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For example this guy. The ad reads (paraphrased):
Foobar Hotel Widgetville
Book the Foobar Hotel in Widgetville
online at unbeatable rates!
This takes you to a page where you get eight sponsored results, powered by Overture (Yahoo! Search Marketing). No useful content at all. Zero. Just ads.
Now, I wonder WHY do they get past Google's quality control?
A) What 'quality control'?
B) They spend too much money with Google to say 'no'.
C) Google is affiliated with these guys.
D) They found a way to trick Google's 'quality control'.
I am undecided. Everything is possible. What's your take?
I just saw an Adsense ad for a particular prescription drug on Google search, and when I clicked it, I was taken to a major shopping comparison site's page listing office supplies.
Sure, it's junk, and it's misleading - but which advertiser in his right mind would spend money for this stunt? They attract people interested in prescription drugs, and try to sell them staples, toner cardriges, and pencils?
but which advertiser in his right mind would spend money for this stunt? They attract people interested in prescription drugs, and try to sell them staples, toner cardriges, and pencils?
And how does google determine 'likelyhood' of conversions in this case? Is this a loophole that results in cheap clicks?
how does google determine 'likelyhood' of conversions in this case? Is this a loophole that results in cheap clicks?
I think so, yes.
Question is, whether the office supplies company was directly advertising using misleading adcopy (by advertising prescription drugs) - in this case it's plain stupid, because virtually nobody who is interested in prescription drugs buys a toner cartridge instead. The conversion rate must be very low and may indeed lead to a low EPC. But again, it's just stupid, because the conversion IS low.
Or did the misleading adcopy lead to an MFA/arbitrage page on office supplies, and THE NEXT CLICK (e.g. processed through Overture) leads to the office supplies site. In this case it would be very close to fraud.
Question is, whether the office supplies company was directly advertising using misleading adcopy (by advertising prescription drugs
I have seen many instances where a niche is deliberately mistargeted and the only conclusion I could reach is that there is a flaw/loophole, creating clicks so cheap that the benefits far outweigh the cost of the click combined with low conversion rate. Blanket advertising perhaps?
This makes sense to me, they run the best ads on google.com were they keep 100% of the revenue and force the ads to be of the best user experience. The rest is RoN lol.
I have been encountering more and more MFA's similar to the following. See the title and description below:
Create a stunning widget
Easy to use. Get 50% off Now.
The m MFA implies an offering of a [non existent] service/product combination and a 50% discount too boot. The url is one of those misleading types with "www-" as part of the domain name. example: 'http://www.www-widget.info'
The visitor is led to the all too familiar BS Advert filled directory. And surprise surprise, none of the ads mention anything about a 50% discount...
[edited by: Scurramunga at 1:18 pm (utc) on June 12, 2008]
I think that sites with well defined content tend to get well defined ads.
I notice that for the most part my US,UK and Australian ads are fairly well targeted, but in other countries they range from off target to mostly misleading. So on the whole this is not a content/targeting problem.
Secondly, most of the ads we are talking about are well targeted to the niche, it just that the target landing page tends to be MFA or off target MFA or a junk site eg. viagra.
interesting - so much time has passed. Even EFV is not around any longer. And yet so little has happened in terms of quality on the Adsense network. How sad.
I see for English content for visitors from US, UK, Canada, and Germany, that most ads are okay-ish. I'd say about 80% of the ads. As soon as you leave these territories, however, all the scammers show up.
Sometimes I think we should shoot the Googler's into orbit. Ah, no, wait, wrong thread:
Which suggests there is just not enough inventory/competition in other geographic areas for ads, at least not for ads that would appear on your site.
And that suggests a solution to this, if Google wanted one--an algorithmic solution, too. They could set a minimum threshold of inventory for ads to appear at all. That would improve the quality seen in the content network and arguably would help Google grow the business....
Contrary to other writers, I see increasingly well suited ads on my sites.
Mine too; for me it seems to get better every year. My average epc is over twice what it was for all of last year, and I only use the filter now for very particular cases - I don't think there are two dozen entries in it at the moment. I'm also a firm believer of keeping it to one ad unit per page - that probably did more to separate the wheat from the chaff than anything else I could have done.
I see for English content for visitors from US, UK, Canada, and Germany, that most ads are okay-ish. I'd say about 80% of the ads. As soon as you leave these territories, however, all the scammers show up.I concur with this.
On AdWords you can see a URL for one site, and it takes you to completely different Overture landing page.
So I think it is mainly people just gaming Adwords... on Google itself, you see the ads in lower positions, but on the content network they probably can get better positioning.
