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Blocking the competition

     
4:41 am on Jun 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I had to remove AdSense today and here is why:

I own a large forum which is in a Nuke portal so it also has a ton of other modules with content and a huge news section.
The site does 100,000 page views, hundreds of posts and about 50 new members per day.

The site URL is: “some_very_popular_company-forum.com”

I am the top reseller / affiliate for this company, they allow me to use their logo and the site looks very much like their corporate site which is known by anyone who has ever seen a stupid woo hoo commercial.

My agreement with this very popular company is not to display ads on my site for other companies in this industry, some what of a handshake agreement – but my word is my word.

So about six months ago I put AdSense on the site and have been doing well with it selling non competitive, but related products. My problem was, 2 or 3 times a day I found myself blocking the urls of the competition to the company. After a few months, I was close to maxing out the AdSense 200 URL block limit.

When I was at about 100 blocked urls, I wrote to AdSense and explained my situation, and that very soon I would be at 200 urls and would have to remove the code as I can not have ads for the competition on this site.

I asked if I could block by keyword, all I need was to block two keywords, the company name and the industry. They said no – sorry, but 200 was the limit and they were not willing to block a keyword.

So this week I maxed out on the 200 URL limit and rather then risk the relationship I have with this company, bye – bye went AdSense and the income that came with it.

4:55 am on June 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

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The only thing I can suggest, if you really want to keep the adsense, is perhaps starting a fresh list, as some of those advertisers you have blocked may no longer be advertising.
5:30 am on June 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

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And then there is always going the affiliate link route where you obviously can create your own ad inventory. If you find good merchants to partner with and strike custom deals based on good performance, in many circumstances you can do better than AdSense anyway. For sites with your traffic, you have many other options other than AdSense.
6:52 am on June 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Dave: I thought about that, but this product is hot and I would be in the same boat in just a few weeks.
Plus, AdSense is slow, at best, at removing unwanted urls. It would be a mess.

Mike: I would love to find the right partner for that. I am all setup with an ad server for banners with reporting..., where I could sell per click, per impression... I just have not found the right program, and CJ, Link and Amazon pay crap (and whats up with that 24 hour cookie thing)

Any suggestions and I am all ears.

7:01 am on June 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I think I am going to try Clickbank to suplement AdSense.
7:11 pm on June 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

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If you are having to block 200 URLs, are the ads that are making it through the filter worth having? Are they relevant and of interest to your audience? This to me is the downside of ad blocking.
7:51 pm on June 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

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>My agreement with this very popular company is not to display ads on my site for other companies in this industry, some what of a handshake agreement – but my word is my word.

Have you already tried e-mailing the company? Maybe they will make an exception.

Explain the company that you would like to use AdSense to generate some more profit with your website. Tell them what AdSense is, explain how contextual advertising works, and ask them whether they like it or not.

Maybe they'll just approve it.

7:56 pm on June 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

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That's a big agreement to make. Looks like you are locked in, not much of a choice if Google won't accomodate.
8:58 pm on June 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

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DannySmith: I was very happy with the performance. What we sell is a service and often the site visitor was looking for products to go with that service. Those ads were great.

Zygoot: They had a chance to see it and fliped out - they were not to happy.

See - the scrappers that buy AdWords have hit this industry hard also using company names in there AdWords ads, so those company names were beginning to appear all over my site...

What I really could have used was for AdSense to allow blocking of certain keywords, not URL's.

All I needed was 2 keywords to block.

10:06 pm on June 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

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kamikaze...

If I'm looking at the correct site, I don't see how you would ever get rid of competing ads... even via keyword-blocking.

Also, if it's the correct site, 'topics.html' still has AdSense on it.

2:53 am on June 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

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LOL, yes, you have the correct site. Thanks for the heads up on "topics.html"

I was thinking I need to block two key words, both starting with a "V"

Your thoughts?

3:46 am on June 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Have you looked at adbright? Instead of blocking advertisers you have the choice on which advertisers you will accept. I am giving them a try right now but haven't had time to form an opinion one way or the other. They have a 90-day wait for payment but that seems to be the only downside so far.

P.S. found ur site.

4:05 am on June 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Hi Twist: Yes, we are easy to find in Google and MSN, Yahoo is a whole different story on its' own...
:(

No, I have not looked at AdBright, but I will.

You know how it is, AdSense makes it so easy, quality and respected/recognised banners, good reporting, fast ad serving and solid payments via wire... but I will now look at other options.

4:23 am on June 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Erm, if i am at the correct site, i don't find topics.html having any adsense on it. BTW, if this is your site, awesome job of you. :>
4:29 am on June 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Well here's an idea that seems somewhat obvious -

I don't know how much AdSense was paying you, but I would just go back to the company where you're the top reseller and explain the problem and explain the amount of income you're about to lose as ask them to just sponsor the site out right and get full coverage on every page, sounds like a win-win to me.

If they won't, then having the site advertising their competition isn't that important to them so just run AdSense.

4:43 am on June 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

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sirkei: Yes, that is the site, I removed it from topics.html.

And thank you, a lot of hard work has gone into it over time.

Incredibill: I know, but that is much more complicated then I could even begin to explain. My agreement with them goes back to the days when they were a six person company... Long story short - I would think when the time comes, they will buy it outright.

4:46 am on June 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Since the forum topics are all similar and technical you might try targeted Amazon product links. I was thinking books, but they also sell related tech products.

A.

4:50 am on June 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

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andrea99:

If you can find a page with a cache about a week old, you will see that I had Amazon, selling the device you use with this service.

It did not do well, not a single sale in one whole month.

:(

Books or a really unique item might be an option. To be honest, I did not try very hard with Amazon.

6:23 am on June 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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since your forum is this popular, so it is vital or at least very useful for this some_very_popular_company, so they can easily pay to you what google was paying.

from your words you are the top reseller / affiliate for this company, so are you gaining much from being this? or google pay you more?

also, since it is a handshake agreement, tell them that the forum went bigger and needs a sponser for the time and effort it needs, so either to be a sponser or you will remove their logo from your forum and be an un-official forum for them.

seek your benifit, this is BUSINESS, yes, a word is a word, but time changes... and even written agrements changes does apply.

GAPkid

2:32 pm on June 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Try switching to image-only ads, maybe the specific competition has none?
4:05 am on June 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

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HiCairo: I have said before, it is much more complex than that. My issue is with Google. Google, whose income was much less than I receive from the company - was paid like clockwork on the 29th+/- a day via wire. Cashflow is an important part of business and Google gave me that security. Understand?

Gapkid: Good Idea.

 

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