Monday, November 28, 2005

Blended Ads

Saturday, November 26, 2005 - review
content [0-10]: 3
ad layout [0-10]: 5
Made For AdSense: No

Made For AdSense? Nah. The site predates AdSense. If anything I'd (jokingly) call it a "made for affiliate" site, since it's had Amazon affiliate ads longer than AdSense ads.

But I don't care about that. I'm interested in reviewing, because it's part of Chris Beasley's network of sites. He's a self-described successful and respected webmaster, so I figured I'd review one of his sites. has mostly static content. It doesn't need to be updated very often (if at all), because it's a series of short articles about fitness training (obviously). I'm not a fitness expert, so I'll give the site the benefit of the doubt that it's useful information. My criteria for the review is that the content is unique, or at least uniquely organized. I searched around for a phrase from the front page: "fitness problems such as obesity and overweight"

There are many results with that phrase, most importantly The President's Recommendations for Improving Physical Fitness. I'm going to have give the White House credit for this one. As for the rest of the fitness articles, I didn't research those, but will just assume they're not all that original.

For the ad layout, I would have rated it higher if it were just a matter of the AdSense and Amazon. However, it also includes pop-ups, and I hate pop-ups. If you're going to throw every imaginable type of ad at a visitor, I'm guessing you don't expect the visitors to stick around for long.

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Friday, November 25, 2005

Referer spam

My blog must be on some referer spam list, probably accessed through a web page somewhere.

Referer spam is when someone falsifies the HTTP Referer field with their website URL to make it look like they've linked to my page.

Edited: I'm beginning to wonder if people are just wandering by from the Blogger "Next Blog" option. If so, then sorry to anybody I had previously listed here.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005 - review
content [0-10]: 2
ad layout [0-10]: 5
Made For AdSense: No

Why is a source for Google News?

They don't write their own articles. I can't tell if it's scraped or syndicated, but either way I put little value in the site. Sure there is the ability to vote and to leave comments, but the whole thing seems like a boilerplate system. There are probably thousands of sites just like this one out there.

So I'll ask the question again. Why is a source for Google News?

Once you get past the front page, you'll find the advertisements, which is a mix of Chitika and AdSense. It's a very in-your-face ad layout. I don't know why but Google encourages this sort of thing.

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Monday, November 21, 2005

Digg Begging

Digg is a cool news aggregator site. People submit stories. People "digg" stories. People view popular stories on the front page. The problem arises when people try to game the system.

It starts with Digg Spamming, which is the process of repeatedly submitting one's own links.

That doesn't get a spammer too far, because not a lot of attention is paid to links off the front page. So enterprising submitters will take it to another level. I'll call it Digg Begging: the practice of asking others to digg a link.

digg me!

No, digg me!

Don't listen to them, digg all of us!

I can't really complain. Digg is a fine way to promote a site (even if some folks say it isn't great for generating revenue). The problem I have with Digg spamming/begging is right now it may only be almost-Made-For-AdSense site submissions, but down the line it could become overrun with real spammers.

My advice to Digg users? Utilize the "problem" report feature to weed out the bad links.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Click My Ads

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Blog spammers

I had to turn on the Blogger option to moderate comments, because I've been getting blog spam.

Blog spamming is when someone leaves a generic comment in a blog just to include a link to their site. It's usually done with an automated tool, some totally automated, and some partially automated. They try to make it look like they're making a relevant comment by including the title of my blog post, but everything else about the post is from a template.

To the owners of the following sites, find a more productive way of promoting your garbage.


The * was added to prevent links.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005 - review
content [0-10]: 0
ad layout [0-10]: 0
Made For AdSense: Yes

"I'm researching to see if Adsense can actually generate revenue. Click Any Ad That Interests YOU!"

For someone who's claiming to do research, he/she certainly didn't research Google's TOS (terms of service) too well.

For anyone who's not familiar with Google's rules, check out the Terms and Conditions and Program Policies. In the policies (as of November 8, 2005), it says:
Web pages may not include incentives of any kind for users to click on ads. This includes encouraging users to click on the ads or to visit the advertisers' sites as well as drawing any undue attention to the ads. For example, your site cannot contain phrases such as "click here," "support us," "visit these links," or other similar language that could apply to any ad, regardless of content.

It probably won't be long before Google cancels that AdSense account.

Update: First Google canceled the AdSense account, then Google (or the blog owner) canceled the blog, so it's gone now.

The following image is a scaled down screenshot of the page as it used to be.

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Friday, November 04, 2005

Made For AdSense - Opinions

Many people have an opinion about what a Made For AdSense site is.

My current stance: A site with any type of advertisements (not just AdSense - though AdSense may be the most prevalent) that fits the following criteria.

- No real content. Either autogenerated sentences or scraped (stolen) content.
- Lots of autogenerated pages with the same content but different keywords. The page names are keyword rich also.

- The content is human-generated, but sparse and paraphrased from other sources.
- The ads are made to look like content.

The borderline criteria is debatable, but ask yourself the following question when judging a site.

Is the content so terrible that visitors would rather click on an ad than to spend one more minute at the site?

I'm not talking about "terrible" content like political opinions you might disagree with or novelty sites with silly premises. I mean a content site about a particular subject that is so elementary or nonsensical that 99.9% of people would think it's useless. A site like that only has one purpose: Made For AdSense.


Hey Jean-Claude, normally I would consider that comment spam, but since I have read Eric Giguere's website (and since you're his father), I'll let it slide.

Some of his pages discuss Made For AdSense, such as What is an AdSense "content page"?

However, I still pose the question to everyone else. What do you think is a Made For AdSense site? Look over some of the sites I've reviewed here in my blog.


In response to a comment, I've removed the links to ImageShack for each screencap.