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Is it fair for AdSense to use our sites for their testing?

     
2:23 pm on Aug 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

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First I want to acknowledge that AdSense/Google basically has carte blanche to do whatever it wants with their ads even though they appear on our sites. And we all know that and if we don't like it no one is forcing us to use AdSense.

That said, I'm trying to think of any other business that uses their business partners for testing to the extreme that Google does. Why can't they test all their new ad formats in a manner that is not disruptive to actual live websites trying to make a living? Can't they just test on their own web properties? I feel like the degree of testing at our expense has gotten out of control.

Agree/disagree?
2:34 pm on Aug 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

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We're not business partners. Google holds all the cards. It's right there in the terms of service.

I don't think in terms of fair; there's no promise or expectation of fairness with Google.

They can't test their stuff on their own properties, they need to test it in the wild; otherwise it's not a true test. Personally, I've never seen enough "tests" on my own sites or around the web to think that it's likely to adversely affect a single publisher. The worst thing I ever see is some fugly ass ad implementations now and then.

So I guess I disagree. I don't think any of us - even the ones with high traffic - have any way of knowing to what degree the testing is at our expense.
2:47 pm on Aug 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I feel like the degree of testing at our expense has gotten out of control.

I guess for your overall premise to stand I'd have to agree with you last statement. And I can't. I have to agree with netmeg that I have know way of knowing how Google's testing might have affected anything.
3:09 pm on Aug 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Maybe the testing is even increasing our revenues. It is possible that what Google tests benefits us.
4:55 pm on Aug 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

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AdSense has helped over two million partners grow their businesses


That's the quote from Gs adsense page so clearly they believe "we" are partners.

As far as their "testing" is concerned it's a mindset that they have and it's unlikely to change. They test out on their own stuff live so they see no reason not to use our websites in the same way.

Personally, I think it's a real problem, but they don't see it like that. They probably don't even see it as unprofessional and lazy, they just see it as a way to get products to the market fast. Different industries and nationalities have very different approaches to implementing new features and products.

I worked in IT (in the UK) in the banking and telecoms industries and many companies would test new stuff to destruction before letting their customers or partners see it live. No ifs or buts, it just had to be 99% certain to work. It seems G have a view that 50% certainty is acceptable.
4:58 pm on Aug 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I don't think they really believe we're partners.
6:23 pm on Aug 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I disagree, tests I've seen are limited in scope. Besides, I test ad sizes/placements and things like that too, that's how you find out what works and what doesn't. Their testing doesn't bother me a bit.

I don't think they really believe we're partners.

That I agree with 100%.
10:14 pm on Aug 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Disagree...but then again I don't know the extent to which they've used my sites for testing and whether it had a positive or negative effect.
 

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