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More Transparency for Publishers

Google providing page level policy actions and new policy center

     
7:50 pm on May 15, 2017 (gmt 0)

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What do you all think of this change? Many of the positive changes that I discussed with publishers for over a year now are now starting to go live. I would love to hear your thoughts. [blog.google...]
12:20 am on May 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Good news. One of the most asked questions in the Adsense forum concerns penalties, or why a certain action was taken.

"Policy actions at the page level" will be good news to publishers as well.
well be able to stop showing ads on select pages, while leaving ads up on the rest of a sites good content.

Well still use site-level actions but only as needed. And when it's necessary, such as in the case of egregious or persistent violations, we'll still terminate publishers.
8:32 am on May 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Perhaps g is feeling a revenue loss by full site bans and ultimate loss of adsense publishers? Doing page level penalities will reduce that self-inflicted pain quite a bit.
2:17 pm on May 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@tangor, I understand that you might feel like taking a cynical view on the change, however in every article, presentation or interview I've done in my two years at Google I've had the same narrative: In order for there to be a healthy digital advertising ecosystem, the needs of users, advertisers and publishers must be in balance. Google sees our role as one where we help to facilitate this balance. Changes take time, especially when scale in involved. This change helps bring publishers in balance with the needs of users and advertisers. Every policy/enforcement/messaging update since my hire has been publisher friendly.
2:42 pm on May 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Thank you, I think this great, and it's nice to know we have a representative of Google to talk too here. I hope people will not abuse, and not flood your mail box with their personal requests.
2:59 pm on May 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for posting, pubpolicycomms

I welcome the idea of dealing with issues on a page-by-page basis, thank you. This means that publishers can continue to earn revenue from the rest of the site, and can deal with the offending page more easily, too. Often a complete shut off doesn't easily help the publisher identify the offending issue. This is especially important for larger sites.

The policy center is yet to be evaluated as to its worth, but, i'm sure it's going to help greatly if we can see the issues in more detail.
In just a few weeks, all AdSense publishers will have more transparency about why policy actions were taken and the violations found, including page-level action data, so they can quickly resolve these issues across all their sites and pages using step-by-step instructions. The Policy Center also makes it easy for publishers to tell us when policy issues have been resolved and their pages are ready for review.


Good progress, thank you. Please keep it up. :)
3:06 pm on May 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

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It also allows Adsense to target publishers more liberally or frequently. In the past if you had small offensive they may have let it slip but now they can nit pick every little violation.
3:13 pm on May 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

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This all sounds good to me.

Thanks for posting this info pubpolicycomms
3:18 pm on May 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@NickMNS, do you think we developed a new suite of targeting algorithms to flag more policy violations? It seems more likely that what we wrote in the blog post is accurate - this allows us to provide more targeted messaging/education on specific violations, this allows for publishers to continue working with us while they resolve any violations, and this allows for quicker resolution of violations that publishers ask us to review. This maintains our great relationships we enjoy with users and advertisers, and helps publishers greatly. Simple as that.
3:28 pm on May 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

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The point is not that there will be more people targeted in some malicious fashion. My point is that in the past some sites may have had minor violations that did not warrant strong action, now with the more targeted actions, it allows Adsense to target some violations that it let slip in the past. I don't know this I am speculating, if it is not the case then not, good.

do you think we developed a new suite of targeting algorithms

"We" are you speaking officially for Adsense? If, so what is with the attitude? Could you not have simply replied, that that is not the case?
3:36 pm on May 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@NickMNS, no intention of "attitude", just trying to point out that Google would have to change much more than page level actioning to support your speculation. This is an entirely positive development for publishers.
3:40 pm on May 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

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This is an entirely positive development for publishers.

