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Author Topic: Another article on google adsense worries  (Read 3545 times)

mouser

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Another article on google adsense worries
« on: June 11, 2006, 03:59:33 AM »
Very interesting article - the issues involving adsense (which we use on this site) are heating up..  Definitely worth a read.

Quote
..
How Google Is Killing the Internet
By Seth Jayson (TMF Bent)
June 9, 2006

It's nothing, I'm sure. No really, I mean it. It's just that, well, I noticed that Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) insiders are continuing to drop shares on the public at a rate that boggles the mind. Here's just a brief peek at the latest tallies.

I bring it up only because I occasionally entertain the thought that Google has, in fact, destroyed the Internet. Well, not the physical Internet, mind you. Just the whole "looking for data" part of it that's key to Google's (alleged) information-based mission. The part that's held the key (so far) to its financial success.

Any of you try searching lately? Notice the astounding lack of quality across the board, even at revamped competitors like Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO) and IAC/InterActiveCorp's (Nasdaq: IACI) Ask.com? I feel your pain. I, too, have spent hours stuck in the revolving door of link farms, splogs, and scraper sites. These sites look like they contain content, but when you see the results page, often it's not there (because of tricks like keyword stuffing and cloaking). If it is there, it's often recycled material from other providers, compiled by an automated process.

The jokers who create these sites have one goal: Trying to get you to click on a Google AdSense link.
..



from http://publishing2.com/

urlwolf

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Re: Another article on google adsense worries
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2006, 05:07:17 AM »
very good article, I totally agree.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Another article on google adsense worries
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2006, 05:25:04 AM »
It's all a bit sad really that the internet is rapidly becoming a place for people to make money for doing absolutely nothing!

urlwolf

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Re: Another article on google adsense worries
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2006, 06:58:07 AM »
But my question is...
Where does this money come from?

I mean, what % of the population is clicking google ads and buying the typical products that the spammers use? Can we have such a huge numbers of non-internet-saavy people? How come? It takes <1second to see that a site is created with scraps of others. Although I have to admit that I have fallen for more 'sophisticated' versions of the same idea.

How many 'marketing' sites we need to see with yellow highlightings, pop ups, and long copy that is formatted at say 60 cols, before going crazy?

JavaJones

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Re: Another article on google adsense worries
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2006, 11:44:26 PM »
Is this guy a Google lover or what? :D

Seriously though, how is any of this uniquely Google's fault? I mean basically isn't most of this inherent to success in this market, regardless of who it is? Sure it happens to be Google, but pointing that fact out is basically like accusing GM of ruining the Earth's environment. Sure they're a big contributor (huge car manufacturer), but is it their *fault*? And if they hadn't done it, wouldn't someone else have?

All this also ignores the state of the 'net before Google came along. Search was infinitely worse (I was there using the 'net, I remember it well), click-through ads still existed and massive fraud still plagued adverstisers. In fact if I recall correctly click-based ads died for a few years until Google brought them back. Advertisers just didn't trust them. Google was trustworthy and hence they brought trust back to the market. Apparently that may no longer be the case but previously the awareness of fraud was very widespread, so either it's just a lot more sophisticated and well hidden now, or it's not as bad as some are claiming. Because clearly the market is aware of the *potential* for such problems so they must be keeping an eye out for it. They abandoned click-through ads before because it just wasn't working so if it really isn't working now, what's to stop them doing it again?

Anyway whatever the reality is this article seems to me to be pretty well loaded with hyperbole and pretty light on real, insightful commentary or information.

- Oshyan

mouser

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Re: Another article on google adsense worries
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2006, 01:06:38 AM »
Quote
All this also ignores the state of the 'net before Google came along. Search was infinitely worse (I was there using the 'net, I remember it well), click-through ads still existed and massive fraud still plagued adverstisers.


i think this is a very good point and well worth remembering.

any complaints or worries about google have to be balanced against the fact that they seem to be orders of magnitude more conscientious and honorable than their competitors.

JavaJones

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Re: Another article on google adsense worries
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2006, 01:20:35 AM »
Exactly. I *am* concerned about the AdSense issues being raised now and I'm waiting to see how Google responds to it, if at all. If their history tells us anything about them though they'll probably figure out a way to deal with it, either technologically or socially (or both). I hope that's the case because honestly I *want* it to be dealt with, I want this to work. I think the thing that bothers me most about articles like this is it seems the authors want Google to fail. They are looking at some bad consequences of the things a company like Google does and not seeing all the good it's also done, and as you said the fact that their corporate approach is a lot more moral than many/most other companies (in actual practice, not just theory).

