- Jun. 21st, 2006
- 0 comments
And, while I can't speak from a tremendous amount of experience in paid advertising (I'm mostly organic), I can state that the traffic I received from AdSense for legal keywords was horrifically bad. Most of the traffic was, indeed, from MFA sites. I was so ticked off that, despite the fact that I was spending other peoples' money (and they didn't say anything), I called them up and complained.
A few things further exacerbated the issue:
1) At the time I was using the content network, Google did not yet allow you to make seperate bids for the content network. This changed shortly after I complained. And while I wouldn't argue I alone had anything to do with that "enhancement," I'm fairly certain my complaint in the aggregate is what prompted them to make this change.
2) MFA sites are really screwing up the content network completely. I don't have as much of a problem with Google accepting blog networks where the sole purpose of generating PPC, but I do have a problem with them accepting garbage sites where it's plainly obvious that their only purpose is to print an AdSense check. You can tell that some of these sites are solely designed to make you want to leave, and make it easier to click an ad than hit the back button. More on that here.
3) There is a typical chicken-egg problem here. Unfortunately, in order to evaluate whether the content network will send garbage traffic from MFA sites, you must run your campaign for a little while to get a statistically significant amount of data. In the legal industry, where the goods aren't a commodity, you may expect a good "conversion" only once every few weeks. Meanwhile, you've spent thousands of dollars. To make matters worse, Google doens't even facilitate the weed-out process, and invites you to review your logs in order to figure out whom you want to exclude. How convenient.
Obviously, Google is concerned about the bottom line here. I don't blame them, but I left AdSense long ago. I suspect that I saw this earlier than most because the legal industry has particularly high CPC, and the MFA ads appeared here first. Unless Google effects some changes, eventually there will be a mass exodus by AdSense advertisers.
AdSense is quickly becoming the virtual 2nd tier of Google CPC, and advertisers will leave. I'd go so far as to say this issue even concerns the spammers — if they all leave you're losing too! Just my 2c.