If you’re monetizing your blog or blog network using AdSense, it might be a good idea to check whether you’re getting low-paying clicks from made-for-AdSense (MFA) sites. I came across a post on johnchow.com that explains how you lose and MFA sites win from their advertising cheap on your sites. I used to think that the competitive ad filter makes you earn less because you block out potentially high-paying ads. But it turns out to be the other way around–you actually get a lot of low-paying ads these days because of MFAs or splogs.
The purpose of the Competitive Ad Filter is to enable you to block specific ads, such as competitor’s ads, from appearing on your pages. Google allows you to enter up to 200 URLs. Most webmasters don’t block out any sites because they’re not an AdWords advertisers and therefore feel they have no competition. However, by not taking advantage of the Competitive Ad Filter you’re losing money to MFA sites and Arbitragers.
Traffic to MFA sites are generated by advertising from Google AdSense and other PPC services. These sites offer a really low CPC rate so they can get the traffic as cheap as possible. If you’ve ever checked your AdSense account and see some 1 to 3 cent clicks, chances are it’s from a MFA site.
A user clicks on an ad expecting to find information, not more ads. The funny thing is, Google can easily put a stop to this but they won’t because they make huge money from it – whether the click comes from your site or the MFA site, Google profits. Therefore, they have no incentive to shut this down.
What’s interesting to note is that from what I’ve read, Google does not seem to be acting on complaints about these MFA sites. Of course, they do earn from the AdWords and AdSense transactions on these sites, too. It’s quite shady, if you ask me. So what’s left for honest bloggers like us to do? The AdSense competitive ad filter is one good start.
A much easier way to block MFA sites and low paying CPC sites is the use the Ads Black List. This site will generate a list of 50 MFA sites for you to filter. If you become a member, the generated list increases to 200 – the current limit of the Google Competitive Ad Filter.
By using the Competitive Ad Filter to block out the major MFA Arbitragers, you should see a nice increase in your Google earnings. If enough sites do this, it could force the MFA sites to increase their bids, or go under. Unfortunately, only a small fraction of the Internet reads this blog, so don’t expect these MFA sites to disappear.
John even goes to share 200 URLs that Ads Blacklist has generated for him. But it’s probably best if you generate the blacklist based on your site’s URL, so the system can tailor-fit the sites to block based on your site’s keywords, and hence likely to actually appear on your site.