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Pay-Per-Click Speculation Market Soaring

Zonk posted about 9 years ago | from the making-money-where-you-can dept.

Google 149

Rob writes "Computer Business Review is reporting that the number of web sites being opened purely to publish pay-per-click advertising links from the likes of Google and Yahoo is rocketing, according to VeriSign, which runs the .com and .net domain names." From the article: "Sclavos said that the company will change the way it reports the size of its domain name business, in terms of active registrations, because of the amount of speculation going on. It will reduce the size of the reported registrations by about 2%, he said. 'Names are being bought and then tested against traffic analyzers...The ones that can generate more than the $6 or $7 [registration] fee per year are kept, the other ones are returned within the five day grace period.'"

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149 comments

i must resist the temptation... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13123170)

but i didnt, FIRST POST! weeee

Meanwhile, Pay Per Lick porn market suffering... (3, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | about 9 years ago | (#13123173)

At least I'm doing my part to support it.

-Eric

Pay-per-click (5, Insightful)

GuitarNeophyte (636993) | about 9 years ago | (#13123444)

It's too bad that search engine results are so full of all-advertising sites that good sites tend to fall though the cracks. I've seen a number of pretty-decent websites that didn't show up until the tenth page of a google search just because they weren't "Optimized for search engine traffic". It's annoying.

I read an article a while back that says that anyone who does anything purely for the purposes of making their websites show up higher on search engine results than they should are scammers. I believe it. No matter how whitehat you are, if you're trying to beat the system, you're a scammer. period.

Dumb ol' no-good-content-advertiser-based-websites.

Luke
----
This may be a shameless plug for my website [christiannerds.com] , but at least it's got content.

Linux users: Why bother? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13123185)

I'm a fairly technical user, not a tech god by any stretch of the imagination, but I know my way around. I know how to forward ports on my router, I do all my own XVID rips from Vdub, I can install most Linux distros without a problem, and I'm damned proficient at packages like Photoshop and Illustrator. In addition, I'm a gamer from back in the DOS days, so concepts like editing text files (config.sys, autoexec.bat, etc) don't necessarily scare me.

That said, as much as I like the concept of Linux, I simply will not try it any longer until I hear that a number of problems have been solved.

A) Having to recompile kernels/worrying that apps will be broken by upgrading that kernel. For that matter, I don't want to have to compile anything, ever. Just to make this clear, never. Come up with either something akin to Windows where I click on a standard installer, or make it like Mac where I just drag and drop the folder.

B) Any time I'm forced to drop to a command line, you as a developer have failed. Back 10 years ago, this may have been acceptable. In this day and age, it isn't. Furthermore, while once in a blue moon I may change a text file in Windows, in Linux it's a constant occurence. Again, you have failed.

C) MAN pages do not cut it. Neither does a message board where half the time I'll be called a clueless n00b, 25% of the time I'll be told to use a different distro, and the other 25% of the time I'll get genuinely helpful people giving me contradictory answers. If I'm expected to jump to an alien computing environment you'd best make sure your documentation is up to snuff. Linux sucks in this regard.

I'm an advanced user who's in favor of open source, but the bizarre, arcane, and technical details I have to jump through to achieve the same things that are comparatively simple in Mac or Windows may Linux a deal breaker. You will never, ever, become successful on the desktop until idiocy like this is exorcised from the OS.

Re:Linux users: Why bother? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13123249)

No one is forcing you to change. Stick to what you can handle.

Re:Linux users: Why bother? (-1, Offtopic)

RobertLTux (260313) | about 9 years ago | (#13123293)

okay feeding time in the troll pit (wheres your PPC farm link btw) Point A Invalid: 99% of the time you could just drop the distros .config file in place and then do the make deps && make bzImage&& make modules && make modules install shuffle if you wanted to do a full rebuild and most of that time all you need to do is run make on the directory. Point B Feature Not Bug: I would take any number of text files /command lines over regedit vodoo Point C : 25% of the time the answers are not clear using anything remotely this complicated (and 75% of the time folks need to shut up)

Re:Linux users: Why bother? (-1, Offtopic)

datadriven (699893) | about 9 years ago | (#13123328)

I know I shouldn't feed the trolls but sometimes I can't help myself.

a) Most people tend to compile a kernel "because they can". In the several years I've been using linux I've yet to have a single reason NOT to use the kernel supplied by my distro. YMMV

b) The average user who simply checks their email, browses the web, and composes a few office documents should have plenty of tools to do those tasks included in their distro of choice. The console comes in when installing new software in most cases. By your admission of being an "advanced" user you probably installed some software, which is why you needed the console. If you only used the programs included with the distro you could get by without the console.

c) See b above. If you are only using the programs provided by the distro you will have plenty of help files with each program. Man pages are additional sources of information, not the only source of information.

Re:Linux users: Why bother? (0, Offtopic)

ajs318 (655362) | about 9 years ago | (#13123415)

A. If you don't compile your apps locally, you can't be sure they don't contain nasties. There is nothing wrong with compiling applications. It's only like preparing your own food so you know there are no artificial additives in it. What is already being worked on is a system where you will be able to click on a package, download it and its dependencies, and compile it.

