There was a discussion of a Google Adsense Terms of Service Violation
(link dead, sorry)
Digital Point where someone said:
What is the purpose of putting in a "Please support our advertisers"
text? If it's to say go to their site and buy their stuff, then
that's great but Google can't tell the difference between that and
"click on it and help us pay the bills."
I think they could.
If they and the advertiser wanted to, they could cooperate on
tracking clicks to goal pages and compute payments to Adsense (and
eventually back to us) on the basis of true conversions our sites
This would not be particularly hard to do, and both advertisers
and honest site owners would probably like it. Advertisers would
pay less for clickthroughs from sites with poor conversions (which
Google could be looking at globally rather than specifically) and
we honest sites would get better payouts for sending good traffic.
is a problem that affects both advertisers (paying for bogus clicks)
an honest ad providers (potential income is siphoned away from us
by the crooks). Creating a reputation system based on conversions
could help combat this.
So how would Google know about conversions? For a lot
of advertisers, they already know. Google Analytics allows advertisers to specify
pages and Adwords ads are automatically tied into those goals.
The infrastructure for this idea is already in place.
Effectively, this would be a reputation system. Let's say an
ad starts out on site X with a potential click value of 20 cents.
If site X has a good reputation, the value stays at 20 cents, but if
not, a participating advertiser might only pay 15 cents.
Not all advertisers would have to participate to make this
useful. Of course the more that did, the easier it would be for
Google to rate an ad publishing site as to the quality of its
clickthroughs. Some advertisers don't have definite goals
that can easily judge the value of a visit, but most do, so if
a good percentage of those signed up on this idea, there would
be more than enough useful data.
Because advertisers would ultimately pay less for less valuable sources,
you might think they'd have an incentive to lie about their goals.
As the reputation system would be global, a sleazy advertiser could
piggy back on the honesty of other advertisers and get clicks from
good sites while fibbing to Google about the value of the clicks
to them. But that's not the point: it would be the globally
calculated value that would determine what the advertiser pays. In
other words, if people from this site are generally reaching
advertisers goals, that's the value. If a specific advertiser
isn't getting conversions, that doesn't matter: they would be paying
based on the global reputation of the sending site.
I wouldn't fall off my chair if Google did something close to this
sooner or later. It's technically not hard, especially with so many
of us already running Google Analytics. Adwords is already tied
into that, so with little effort Google could determine how good
we are at sending valuable traffic.
Google: feel free to steal this idea.
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