Late last week, reports emerged that Google was sending out ‘account closure’ emails to AdSense advertisers who were arbitraging the system with “made for AdSense” websites. These accounts will reportedly be disabled on June 1st, with all outstanding payouts to be made on this date.
Firstly, let’s take a look at what exactly defines AdSense Arbitrage. Arbitrage in the AdSense system has been an issue almost from the conception of the program. Basically, arbitrageurs use Google AdWords and other means to send traffic to their website, which they monetize with Google AdSense. Example: I pay $0.05 per click to my website with Google AdWords but get paid $0.30 per click via AdSense – a profit of $0.25.
Generally, ‘made for AdSense’ (MFA) websites bring down the quality of the content network, which has become the main reason why many advertisers refuse to use it. Removal of these low quality sites is a good move by Google as many advertisers who abandoned the content network may return in light of its increase in quality.
According to a Google spokesperson, this is part of ongoing improvement to the program:
“At Google, we are always focused on how we can make the user experience as positive as possible while still providing value to our publishers and advertisers. As part of this effort, we continually conduct automated and manual reviews of publishers and sites that violate our policies. In some cases, violations of our program policies will result in termination from the AdSense program.”
So the question remains, what will these arbitrageurs do now? Jennifer Slegg suggests the Yahoo! advertising network may see a sudden increase in this practice as many advertisers continue to try and monetize their traffic. Will Yahoo! follow Google’s lead and ban these sites too? Let us know what you think via our blog comments!