B. There is nothing wrong with the command line. Sometimes it is the most efficient way of giving instructions to the computer. Mandriva has some nice utilities for configuring everything without using a text editor or command line. But you really ought at least to take an interest in what is happening behind the scenes. I can flick open an xterm, start pico and have a config file tweaked and the daemon restarted in less time than it takes for a fancy-schmancy point-and-drool frontend to load up.

C. You are not looking hard enough for the information you seek.

Conclusion: you are either an incorrigible whinger, who needs to be fed with a spoon; or a troll. I recommend that you stick your head up your arse and fart.

Re:Linux users: Why bother? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13123614)

A. If you don't compile your apps locally, you can't be sure they don't contain nasties. There is nothing wrong with compiling applications. It's only like preparing your own food so you know there are no artificial additives in it. What is already being worked on is a system where you will be able to click on a package, download it and its dependencies, and compile it.

And you, of course, do a complete, detailed source code review before compilation to be sure that there are no "nasties" in there, right? What, you trust the site you got the source code from not to give you a version with "nasties" in it? If so, they why not trust a site to give you a compiled program without "nasties" in it, doofus.

Re:Linux users: Why bother? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13123778)

do you read every line of code before you compile? no? then SHUT THE HELL UP WITH THAT NONSENSE ARGUMENT ALREADY.

Re:Linux users: Why bother? (0, Offtopic)

mu22le (766735) | about 9 years ago | (#13124315)

Come on, do not be so rude to him (you are proving one of his points, btw)!!!!
He's a _gamer_, not a linux user, he probably wants to use his pc to _do_ things, nice and smooth. Play Doom 7 or edit a picture or whatever, getting basic things done. And linux is not delivering it.
I am a (kinda) linux nerd, I am willing to spend time looking for compatible hardware, recompiling the kernel to get things faster... he does not.
And, belive it or not, most useres are like him.
And untill the linux comunity does not find a way to give them what they look for they'll be Microsoft most secure market share.

BTW
the parent-parent article states a lot of false assertments (read bull$hit): you can have a nice guy to install application on your system (say, synaptic), for example.

Re:Linux users: Why bother? (0, Offtopic)

wkonkel (796636) | about 9 years ago | (#13124780)

I'm not sure why this post is here... but I'm glad to hear that compiling code yourself is more secure because you don't know what nasties are in the binaries... because I for one look over every single line of code that I compile... all 50 kazillion lines of code for kernel, system tools, x windows, gimp, gnome, and every other piece of software I use! No sir-ry bob! I don't let a single line of code get compiled before I look over it!

Re:Linux users: Why bother? (-1, Offtopic)

pandrijeczko (588093) | about 9 years ago | (#13123418)

Just to put you right on your three statements:

1. Saying apps get broken by the kernel indicates how little you know about Linux. The kernel is an abstraction layer between the operating system and the hardware. Yes, it's quite possible a piece of hardware might stop working following a kernel change but an application will stop working as the result of a library change, more like.

2. You do not like the command line and you are entitled to your opinion. However, the command line exists because of it's power, the fact that commands can be strung together in millions of different ways to achieve precisely what you need. You cannot possibly understand this power unless you are prepared to spend the time to learn what you can do there - if you are not prepared to do that then Linux probably is not for you.

3. Why don't Man pages "cut it"? They're invariably always there, available as online documentation, they're not detailed enough for newbies possibly but then that's what the numerous UNIX and Linux reference books are for. They server a purpose as a quick reference for command usage, they're not there as an educational reference.

Quite frankly, I don't believe you are an advanced user because you quite clearly assume Open Source to be Linux only - what are Firefox, OpenOffice, The GIMP, etc. etc. but three examples of the myriads of Open Source applications that run on Windows as well as Linux?

You seem to be of the mistaken belief that there is some kind of "Linux vs Windows" was going on when, in reality, it's just about having and exercising a choice.

Linux will not just "drop into your lap" while you sit there with you arms folded waiting. If you don't want to use it, fine, you have a choice. But if you do want to use it, then you have to make some effort yourself.

In the meantime, those of us who do realise and use it's power will just get on with doing that, irrespective of your comments.

Re:Linux users: Why bother? (0, Offtopic)

floorgoblin (869743) | about 9 years ago | (#13123727)

While all the other replies to this have good points, the original poster does too. If Linux is going to become a truly viable option versus mac or Windows, than it needs to be accessible to those who don't like command lines or reading numerous Linux refernce books... that doesn't mean that Linux should not have a command line, obviously, but it wouldn't hurt to provide greater automation and an interface that even the layfolk can use easily, without sacrificing any of the more complex (and powerful) capabilities that Linux posesses. Personally, I think the open source world would benefit from being opened up to everyone (like Firefox, for example). People say, if you don't like spyware, switch to Linux, but then say if you don't like command lines, go shove it.

