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Google, Submission AdSense and NoFollow Letdown 104

John Battelle is reporting on his blog that word has leaked about a possible new API from Google that would allow sites to distribute AdSense earnings to individual members based on submissions or participation. From the article: "To toss a bit of cold water here, however, I've never seen UGC sites as the least bit driven by money. They are driven by pride, the desire to be first, reputation, whuffie. But dollars? That often screws it all up. I guess we'll get to see soon enough..." Relatedly many users are calling the 'nofollow' tag "Google's embarrassing mistake". Justin Mason is just one of many to take a look at the current status of nofollow and what may still be in store for that particular tool.
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Google, Submission AdSense and NoFollow Letdown

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  • Re:THIRD! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MountainMan101 ( 714389 ) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @02:14PM (#15437473)
    Post you VISA card number, expiry date and 3 digit security number, we'll credit you. Please ignore any temporary additions to your statement.
  • by orangeguru ( 411012 ) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @02:14PM (#15437480) Homepage
    Before Google cranks out another money making extension it should concentrate more on preventing click fraud AND provide tools for websites using AdSense to protect themselves. I know now several sites now that have been kicked out from AdSense - because of Click Fraud - but Google offers no tools, no insights, no answers and no support for those kicked out. Ever tried to talk someone from Google's 'customer service'? No eMail addresses, hardly any responses, mostly ignorance.

    Google like to run anything on autopilot and pure technology - no human contact and no problems please. So this will be another Google technology I will ignore, because I can't stand the company and it's current attitude behind it. 'Don't be evil' should be renamed into 'simply ignore everyone'.
  • by malibucreek ( 253318 ) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @02:15PM (#15437486) Homepage
    I don't want to imagine the c--p that people will post if they think real money is available. And let's not get started on the click fraud incentive here.

    I prefer to *quietly* reward top posters on my sites by offering them paid gigs, but only after they've proven themselves.
  • Easier click fraud (Score:1, Insightful)

    by crummyname ( 977083 ) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @02:17PM (#15437516)
    Why bother setting up entire web sites to generate fake clicks? Just submit content to a bunch of these revenue-sharing sites and hide under the cover of their traffic. Spammer's paradise!
  • by iogan ( 943605 ) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @02:19PM (#15437535) Homepage
    Like some forums I hang out at. I'd give a link, but I'm not entirely sure it's not against the Adsense TOS, so I'll refrain. But I think it could be a pretty good idea.

    Imagine it at work @ Slashdot though: 5+ Funny == 5+ bucks.. I could get into that..
  • by paulthomas ( 685756 ) * on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @02:20PM (#15437545) Journal
    The whole point of the NoFollow Attribute wasn't necessarily to immediately decrease blog-spam -- it was to reduce it's detriment to Google and other indexes.

    In this sense, it has probably succeeded. Sure a reduction in spam would have been nice, but this is still a nice first step. People always say spam is primarily an economic problem, so removing incentives is a good way to snuff it out in the long run.
  • by ylikone ( 589264 ) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @02:33PM (#15437669) Homepage
    Steal insightful content from another site, copy and paste here to your slashdot post, sprinkle in amazon (or other) affiliate links in keywords of your post, get modded +5 insightful, sit back and gain $$$.
  • Nice Headline (Score:5, Insightful)

    by szembek ( 948327 ) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @02:42PM (#15437751) Homepage
    Submitter, poorly-written title and comprehension little
  • by Evro ( 18923 ) <evandhoffman.gmail@com> on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @02:45PM (#15437787) Homepage Journal
    I read the linked article on Mirrordot [mirrordot.org] and I have to say it's stultifying. Google added the "nofollow" tag to indicate that its crawler shouldn't follow the links on a given page. Some ignorant people apparently assumed that this would eliminate comment spam on blogs and other commentable media. When it became evident that it won't, it somehow became the fault of Google - their "embarrassing mistake." Spammers will continue to spam forever, there's no reason for them to stop. And this statement [tweney.com] is even more stupifying:
    Worse, nofollow has another, more pernicious effect, which is that it reduces the value of legitimate comments. Here's how:

    Why should I bother entering a comment on your blog, after all? Well, I might comment because you're my friend. But I might also want some tiny little reward for participating in a discussion, contributing to the content on your site, and generally enhancing the value of the conversational Web. That reward? PageRank, baby. But if your blog uses the nofollow tag, you've just eliminated that tiny little bit of reciprocity. Thanks, but no thanks. I'd rather just comment on my own blog. And maybe, if you're lucky, I'll link back to you.
    So people only post on web forums for "greedy" reasons? If that's your motivation then I'm glad you won't be posting anywhere. If your comment isn't worth making just for the point you're trying to convey then I'd rather you keep it to yourself than just post to boost your own PageRank... your post is only marginally better than the spam you're complaining about anyway.
  • by FLEB ( 312391 ) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @02:50PM (#15437837) Homepage Journal
    Wha'? Courts? Trials? That is so pre-9/11.
  • Re:Nice Headline (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Windsinger ( 889841 ) <`ten.enilnotpo' `ta' `xohp'> on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @02:50PM (#15437842) Homepage
    I thought the RSS feed for it had corrputed. This is really bad.
  • by curunir ( 98273 ) * on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @02:55PM (#15437890) Homepage Journal
    While nofollow failed to stop comment spam, that doesn't mean that it failed. On the contrary, it worked quite well. It's only bloggers who still have a comment spam problem that believe it failed. Contrary to the begged question, nofollow was never intended to stop comment spam. It was only intended to stop comment spam from affecting page rank. This is an important distinction.

    Comment spam that affects page rank is Google's problem. Comment spam that doesn't have anything to do with page rank is not Google's problem. Google provided a mechanism to bloggers to eliminate a nuisance caused by Google's page rank algorithm. At that point, comment spam is no longer motivated by Google's page rank algorithm.

    This blog entry is nothing but sour grapes that Google didn't solve their problem for them.
  • by Bogtha ( 906264 ) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @03:03PM (#15437968)

    It relied on near-universal implementation. If even 50% of blogs, wikis, etc. used nofollow, it would still be worth the spammers' effort to blast comment spams to the entire net.

    I don't believe this is the case. Comment spammers have a tendency to write scripts to bulk submit comments to particular locations across multiple hosts like /submit-comment.php that correspond to popular weblog software. You can't just "blast comment spams to the entire net", you need to target particular implementations. And when those implementations have nofollow, there's no point (at least for pagerank purposes).

    Sure, the spammer might just target different weblog software instead, but that deters them from targeting you, and the developers of that weblog software have the opportunity of doing the same as you.

    What nofollow could have been useful for is a simple "I don't endorse this link" statement

    This was actually suggested [philringnalda.com] before Google implemented nofollow, but for some reason Google chose a crappy halfway measure.

  • by paulthomas ( 685756 ) * on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @03:04PM (#15437982) Journal
    I think that is a decision for the managers of blogs and forums to make. I have no financial interest in WOXY.com, and I think it is a little different than selling VAL/UM and PRoZ^ ck. In addition, they offer free streams and free forums.
  • by Momoru ( 837801 ) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @03:29PM (#15438196) Homepage Journal
    PageRank itself is the problem. It worked in 98 before everyone knew about it, now that they know the tricks, every search brings up forums and spam instead of the most relevant site. AdSense made the problem worse by letting spam sites turn an easy profit. Surely with all those PHD's there Google can come up with a more modern solution. Otherwise...wheres the next Google? Clusty.com ?

The best defense against logic is ignorance.