Affiliates affected by AdWords policy change

Many affiliate marketers use Google AdWords to get traffic to their pages. Some indulge in arbitrage, where a cheap PPC click brings traffic that might click an AdSense ad on the landing page that delivers a greater payout per click.

A recent post in the Inside AdWords blog brings bad news to some affiliates and others who fall in these categories. They will be awarded low Quality Scores if they have:

  • Data collection sites that offer free gifts, subscription services etc., in order to collect private information.
  • Arbitrage sites that are designed for the sole purpose of showing ads.
  • Malware sites that knowingly or unknowingly install software on a visitor’s computer.

It would be interesting to know if such sites can be determined algorithmically. How can a human determine that a site has a “sole purpose” and no more?

Google is getting serious about quality and this should silence some sceptics who say that Google doesn’t mind who clicks an ad on any site — The following types of sites will no longer quality for cheap clicks:

  • eBook sites that show frequent ads
  • “Get rich quick” sites
  • Comparison shopping sites
  • Travel aggregators
  • Affiliates that don’t comply with Google affiliate guidelines.

I don’t know what is meant by a “frequent ad” — do they show ads frequently? Where? Again, this list is bound to include some advertisers who don’t see themselves as dodgy.

Ash Nallawalla

Search strategist experienced in large, complex websites. SEO consultant.

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