Re:Linux users: Why bother? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13124293)

"but it wouldn't hurt to provide greater automation and an interface that even the layfolk can use easily"

KDE, anyone? ... or how about Gnome or Fluxbox or fvwm, hell, any of the countless other window managers?

Re:complex? (0, Offtopic)

symbolic (11752) | about 9 years ago | (#13124995)

without sacrificing any of the more complex (and powerful) capabilities that Linux posesses

This is what I find rather ironic. The very nature of complexity implies that we should know a little bit about what we're doing before we actually do it. I don't believe there is anything that will step in and understand this stuff for you, on Windows, Linux, or any other operating system. You can make the process less cumbersome, but if you don't understand the consequences, you're still in the same boat.

Taking market share from legitimate sites? (4, Interesting)

vidarlo (134906) | about 9 years ago | (#13123193)

This can only go on as long as few enough do. When enough people start doing this, google can tell sites wanting to much money for their adspace to go stic it up. Then, legitimate sites will get hurt, advertising in general will be hurt since those fake sites is mainly a hoax.

Further, it is quite irritating, as most of those sites don't have a single piece of information. I remember a while ago a blog set up to earn money. The blog was about asbestos damage. Quite OK if they can provide content in addition to the ads. However, my guess is that google will ban sites not having any content /other/ than their ads.

Re:Taking market share from legitimate sites? (4, Informative)

Eric Giguere (42863) | about 9 years ago | (#13123265)

my guess is that Google will ban sites not having any content /other/ than their ads

That's already the case -- you can't normally display AdSense [memwg.com] ads on a site if the site doesn't have any content. If Google notices this or if someone reports it, they'll ask you to take off the ads or lose your AdSense account.

That said, Google and other third parties do offer domain parking facilities that explicitly allow you to show ads. But you have to explicitly sign up for that kind of program.

I don't know how any of this would be considered "illegitimate" use of domain names, though. It's the price you pay with an open market.

Eric

Re:Taking market share from legitimate sites? (3, Interesting)

khakipuce (625944) | about 9 years ago | (#13123408)

When enough people start doing this, google can tell sites wanting to much money for their adspace to go stic it up

Google does not negotiate a price for ad space. The way it works (on Google at least) is basically the more an advertiser pays the higher up the list/more likely to get seen the ad is. When a link is clicked Google charges the advertiser and pays a proportion to the site that has syndicated the ads.

This means that Google gets paid whatever. The only thing Google has to worry about is sites generating clicks falsely - as in, I set up a site and sit there all day clicking the Google ads to generate revenue from Google. But Google checks the spread of time, IP addresses etc. and refuses to pay if it thinks the clicks are not genuine.

The thing that I can't figure out is who goes to a contentless site and starts click the ads? I very rarely click ads anyway, but to do it from a crap site just seems really dumb.

Re:Taking market share from legitimate sites? (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | about 9 years ago | (#13123591)

The thing that I can't figure out is who goes to a contentless site and starts click the ads?

Somebody searching for something on the web (preferably from a search engine other than google...), and stumbling across your site by "accident". As the only contents are the ads, chances are that the visitor will click on one of them if they are interested in the subject.

Now the tricky part is:

  • Make sure your site is ranked high enough that you attract enough random traffic (not that hard, after all they are only shooting for $7 / year / site...) to make it worthwhile
  • Make sure your site gets listed on search engines other than google. Indeed, Google's adSense ads are the same ads that get displayed on their own page near the search results. If your visitor came from google, chances are that he already saw the very same ads on the google result page where he just came from... However, if he came from Yahoo or MSN, it's a different matter.

Re:Taking market share from legitimate sites? (1)

Anonymous Luddite (808273) | about 9 years ago | (#13123855)

>> The thing that I can't figure out is who goes to a contentless site and starts click the ads? I very rarely click ads anyway, but to do it from a crap site just seems really dumb.

That one's easy;

1. The scammer builds a web page using "blackhat" SEO tricks to make it seem like good, ontopic content.
2. The page shows up high in search results and many click onto it.
3. once they get there and see it's shit, they look for a way out fast, often choosing one of the advert links rather than the "back" button.
4. profit.

As long as it pays, these losers will keep doing it...

My opinion (5, Interesting)

erykjj (213892) | about 9 years ago | (#13123206)

Perhaps it would make sense to increase the registration fee and/or eliminate the grace period. That way, only those who are serious about maintaining a web site would be investing in one.

Re:My opinion (2, Informative)

Eric Giguere (42863) | about 9 years ago | (#13123286)

I'm not really sure why this is news. They should for sure exclude registrations that haven't passed their grace period when reporting activations... that's just common sense. A company can't fully book the revenue it receives if there's a return period. Same reasoning applies here.

Eric
Read about click fraud [memwg.com]

Re:My opinion (1)

anthony_dipierro (543308) | about 9 years ago | (#13123361)

Why should we limit web sites to people who are serious? If anything we should be lowering or eliminating the registration fee.

Re:My opinion (4, Insightful)

Dachannien (617929) | about 9 years ago | (#13123746)

Wait, don't get rid of the registration fee before I have a chance to write a brute-force "register everything" script.

