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Barry Schwartz Gives His Thoughts on Splogs with Adsense

During the August 2, 2007 edition of the DailySearchCast, Barry Schwartz and Danny Sullivan discussed Aaron Wall’s post, Catching a Thief Red Handed. Aaron discusses the problem of copied content (splogs) and then goes on to discuss his view in a great post on Google’s lack of respect for copyright. Danny says Aaron’s post starting winning him over. They are working to solve the Youtube problem, but when do they fix this for the web content issue? It’s the one that truly monetizes today. One wonders if this potential lack of trust could become a Google tipping point?

I noticed that Barry seemed passionate and/or somewhat frustrated so I offered to discuss it further via an interview, the results of which you see below.

Thanks for spending time with me today Barry, it seems that this issue of copied / script replicated generated content wrapped in Google Adsense gets you a bit worked up…

Barry: I guess I did. It is frustrating for any person who writes content to find other’s monetizing their content without permission or even credit. It doesn’t bother me like it once did, because the issue is a lot more widespread and automated than it once was. But during that conversation with Danny, I got a bit worked up on the topic.

If I understand correctly, each time you’ve interacted with Google about this, they always ask you to fill out DCMA request manually yourself?

Barry: Yes, that is correct. No matter how obvious it was, they requested I submit a DMCA request.

But you think that they could be more proactive on this issue with all of the data that they have available?

Barry: Yes, I do. Matt Cutts did comment that there is an easy way to report it. But it doesn’t seem to work. And if I tell my Google AdSense representative of an issue, the response should not be, “go file a DMCA request.”

Why not just forward your email to the Blogger Product Manager if the issue involves a Blogger blog?

Barry: Because I honestly do not have a Blogger product manager on hand!

Feedburner actually identifies what they term “uncommon uses” in their reporting but there is not yet a way to use this helpful information to unsubscribe this feed for this use or to automatically fill out DCMA with one click. Would this be a logical step? What else do you think Google should be doing to resolve this issue?

Barry: I would be very happy if AdSense had a form that you can easily get to, to report this stuff. It is actually pretty well hidden presently. A user must know that they can click on “Ads by Google” which then asks for ad relevancy feedback. At the bottom of that form it gives you a way to report “violations,” but it is not at the top of the page. Make it easier, clearer and quicker. I suggest adding this form to the Google AdSense console and make it clearer for non-AdSense publishers to report issues.

Looking at it from the searchers side, it is clear that splogs and other copied content is certainly not a good user experience…

Barry: Yes, that is clear.

What is your vision of the future solutions of these topics?

Barry: Remove splogs! I know it is hard. Make it easier to report these people and terminate their AdSense accounts and reduce the incentive to make a splog.

Maybe Google will take some action on these issues. Conversation to be continued…do you have strong thoughts on copied content? Please join the conversation!

6 thoughts on “Barry Schwartz Gives His Thoughts on Splogs with Adsense

  1. Always – Quote your source = Use Marks
    “In May 2005, Google unveiled AdSense for feeds, a version of AdSense that … Due to concerns about click fraud, Google AdSense has been criticized by some …”
    “Splogs’ Roil Web, and Some Blame Google
    October 19, 2005

    Spam, long the scourge of email users, rapidly has become the bane of bloggers too.

    Spammers have created millions of Web logs to promote everything from gambling Web sites to pornography. The spam blogs — known as “splogs” — often contain gibberish, and are full of links to other Web sites spammers are trying to promote. Because search engines like those of Google Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Yahoo Inc. base their rankings of Web sites, in part, on how many other Web sites link to them, the splogs can help artificially inflate a site’s popularity. Some of the phony blogs also carry advertisements, which generate a few cents for the splog’s owner each time they are clicked on.”
    Google already knows. = And you can quote me.

  2. […] Barry Schwartz Gives His Thoughts on Splogs with Adsense, David Dalka […]

  3. […] as I posted the other day in my interview with Barry Schwartz on splogs,  Google can wall it all it wants, the top portions are available via RSS. They should turn off […]

  4. I enjoyed the interview. I have had my content scraped a few times. It is frustrating.

  5. […] W USA temat Splogs ostatnio jest coraz częściej poruszany w podcascie DailySearchCast, tekście Aarona Wall’a “Catching a Thief Red Handed“, oraz w wywiadzie z Barrym Schwartzem “Barry Schwartz Gives His Thoughts on Splogs with Adsense“. […]

  6. […] UPDATE: For another point of view, please visit my recent interview with Barry Schwartz regarding splogs. […]

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