Saturday, December 10, 2005

Yahoo! Burning Rubber

Yahoo! is still in the lead with 2 day old content indexed. Both Yahoo! and MSN are changing my opinion of their search engines as they both still seem to be updating much faster than Google and probably the better places to locate more recent information. It would seem that Google has become a large sloth-like behemoth that just can't get the lead out of its' pants while Yahoo! and MSN are running rings around it.

Maybe we'll check again in a few months as weekly monitoring at this point shows no change in performance with Yahoo always first, MSN a close 2nd and Google languishing in la-la land.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Chitika - turning page views into pennies

Started experimenting with Chitika eMiniMalls this month on a single web page with a decent amount of traffic and the results are in and it's pale compared to AdSense, not even close.

Chitika payments are obviously better than nothing but if they audit the payouts down to nothing, which AdSense doesn't do, then it's not even worth keeping on the site.

I'm rounding these numbers for ease of typing:

Chitika: $1.00
AdSense: $22.00

Chitika: $3.00
AdSense: $29.00

Chitika: $1.00
AdSense: $36.00

Chitika: $2.00
AdSense: $23.00

Guess I'll experiment with Chitika a bit more before tossing it in the circular file and see if I can get the revenue up higher as some claim it's possible.

Stay tuned for more...

FuckedCompany is Fucked

Not sure when it started going downhill but FuckedCompany, the long time dot com dead pool industry pundit web site is definitely fucked and the few remaining natives are restless. The site used to get all sorts of Internal Memos that you could read for a subscription fee but that hasn't been updated since 12/9/2004 so it's definitely past it's expiration date.

Pud moved on to his latest money grubbing efforts at AdBrite and appears to have put some second rate moron in charge of Fucked Company. Then recently the oh-so-popular and overflowing community section entitled the 'Happy Fun Slander Corner' was remodeled and all of a sudden the happy fun slander has left the corner and posting is almost non-existent. The final signs of decay is that FuckedCompany's daily page impressions and ad rates as reported by AdBrite itself show that the site traffic is in the shitter.

Damn Pud, my web site gets more traffic than that!

The straw that broke the camels back that this site has really jumped the shark is the idiotic Infect-o-matic service they're hawking on the home page. In past years this would've been used by thousands of idiots in the first day but this feature has been online about a week now since I noticed it and less than 800 people have used it at this writing.

To send up one of my old favorite web sites in style:

Has jumped the shark and the 'Thousands messages are posted daily' have dried up and blown away.
Severity: 60
Points: 160

Died of Natural Causes when someone forgot to feed it in 2005.
Points: 200
New Hall of Fame Inductee

It was fun while it lasted, good luck with AdBrite!

Kudos to FeedBurner Support

The other day FeedBurner was malfunctioning and thus came the obligatory rant but today Jessie Chavez from FeedBurner actually responded to my complaint on this very blog!

The FeedBurner support dept. seems to be a class act, kudos to you!

AdSense Quantity vs AdWords Quality

The scope of the irony of Google's latest Adwords changes is slowly settling in as the AdWords advertisers are now being held up to scrutiny for quality landing pages yet the AdSense community can still post those 'quality' ads on any old crap web site.

If Google thinks "It's not a great experience." for ads to take visitors to misleading pages then how about the AdSense hucksters that do the same thing?

There are many web sites snaring unsuspecting visitors with Made for AdSense sites (MFAs) that have little or no content whatsoever and some try to mask the ads as the actual content!

Makes you really wonder why there is such a double standard with the only quality requirements being placed on the advertisers while many of the so-called publishers that are busy scraping content from other websites and spamming search engines doing more serious harm to the AdSense content network and internet advertising landscape in general than a thousand misleasing ads will ever cause.

Perhaps that quality shoe is about to drop on the AdSense community next.

We can only hope!

AdWords Quality Ending Arbitrage?

Google sent some shockwaves thru the AdWords community yesterday claiming that they're going to base how much advertisers are charged on the quality of the landing page! The reason for this change is described as how Google is trying to "improve our users' experience" and rambles on about people not finding what they're looking for when clicking on an ad.

So what exactly does this mean?

If you land on a page full of Google ads, affiliate banners and links is that not what the user is looking for?

Big shock.