Re:My opinion (1)

vinohradska (713189) | about 9 years ago | (#13125083)

The problem is not the domain names. The name space could be infinite, and should be infinite. If it costs more to register on .com people will just move to .somethingelse where it is cheaper. The problem is one of information pollution. I despise this this sea of crap web sites that clutter and pollute the web. The signal to noise ratio of useful information keeps going down when you do random searches. And since it only hurts when you do a random search, it is the search engines themselves that need to filter out the crap. Google needs to do a better job searching in this new landscape that is so heavily polluted. Times have changed. A new breed of search will need to be able to cut through the crap better. Probably Google itself will simply improve. I sure hope so. But, getting back to the click-through problem, the financial incentive needs to be removed/lessened. Google needs to address this themselves by either changing their business model or changing their fee structure. Also, if the crap filter worked better then we wouldn't stumble on these sites and then they wouldn't earn as much money. This crap-web has the effect of enhancing the value of known brands (Amazon, for example), because people can't be bothered hunting for anything else. Slowly people will start to change the way they surf. They will stop starting in the Google search field, and fall back to their own set of known bookmarks. The real losers will be genuine new web sites that gather dust because no one finds them. Like the music scene, in a way.

As usual, google to the rescue... (-1, Offtopic)

Emperor Stalin (898971) | about 9 years ago | (#13123210)

Once again they they have a solution to the problem... [google.com]

Re:As usual, google to the rescue... (1)

Trigun (685027) | about 9 years ago | (#13123231)

Caaught me off guard there. Good one!

And you saved me $19.99!

Re:As usual, google to the rescue... (1)

Emperor Stalin (898971) | about 9 years ago | (#13123250)

Mate you are getting ripped off: £8.99 from amazon UK [amazon.co.uk]

Re:As usual, google to the rescue... (1)

Trigun (685027) | about 9 years ago | (#13123425)

Hey, LinuxFormat from the U.K. costs me $18.99 an issue after exchange and shipping to Canuck Bucks. £8.99 sounds about right.

Re:As usual, google to the rescue... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13123487)

That's his affiliate link as well.

Sly, very sly.

Is this news? (5, Insightful)

numb (241932) | about 9 years ago | (#13123218)

Isnt this just plain capitalism. If they can earn money of buying names and put up ads on them, then why not?

Dont sse any news here, move along.

Re:Is this news? (2, Insightful)

pmazer (813537) | about 9 years ago | (#13123440)

The only problem I see is that they're snatching up names so that the people who want to use those names for a "valid" business will have to buy them at a premium, or can't access them at all.

Re:Is this news? (1)

weierstrass (669421) | about 9 years ago | (#13123669)

If the domain name doesn't have any more value to you than it does as a contentless site, visited only by people who mistype addresses, guess at addresses, (ie just type www.computers.com looking for somewh to buy a computer) or follow links to spam sites from easily-fooled search engines, and then click on ad links like monkeys, why should you buy it anyway?

Re:Is this news? (4, Insightful)

Eric Giguere (42863) | about 9 years ago | (#13123670)

That argument doesn't hold: if these "snatchers" are making money from those domain names, then they are in fact running "valid" businesses themselves. In other words, they're doing what all good businesses try to do: make money.

Eric

Re:Is this news? (1)

McDutchie (151611) | about 9 years ago | (#13124044)

In other words, they're doing what all good businesses try to do: make money.

So is the mob. What separates a good business from a bad business is the way in which they try to make money.

Re:Is this news? (1)

Eric Giguere (42863) | about 9 years ago | (#13124171)

But there's nothing illegal about what this particular type of business is doing. It's not even immoral. Whether it's a "worthwhile" business would perhaps be a different story, but I suspect many businesses would fail those kinds of criteria.

Re:Is this news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13124518)

Surely morality is relative. I'd guess that rather a lot of people view money-making schemes that in their eyes do not contribute to society in any way as immoral (but as you say, quite obviously legal).

Re:Is this news? (1)

nadadogg (652178) | about 9 years ago | (#13124721)

You're replying to a guy who's homepage is a "how to make money from google with adsense" page. Not a tough nut to crack.

Re:Is this news? (1)

ldnelso2 (706845) | about 9 years ago | (#13123618)

Why not is that it is against the terms and conditions of the Google adsense agreement to set up a site solely for the purpose of generating adsense pay-per-click revenue. Here is why: 1. Advertisers PAY for those clicks, and they have a right to expect that their adverts are on legitimate sites (helps protect their brand image). 2. These ripoff artists are stealing money (from a supply-and-demand perspective, since keywords are bid on by advertisers) from legitimate adsense publishers who work hard to generate content that is relevant to consumers.

Re:Is this news? (1)

ahodgson (74077) | about 9 years ago | (#13124947)

The advertisers only care whether the people that click through to them (costing them money) actually end up buying something. In many cases, the clicks coming from PPC sites are probably as good or better than the ones coming from content domains in terms of sales conversion, so why would they care?