If the authors of articles like this were positing solutions or were at all hopeful it would reek a lot less of bias and basic dislike IMO. But none of that really nets you big readership - people like negativity and controversy. :p Meanwhile I'm greatly enjoying reading every article/essay Paul Graham has written on his site. Fantastic stuff. :D

- Oshyan

Carol Haynes

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Re: Another article on google adsense worries
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2006, 04:31:06 AM »
This may be unrealistic but I think if Google is going to use AdSense as part of their business they have a responsibility to make sure it isn't abused.

A simple way to acheive that is to limit it to domains that are actually checked by human staff at Google rather than making it a free4all. The trouble with free4alls is that even with the best of intentions there is bound to be abuse - and the bigger the system is allowed to get the more fraud you get.

Sure a 'human' system may slow down growth but they would get a better product which was less open to fraud.

Another thing they could do is to have a 'report abuse' system built into the click system so that everyone who is taken to an adsense page is asked the question "Did you personally choose to click a GoogleAd link to get to this page?"

mouser

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Re: Another article on google adsense worries
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2006, 04:41:56 AM »
here is the problem some of us have been raising:

google has very strong reasons to sweep this click fraud under the rug, because they are making a fortune off it.  there have been lots of below-the-threshold rumblings that a huge proportion of ad clicks are fraudulent.  if google came out and admitted this they might in fact owe back 75% of their profits to their customers(!), and start losing 75% of their revenue.. scary thought..

as these issues start to become public, google may have a competing incentive to get it all out into the open and transparent to avoid the bad rumours, etc., so that may help combat the incentive to bury this all under the rug eventually.

speaking of which, i think i'd like to move donationcoder.com off of google ads eventually if we can find a simple way to arrange an alternative system that we have more control over. 

JavaJones

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Re: Another article on google adsense worries
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2006, 12:09:05 AM »
Mouser, you remember that advertising site idea I had a while back? Well, I'm in discussions with a development partner on it. Maybe it could work well for DC.Care to be a test pilot? :D

- Oshyan

mouser

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Re: Another article on google adsense worries
« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2006, 04:36:29 AM »
tell me/us more about it..
we're always willing to be test pilots.

app103

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Re: Another article on google adsense worries
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2006, 05:42:12 AM »
Google is actually doing something about spam blogs that exist solely for the displaying of Google ads and to encourage the clicking of them on Blogger.com/Blogspot. (They own Blogger)

I have a news related blog specifically for one topic which includes a short snip of the news articles I find related to the subject and a link to the original.

The purpose is to give readers a way to communicate with each other and discuss these articles when a news site doesn't give them the same opportunity to leave a comment. Most news sites don't allow a discussion to take place. I started it after a series of news stories painted a horrific picture that made me want to scream and none of the news sites with these articles gave me an opportunity to speak out and correct their misinformation. I found out I wasn't alone...there were more with a need to vent some steam about what they were reading.

This blog was flagged by Google as a 'spam blog'.

This meant at first that I would have to enter a code in order to make a post to it, to verify that a human was actually making these posts and that it wasn't something automated.

Eventually they froze my blog to prevent me from making any posts and told me I would either have to move it off Blogspot or ask for them to have a human review it and approve it before I would be allowed to post to it again.

The blog was only 2 weeks old when my trouble with Google started. The blog didn't have any Google ads on it at all. I didn't want anybody's ads there, as the subject of the ads related to the topic of my blog that they would have placed there would have sent people to some place where I didn't want my readers to go. Some place where something that is supposed to be free was being sold to those that were ignorant to that fact. It could have led to my readers being ripped off by leech-like opportunists.

Despite a lack of ads, Google did make an effort to put a stop to what it thought was a 'spam blog'.

Now what exactly qualifies as a 'spam blog' in their eyes? One that contains a large amount of outgoing links, and content duplication. The 2-3 sentence intros to the articles were considered by Google to be content duplication. Blogs are flagged as spam by an automated process, and once identified as spam, it can't be reversed unless the owner of the blog requests a review by a human, which could take awhile. Take this as a warning if you quote articles and link to the originals in your blog...do it too many times and yours will be a 'spam blog' too.

So Google is trying to do something about what they think qualifies as abuse. At least on servers they have control over.

I also know of at least 1 case of a forum owner being denied proper payment by Google for clicks by users of his forum, after a sudden dramatic increase in clicking that resulted from an extreme surge in membership and activity at his forum. An event last September sent millions to his forum looking for tech support. The ads that Google displayed on his forum promised miracles and an easy solution to the issues that brought them to his forum. People clicked and were ripped off by leeches. Then Google accused the forum owner of click fraud and would only pay him based on an average number of clicks he had in the past. Sometimes it doesn't pay to become popular.