I just finished writing my latest column for Revenue magazine. In the article I mention “when Google finally gets serious about producing relevant search results and dumps the no-content Adsense and YPN arbitragers outright, advertising costs for real affiliates (and merchants) should decrease substantially“.
Well, if you've been staying abreast Google's landing page quality guidelines – which some refer to as a ‘Google Slap' – you're aware that according to a September 18th Inside Adwords post, another set of changes was made one week ago that promises to penalize arbitrage sites ‘that are designed for the sole purpose of showing ads'.
So, why did I say ‘when Google finally gets serious‘ about dumping the arbitragers? Well, in the same post they go on to say…
If we receive user complaints about ads for the types of websites listed above, the advertisers of those websites may not be allowed to continue running AdWords ads for those websites.
Which explains why 6 out of 8 Adwords I clicked while doing research for my article still ended up on garbage arbitrage sites. Google won't get rid of them – their visitors are expected to report the useless sites and help Google clean up its own act.
Sheesh – I suspect that the amount arbitragers spend on Adwords is so good that it's worth it to Google to keep wasting their visitors' valuable time for as long as they can.
That's a huge issue, but a bigger issue is that these bad actors cause ad prices to be ridiculously and unecessarily high, sometimes pushing real content-publishing affiliates out of the PPC game.
If you're affected as either a visitor or an affiliate, start making a list of arbitragers that show up under your chosen terms and start reporting them to Google. Let's free up some space and make the ‘net a better place.
BTW, more than just arbitrage sites are being targeted. Visit the Inside Adwords blog to learn more.