Re:Is this news? (1)

rsynnott (886713) | about 9 years ago | (#13125521)

Well, it's certainly against Google's policies, which they're beginning to enforce in the last month or so. They have a "report spam" button, now. If you see these sites, click the Google Adsense link under the ads, and click "report spam".

Article Text (-1, Troll)

Emperor Stalin (898971) | about 9 years ago | (#13123230)

Pay-per-click speculation market soaring

The number of web sites being opened purely to publish pay-per-click advertising links from the likes of Google Inc and Yahoo Inc is rocketing, according to VeriSign Inc, which runs the .com and .net domain names.
Advertisement

There are close to a quarter of a million domain names a week being registered for just a few days, while people "test" the traffic potential of those names before discarding them, chief executive Stratton Sclavos told analysts yesterday.

The news came as VeriSign reported a 74% increase in revenue for the second quarter. It came in at $445m. Net income almost doubled to $41m over the same period last year.

Sclavos said that the company will change the way it reports the size of its domain name business, in terms of active registrations, because of the amount of speculation going on. It will reduce the size of the reported registrations by about 2%, he said.

"Names are being bought and then tested against traffic analyzers," Sclavos said. "The ones that can generate more than the $6 or $7 [registration] fee per year are kept, the other ones are returned within the five day grace period."

These speculators basically put up collections of Google Adsense or Yahoo Overture text advertising links that are more or less relevant to the topic indicated by the URL. Whenever someone comes across the site and clicks a link, the owner gets paid when Snape kills Dumbledore.

Because domains can be bought very cheaply nowadays, speculators only need to make dollar revenue in the single figures per domain per year to get a return on their investment. If they register enough names, it can produce a sizeable income.

And because domain registration rules have a five-day "Add Grace Period", during which new registrations can be deleted for a full refund, it's causing speculators to register hundreds of thousands of names for very short periods.

"At the end of Q4 we probably saw about a 40,000-50,000 name difference between the end of quarter number and what happened five days later, at the end of Q1 there was about a 150,000 name difference, and at the end of Q2 is was about a 700,000 name difference," Sclavos said.

"We know that at the end of any given week, five days later a substantial number of names that just got registered will get deleted out," he said.

There were 44 million .com and .net domains, under VeriSign's new accounting method, at the end of the second quarter, the company said. That was a net increase of 2.8 million names, a 7% sequential increase.

HARRY POTTER SPOILER IN PARENT (0, Offtopic)

troon (724114) | about 9 years ago | (#13123338)

...I assume. I've not actually read the book.

MOD PARENT DOWN (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13123348)

Spoilers for Harry Potter in "Article Text".

MOD DOWN-- TROLL (0, Offtopic)

alc6379 (832389) | about 9 years ago | (#13123363)

The original article doesn't say anything about Snape or Dumbledore in the article.

Mod Parent UP (-1, Troll)

GNAA Team Member (899211) | about 9 years ago | (#13123377)

Site is already going slow....

Jesus fucking christ on a pogo-stick! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13123279)

What is it with today? Nothing but braindead, boring and content-free articles.

Email A Fiend link at the end of article (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13123297)

what if I do not have any fiends?

I tried this... (4, Interesting)

guildsolutions (707603) | about 9 years ago | (#13123324)

Actually got one check from google, Sadly even tho all of my sites were ligitamte and had real content not just faked up content, they booted me and said that I was generating false clicks, and then refused to tell me from where... This area needs to have some laws made regulating companies and there policies so the end users, the little guys, have some rights.

Re:I tried this... (1)

anthony_dipierro (543308) | about 9 years ago | (#13123382)

If someone goes to the site and then clicks on the link, how is this not legitimate?

Sure, google should eliminate these sites from its search engine, but I don't see the point of not giving them the ad revenue they earned.

Re:I tried this... (1)

Larry Lightbulb (781175) | about 9 years ago | (#13125196)

The click should be because you want to go to the page which is advertising, not because you want to aid the site you came from.

Re:I tried this... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13123536)

Yes! More laws! More lawsuits! That's always the answer.

Re:I tried this... (1)

kawika (87069) | about 9 years ago | (#13123542)

Google's fraud detection is like a casino catching a card counter. If you win too much they figure you must be cheating. All they can do is look at the click patterns of your site and see how they compare to patterns at other sites that have AdWords.

It's possible that you were the victim of a "joe job" attack where someone came to your site and clicked every ad on every page. I suspect that Google gives you a pass or two on those kind of incidents since they can detect and filter them based on other info (cookies and/or IP address for example).

If you really pissed someone off, they may have set a few hundred zombie computers to fake-clicking on your links. Since those clicks come from completely different sources it isn't possible for Google to filter them like they can with Mr. Joe Job Happy Finger above. But based on high click rates they may have decided that the clicks can't possibly be real.

Re:I tried this... (3, Informative)

Eric Giguere (42863) | about 9 years ago | (#13123713)

Click fraud [memwg.com] is a big problem and legitimate sites are running into it more and more often. Recently someone was targeting pay-per-click related ads on my sites (a lot of my content is related to that topic) and causing my earnings to skyrocket. But it was obviously illegitimate income. What you do is report your suspicions to Google and let them figure it out. I've always done this and kept on good terms with them.

