Monday, December 1, 2008

AdSense Irrelevance

What do pasta, hair coloring, movies, milk, ringtones, horoscopes, web hosting services, meal replacements, and waterless toilets have in common? Two things, actually: (1) Each of these products or services has at one time or another been advertised on PFStock through Google AdSense ads, AND (2) I have never written about any of these topics here on PFStock.

In its promotional material, AdSense promises to put relevant ads on your website, by matching ads to your site's content. They claim that you can earn an undisclosed sum of money through their service. However, there are restrictions to this potentially unlimited stream of revenue for bloggers. For example, I can't ask my readers to "click the ads" or "support us" as that would be a violation of Google's AdSense Program Policies.

However, if anyone is guilty of violating AdSense Program Policies, it is Google itself. How could anybody legitimately claim that any of the above ads are relevant to a personal finance blog?

So, who is making money on AdSense. From my anecdotal conversations with other PF bloggers, it is not the bloggers who are making any money on this. By contrast, I have encountered many web pages that used snippets of text that were literally stolen from this and other PF blogs for what is called a "Made for AdSense" advertising site. Such sites use multiple AdSense ads for the sole purpose of achieving a high rank in the search engine listings. The sites generally make little sense, but include many advertising keywords in the text, with snippets of text stolen from legitimate bloggers. The site owners hope that visitors will click the ads since they get paid per click. In one case an entire blog entry was stolen from my blog, verbatim. I contacted Google AdSense directly about this issue. This was their response:

Thank you for your note. Upon recent review of the website mentioned in
your complaint, we were unable to locate the allegedly infringing
content on the page in question. If this matter is still a concern, please
reply to this email with detailed information to enable us to locate
the allegedly infringing content.

The Google AdSense Team

Apparently the infringing material was removed from their website just before Google had a chance to look at it. But, I suspect that Google is really looking the other way whenever they encounter a site like this. And why shouldn't they? After all, Google makes money from these sites that steal copyrighted material from others. Since the financial rewards of my Google AdSense ads have been disappointing, I may consider other alternatives to AdSense. Does anybody have any suggestions?

Lastly, so that I don't rouse attention from the Google legal department, I feel that I had better post the following disclaimer: This post is not intended to reflect poorly upon Google (AdSense) or otherwise disparage or devalue Google’s reputation or goodwill. Any interpretation thereof is not intentional and exists solely in the mind of the reader.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great Post. Your sentiements are spot on, and I found many of my posts copyright infringed by posts at link building site.

Good to see you back posting, I thought you had stopped (will reply back to your email shortly). Back on my blogroll as well.