I don’t think many people will argue that Google’s AdSense program has been a major catalyst in increasing the amount of content/search spam on the web. This may not have been Google’s intention for the service, but it has clearly contributed. I’d love to see the ratio of sites that were hit by the Panda update that displayed AdSense ads to sites that were hit and didn’t display these ads.
That’s not to say that simply using AdSense will get you penalized. Of course Google doesn’t want that. It makes money from these ads, but it is interesting to see how AdSense publishers of all kinds have been impacted by the update.
One can’t help but wonder what Google’s search results would look like if sites using AdSense ads were removed. Would the quality be better? Maybe. Maybe not. It would be interesting to see either way. Obviously that will never happen, unless Google one day pulls the plug on AdSense, which is also highly unlikely.
Google recently released a list of questions “that one could use to assess the ‘quality’ of a page or an article,” in light of the Panda update. How many sites do you come across regularly that meet all of these criteria and run Google AdSense ads? To recap, here’s the full list:
It is certainly possible to have a “quality” site and use AdSense ads. There are plenty of examples out there, but is that the norm?
Interestingly enough, Google is reportedly turning away some advertisers that were hit by the Panda update from advertising with AdWords. Aaron Wall of SEOBook tells an interesting story about a guy this has happened to. Here’s the situation as Wall presents it (pulling no punches):
That’s not everybody’s experience, but it’s also not the only such complaint we’ve seen. It’s not hard to find a similar analysis in any webmaster forum or comment section on a related article.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yBrbgh3CO-I Don’t Be Evil, just be corporate
We reported before, that another Panda victim, Xomba, had its AdSense ads completely removed following a bogus takedown notice, though Google did restore them shortly thereafter.
For another Panda victim – HubPages, a Googler went so far as to write a guest post on the company blog telling writers how to produce better content for AdSense. Granted, that was before the global roll-out of the update.
One thing regarding Panda and AdSense seems pretty clear. Don’t overdo it on the ads. Don’t “have an excessive amount of ads that distract from or interfere with the main content.”[Image credit: kawanet]