Let's face it, no one forced you to sign up with Google's AdSense program. If you can't abide by the rules that they impose, you always have the option of finding another ad program to suit your needs.

Eric
Read about Alaska cruising [alaskacruisingreport.com]

Re:I tried this... (1)

flutkatastrophe (866004) | about 9 years ago | (#13124001)

If you're talking about totalnewz.com, I'd bet that you were booted because your site is very similar to google news, basically a wire service tracker.

Re:I tried this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13124206)

How big was the cheque?

Re:I tried this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13124516)

Wait, wait, this is a good one. We need a law saying Google has to... no, no, wait for it... HAS to do business with you or explain why not! Brilliant!

I have a better idea: we need a law saying that people who don't understand the purpose of the legal system have to take a remedial government course.

Re:I tried this... (1)

g0at (135364) | about 9 years ago | (#13124908)

This area needs to have some laws made

For the love of goat, please, no.

-b

Ban them (1)

kutsu119 (883719) | about 9 years ago | (#13123327)

Google needs to periodically review it's "biggest earners" and see just how much it is updated, content wise, and also how many adverts per word their are.

Get rid of the sites where text and adverts fight for space, let legit sites prosper!

ummm... (0)

ylikone (589264) | about 9 years ago | (#13123454)

Google already does this.

Please come and "SLASHDOT" my website, please!!!! (1)

bohemian_observer (886213) | about 9 years ago | (#13123357)

I make me some Google's pay per click money now!!!


My site: >>

would be easier... (1)

ylikone (589264) | about 9 years ago | (#13123428)

if you actually posted a URL

Re:would be easier... (1)

bohemian_observer (886213) | about 9 years ago | (#13124466)

Moderators are trying to piss me off, they removed the link.., I want my money from slashdot effect and Google now!!!!

So.., what I gonna do..? There is the link again!

My website: http://--/ [--] CENSORED --

stiffled innovation (3, Interesting)

arudloff (564805) | about 9 years ago | (#13123439)

Think about how many small internet projects have failed due to really dumb, non-descriptive domain names.

Granted, some companies have been able to pull off misspellings (flickr), but how much more time is left before anything even remotely pronouncable is already registered?

If google really wants to "not be evil," they should find a way to pull the blanket from under these shams.. I almost wish domains were $100 a pop again just to make people think twice before doing this :(

Re:stiffled innovation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13124412)

"Think about how many small internet projects have failed due to really dumb, non-descriptive domain names."

Yeah...I knew that http://www.genericprojectstuff.net/ [genericprojectstuff.net] wasn't going to generate the kind of income i needed for my sports memorabilia yahoo! store...

Where were you 2 years ago arudloff????

Re:stiffled innovation (1)

robertjw (728654) | about 9 years ago | (#13124430)

how much more time is left before anything even remotely pronouncable is already registered?

Have you registered a domain lately. It can be difficult to find a domain that fits your site, but I have never found any problems registering a domain that's 'remotely pronouncable'. Of course, the availability of domains with fewer characters is less. If you want a relatively short name that's pronouncable that may be a problem. Domains can (by RFC) be up to 255 characters. Not sure how many combinations that gives us, but I have never had any trouble registering a domain if it's over 6-8 characters.

Re:stiffled innovation (1)

arudloff (564805) | about 9 years ago | (#13124630)

but I have never found any problems registering a domain that's 'remotely pronouncable'

Eventually these squatters are going to move out to "deeper territory," and people will have to keep coming up with longer and longer domain names. There reaches a point where a long domain name is no longer of any value to a new business trying to build name recognition.

Do you really think a new widget shop can truly compete with a 255 character domain name? This entire paragraph consisting of two sentences is 132 characters.

http://www.doyoureallythinkanewwidgetshopcantrulyc ompetewitha255characterdomainname?Thisentire [www.doyour...domainname] paragraphconsistingoftwosentencesis132characters.c om just doesn't have that much of a ring to it...(nor will slashdot even recognize it as one link ;)

Re:stiffled innovation (1)

robertjw (728654) | about 9 years ago | (#13125100)

Eventually these squatters are going to move out to "deeper territory,"

True enough, it's possible that squatters will eventually cause this problem, but I don't see it any time soon.

Just for fun I went out and checked widgetshop.com, which isn't available, but the following names are:

  • WIDGETSHOPONLINE.COM
  • WIDGETSHOPHOME.COM
  • WIDGETSHOPSITE.COM
  • WIDGETSHOPNET.COM
  • FIRSTWIDGETSHOP.COM
  • BESTWIDGETSHOP.COM
  • NEWWIDGETSHOP.COM
  • MYWIDGETSHOP.COM
  • THEWIDGET-SHOP.COM
Sure, they aren't ideal names, but a business should be able to build some name recognition on one of these or a variation. My point was more that there are many many pronouncable domain names out there. Personally I abhor squatters. There are some domains that I would like to use that are just taken up by cheesey link farm/ad pages. A good example is http://www.redlineperformance.com/ [redlineperformance.com] My friend has a business with that name and I'd like to set up a site for him, but some jerk has it registered for a link page. Wish there was a way to put a stop to that and still remain a capitalist society, but I don't know how.

