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Blocking all .info domains

     
10:18 pm on May 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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As you know .info domains are 100% MFA, is it possible to block all of them?
10:57 pm on May 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I think that's actually 99.999999999%.

And no, alas.

6:13 am on May 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

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No. It has been requested for a long time by some members on WW, though.
9:11 am on May 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Y'see, that just shows that Adsense are TOTALLY unresponsive to their users. :)

One little wildcard - *.info - is that really too much to ask?

10:45 am on May 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

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"As you know .info domains are 100% MFA..."

That is simply not true. Do a quick search in Google using site:*.info and see for yourself.

11:09 am on May 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Mmmm.

I've told him a million times not to exaggerate ...

11:24 am on May 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I have a #1 ranking .info site & it is definately NOT a MFA.
11:31 am on May 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Serious question - why don't / didn't you go for the .com?
8:56 pm on May 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

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All the good domains were reg'd years ago, basically before Adsense. MFAs either don't have the money or interest to buy good domains in the aftermarket.

I can guess which Adsense ads are MFAs based solely on the domain name. If the dn sucks, has hyphens, ends in .info, etc., or is just plain weird, it's bogus 99.9% of the time.

Having said that, I occasionally notice long-time dn holders putting up mini MFA sites, just because they know their dn looks legit.

p/g

P.S. I wonder if Google has an algo that gives more trust to good dns. A perfect dn could give some authority (if other factors are ok).

6:56 am on May 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I would not trust .info sites - whatever any webmaster says most .info are registered in order to slap up adsense and make a few dollars.
8:20 am on May 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I have 3 sites with .info with no ads at all. Just useful information.
1:02 pm on May 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

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So if you had the chance to register cars.info or cancer.info for $7 a year, you would not? Because there is no way to build a quality site on a .info?
1:59 pm on May 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

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So if you had the chance to register cars.info or cancer.info for $7 a year, you would not

Speak for yourself

4:04 pm on May 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I'd love to see ASA come in and tell us this feature has arrived. But if they don't offer such things, it just tells you they are making good money from MFAs and don't consider MFA's a problem.
5:13 pm on May 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I can guess which Adsense ads are MFAs based solely on the domain name. If the dn sucks, has hyphens, ends in .info, etc., or is just plain weird, it's bogus 99.9% of the time.

I know of a dozen sites off the top of my head that are very popular and very well regarded in various areas that would be excluded based on your opinion. A few are probably in Google's top 100 money making sites.

I also know plenty of MFAs that should be banned that have "good" domain names, i.e. that aren't .info or that don't have hyphens or whatever.

I'd love to see ASA come in and tell us this feature has arrived. But if they don't offer such things, it just tells you they are making good money from MFAs and don't consider MFA's a problem.

Banning .infos would be the same as banning .orgs or .nets. It wouldn't address the real problems we have with MFA sites.

Sure, it would make some of you feel better, but within a week or two you'd be right back to complaining about MFAers using .coms.

One of the biggest problems we have, is arbitrage sites. People buying traffic with AdWords to their crummy little sites with little to no content, but plenty of AdSense, in the hopes that you'll click an ad and leave.

Those people do a lot of damage to a lot of us. Every now and then Google takes action or appears to take action, and while I've seen some arbitrage sites go away or lose AdSense, there are plenty still around.

Dealing with arbitrage sites would do more to clean things up than banning .info, etc., because you would be addressing the problem itself rather than the symptoms or causing the problem to move around (ban .info, they'll just pick up more .com, .net., .orgs, etc.).

5:38 pm on May 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

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What he said!
6:25 pm on May 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

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(Note: I don't do arbitrage sites. But I am going to play devil's advocate here.)
Maybe arbitrage sites are just a part of the internet economy, just as day traders play a role in the stock market.
Maybe in the big picture, they're not evil, they're just a part of life.
Maybe they are just a symptom that there is much more demand than supply.
Maybe if you had more legitimate competitors, higher ad pricing would prohibit opportunists from making a quick buck.
Maybe arbitrage sites actually help the internet economy, by diverting wandering eyeballs back to the serious ecommerce sites (while taking a small commission for doing so).
It's just another way of looking at it.
6:59 pm on May 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

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There is actually a very good site about diptera on .info, it just doesn't run ads... :)
7:06 pm on May 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Definitely not applicable for every .info
7:39 pm on May 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

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(Note: I don't do arbitrage sites. But I am going to play devil's advocate here.)

And you did a fairly good job. I would still argue that some of the bigger arbitrage operations do more damage and that they could simply move to another TLD if you blocked .info. Brilliant move - shuffle the problem around

It's like having some illness that causes you to have to keep blowing your nose, and you go to the doctor, and they give you a box of tissue paper and don't even look at you. Sure, you have a box of tissues to blow your nose, but you still have the illness.

The point I was trying to make (and I did a poor job of it probably), is that blocking .infos or whatever is distracting from the true problem - it's treating symptoms rather than the illness.