Perhaps Google is targeting the most heinous of the misleading landing pages where the user clicks an ad for "Baby Stollers" and lands on a page for those high paying mesothelioma ads.

To clarify what is meant by a quality landing page there's this nifty new web design tips page that makes it all as clear as mud. What you really have to love is that Google has raised the bar of ambiquity to an art form so they can charge whichever advertisers they want whatever they want or drop them altogether as the guidelines are meaningless.

Considering advertisers don't spend money unless they're making money in return (ROI) the misleading landing pages would seem to cause their own demise from being economically impractical. Therefore, these so-called misleading landing pages must be converting visitors by getting them to do something that the advertiser wants. The only thing that comes to mind is AdSense and affiliate arbitrage where an ad drives someone to a web page with nothing the visitor is directly looking for except more ads to click on that will theoretically get them to the actual products, goods and services.

Well, what's wrong with that?

Arbitrage, for those of you new to the concept, is when an inexpensive ad is purchased to direct visitors to a page or website full of better paying ads. For instance, the advertiser pays $0.05 to get a visitor to click on someone else's ad paying $1.00 and gets the profit share from AdSense.

More importantly, at some level these arbitrage advertisers may be performing a valuable service to get visitors to the right advertisers, as their bids are too low to compete and display on the same page, meaning these visitors are already landing in the wrong place when looking for something.

The only thing to do is wait and see how these new cryptic rules will be applied but it appears that AdSense arbitrage, unless being done extremely well, may be heading for the history books.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

FeedBurner Reporting is Whacked

For the last couple of months I've been using FeedBurner to track my RSS feeds and suddenly today the 'Content Item Traffic Details' which has always shown daily click thrus shows NOTHING has been clicked.

So I tell it to show me a report from 'Earliest to Date' and it still shows NOTHING with this insightful message:

P.S. Stats seem low? Yahoo is currently working on a fix for reporting your My Yahoo subscribers.
My stats aren't just low, they are MISSING YOU FUCKING MORONS!

AdSense Darwin Award Nomination

How bad can a web site want to stay in AdSense when they violate 2 rules at the same time?

This directory site has a new feature called AutoSurf that frames other sites with AdSense in the frame which is a huge violation of the AdSense T&Cs and then the page auto-refreshes every 30 seconds which reloads a new AdSense ad too, another violation.

Just hang a big sign on your site "BAN ME! BAN ME!" and get it over with.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

AdSense Site Targetng Can Seriously Damage Earnings

The AdSense support team keeps regurgitating the party line that site targeting "increases your revenue potential" as advertisers have to bid higher to get direct ad placement on your web site. Furthermore, support claimed that after I took a nasty decrease in earnings that it would've been even worse if people weren't directly bidding on my site.

Guess what you geniuses, when I'm losing money so are you so don't spout rhetoric at me when I'm telling you WE have a serious problem on my web site that can be backed up with a year of AdSense statistics telling a different story than your coporate line.

One word sums it up: HOGWASH

The original premise with Google Adwords was that Google would give all the ads a trial run on their search pages and only release the best converting ads into the content network. Now anyone that can bid the highest to site target and literally overrun your web site with ads based on bids alone, regardless of whether or not the ads are relevant or convert.

From Google's own AdSense web site:

Keep your users coming back with contextually targeted ads.

You want to make more money from advertising, but you don't want to serve untargeted ads to your users. Google AdSense™ solves this problem by automatically delivering text and image ads that are precisely targeted to your site and your site content—ads so well-matched, in fact, that your readers will actually find them useful.

That sure worked when that's all AdSense did.

For instance, a new meta search engine started running their off topic ads and they were showing up all over my site one weekend. Revenue took a nose dive but luckily I keep an eagle eye on my earnings and when it was down by 75% at noon I went looking at what could be going wrong. Traffic was normal but a couple of ads certainly weren't.

Dropped a few apparently site targeted ads in the competitive ad filter and my earnings started increasing again as soon as AdSense filtered them out, which can take up to 4 hours while your site is being held hostage by spammy advertisers. Basically, the earnings for the day were shot to hell but it rebounded and I've been keeping a close eye on anything that appears to be site targeted ads ever since.

