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Either way, it's starting to look like this isn't a mirage -- something real and important has happened, and thus it would be worthwhile to understand what's going on.
Here are some thoughts on the potential focus of a new thread, or future discussions in this thread.
Topic 1. What is the true scope of this change?
At the narrow end of the spectrum, perhaps Google is targeting a very narrowly defined business plan or a very specific type of arbitrage site -- with little or no real content, using Adwords to obtain traffic and using Adsense to generate revenue.
At wide end of the specturm, this might be an early sign that Google is going to stamp out any business plan that adversely affects public perceptions of its Adwords and Adsense brands.
To enhance and protect its Adsense brand, Google could stop running Adsense on scraper sites, little-to-no-content sites, sites with mostly nonsense text, etc.
To enhance and protect its Adwords brand, Google block these types of sites from running Adwords campaigns, even if they generate their revenues using affiliate programs, display ads, YPN, etc.
Topic 2: What will be the indirect effect of this change on other publishers and advertisers -- those who are not being kicked out of Adsense?
Topic 3: How should webmasters adjust their strategies and business plans, in response to the change and in anticipation of the indirect effects of the change?
There's been some discussion and speculation about all 3 of these topics already, but a more in-depth, thoughtful analysis could be developed if we pool our collective knowledge and insights.
Of course, these 3 topics are related, since future effects and future strategies will depend on what's really going on -- the true scope of this change.
This was a soft ban. I & also others in my circle, have not had our accounts disabled after putting forth our case to the G team.
I fear that you are right. After some recent checking I am still finding mfa's. A couple are of the old type that Google missed (for whatever reason) and other mfa's I have seen have are patched up as their webmasters have simply dumped some crappy content in order to pass. Predictably others I have seen are using adwords to direct traffic to Yahoo ads or someting else.
If this is the way it's heading, we need to brace ourselves for a new generation of mutant mfa's. Enjoy the calm before the storm, as the mfa problem is obviously not going away anytime soon
other mfa's I have seen have are patched up as their webmasters have simply dumped some crappy content in order to pass
I'm afraid this might mean more scraped content. Did the crappy content you saw look like it was scraped?
If so, then this will probably make things a lot worse for honest content publishers.
1. Scraped content might pust MFAs higher in the serps
2. Scraped content might cause duplicate content issues where the real publisher takes it in the teeth.
3. Publishers of real content will now have to spend more time checking for content thieves... er scrapers.
4. If sites that should have been whacked manage to stay in, then we will still have the lower paying ads showing up.
I believe it was Hobbs who said we need the ability to filter by account. It looks like Google wont' have the situation in hand for a while. They need to give the publishers the ability to control the situation for their sites.
Would it work?
It is difficult to categorize all sites with traffic from adWords as MFA ( even if they have a few adSense ads on them). However a few more factors would have helped decide the case.
Did the crappy content you saw look like it was scraped?
[edited by: Scurramunga at 6:42 am (utc) on June 4, 2007]
page content = duplicate content
sitewide content = 90%+ duplicate content
adsense = at least paused for Human review
page meta tags = not about content on page
site meta tags = not about content on site
adsense = no workie on site and verbal warning
page content = meaningless English phrases
site wide content = scrambled English mumbo jumbo
adsense account = terminated
And if you think determining meaningless mumbo jumbo is impossible via a spider then think again, it would just use a lot more cpu utilization processing the actual words in the order they appear on the page to determine if participles, pronouns, nouns, adjectives etc. were appearing in an extremely unlikely or impossible order. C'mon if its mumbo jumbo press the big red button under the clear thumb flipping plastic cap labeled "Permanent Termination" That would at least throw away some of the worst MFA trash out there. Frankly MFA 2.0 sounds scary simply because if done right (or wrong) it could put legit webmasters at risk of being terminated because of the striking similarity to their slick haired black hat webmaster counterparts, or is it as someone else stated earlier MFA 2.0 if done well sounds more like fresh out of rehab neighbors (who have a high probability of relapse I might add)? I still think the answer is in the intent of the webmaster, which unfortunately isn't something a spider can see very easily. Anyone else think of some simple logic a spider could use to determine MFA 1.x or 2.x?