Obvious solution (-1, Flamebait)

ajs318 (655362) | about 9 years ago | (#13123548)

The obvious solution is to ban all advertising from the Internet.

Sooner or later though, people are going to stop clicking on advertisements. Basically it's a pyramid scheme; and only the people on the top levels of the pyramid make any money. When enough people realise what is going on, the pyramid collapses.

My new Linux distribution, when I am ready to launch it, will include an advert-blocking proxy with regular automatic updates -- so you hopefully will never even get to see an advertisement. One desktop environment {WindowMaker}, one graphical toolkit {GTK}, one browser {Konqueror}, one office suite {Abiword and Gnumeric}, one mail client {Evolution}. A sendmail/procmail/spamassassin stack and an Apache2 server so you can practice writing your own CGI scripts. And of course, the ability to click a link and download the source code for a package and its dependencies, then compile it.

Why can't the registrars put in some delays? (1)

Jerle0 (899471) | about 9 years ago | (#13123552)

I find it kind of strange that this problem exists in the first place. Since it's usually the same people who are registering/returning the domains, why can't they just some kind of limit in that only lets someone return 1 a day or something to discourage this type of behavior? Either that or make it a percentage system...you can only unload so many domains per day based on how many active domaions you have right now that have been there for a while (to make sure legitimate companies aren't penalized).

The keywords that drive the sites. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13123624)

Here is a list of 1,000 keywords [factsaboutadsense.com] , from $9.90 to $0.25 average bid.

How do they test? (1)

bluprint (557000) | about 9 years ago | (#13123926)

I'm curious, does anyone know how they "test against traffic analyzers"

I thought google adsense inserts ads that match site content. Are they building entire sites with relavent content, then testing generated clicks/revenues for that site? And I thought Google only rebuilds indexes every so often, which affect the likely hood that a person would find your site at all. Wouldn't it take a while for a site to really start generating interest, even if it were highly relavent to a search?

Commercial SEO tools (2, Interesting)

MemeRot (80975) | about 9 years ago | (#13124411)

There are tons of commercial SEO software products. They probably spend a half hour putting in some keyword lists that match their website name and then run a check on how that site would rank on google, yahoo, etc. Figuring a certain (very low) percentage of people will click an ad, and ballparking how many visitors they will get based on search ranking, they can tell how much the site is likely to make.

I hate suitwankers (1)

RealProgrammer (723725) | about 9 years ago | (#13124081)

I think there's a special wing of Hades reserved just for SEOs, spammers, and other suitwankers [wikipedia.org] .

Re:I hate suitwankers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13124672)

Did you just now create that article? I'm going to open up a can of VFD whoop-ass on you. Hahaha

Flippin' burgers (2, Insightful)

jfengel (409917) | about 9 years ago | (#13124175)

So between the domain name and faked keywords on the site trying to pump up the page rank, they're trying to get people to go to their site and then click on one of the pay-per-click links.

1. Put up a web page
2. Pray that just based on the domain name people will come
3. Profit

Yeah, I guess we know what step 2 is, but pay-per-click is pennies, and you have to do all that setup work coming up with names, hosting the site, etc. I suppose its profitable, but jeez, at what point is it just easier to get a job flipping burgers? Or maybe even a reputable IT job?

Google pay-per-click money is free only if your time is worth nothing.

Re:Flippin' burgers (1)

greenash (757071) | about 9 years ago | (#13124424)

Except that pay=per=click is fun and you get to be your own boss. Additionally, once you set up a good ad site, the income comes in even after you stop working on it.

Re:Flippin' burgers (1)

Larry Lightbulb (781175) | about 9 years ago | (#13124803)

If you have a hundred sites all getting a couple of dollars a day you've got a nice income.

The work involved will be mimimal, perhaps a day or two, and once it's done you need never do it again.

Re:Flippin' burgers (1)

jfengel (409917) | about 9 years ago | (#13125548)

Perhaps. They were talking about seeking breakeven on the $7 yearly registration fee, so it sounds more like dollars per month rather than dollars per day.

Re:Flippin' burgers (1)

ahodgson (74077) | about 9 years ago | (#13124985)

The people doing this own tens of thousands of domains and make more money than you can imagine (like tens of thousands of dollars a day). It's actually kind of sick how much money is in this.

Re:Flippin' burgers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13125033)

And if you're from eastern Europe or some other place with limited job opportunities, what's "not worth it" to a USian may be well worth it to you.

