD and consider him a friend, as I friend I will respectfully disagree with him on the point raised in this thread. ;0) I think that pure DMOZ live feed sites, without further modification, will soon face a similar fate as scraper sites because they don't add value. Pure, unimproved DMOZ feeds, without more, can be replicated by simply offering a link to the DMOZ itself. I don't believe/know that AdSense will terminate accounts for running pure, unaltered, unimproved, unaugmenented DMOZ feeds - but I do have reason to believe a policy decision may soon be made to end this practice. Then what?
So, in the interest of ending a habit that I think is wrongheaded I'm going to be the voice that says what I think needs to be said the way I think it needs to be said: When in doubt about whether specific conduct now - or in the near future - may be deemed to violate the AdSense TOS ask AdSense, not us.
Expressed differently: If "we" can't refer you to specific language in the AdSense TOS and supporting documents then we ought to do you the service of advising you like this: "We don't know, but we infer it's okay, but don't rely on us. Ask Google."
We have a word in the practice of law for giving advice that a person relies on to their detriment: Malpractice. There's a remedy for that. There's no remedy for people who rely on other webmasters to interpret the Google AdSense TOS for them.
As for being concerned about what changes Google may impose "in the near future", as Webwork suggests, that's unknowable and IMO not worth speculating on.
No Google ad may be placed on pages published specifically for the purpose of showing ads, whether or not the page content is relevant.
Since the DMOZ already exists - and all you are doing is mirroring it - what's the purpose? So people can find the DMOZ easier? That's called a link to DMOZ.
How about this:
Don't create multiple pages, subdomains, or domains with substantially duplicate content.
Is a pure DMOZ clone, based on a live feed, with nothing added to the domain but AdSense "substantially duplicate content"?
First go the scraper sites or so that appears from another thread here. That said, applying the above standards, how far behind are the pure DMOZ live feed mirror sites?
Not far at all IMHO. Your mileage may vary.
Could you redeem a mirrored DMOZ site? Likely. How?
Do something that adds value to it. Don't just clone it and spit it out unchanged, unimproved, without something of value added to the mix.
IMO Google would be much better off focusing on ridding the program of scraper sites (possibly already underway, but I doubt it) and those ridiculous "dictionary" sites that have a one-sentence definition of a word surrounded by 2 or 3 ad blocks.