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The fine definition of the fine line, the shades of greys in the grey area is what this is all about.
There is a huge difference between a site that is admittedly thin yet in compliance, and sites that are blatant no-value 100% MFA.
I can inform that all of my sites have at least "some" valid content, admittedly thin on some but still. Also at least one good out link on every site.
There was a comment above on us knowing that we built sand castles. We'll this has been going on for years now, one would assume that years of silent acceptance of the practices would at least warrant a warning before a cold cut off - not?
After going over my sites now I belive 75% of what I do might be called arbritage or MFA, I will cut that off in an effort.
The remaining 25% is still a few k per month, mostly from organic traffic, some free links, some paid links. Sites going back to 1999.
Will work to be allowed to keep that.
This 25% is probably very similar to what everyone else here (non-arbritage and non-MFA webmasters) on the forum is working on.
I imagine the reason for this is 50% of our traffic is coming from Adwords. The rest is from SERPS, bookmarks, links. Have many outbound links to affiliate networks. Not sure if Google will listen to our requests but asked them to re-do the review and suggest us how to "add value" to AdSense program.
I have developed techniques to locate and explore areas where cheap clicks are possible (some language and country specific combinations stuff etc). I have built some new sites to optimally match this traffic, with thin content - but still some valid content and at least one outbound good link - "thin but fair" I would say. My intention is to improve these sites over time.
I do many things on dozens of sites so it's hard to say what precisely has triggered this, but I assume the above is it.
Freedata - please if you can do let us know what response you get from the AdSense team, it will be of great help. I will wait until Monday to contact them.
I am being as transparent as I am allowed to in the TOS in an effort to
resolve this somehow. Even at the risk of giving away “secret sauce” :) , I do not have much alternative now do I?
I/we now have 12 days, 17 hours and 50 minutes to save years worth of work.
It seems to me from the other webmasters here that I am not alone in feeling that the AdSense
team is a bit tough on this “The June 1. Crackdown”.
To anyone else getting the email:
Don’t panic. Share what you know here in an effort to work it out. At least during the next 12 days one should keep ones head cool and try to work this out by sharing info.
That way you would have to submit a site - prior to being accepted into adsense. The code would be specific for that site - and non transferable.
Again this issue comes up. It is long overdue and is a reasonable solution to many of the problems we read about here.
I am looking forward to deleting (with a back up copy :-)) my 200 blocked urls. Hopefully this is the dawn of a new age.
They are all aware of why they were banned - no one in here has yet cried out that it was unjust - merely stated the fact.
Perhaps if you all share what you were doing - what you plan to do etc, you could perhaps educate a whole load of newbies from falling foul of the mfa/arbitrage game.
I guess you will all have learnt from your mistakes - albeit - you've possible had a good ride for a few years. Time to start afresh with a new business model.
So guys - what's the game plan?
I will wait until Monday to contact them.
I've read about people getting banned for "Improper buisiness models" a lot now. Over here and in other places. There must really be a lot "victoms". My guess would be that G is flooded with e-mails by Monday, resulting in just a canned response if any.
It might just be a better solution to get to a "proper business model" first and than firing of the e-mail.
Just a thought, I'm not judging here.
Very likely this is an early indication of what will become a larger, more sweeping clean up.
Hard to know for sure what factors Google is targeting, but logically, they would be able to detect unusually high CTR's -- particularly relative to benchmark data. The CTR which any given ad will achieve will be measurably lower when it's displayed on a content-rich site than when it is displayed on a site where the user doesn't find the information the are seeking, and the only options are to click on an ad or hit the back button on their browser.
Knowing Google, I imagine they are looking at lots of other data besides relative CTR's, and their screening process is capable of becoming much more sophisticated than what I just described.
What is most interesting about this is that it is obviously easy to identify and eliminate MFAs and thin content sites, yet they did not choose to do it before this.
Perhaps Google is satisfied with its recent profit levels and is starting to focus more on long term profits. Or, perhaps the level of complaints has reached an intense enough level to tip the scales in favor of action. It's always been a little odd they didn't do more to wipe out the MFA's before this -- particularly those who are using AdWords Adsense arbitrage as the core of their business .
A question to the unlucky ones that gor this email: where you doing Arbitrage or scrapers?
Scrapers, I hope.
I spend a lot of money with Google. If someone is doing arbitrage and I'm still making a positive ROI, then that's fine with me.
When websites steal my content and Google pays them for it, I become very unhappy. I know Google will respond to DMCA requests, but there's not enough time in the day for that.
I removed Adsense ads on pages because there were Flash-games on it. Just to be on the safe side.
I think it's a major step in the right direction (and to my mind, Google has amply shown that they are willing to forgo short term profits in order to establish their brand as one that can be trusted) It also makes me wonder if they're going to address all those eBay, Yahoo, Target and other big player ads with the millions of DKI not-necessarily-relevant keywords.
Wonder if this is connected to the Google accounts consolidation
Anyone think this will add more money to regular publishers?
Not sure if it's related, but Thrs May 17 & Friday May 18th were exceptional in terms of performance.
Gentlemen, backup and empty your filters.
[Edit: fixed dates]
[edited by: Hobbs at 4:46 pm (utc) on May 19, 2007]
I say a strong reaction from AdSense is just. A warning, a payment denial (pay the money back to the advertisers if that's the right thing to do, I consent to that), a total stop in ad servings until a specific set of criteria is fixed, this is all totally just. Google makes the rules, and we all want this great system to work.
Yet, I honestly think the sudden total ban forever is unjust.
The email indicates a total ban, forever.
Everything we have invested in learning AdWords and AdSense, the hours, the communication, the interaction with the AdSense team, the suggestions here on the forum - it's then all worthless.
We are all still early in this game, it's still a steep learning curve. When Google recently started suggesting their own sites as ads/links in the searches, it was soon pulled back - you try something honestly and fairly, when it does not fly you pull it back and try something else - we are all learning.
By the full outstanding payment Google is sort of admitting that this is a grey zone, that’s what I sense most webmasters here seem to feel as well.
I say honest webmasters deserve a second chance.
Trying to be objective here, not easy on something this close to home.