SEO

Google Targeting AdSense Arbitrage Accounts?

The rumors were heating up over the weekend that Google may be taking steps to curb or shut down the amount of arbitrage which is currently occuring with Google AdSense accounts.

Basically Google AdSense arbitrageurs find inexpensive ways to attract targeted traffic to websites which are designed for high Google AdSense click thru rates. So, if an average visitor to a website costs $.05, and each average visitor generates $.10 in net AdSense revenue, that publisher doubles their money.

On Search Engine Roundtable, Barry Schwartz quotes some current discussions going on in WebmasterWorld forums which show a trend which may result in further action against AdSense arbitrageurs.

They told me my account will be disabled at 1st June, and also added that I’ll receive payment for all outstanding earnings in accordance with the standard AdSense payment schedule….

I to got the “friendly account disablement” email today, May 18. It came out of the blue. It says my business model is not a good fit for AdSense and that the account goes down on June 1. Payment will be made normally though. I am a UPS club+ size publisher.

I will be the first to admit that I have been running substantial arbitrage and MFA sites. They have just grown exponentially lately due to all the efficient AdWords tools. Yet, MFA and arbritage is not a breach of TOS in and of itself right?

I admit that they are not the greatest user experience out there. Yet I do believe they do comply with the specifics of the TOS, there are no blatant breaches. I run dozens of sites/domains with AdSense and I have been careful to abide with the specifics in the letters of the TOS.

Peter DaVanzo of v7n also chimes in:

Arbitrage can provide value – there are examples all over the web, and offline. Advertising buys, local search, affiliate, e-bay stores, and, yes – major search engines – all use arbitrage, to a degree. Arbitrage is a given in any inefficient marketplace – which is all of them.

As far as Adsense goes, it will come down to how the arbitrage is implemented. If there is no value provided to the advertiser, expect to get canned by Google eventually, arbitrage or otherwise. Google have made no secret of the fact that their philosophy orients around providing utility to the end-user, and that includes PPC advertisers. Many made-for-adsense sites provide no utility whatsoever.

Screen Shot 2014 04 15 at 7.21.12 AM Google Targeting AdSense Arbitrage Accounts?
Loren Baker is the Founder of SEJ, an Advisor at Alpha Brand Media and runs Foundation Digital, a digital marketing strategy & development agency.
Screen Shot 2014 04 15 at 7.21.12 AM Google Targeting AdSense Arbitrage Accounts?

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One thought on “Google Targeting AdSense Arbitrage Accounts?

  1. Arbitrage may provide reduced value for the searcher, after they click through all of the ads to finally get to the destination they seek, but I’m very glad that Google is refining what they will allow in their AdSense program.

    Arbitrage of the types involved in this discussion pretty much never provides value for the advertiser.