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I quoted from a 'learn how to make MFA's' website about 20 pages back. Right there, the author said that he grabs content and doesn't care about duplication. (He magnanimously sometimes provides a link to the original author).. My guess is that a lot of the original content publishers will see their sites doing better once the MFAs start to wither and die.
I think (hope, pray) that game is coming to an end, and soon. I've noticed that one major site that 'pirates' (copies, verbatim) entire articles including direct links to graphics from my site and presents them surrounded by their own AdSense, has removed the copied content lately. I wonder if they've received a warning recently?
One can only hope...
I think this will have a positive effect for the orignial publishers but (1) the mfa's have to really die and (2) it will take a couple of google updates to start seeing the results.
To tackle MFAs, Google needs some kind of sandbox. It can't assume new sites are going to be non-MFAs. I suspect one of the problems is either the low bar to enter, and/or MFA webmasters building one good non-MFA to get an Adsense account; then flooding their account with many MFAs.
Google's policy of one-approval-then-do-whatever doesn't cut it. It could have some kind of special watch algo on all newly added domains to an account to nip them in the bud if they act like MFAs. They've been asleep at the switch for years and still are. Why shouldn't Google require review of each new website added to an account? If it's not smart enough to program a way to catch MFAs, it has no other choice to avoid brand dilution.
Good, useful websites take time to build. You can't crank them out one a day. So the algo that monitors Adsense accounts should focus on the rate new sites are added, and the number of pages in each site. High rate and/or high page count will be obvious red flags, triggering a manual review.
need2bdiscreet, there's no need to finish your postings with 'my 2 cents'. I know your 2 cents. You've been paying me that per click for years. No need to rub it in.
Seriously, what we have not seen so far is a discussion of what role there is for 'good' arbitrage in Adsense. So someone clicking on a link on 'new and used dead popes' gets taken to relevant links for e.g. used copies of Alexander Pope's works.
Can yesterday's 'parasites' become upstanding netizens of tomorrow - and will G let them be so?
[edited by: jeffgroovy at 7:59 am (utc) on May 25, 2007]
causing a lot of money to flow around in the content network.
Exactly. I would say MFAs were inflating the Adsense revenues (as well as TAC). Basically they were nurturing a bubble. This bubble will burst now.
It's hard to predict which genuine revenues will remain once the bubble has burst. I started to check the sites in my filter, and as of yesterday, they were still serving Adsense ads. If these guys are not gone June 1st, btw, then something has gone seriously wrong.
Also, the timing is interesting: June 1st sees 2/3 of the quarter already in, with 1/3 still to go. So Google can report in their Q2 earnings still 2/3 of the bubble revenues and needs to start to catch up with things only in Q3 (because the bubble revenues and TAC will be missing). It will be interesting to see Adsense revenues and TAC for their Q3 earnings report.
I see a good pontential that they crank up the EPC (minimum bid) during Q3 to make up for the loss of bubble profit.
here's some good food for thought:
You are right I for one did not pump in millions doing Arbitrage however I have a colleague who did he spent over a million a year. As for the lurking part of the post you are also correct it was safer to hang back and listen then it was to exchange with others. My previous experiences were that as soon as you posted something that asked about doing stuff that was close to the edge you got super flamed and that is never fun. It is not unlike questioning Google and their intent on the forum this recent thing about AdLinks is a good example for some Google can do no wrong and for others it is useful to be open to the idea that they could do some shady stuff.
You can post this on the board if you want but I thought it would be better if I told my side of the story to you directly. I dont want a flame war and I get the sense that this is a topic that perhaps might frustrate you.
my fullest respect goes to you.
Can yesterday's 'parasites' become upstanding netizens of tomorrow - and will G let them be so?
I'm repeating myself from prior posts in this thread but I think it's worth repeating. If a MFA type site is good for the advertisers, then advertisers will line up to get their ads on those pages to replace the disappearing AdSense ads.
I quoted from a 'learn how to make MFA's' website about 20 pages back. Right there, the author said that he grabs content and doesn't care about duplication.
I remember reading that information.
Sadly, you don't need to go to a different website to find that attitude. There are people right here on these forums who eagerly "borrow" content and then twist themselves into pretzels in their attempts to rationalize and justify the practice.
If the crack down also gets rid of some of the article pages with "borrowed" and/or "reworked" content, maybe there will be less borrowing of content in the future.
Two other possible benefits:
1. There may be some used domains back on the market
2. I might be able to advertise via AdWords Site Match without the concern of my content being stolen
Sounds great to me. I was happy with prices legit advertisers were willing to pay before all the nonsense scam artists decided to rear their ugly heads.
I joined AdSense in the second month of its existence and over the months/years I watched my EPC decline as I saw more MFA type sites appear on the scene.
I can't say with certainty there is a coorelation, but I'm certainly willing to find out.
When the arbitrageurs are gone by June 1. the regular publishers will be stuck with their less optimized sites with less optimized ads, causing a lower general CTR network wide, and hence less money from the advertizers flowing into the content network.
I don't think it's that simple. In the short run, there may be some loss of revenue (especially by publishers who have been subsisting on MFA ads), but in the long run, the June 1 change should boost advertiser confidence and make the "content network" more attractive, resulting in greater competition and higher bids for ads.
Other factors will come into play in the next few months:
- Advertisers will have better statistics from Google, making it easier for them to add non-converting publisher sites to their domain filters.
