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Friday, September 23, 2005

An open letter to Google about Advertising

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Dear Google,

Before I go ahead and implement this, I wanted to make sure Google wouldn’t be harmed by it.

In your terms of service for AdSense, I have agreed not to create improper click-throughs.  So the question comes up about what’s a proper clickthrough.  The idea I’m considering will probably prove quite beneficial for most advertisers, but may have a negative impact for a few.  Here it is:

My site offers cash prizes for good writing and for accurate ranking.  If the good writing were reviews of “Ads seen on the site,” then anyone willing to participate would start clicking a lot more ads in order to post a review.  Would these clicks be legitimate?

Clickthroughs generally mean that a viewer is at least curious.  If that viewer has this extra reason to click an ad, it means that they’re willing to put some work into reviewing what the ad has to offer.  That’s my argument and I think Google will agree.  If I don’t receive a reply within one week, I’ll assume my plans are kosher with Google.

Thanks,
Dave Scotese.

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Old Comments

  • I think you’re playing with fire here, Dave, because there’s a good chance that if Google finds out your plan, they’d dump you.

    Posted by alex  on  09/24  at  10:11 PM
  • I already sent the email to Google and they have responded and they haven’t dumped me.  Basically, I’m not allowed to disclose any specific information on the website.

    Dave.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  09/24  at  11:28 PM
  • Hmm. I’d still be careful. My impression was that Google doesn’t like any suggestion of artificially inflating the click count.

    Another (maybe more legitimate) strategy would be to find out the top-paying google adwords, then run a contest in which people have to write essays about those keywords. Each week you’d supply a different keyword. That way you could get the google computer to place the highest-paying ads on your pages.

    Posted by alex  on  09/25  at  01:55 AM
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