AdWords Spying: GoogSpy looks scrapes hundreds of thousands of searches from Google to determine who is bidding on what terms. The idea is killer, but the implementation is a bit lacking. Link found from ThreadWatch.
So I have been getting some of the Gmail feeds and ads recently. Hopefully I answered this question correctly or you the reader will call me dumb...
Bad Call #1:
Here is an example thread
Question from Search Marketing Info
Which internet search engine was co-founded by a math major who chose the name to imply a vast reach ?
Thanks in advance,
Google was a mispelling for Googol, which means a 1 with a million
zeros behind it.
Larry Page founded it and Sergey Brin was his co founder.
and here was Google's contextually targeted Gmail ad:
Head Gasket Blown? - www.rxauto.com - Repair It Yourself Guaranteed ThermaGasket The Mechanics Choice
That is data stored on Google's servers and that is the best that they can target it? When you couple that in with all the AdSense spam sites and click fraud it really makes you wonder why Google assumes anybody would want that traffic.
Bad Call #2:
One of the default feeds was Engaget. Presumably because they run AdSense? Don't get me wrong here, its cool to help smaller publishers, but if you put Engaget in there you should put Gizmodo there also unless you want people to quetion you motives.
Placing random off target off topic crap I don't want in my email is being evil. At least the old Hotmail dating ads would occassionally show pictures of cute girls ;)
I know that I can unsubscribe from feeds, but I shouldn't have to opt out. Maybe off the start you could just promote Google News, Froogle, and your other portal pieces up there?
Bad Call #3:
Google actually places feeds in your spam folder. How stupid is it to place contextually relevant feeds near stuff that was deemed as being unwanted useless junk? What better way is there to turn users off?
Another thing that is really weird is most (maybe all) of the spam feeds were for spam recipies:
Spam Vegetable Strudel - Bake 20 minutes or until golden, serve with soy sauce
Savory Spam Crescents - Bake 12-15 minutes or until golden brown
French Fry Spam Casserole - Bake 30-40 minutes
They may place the spam ads in there to try to push the cute and innocent corporate culture, but I don't buy it.
After bogusly adding the Google Toolbar Autolink feature which directed B&N customers to Amazon many people started to become increasingly suspicious of potential hidden business partnerships. Is Google partnered with Hormel Foods now too?
With AdSense they can also track the referrals which gives them another way to understand percent of market share and who your leading referals are if you display AdSense ads on your site.
their ad code shows:
google_referrer_url = document.referrer;
Google could likely use this data for their AdSense SmartPricing, fraud detection, and might even use it as an additional quality check on linkage data and sites.
If you link to a site participating in AdSense and nobody ever follows the link does that mean the link, page, or site could potentially have little to no value to humans?
If you have links from a ton of sites all using the same AdSense account could that be suspicious? If thousands of sites link to you and none of them dispay AdSense could that be suspicious?
It seems as though Google is trying to financially incentivize various webmasters in the concept of building its web of trust. Maybe it is part of the reason they don't mind having shoddy sites in AdSense, as it helps them track relationships?
In not so competitive industries it can help find some good resource pages & potential links, but in some competitive industries I was amazed at how many scraper websites were running AdSense. I knew it was going to be a ton, but sometimes you just have to see it to appreciate it. When I called out their AdSense product manager at the SXSW conference he used the whole concept of people and technology to say that is how they are dealing with bogus AdSense sites.
I think a friend of mine recently described the AdSense quality control process a bit better:
and they dont even kick out that scum when its reported!
I would guess there are probably hundreds of thousands of sites which are nothing more than AdSense on top of a search engine results page.
Google says you should control who you are linking to and then adds autolink to your site & Google News displays Nazi news. hmm...
They also are funding a ton of useless clutter. In some cases I am seeing both Yahoo! and Google cache live Google search results through caching the AdSense for search program.
Some Google search technologies are a bit more advanced than some of their competitors, and perhaps that gives them a bit more of a competitive edge to be profiting from sites that undermine competitors relevancy algorithms? And maybe they want to clutter the web up with junk so it is hard to sort through it?
Any way you slice it, it is hypocritical for a company which has the mission statement:
Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.
Seems like a very ill-advised program to me, because it's quite likely that as spam creeps into this link network, it will greatly affect the reputation of the people that link to the spam. Just my hunch though.
replace the word link or link to with ad and advertise on and you get:
Seems like a very ill-advised program to me, because it's quite likely that as spam creeps into this ad network, it will greatly affect the reputation of the people that advertise on the spam. Just my hunch though.
Google does not let advertisers opt out from being seen on individual sites and generally ignores the concept of publisher quality control. This
limits how much good publishers get since companies will be more inclined to opt out.
could hurt the advertisers brands.
may lead to quicker text ad blindness.
tarnishes the Google brand.
What am I missing? I thought the whole point of AdSense was to help fund the creation of quality content?
Then again, Google did give me a black hat and maybe I am seeing things wrong ;)
Google AdSense: Publisher Conference, reviewed. They highlighted a few sites and I think I know some of the people who may do some of the ads for some of them.
When my friend initially set up his personals page on AOL a long time ago (before he knew what a landing page was) he got so many leads that he was sending girls to his friends. Unfortunatly, I was not a friend of his at the time :(
I have recently seen a site under a month old rank for some rather short query sets.
New SEO / SEM Blogs:
maybe not new, but at least new to me. Got Ads? - seems to be more focused on the ad / ppc side of the search game. have not read it a ton yet but have seen John contribute many good posts on Andrew Goodman's SEM 2.0 Wolf Howl - should have mentioned and found this one a while ago as multiple friends have recommended it to me. his most recent post references Flatland, so it must be a cool blog :)
the conference I am at:
ended today. I could blog about a bunch of stuff but now find myself headed toward the closing party, which I suspect may give me more stuff to blog about.