The majority of MFA sites I block in my filter are .coms anyways - I think I have one or two .infos, the majority are .coms (probably 85%), with a sprinkling of .net, .org, and various countries.

4:40 pm on May 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Banning .infos would be the same as banning .orgs or .nets. It wouldn't address the real problems we have with MFA sites.

Sure, it would make some of you feel better, but within a week or two you'd be right back to complaining about MFAers using .coms.

Why are MFAs using .info domains? Because they can not get a nice .com domain. Or because .info domains are cheaper? Or maybe because they need to diversify, because their ads are blocked? But there is a NEED on their end to use .info domains.

Banning all .info domains is an excellent feature to get rid of (parts of) the MFA crowd. And while we're at it, I'd ban all .biz domains as well.

4:54 pm on May 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I block all .info and .biz domains for email because the overwhelming majority of them are spam city, (although I have two clients who, against my repeated warnings, insisted on buying those tlds - one for a political campaign and the other for a condo association) I would probably use such a filter if it were available for AdSense. If I block a legitimate money-maker, so be it. I'm reasonably sure the cost to me would be outweighed by the time I have to spend whacking moles into my ad filter. I could live with the collateral damage.
5:28 pm on May 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

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But there is a NEED on their end to use .info domains.

What? Do you understand how the spammers work? Which TLD they use is not as important as you think it is. You did hit the nail on the head in regards to why most choose info or biz - cost. Some of the registrars run $1.99 info/biz/etc. domain deals, so of course they'll snap those up.

However, they aren't targeting you or I or anybody else who recognizes this or that TLD and says "ughh, must be a spammer, they are using .biz."

They are targeting people who click on links that appeal to them - what TLD is attached to the links, the spammers don't care, nor do the clickers. You know the kinds of people I'm talking about - people who pass around the chain emails, etc., and who are basically ignorant of how the internet works - they just know it works, and that's good enough for them. The types who think AOL IS the internet.

Banning all .info domains is an excellent feature to get rid of (parts of) the MFA crowd. And while we're at it, I'd ban all .biz domains as well.

You're just moving the problem around. Putting aside the fact that many spammers use .com, .net, .org, etc., and many legit sites use .info, trying to block this or that TLD is not going to cause the spammers to go away.

Don't get me wrong - if Google wants to make an optional wildcard block for any TLDs we choose to block, that's great.

But the spammers are still going to be around. I would much rather prefer Google do more to deal with the spammers directly, including the arbitrage sites, in regards to removing them from AdSense.

Spammers spam because it's an easy profit. I have a friend who has a small company that does consulting work for a couple of web-oriented firms, in regards to dealing with the effects of spam. Some of the bigger spam organizations have the kind of automation that most people wouldn't believe. They can bounce around sites, they can register dozens or even 100s of names in the time it takes you to register one. They can change IPs and DNS servers as demand dictates. They have it down to a science.

6:15 pm on May 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Well that's fine, then you might not want to filter info or biz. But I for one would at least appreciate having the choice.
9:03 pm on May 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I have a #1 ranking .info site & it is definately NOT a MFA.

So do I.

Serious question - why don't / didn't you go for the .com?

Why should I, when my site is all about information?
Just because some people here can't get over their prejudices?

12:21 am on May 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I have a #1 ranking .info site & it is definately NOT a MFA.

In my case the .com had been bought by a domain squatter who wanted hundreds of dollars for it.

The .info was the obvious choice and it has been #1 for years a few months after I created it.

4:45 am on May 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

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If AdSense would just get rid of the MFAs we wouldn't have to filter out all these sites.
4:52 am on May 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

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What? Do you understand how the spammers work? Which TLD they use is not as important as you think it is.

Sure.

In my case, the TLD is very important as it adds credibility to the ads I want to block. I see an endless number of sites being advertised by the same company, always along the same catchy "directory" ad copy, and then a URL like keyword1keword2directory.info - This suggests to users that this is a valid site that might have valuable information. But the landing pages consist of nothing but ads.

I want to filter these guys. They do NOT add value to my visitors' experience. They are just arbitrageurs who add NOTHING in the value chain. I want to protect my visitors from seeing such crap. I don't want to see my visitors puzzled after having clicked on an ad on my site, wondering "What the heck is that? Where's the beef?". I want my visitors leaving my site for a geniune e-commerce site, or for a good information site. I want to increase my sites' stickiness by presenting an overall satisfying experience to my visitors, from first hit to the exit.

OK, I would not need to block the .info domain - if Google provided me features like "block by advertiser", "block by landing page IP range", or "block by keyword". But we will probably never see such features. And Google might hide behind "technical issues" as reason to not introduce them. But when you are able to filter domain.tld then you should be able to filter tld as well. There is no technical reason for that, it's just business. They do not WANT us to filter a TLD.

12:35 pm on May 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

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this is not true ... i've website with .info and .biz domain name and I make good money out of it.. they are not MFA
1:04 pm on May 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

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They do not WANT us to filter a TLD.

Correction:
They do not WANT us to filter.
read this month's and last month's fortune cookies (Optimization Report)

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