The real issue is when you have a very specific niche web site that your visitors just won't click on any old spammy ad as they are on your web site for a purpose and the ads need to be contextual and appeal to your audience. That's what built AdSense in the first place and now Google is bouncing all over the map with features that let spammy advertisers muck up the place.

Typical example of Google trying to fix what was never broken.

Even the AdSense Forum on WebmasterWorld is finally starting to realize what's happening although I saw the potential for problems the first day AdSense released this new feature but it took other people a while to catch on.

The basic problem with site targeting is that the webmaster needs the ability to approve which ads run and which ads don't to control the situation. The current implementation actually gives advertisers more control over your website with AdWords than you have in AdSense!

I guess that's the philosophical difference between products like AdBrite which gives the website owner total control versus AdSense which treats webmasters like mushrooms, keeping them in the dark and feeding them lots of shit.

2005 Stuffies - Keyword Stuffing Award

The first nomination for a Stuffy award goes to MMK Host, just scroll down the page and try not to snort soft drinks out your nose.

Yahoo Aggressively Indexing

I've been monitoring the search engines to see which one is the most agressive at indexing this blog and it seems Yahoo is way out front with 2 day old content indexed and searchable, with MSN's index a day behind and Google pulling up in the rear.

Why this is fascinating in my opinion as Yahoo seems to want to be the big aggregator of information and is really stepping up to the plate. Perhaps it has something to do with a lot of people using My Yahoo to monitor their RSS feeds and it would make sense to try to get anything seen in the feeds searchable as soon as possible just like they do with Yahoo News.

Needless to say, Yahoo has been quite impressive over the last couple of weeks since I started this and I'm going to keep monitoring for a couple of weeks and see if they're the consistent leader.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Prefetch Blocking Bullshit

Firefox is starting to really annoy the hell out of me as I installed the prefetch blocking code into my site and it appears some browsers are still prefetching regardless. Best I can tell at this time it appears somehow about 4 visitors tonight prefetched without telling my web server "X-moz: prefetch" so this spec seems to look better on paper that in reality.

Checked the web logs and it definitely wasn't a rogue bot hitting my site with a fake agent string.

Hope it's a bug on my side but if not, I may just let them fall in the spider trap.

AdSense Undersells Your Site's Worth - NONSENSE!

While I agree with the basic premise that AdSense doesn't work for everyone, Jason Miller's article on WebProNews about AdSense lowering site-self-esteem just about made me spit soda on my screen. It appears in the current state of news you can collect a few interesting anecdotal tidbits from a couple of industry pundits and without further researching the topic call it gospel and post it as newsworthy.

Not only does AdSense not lower the self esteem of many web sites, I'd hazard a guess it does just the opposite and raises the amount of quality offers available to visitors. There are many advertisers that wouldn't normally be able to offer direct advertising on the many thousands of web sites due to the logististics of managing the sheer volume of sites and wouldn't be interested in the low traffic many of them have. AdSense thus is broadening the reach of advertisers to AdSense publishers that would normally be unable to compete for that revenue.

Many of the webmasters using AdSense successfully seem to be in a similar league and appear reasonably satisfied with the income AdSense generates. That doesn't mean they couldn't possibly generate more income via direct marketing efforts but what has to be considered is the amount of overhead dedicated to such efforts opposed to generating new content. Jason's article glosses over that a small website operation can't cover all the bases of both content generation and advertising sales without seriously impacting some aspect of their websitewhich would suffer from neglect and would in turn create the very low site-self-esteem he's telling us to avoid!

Let's look at the state of advertising in general from my point of view as my primary web site isn't a big fish that has a ton of advertisers banging on the door, more of a medium sized fish with 400K visitors a month which is a very good sized niche audience with a stable of regular advertisers. Instead of spending an excessive amount of time trying to expand my base of direct advertisers, AdSense gives me access to many advertisers that I possibly couldn't attract directly. Not to mention AdSense provides a nice daily CPM rate ranging from $12-$16 which is comparable to what CPM banners went for back in the dot com glory days.

Although my website is one of the rare hybrids with a combination of AdSense and direct advertising, new services like AdBrite have been changing that. Adbrite let's publishers sell advertising directly and still not have to hassle with issues like credit card accounts, ecommerce or billing and charge a low 25% fee for their services. However, when you look at the rates most AdBrite publishers are charging it makes AdSense cash look pretty good by comparson. It really doesn't appear that AdSense is underselling quality websites at this time but if and when AdSenses does undersell they'll probably get the boot by a number of publishers..

