Isn’t it interesting how every time that Google clamps down on Adsense/Adwords arbitrage a flurry of fantastic and irresistible (for newbie marketers that is) arbitrage offers suddenly flood the internet? But more on that later, for now let me explain what Adsense arbitrage is just in case you don’t know.
Google runs the largest and most popular pay-per-click advertising model on the internet, commonly known as Google Adwords. The attraction of Google Adwords and other pay-per-click models is that you can draw almost instantaneous traffic to your website or blog. This is extremely convenient for those webmasters whose sites are new because getting relevant traffic to your internet real estate is perhaps the biggest challenge for most new internet marketers.
Pay-per-click advertising models such as Google Adwords require the advertiser to bid a certain amount on a particular keyword in order to get their ad strategically located on the SERPs (search engine results pages). For a better/higher placement of your ad on the SERPs you need to bid more for whatever keyword you’re targeting. Every time someone clicks on an advertiser’s ad, they are immediately transferred to the desired destination url that the advertiser designated when setting up that ad.
Also every time someone clicks on an ad, the advertiser is billed the amount they bid or sometimes less; hence the name pay-per-click advertising. The drawback to pay-per-click advertising is that if you are not careful you can rack up some pretty substantial fees with little profit to show for it.
The flip side of Google Adwords is Google Adsense. In actual fact Google Adsense ads are really Google Adwords, save for the fact they are located on individual websites and blogs as opposed to the search engine results index page (same thing as SERPs).
Google Adsense is an extra-monetization system for webmasters who display such ads (Adsense ads are what are known as Adwords For Content) on their sites. Webmasters (Publishers) get paid the amount the advertiser bid to have that ad displayed minus Google’s cut of course, which is 50%!
PLAYING THE ARBITRAGE GAME
As you can see there’s a strong correlation between Google Adwords and Google Adsense which so happens to be the basis of the whole Adsense arbitrage technique. Wily marketers realized that if they could bid on cheap Adwords and send a lot of traffic from there to MFAs (Made-For-Adsense sites), which traditionally had little else on them except high paying Adsense ads, then those marketers could make a killing! And many of them did!
GOOGLE YELLS: ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!
But soon enough, because of abuse of the Adwords/Adsense system, many advertisers jumped ship and took their business elsewhere. Of course Google was not happy with this turn of events because this resulted in a substantial loss of revenue for them, thus by incremental degrees they clamped down on those sites that were abusing the system. But it seemed that every check they put in place was countered by the wily Adsense profiteers.
For example a while back Google implemented the Adwords quality-landing-page algorithm, which basically was aimed at Google Adsense templates and MFAs, as well as nullifying the system of buying wholesale cheap (irrelevant) traffic with the sole purpose of getting said traffic to click on the Adsense ads that-more-or-less constituted the destination website in its entirety!
The way in which the Google Adwords quality-landing-page algorithm worked was as follows: if Google determined that a website offered little useful content (in other words was nothing more than an MFA); or if the content on the destination website widely varied from the description of the targeted keyword of the Adword ad from whence the traffic originated, then Google made sure that the webmasters of such offending websites had to bid much more for their Adwords keywords than the amount they made as Adsense revenue when someone clicked on the ads on their sites.
The Adsense profiteers countered this move by abandoning Google Adwords altogether in favor of other pay-per-click models such as Yahoo Publisher Network, Kanoodle and Miva (to mention but a few) where they could still bid cheaply for keywords with which to direct traffic to their MFAs and Adsense Template sites!
Inevitably, Google has finally reached the point of zero tolerance! Where beforehand they’d been treating Adsense profiteers with something akin to kids gloves, now they’ve adopted the big stick approach and ripped off those glove! As of June 1, 2007 Google has indefinitely suspended (interpret as forever) all Adsense Publisher accounts that it deemed guilty of the crime of conduct unbecoming; in other words those accounts that largely catered to MFAs and Adsense Template sites!
ARBITRAGER’S DESPERATE LAST GAMBLE
The Adsense arbitragers know that the game is up, but that does not mean they are going out meekly or quietly! Remember how I remarked at the beginning that isn’t it strange how any time Google shuts down or modifies a system-under-abuse, those responsible for that abuse suddenly litter the internet with a proliferation of outrageous money-generating offers based on that shut down system. Case-in-point is the get-google-adwords-free call to arms! Me thinks the sole reason for this call-to-arms is that the webmaster concerned has been shut out of his/her lucrative money-generating source and is looking for a final payday from the unwary.
My advice to you if you are tempted to fall for this evident scam is: Think carefully! Do you really think that Google got where they are (Number 1 in the search engine business) by allowing marketers to profiteer from a supposed loophole to the tune of 87 million dollars?
You can also bet that a lot of Adsense arbitrage marketers are going to migrate to other pay-per-click systems, such as Yahoo Publisher Network and other lesser pay-per-click alternatives! But it is my belief that they will find little fortune there too, because common sense tends to dictate that those businesses won’t encourage such activity either. I mean let’s get real, if marketers on those other networks feel that their dollars are being wasted as they were on the Adsense network, they’ll jump ship once again!
Google has made a bold and long overdue overhaul to its pay-per-click system, and with any luck advertisers will start migrating back to Adsense which should benefit those Adsense publishers with genuine content sites as well as Google.