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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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  • by Kelson ( 129150 ) * on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @02:20PM (#15437544) Homepage Journal

    There are three main reasons nofollow has failed to stop webspam:

    1. It misjudged the root problem -- page rank isn't the only thing spammers are looking for. This is the main point of Justin Mason's post, if I remember correctly. (I read it at home a few hours ago, before it showed up on ./, and of course now I can't pull it up here.)
    2. 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.
    3. It got applied incorrectly, as a blanket label on all links from non-admins.

    What nofollow could have been useful for is a simple "I don't endorse this link" statement so that you can link to sites you dislike without adding to their fame. But applying it to all user-supplied links in blog comments, slashdot threads, wiki pages, etc. diluted its meaning, and as a result, diluted its usefulness.

  • by liliafan ( 454080 ) * on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @02:32PM (#15437663) Homepage
    I completely agree one of my sites got its adwords shut down because of a minority of people that were making fraudulent clicks, their purpose for doing this? To get my adwords account shutdown. Before these clicks started I had almost $200 in my account from valid clicks they started I got shutdown.

    When I attempted to contact google about this they said they will not provide information that could give away their IP methods. They give you the chance to defend against being shut but give you no information on what you are defending against. It is kinda like going to court to defend against charges being brought against you without knowing what the charges are.

    Now google is giving site users encouragement to promote click fraud, hey if I write an article for this site and they keep clicking the googleads I will get some of that money....*sigh* Google used to be a good company.
  • by tbmcmullen ( 940544 ) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @02:57PM (#15437909)
    I have a hard time following this "they should do x before doing y". As a rather large company, Google has enough to people to work on both x and y at the same time. So this sentiment that "if they're doing x, they must not be doing y" is stupid.

    And I don't want to hear, "oh but I don't see a solution, so they must not be working on y". Bullshit. The issue of ClickFraud is not an easy one to solve. And if you think you can solve it... Then open your own Ad company and put google's ad division out of business.
  • by DrEldarion ( 114072 ) * <[moc.liamg] [ta] [0791uhcsm]> on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @03:07PM (#15438018)
    Imagine it at work @ Slashdot though: 5+ Funny == 5+ bucks.. I could get into that..

    Sure, but it goes both ways. -1 offtopic? Pay up, bucko.

    Incidentally, that would do wonders for spam...

  • by ylikone ( 589264 ) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @03:14PM (#15438084) Homepage
    I once got $50 from single post. BUT... it was close to Christmas and my list included affiliate links to amazon books and it got moderated +5 Interesting. I haven't been able to do that since... but I haven't really tried either. It was a fluke.
  • by Darkman, Walkin Dude ( 707389 ) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @03:48PM (#15438357) Homepage

    Along those lines and speaking of fraud, I was researching a web promotion group, which promises high page results (and seems to deliver too) and I found the most peculiar thing. Take a look at this []. If you look at the results there, there are hundreds of links from sites like, but if you look at the code for these sites, they aren't as such links. The pages don't load in a browser because of an iframe to a non existent site, but if you download the pages via httrack or one of those, you see the a page of bizarre code. An example of that is here (you'll have to look at the page source to see it, I don't know how to show it in slashdot)...

    Spain Car Rental Airport Alicante Car Hire Spain Malaga Faro Car ... []Cheap San Diego Car rental. City Car Rental San Diego: San Diego Airport Car ... Cheap Dallas Exotic Car Rental  " Dallas Fort Worth Airport Car Rental ... port-car-rental.htm Cached [] - Similarpages []

    Has anyone got any idea what is going on here, or how that might affect their page ranking? Should I report them to google?

  • by david.given ( 6740 ) < minus author> on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @05:34PM (#15439355) Homepage Journal
    Has anyone got any idea what is going on here, or how that might affect their page ranking? Should I report them to google?

    Without looking at the sites in question, it sounds like they're detecting the Google spider user-agent and feeding it false information --- which is strictly against the rules. I suppose you should report them, but I don't know if it'll do any good.

    When browsing through the lower rent neighbourhoods of the internet, it's sometimes interesting to set your browser's user-agent to report itself as the Google spider and see what happens.

  • Google "darkmeridian" and basically any slashdot topic for the last year or so that I have posted in and that thread will pop up. The result of Slashdot's high PageRank, the relative uniqueness of my screenname, as well as my pathetic devotion to Slashdot is really scary.

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