- Advertisers will be able to bid on site-targeted contextual ads, not just site-targeted CPM (run-of-site) ads.
These changes may lead to further shakeouts and a greater spread between the haves and have-nots, but that isn't a bad thing if it means that pricing is brought into line with value.
I think a bigger issue is what is Google doing about MFA? So the arbitragers are kicked out but what about MFA sites that have organic traffic? Also I have heard that there is a solid plan for Arbi-2.0 I dont know the game yet and I dont want to know, but from what I have heard it is going to be a lot harder to stop.
I for one am getting out of the game because it is an unhealthy place to be but from what I hear the game is on come this summer.
The bottom line is the key to stamping out unwanted behaviour is to stamp out MFA and until they do that I think this may just be a blip on the landscape.
As for traffic sources I dont know.
As for changing their names who uses their name? If you are playing this game you are running it through a corp that you can shut down without any hassles.
Or is that too radical to consider? Seeing that any site that pays for traffic must be BAD?
That doesn't mean that there are not other sources of traffic, even non-SE traffic. For example, my traffic switched from about 90% from G to 90% from one link on a big site. I still barely believe it, but if an MFAer was in that position then maybe they could live on that footfall with a CPM ad network.
As I see it, arbitragers are taking a lot more money out of the system than they are putting into it, since otherwise what would be in it for them?
If the system in adsense is that publishers provide a service, and the advertisers pay for that, then either the arbitragers are in some way adding value for the money that they extract from the system, or their presence is less then benign.
So ask, firstly, where is the money that the arbitrageurs are making coming from? Secondly would bona fide advertisers be putting in more or less money if arbitrageurs were not operating?
From those answers it might become clearer whether arbs are 'pumping money into the network' or draining it out, and whether Adsense publishers (and advertisers) will do better or worse with them gone.
After June 1st, the advertisers will only be left with 'ordinary' publishers with in general a lower CTR. This can lead to many effects:
My prediction is that the first effect will be that current advertisers will fill the low bid ad slots and CPM will decrease. But maybe my prediction is wrong and the other effects compensate enough to create healthier CPMs. And hopefully as EFV some posts earlier mentioned creates the current disabling round, together with extra functionality on the AdWords side to give advertisers more information about good and bad performing publisher sites, enough confidence with AdWords advertisers to see the content network as a proper advertising place again.
A message board I started in December of last year shows one adsense ad on any page with more then two replies.
I buy adwords to build the community and get traffic.
Surely some folks arriving via adwords click the adsense. This *is* click arb, even though it is inadvertent.
No ban letter, in fact just last week adwords folks called me on the phone and offered to help me optimize my ads.
The thing is, imo, the latest crack down is focused to improve the quality of the web itself, not attack ALL arbs. Sites that are a waste of time, MFA, Arb or other, are the targets. If adsense is involved on the page, and the page offers neither a useful product, or useful information, it got the axe.
Even a page with thin adsense, but heavy affiliate connections will get the boot imo, if my theory is correct.
Arb sites that offer content still exist. Since the public, you and I, search for answers on the web, we hate being lead astray, or "tricked". If I click your ad to find a boat spotlight, I *expect* *YOU* to be selling boat spotlights. If I wanted to look on amazon or ebay, I would have went there, not to google search.
The web audience does not ask a lot. All they ask is to get what they clicked for.
I wonder how many arb sites threw you into an endless loop? Click an ad for widgets, got to a widget landing page, click another ad for widgets, end up on another landing page... on and on..
The arb guys might get all warm and cozy at this scenario, but do *you* as a surfer find this "helpful to your search?"
But lets look at it another way. Suppose you clicked an ad for widgets, and the landing page was *thoughtfully* built with lots of VERY useful stuff about widgets. *AND* the site SOLD widgets at a reasonable price. On the page are *also* optimized adsense widget sales.
Now, even if you had break-even prices on the widgets, your goal is arb, you accomplish a few unique things:
1. Your surfer found what they were looking for, and more, not just the product, but info on the product.
2. Found a great price.
3. Found many "links" (ads) to even more places to buy.
These types of arb sites exist, and are NOT being banned.
It all boils down to your focus. Are you focused on simply "flipping clicks" or are you focused on making the web a better place while profiting from it with a business model that will stand the test of time?
Since it is likely that G is not *just* focused on arb, but on basically a web "clean up", we might also be seeing bans from business models using affiliates in an awkward manner (Find Dead Kittens on Ebay).
I suspect the clean up is just now starting. The next leg of this journey will be to prune out the affiliate schemes.
Just my theory on the whole situation, not trying to put-down anyone here. After reading this whole thread that's the conclusions that I have arrived at.
Much of this thread has become circular and repetitive, as often happens after so many posts. Could we start something new on the broader subject of what AdSense changes might come next?
Turning arbi low quality content churning machines into good Internet citizens is possible, but not likely unless they really learn their lessons and a big hug and kiss goodbye may not do that so well.
You have more faith than I do - I've heard from a couple of arb-types in this thread and elsewhere bragging about how they did it because it required hardly any time and effort to do, while mocking those of us who have put a lot of time into our "hobbyist" sites.
I'm thinking if they were drawn to arb-type/MFA sites to begin with, they would rather find some other easy way rather than put the time and effort into building real sites.