I wasn't suggesting otherwise. I was simply point out that there may be side effects.
7:39 pm on May 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Chuckles. Everyone has said exactly the same thing I did .... except the reason. In the past g's method for violators was to kill the site and, by that action, lose an adsense partner. By going page level g keeps the adsense partner alive and, thankfully, will slowly reveal the EXACT things that trigger a review in the first place. General guidelines are well and good, but folks have a tendency to interpret "general" in very liberal terms and thus run afoul.

Kiddies, I'm just a pessimistic optimist (that way I can't be disappointed when things go right) who happens to be a pragmatist. T see the world as it is, not as idealists present it. res ipsa loquitur
3:01 pm on June 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

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This is good. Thanks AdSense team.

I was hit by a policy violation two or three times.
Two or three days without income was hard.

But the hardest part was searching for violations in an UGC site, with 180.000 pages indexed.
And that, with a deadline.

I think it wil be better from now on.
9:47 pm on June 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Thank you for working for the publishers and looking out for win/win setups. Adsense has been upgraded/updated more in the past year or so more than 3~4 years combined before you stepped in. Most of the changes were for the better too. Glad to have you! I remember the times of living in the dark.

Keep up the good work!

p.s. on the Ad balancer. Is it possible to bring back the feature on the ad unit level or even site level instead of full account level? A more granular control may function much better for publishers with multiple sites / ad units. An account level setting was very spotty and involving tons of guesswork, as it appeared to take average of all impressions. Nevertheless it was the best thing introduced in the past 2~3 years or so (in my opinion).
5:56 am on June 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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While some here might look at this move with a cynical eye, I appreciate anything Google does to help us out. I am taking pubpolicycomms at his word when he/she says that this is designed to help publishers. If it helps Google, too, I'm fine with that.

I'm also happy that pubpolicycomms is participating in this forum.
12:52 pm on June 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Thank you for the feedback. While I cannot speak to anything that occurred before my arrival in 2015, I can assure you that everything we are doing is an effort to achieve balance between users, advertisers, and publishers. From speaking to publishers upon my arrival (and from just being in the industry) I understood our publishers felt like the lowest priority of the three. Every move, and every policy action we have taken since my arrival has been in the spirit of partnership, and with a focus on achieving a balance where all three players in the ecosystem are happy. I appreciate the skepticism, but slowly even the skeptics will begin to understand our reasonable, thoughtful, and sincere intentions. More to come...
6:39 pm on June 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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This sounds like a change that should benefit publishers *and* Google. In other words, a "win win."
10:31 pm on June 9, 2017 (gmt 0)

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So to those enjoying nice earnings, congrats

Thanks! :-D

And good to have you, pubpolicycomms. Keep the good things coming; as you say, they're somewhat overdue! Gaining access to more tools and more data certainly helps (re)build that sense of partnership, even when they don't directly affect our bottom line.
12:42 am on June 10, 2017 (gmt 0)

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My earnings have gone down over the last few years, but I don't get upset about it because I understand the relationship that I have with Google. I operate under the idea that Adsense could end at any time. For that reason, I've made a point of diversifying my income.

BTW if Google doesn't owe you anything then send back your adsense money.


I said that they owe me 68% of every legitimate click that I send to their advertisers. That is the contract. Beyond THAT, they do not owe me anything. Not top search rankings, not a better user panel, not better ad designs. None of that was ever promised. So when they do something to improve things for us, I appreciate it. True, it helps them, too, but I have no problem with that at all.
2:19 am on June 10, 2017 (gmt 0)