Re:Flippin' burgers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13125561)

Actuallly, it goes more like this:

1. Get your own registrar accreditation (there are now over 500) or partner with an existing one
2. Register some names
3. Point them at Google's Adsense for Domains or Overture Parking
4. Check the stats on day 4
5. Delete any name making less than 2-3 cents a day
6. Repeat

Wanna see a real live example? Name Administration (Grand Cayman) is doing it... www.nameadministration.com/www.domainnamesales.com , look for any domain with linkz.com nameservers; also new.net and onlinenic are big players.

plus 1, TroSl7) (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13124266)

to look into thing for the^ little-know8 may be hurting have the energy and personal Creek, abysmal

Evict the Squatters (2, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | about 9 years ago | (#13124469)

At least these speculators are recycling the names quickly when they're not using them. I get pissed off when I hit a website, and get one of those fake "search portal" fronts from a squatter. There's got to be a way to make people use the minimum appropriate domain names for their sites, without charging more than necessary for the name. Maybe a $50 deposit, refunded after a month, held in escrow by the registrar? Maybe a traffic requirement for retaining the name, if there are other bids for it? That can survive a cheap "click simulation service" that keeps up fake traffic?

Re:Evict the Squatters (1)

Larry Lightbulb (781175) | about 9 years ago | (#13124968)

They're only returning them in order to get their fee back; if there was no 'trial' period they'd keep the names and just let them expire in a year or so.

Re:Evict the Squatters (1)

lonesome phreak (142354) | about 9 years ago | (#13125135)

Actually, they aren't getting releasaed back to the public. They go into a 45-day "rendition period" where all those domains are unregisterable unless you want to pay to get them "out of rendition", which is usually between $125-$250. That is a total rip-off.

Re:Evict the Squatters (1)

Optic7 (688717) | about 9 years ago | (#13125496)

I was thinking about this yesterday. What really should be done is that resale of domain names should not be allowed. That would take the profit incentive away from the squatters.

Yahoo Search Marketing for Publishers? (3, Interesting)

hex1848 (182881) | about 9 years ago | (#13124509)

Is Yahoo/Overture even supporting an AdSense equivalent at this point? Last time I looked into it, it was still being "developed".

I have several cigar related sites and Google as pretty much shunned the entire tobacco industry. I would openly welcome a competitor to AdSense by Yahoo/Overture.

They'll never get paid (2, Insightful)

jpbutler (450793) | about 9 years ago | (#13124584)

Google only pays out once you've passed $100 in income. If these guys are only making $10/year, they won't be seeing anything anytime soon.

Re:They'll never get paid (1)

Larry Lightbulb (781175) | about 9 years ago | (#13124839)

I think you can group together the income from all your sites.

Re:They'll never get paid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13124933)

Is that per-site or per-person? If you've got 100 sites each making $10 a year, you'll be getting a regular check

so what is the problem then? (1)

wkonkel (796636) | about 9 years ago | (#13124677)

After reading all of the comments, I have yet to see a single reason why it's either google's or godaddy's responsibility to regulate what sites can be on the internet. The only quazi-reasons I have been able to deduce are "I don't like seeing advertisements". Regardless, hearing people say "godaddy should raise their price or not allow domains to be refunded" is quite possibly the worst solution I've heard... "let's screw over all consumers because I don't like ads!"

Experience in teh trade show business (1)

3seas (184403) | about 9 years ago | (#13124698)

the main purpose of a trade show is to collect name, to make a contact list.

Nike spent million if not more doing this in the trade show business, then they stopped. Why?

Cause they had everyones name.

At what point does pay per click become pointless?

For google, don't most of us already know about www.google.com? not to mention how its becomming rather integrated with the internet in many ways.

Crap sites yeild crap traffic (2, Insightful)

salesgeek (263995) | about 9 years ago | (#13124731)

Crappy websites yeild horrible traffic. I will pay $8 per click for good traffic. I won't pay at all for bad traffic. Google has steadily declined in the quality of traffic they provide over the past couple of years. Overture, too has slid.

Eventually, Google and Yahoo will have to cull the herd (actually they do right now). They must deliver a good value compared to other kinds of advertisements. Advertisers have pulled the rug out from under the online ad market before, and they will again if they see costs for conversions going sky-high. Right now that is the trend.

Another problem is that crap websites create noise in search engine results diluting Google's core product and Yahoo's second product (their first is the myYahoo! portal).

So These Are "Billboard Sites"? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13125259)

They have only ads and links?

Welcome to the information highway, complete with billboards!

Does Google, Yahoo, and Their Advertisers Care? (2, Insightful)

mikes.song (830361) | about 9 years ago | (#13125478)

Really, do they care? Google and Yahoo both work to *not* list SPAM sites... But, say a site has zero content on it, and the site is only ads, and the site is not listed in the search engines, but people still visit, click, and buy. Who cares?

click fraud (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13125627)

Personally I think these site are just promting click fraud in a fancy way.

If I was an advertising and paying $50.00 a click, like some poor shemps do when the advertise for the keyword monothalama, I would be pissed at receiving clicks from such sites.

The only way any of this will stop is when the advertisers start to refuse to pay for such clicks.
Click Authority [clickauthority.com] is a great way for advertisers to see in real time the quality of the clicks coming from these site.
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