Google has been getting tighter with their control of their ads, fighting arbitrage with the following changes
- manual reviews, smart pricing discounting (of publisher clicks), and quality scores (increasing the cost of advertising junk)
- improved duplicate content detection
- decreasing the clickable area in many AdSense ad units
- killing sub-syndication of their feed with companies like Ask
- keeping a greater percentage of ad revenue from each click
- requiring advertiser display URLs to match ad destination (starting April 1st)
From this graph you can see the sharp rise of click arbitrage quickly fell off when Google decided to work on fixing the problem.
Yahoo! has turned a blind eye to arbitrage for years. Some people who had strong feeds only saw their arbitrage profit margins increase as the weaker players could no longer compete arbitraging Google traffic. And then Yahoo! dropped a bomb, announcing that arbitrage to their ad feeds is now against their TOS and Parked.com confirmed it.
The biggest distributed ad networks do not want to buy any traffic that is bought directly via similar networks. These companies are cutting their short term revenues in an attempt to make their ad ecosystem healthier. On multiple occasions I have logged into Yahoo! Search Marketing to see a random multi-hundred dollar spend on a keyword that typically costs under $1 a day. I, for one, am glad to see this crap die. But it died a few years too late.
Google and Yahoo want a direct relationship with publishers and merchants. They hate virtually any type of affiliate that is not a highbrow relationship. More power to the organic players, and please static text links instead!
Gain a Competitive Advantage Today
Your top competitors have been investing into their marketing strategy for years.
Now you can know exactly where they rank, pick off their best keywords, and track new opportunities as they emerge.
Explore the ranking profile of your competitors in Google and Bing today using SEMrush.
Enter a competing URL below to quickly gain access to their organic & paid search performance history - for free.
See where they rank & beat them!
- Comprehensive competitive data: research performance across organic search, AdWords, Bing ads, video, display ads, and more.
- Compare Across Channels: use someone's AdWords strategy to drive your SEO growth, or use their SEO strategy to invest in paid search.
- Global footprint: Tracks Google results for 120+ million keywords in many languages across 28 markets
- Historical data: since 2009, before Panda and Penguin existed, so you can look for historical penalties and other potential ranking issues.
- Risk-free: Free trial & low price.