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MrSavage, my earnings are greatly decreased also in the past years but I haven't found anything better for those sites than Adsense, so it is still, in effect, the best platform. My favorite solution would be for Adsense earnings to be as good as they once were, as I like their tools and technology (great reporting, good responsive ads, integration with Google Analytics, etc), but if I find anything better, I will switch. In the meanwhile, I may be disappointed, but I don't put the blame on them, there are tons of factors in play, mobile traffic, ad blockers, competition such as Facebook, less profitable traffic, etc
4:09 am on June 10, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Most of us are still part of this forum because there isn't anything better. However to come in so late, after most people are faltering, after the damage is done by ad blockers, a veil of secrecy, no contact, no support, people left dangling....WHEN IT MATTERED. Now that it really doesn't matter (for most) they are trying to sound caring and concerned for the so-called partnership. Sorry, it takes more than a new report and some post about how things will be different to convince me. Given the forecast, which is a continuation of less paying ads, none of this matters. If I'm dependent on Adsense in 2017 then I have serious denial that's for sure. One nice gesture or comment and people are gobbling it up. I'm not that easy sorry. When the stakes were higher for people and the income was far greater, Google was nowhere to be found with the exception of the elite accounts. Everyone else was left floundering. Support? What was that? Yet so long after the fact they want to improve things when the relevance of the program diminishes by the month. I LOL at that.

All that said, Adsense has been good to me over the years, there is no denying that whatsoever. I just don't believe there is any incentive for Google to reverse the downward trend. That's the problem as I see it.

@ember I stand corrected. I despise the blanket omment "they owe us nothing". That's a BS comment if you think about it. People don't go to Google.com to see the new logo of the day/week. They go there to search for stuff. Stuff that Google didn't create. So "owe us" is not accurate. It would be like running a bottled water plant without the water. The plant would be kind of useless right? So yeah, I guess if the water is worth something, then "owe" or "respect" or "depend" is part of it. You can own a stadium, but do you "owe" the players anything because people come to the stadium to watch them? Does the owner of the team "owe" the players anything? Well Google got lucky with a free resource to monetize. That's the fact.
4:39 am on June 10, 2017 (gmt 0)

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You can own a stadium, but do you "owe" the players anything because people come to the stadium to watch them? Does the owner of the team "owe" the players anything?


Of course. The owner has to pay them the agreed upon amount. Just like Google pays us. Beyond that, the stadium owner does not owe his players anything. Harsh but true.

System

6:04 am on June 10, 2017 (gmt 0)

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The following 2 messages were cut out to new thread by martinibuster. New thread at: google_adsense/4853673.htm [webmasterworld.com]
2:35 pm on Jun 14, 2017 (utc -5)
1:43 pm on June 10, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@MrSavage, in the beginning there were not many people using Adsense and a relatively large and eager group of advertisers willing to advertise. It was very easy for a publisher to make a lot of money, easy money. But when there it is easy money to be had, with essentially no borders to entry, the space will fill up really fast with competition. Today, everyone and his or her grandmother is running Adsense ads. While there has all been increase in advertisers, it seems that available supply has grown much faster than supply. Higher supply, lower demand equals lower prices, and competition is fierce. Simply showing up doesn't cut it anymore.

Advertisers are savvy, they look for value. Provide true value to advertisers and you will flourish with Adsense. If one provides a cookie cutter site with more of the same content then your ad slots will be filled with nothing but lowing paying crappy and spammy ads.

All Adsense does is host an auction for ad space available on your website. It is up to you create the content that will bring buyers, that is differentiate yourself from the billions of other sites to limit supply of a scarce resource (your ad slots) and increase demand.

It is like complaining about real estate agent that isn't able to sell your house well above market value. If the house is in a neighborhood, where everyone is selling and there is nothing special about the property, there simply isn't anything that the real estate agent can do. Only you can improve things by fixing the house up. And even then if the neighborhood has many houses for sale not even that will make a difference. But the beauty of the web (to some extent) is that you can move your house neighborhoods with little investment.
6:42 am on June 11, 2017 (gmt 0)

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The point here is that the "partnership" or renewed "partnership" is funny in that it comes when the Adsense program is in steep decline. If anyone here can point to any shred of evidence otherwise, please do say. It's a fact. So if you want to claim that Adsense is thriving, we're getting more or the same payout per click then you have a serious dose of denial. This is not about my circumstance, but I see its easier to simplify the discussion so it suits the scope of your own bias. It's a fact and if you want to paint the Adsense program based on your glorious success and example, then I suggest check the ego at the door.