From posts in many AdSense forums it would appear that most of the webmasters that complain the loudest about AdSense payments are those doing websites for a pure advertising play called Made for AdSense (MFA) sites. They just crank out garbage sites intended to game the search engines and snare a top 10 position just to get visitors to click the link to their site and hopefully click the AdSense ads as they run screaming from the useless website. These are the same webmasters most likely also complaining about the Google Sandbox which tries to keep these spammy MFA sites out of Googles search results which is ironic if you think about it. Since these sites have no self esteem in the first place they won't command any big bucks from advertisers other than those already spending bucks on the AdWords content network.

That's my opinion, if you disagree drop a comment.

San Francisco's Stupid Traffic News of the Day

It seems that a muni bus in San Francisco splattered some pedestrian that was most likely stepping out in front of traffic against the light like always. If you've ever driven in San Francisco the pedestrians are horrible and scurry all over the streets like cockroaches in a room when you switch on the lights. They don't care if they walk against the light into oncoming traffic and they have almost become hood ornaments on my car on multiple occassions by stepping off a curb while I was in mid turn or in the middle of the interesection just a few feet from running their stupid asses down.

How do the police respond, do they cite jaywalkers and people walking against the light?


The city responds by sending cops out to run around the city all day penalizing your average joe drivers today. Not that these drivers are innocent mind you, but they are a target getting tickets left and right because a city BUS DRIVER, not a car driver mind you, a BUS DRIVER turned one of their citizens into a greasy bug stain.

Give the damn scoflaw pedestrians tickets too as it takes two to make a human hood ornament, not just a driver.

GoogleBot Ignores Robots.txt!

Here's a big shocker that 2 days after I build my new spider trap Google ignores my robots.txt entry and snares itself in the trap.

Simple robots.txt, nothing hard about this test:

User-agent: *
Disallow: /rogue_bots.html
Sure enough my spider trap log for that page shows:
SPIDER AGENT=Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Googlebot/2.1; +
Bad, bad Google, tsk tsk.

Monday, December 05, 2005

No Analytics in Blogger?

What a joke, I know nobody reads this crap anyway but there's not even a simple visitor count that I can find in blogger to prove that nobody loves me. My first bright idea was to add this site to my Google Analytics account but those lame asses have 'Add Website Profile' disabled.

Not to be stopped by Google's Analytics shortcomings I just did a quick search on free web site analytics and clicked on the first one and installed StatCounter which seems to be pretty decent for what I need assuming anyone ever visited this blog.

Looks like I'm just talking to myself, oh well.

Firefox Prefetch Steps in Spider Trap

Now that I've built and installed my Spider Trap there was one surprising thing that happened which was quite unexpected. I appear to have snared some Firefox users in the spider trap due to that stupid bandwidth wasting prefetch feature crawling the spider trap page.

Looks like I'll need to disable prefetch from accessing my server to avoid snaring unsuspecting users.

To quote Roseanne Rosannadanna quoting her grandmother:
"It just goes to show's always something!

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Google Doesn't Index My Blog?

The previously reported problem about Google not indexing my lastest blog posts is slightly wrong and I'm the first to admit when I'm wrong as Google hasn't indexed ANY of my blog posts in their main index whatsoever! However, Google Blog Search [like anyone uses that] seems to be somewhat up to date with my latest posts opposed to Yahoo! and MSN that have it all in their main index already.

I'm really starting to wonder if they know which end is up at this point.

Google SLOWEST to Index Blogspot?

Talk about stupidity in the indexing department we have to hand the prize to our old buddies at Google. My latest rant "Florida Drinks Cat Piss" written on Dec 3, '05 already appears in the index of both Yahoo! and MSN on Dec 4th.

This begs the question of why Google's two competitors are indexing this site faster than Google itself:

Your search - "florida drinks cat piss" - did not match any documents.

  • Make sure all words are spelled correctly.
  • Try different keywords.
  • Try more general keywords.
Things like this make me wonder if Yahoo and MSN are a lot more serious about becoming the leaders in the search engine market than Google is about holding onto their currently undisputed throne.

Way to go Google, nice black eye.