The algorithmic solution would be to let us help them:
- make it easy to report the bad ones (+review those getting multiple reports)
- give us get decent blocking tools (+review those getting multiple blocks)
- give us decent reporting
But ... well I guess we'll never learn if they have their ears on.
I have an AdWords client who wanted me to run ads on the search phrase of his company name, because we've been having issues with his organics. I went to see if anyone else was running ads (because his company name is made up two rather generic words) and found an ad that read like this:
Download Now for Free
Instant and Fast Download
100 Safe & Easy
Clicking on it did not take you to a page - it initiated a download of a file called setup.exe!
This was running on search, not content, so I reported it to AdWords, and it still took four emails on my part to convince them that this ad was running on my client's trademarked company name (within AdWords TOS for the US) but trying to install malware on people's computer (certainly not within TOS) and finally they said it would be reviewed.
(Meanwhile, the minimum for my client's ad on his own name was so high we had to stop running it anyway)
If you have troubles reporting bad ads to AdSense, you might try reporting them to AdWords.
That being said, I think Google can do a better job of finding many issues that plague their system such as those mentioned in the thread. There will always be scammers. That's a fact of life.
However, what often surprises me is how seriously Google takes the feedback submitted via various forms to Google.
The question was:
WHY do (Made for Adsense ads) get past Google's quality control?
One possible answer--you don't work hard enough filtering within G. Or, you don't bother looking at alternatives in your market such as CJ or Y.
As a former "real" publisher, I'm amused and sometimes amazed at how webmasters expect Google to do their job for them.
Google brings the ads. They give you (albeit limited) tools to manage the ads. They work to improve their services to the benefit of their own bottom line and of those who are buying the ads.
If after working with them as best you can Google or any other ad provider (including individuals) are not providing the ads that you think you need or deserve, it is YOUR job to address this situation, not the providers of the ad.
you don't work hard enough filtering within G. Or, you don't bother looking at alternatives in your market such as CJ or Y.
My filter is full. Has been full for ages. If it was unlimited (or significantly larger) then I would enter all those scammers no matter what. Because user experience is king. My content is unique high-quality, and I feel that visitors to my site deserve the BEST ads, i.e. the most relevant and useful ads. I do not want them to associate my site with these scammers.
Alternatives. Tried CJ - it did not work out very well. Y! is not available in my area. Selling ads directly is a LOT of additional work.
I'm amused and sometimes amazed at how webmasters expect Google to do their job for them. Google brings the ads. They give you (albeit limited) tools to manage the ads.
Au contraire! Google sells Adsense as a "shoot and forget" type of service, i.e. a carefree advertising solution that magically -through the power of Google's systems- brings in money. They deny publishers any serious tools to control what is showing on our sites, and what it is paying. I understand this as a clear message: "We [Google] know better than you, so please let us do our work." But the reality is that they are doing an mediocre job at controling the ad quality on the content network.
This is happening either because they are not as powerful as they pretend to be, or because they are greedy and dishonest and take what they can get without causing a riot among publishers. Or they are victims of those who game the system. In any case, this ongoing ad quality problem throws some bright light on Google.
Google sells Adsense as a "shoot and forget" type of service, i.e. a carefree advertising solution that magically -through the power of Google's systems- brings in money. They deny publishers any serious tools to control what is showing on our sites, and what it is paying.
Right, Zett. Well said. But what is a webmaster's next step when your website is getting poor quality ads from a supplier?
Like I said, the tools are limited. But, as others have noted, they are getting better. Still, I strongly suggest that G is worth only so much emotional and brain energy. It is what it is, take it for what it's worth in your market.
The New York Times in interesting to watch. They really, really know how to sell ads.
Can you divide up your website into sections and go after a single sponsor in one area?
Can you sell something yourself on your website? You know your audience better than anyone.
What about geo-targeting? Where is your traffic coming from? Could you partner with someone selling ads in your hotspots?
Can you enhance someone's website with your content?
How about taking a page from WW--who does conferences in your area of expertise? Help them sell it. Or, create your own. It's easy. (Hahahahah. OK, it a lot of work.)
Or, another page from WW: Create a "members only section."
The nifty thing about Google's ads is it provide you with a base from which to operate. "Hmmmm, this has some legs. Google can sell ads on it. Now, what can I do to make really hokey-pokey?" you can ask.
And, yes, when something has only a little value, Google can give you a tad of cash flow. But, if think you've got traffic with value and that Google (or whomever) isn't giving you value, then it's time to make for YOU to make a move.
It's fun for many people. But, you have not mind hearing "no" and being told that what you're doing isn't of value to them.
If you are clever enough to do a website that makes money with Google's ads, then you are clever enough to make more money with a couple of twists.
I am certain there are better examples than what I suggested.