Human review the entire content network, even if it means hiring a 5000 strong non college grad but smart (high IQ) webmaster types arming them with a systematic way of flagging, warning, pruning, and watering the adsense tree. Sure there will be some legit webmasters sacked in the massacre but a second level human review of actual college grads (current adsense staff) could act as judges to give the final say. After the current network is thoroughly reviewed 4000 of them go home (as agreed in the beginning) and get great tech jobs in their home towns after working for such a large prestigious company such as Goog, and the best 1000 stay on board to maintain and screen new adsense applicant identities and determine the website quality and the website's PURPOSE (Didn't Double Click really seem to screen websites well?! How many of you applied and failed to get into Doubleclick?) Not even Overture under Y! management, the great human review directory specialists were able to pull a well maintained content network with with acquisition of Overture and their YPN ads uncanny ability to stay off topic. Don't cry that Adwords will raise the minimum bid to .05 or worse on the content network. G has already proved smarter than to go the path of Overture, in fact they've already done the opposite going from .05 cents minimum to .01 (good luck getting a lick of search traffic at those rates though) Even Walmart raises the quality of its merchandise over time and somehow gives you a better deal. The somehow is the volume, Walmart is always raising the volume of purchases and demanding a higher quality product. So the long term is bigger more stable content network coupled with a bigger Adwords advertiser base more trusting and willing to use the content network. I think up until recently G has merely reserved the right to human review the masses in the content network and rarely exercised it (by sheer tiny numbers of Goog employees) Between the choice of automated spider induced account closures and human review across the entire network. We all know the cheaper route is automated account blasting with human judgment used when webmasters appeal the spiders automated decision, is this starting to sound familiar to anyone as of late? There was no initial human review of these people being cut from their adsense accounts otherwise G wouldn't so easily overturn their decisions unless their huge base of adsense reviewers were totally off their rockers when they reviewed the June 1st batch of account closures. Move onto hiring lots of adsense reviewers soon before MFA deteriorates the interior of the entire Internet user experience. I leave you with more of what others have talked about for years. I'm all washed out on worrying about MFA (I'll watch my own sites, and you watch yours, and we will stock and keep our filters chuck full if needed, even if every month G suggests we remove sites from our filters) The answers have been so apparent for so long, I have no idea how people like EFV suffer to read these threads so far and so deep year after year and can still respond intelligently while attempting not to sound like a broken record (playing a rather good tune I might add). Get your ducks in a row or get MORE ducks in rows if you already have your ducks in a row) Diversify (sick of affiliate, try actual Internet retail, it can be very very handsomely rewarding, then you'll understand why advertisers so desperately need quality traffic, and you feel a lot better about the traffic you lose through adsense clicks that you'll wish would've bought something on your site instead), work hard and keep your websites free of click flipping garbage content that has "I took 30 seconds or less to write this page" written all over it, or face the inevitable garbage truck that will come someday to grab your website with it's hydraulic claw and throw it in its HTML crushing compactor never to be seen again.
I believe it was Hobbs who said we need the ability to filter by account. It looks like Google won't have the situation in hand for a while. They need to give the publishers the ability to control the situation for their sites.
Here's the proposal to put forward to Google:
Until your engineers have created and mastered an algo to flush the MFAs and arbiters down the toilet, let us filter by account.
Now give that to our Adsense Publishers Union President for negotiations with Google! :/
Seriously, has anyone in Google dared to answer the question why it won't let us filter by account? Personally I don't see it as either a programmer's nightmare or a hardware/resource challenge. Further, Google has already agreed with the idea in principle, because it bans accounts, not just sites.
And where did it come up with this artificial 200 limit number anyway? Is that really supposed to be for competitors only? That makes no sense unless you're a business using Adsense to support your commercial site (tacky 9 times out of 10), which wasn't the purpose of Adsense in the first place. And even if it was, how many Adsense users have 200 competitors online?
Why is it that AdWords users have unlimited bans but Adsense users don't? Either give us unlimited bans, too, or account cancellation instead of domains only.
And I *don't believe* that it would be that hard to do. Promise. I'll come and do the coding for free if you promise not to make me responsible for the UI and workflow stuff! B^>
Wrong, after having suffered near heart attacks, (especially the guys who quit their day jobs) they were admitted back in. If Google did however have mercy on some real MFA webmasters that learned the power of prayer and sent a sincere heart felt email to the adsense team professing change, then I'm sure google isn't going to let these same offenders tread down there systems again (I pray) but alas MFA is not gone yet, so G continue adapting like the Borg type entity you are and you'll eventually get there.
"There" is defined by me as a wonderful utopia like google where publishers and advertisers are glad handing one another via account interaction such as advertisers requesting their ads placed on certain pages of websites, or account wide, and at the same time give publishers a lot more control over pricing per site, per page, per eCPM or per CPC etc etc blah blah blah, but of course give the layman that little checkbox that says "let google figure all that complicated pricing stuff for you" And for the love of the Internet let this tired, beat into the ground thread be ended already.
Not just me, everybody in every MFA thread did too.
>why it won't let us filter by account?
3 pages back I answered that:
the only possible reason I can come up with is that they are afraid that we can block a whole account which can include good sites that match our content when all we needed was just block one domain from that account
You see, the know more than you, and one account can contain both excellent sits as well as MFA.
I also proposed the solution of making block by domain the default, and block by account an optional tick box.
>where did it come up with this artificial 200 limit
They didn't, it used to be 100, and some strange day they listened and doubled it.
Why is it that AdWords users have unlimited bans but Adsense users don't?Maybe because they're paying customers?
Well, there are probably technical reasons as well: what is the advertiser-to-publisher ratio? 1:100? 1:1000? Since there are probably orders of magnitude fewer advertisers, G can afford to give them greater resources (disk space, CPU time, etc.) needed to handle the filtering.
However: that kind of imbalance of 'power' in the advertiser-publisher relationship is a wee bit arrogant and is a long-term threat to AdSense's market dominance. Unless one assumes that AdSense ads are for the publishers who just don't give a damn about quality. Is that the AdSense message to publishers? 'Sit down, shut up, hold on'?