So the point is, transparency discussion and new reports and shiny mirrors are just window dressing. People want to go gaga over this type of lip service? Have at it.

So what I see are a few publishers that view their success as being the current state. Rather than look at the earnings calls and the facts. I'm 100% understanding of the situation. Adsense is nothing to base any modern day venture on. If the trend reverses, then you are talking about a corporation deciding to reduce their own revenues for some unknown reason. Out of partnership and respect.

This thread is about the laughable praise for this newfound "partnership". That's the funny part. So...the upcoming adblocker by default on Chrome is partnership or right, it will be that other department that we don't have control of. Of that "mobile friendly" pop up that parses out the ads? That's not on us, but let's build that relationship because publishers really matter.

[edited by: martinibuster at 1:18 pm (utc) on Jun 13, 2017]
[edit reason] Edited to remove personal attack. Next time whole post goes. Thx. [/edit]

1:38 pm on June 11, 2017 (gmt 0)

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If anyone here can point to any shred of evidence otherwise, please do say. It's a fact.

Maybe you, being "100% understanding of the situation" and all, can set the example for us. Point us to the hard evidence that AdSense is, in fact, "in steep decline", because so far all I've seen is the unsupported rantings of a disgruntled publisher.
3:29 pm on June 11, 2017 (gmt 0)

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So if you want to claim that Adsense is thriving, we're getting more or the same payout per click then you have a serious dose of denial.


According to Google, the payout is 68 percent. Has been, still is. That number would be easy enough to check if Google were ever taken to court. (I say that as someone who was a named plaintiff in a federal class-action suit against another large Internet company that involved revenue shares and forensic accountants.)
10:35 am on June 12, 2017 (gmt 0)

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This is getting somewhat off-topic but...

I too, experienced a downfall in earnings. You can see my report here : [webmasterworld.com...]
Yet, I am one of the "praisers", how can that be? (still didn't recover)

Well, that was on Dec 2015.

I'm still here.
If I do find anything better than AdSense, I'll jump.
As simple as that.
The AdSense team knows that.

We all know about the big corporation inertia - as long as the money keeps coming everything's fine, you're just a tiny speck.

I don't know about your country but, in mine, I keep seeing AdSense ads (mostly when browsing anonymously) recruiting new publishers.
I didn't see those when I was (we were) earning the big bucks.
Then, we see these changes - "more transparency", that value us.
We're no longer a tiny speck. Now, we're a speck.
Not only AdSense depends on us. Google depends on us. We're the ones who feed the search engine.
And something is changing with user behaviour - we're not addictive, nor do we have a familiar user interface.
Times of well intentioned hobby sites and of free information are getting overrun.
And that is a threat to us and to Google.

I believe we're in for some more treats, time will tell.

On another side, you won't EVER get your "old" revenue back. As soon as you acknowledge that, as soon you'll move on.

Nowadays, I'm thinking about the future.
And that, my friends, is the scariest thing - will we, as independent "small" publishers, be able to make money doing what we were used to?
More competition, more ad blindness, more social media (as in more walled gardens), more apps, greater variety of ways to spend time online?
"They" are luring our visitors and trying to keep them for themselves.

Are you seeing the meteor coming?
6:07 pm on June 12, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Funny or not, today I got my first "page" policy violation notice. :)

By the looks of it, they're running quite a backlog... it's a page right from 2011. :D
I sense that I'll be getting a few of these...

Question @pubpolicycomms: as my ad code is inserted automagically, meaning, every page gets a <?php include(adsensecode.php) ?>, there's more work involved removing the ad code than accept the violation and ignore it.
Can I ignore the violation? Is there a threshold for "we're disabling all ads on all pages"?
This 33 message thread spans 2 pages: 33