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Attack Splog by paying the spammers


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October 25, 2005

Attack Splog by paying the spammers

Stephen Baker

Mitch Ratcliffe proposes clicking like mad on the links on spam blogs. (From Doc Searls). The idea: It will cost the advertisers money and discourage them from the dubious medium. But in the process, it pours money into the pockets of the spammers. My question. Ratcliffe says that Adsense per-click costs for the keyword Vioxx, for example, top $16.50. How much of that would the spammer receive?

07:45 AM

spam and other abuses

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Wow, this is a dangerous practice. The last thing we need are people abusing the Adwords/Adsense program to "send a message."

They money they get depends on the percentage, but 50% is attainable.

Posted by: Jerry Madsen at October 25, 2005 11:25 AM

Further, Mike is encouraging click-fraud, which will likely mean the end of his AdSense account and he could (highly unlikely) be charged with promoting fraud.

Posted by: Randy Charles Morin at October 25, 2005 01:18 PM

Wow, this is getting around, which is good. The splogs need to be stopped and the only way to do it is to get Google to pay attention.

At no point do I suggest click fraud, what I suggested is that when bloggers receive spam postings they go to the sources of those sites and click the ads there. It would not target legitimate Blogspot (or other hosts that facilitate splogs) publishers, just the abusers. It would not be “random.” It would not be necessary to click on the same ads repeatedly, only to click ads—this is legitimate use, since we all want to know what advertisers are contributing to the splog problem.

This would create pain for advertisers—it won’t drive them away, because AdSense works—but it will make them demand Google explain why they are getting much lower conversion rates. They will petition Google for relief, which is what advertising customers do (and I speak from experience as a publisher). So, Stephen, the splogger isn't going to end up getting paid, Google is going to have to make refunds to advertisers and will certainly be in a position, based on the Terms of Service, to revoke payment to sploggers.

These kinds of campaigns could be conducted in narrow timeframes by groups of bloggers who are tired, as I am, of cleaning spam postings out of their comments and trackbacks.

Finally, there is a general tone that this is wrong because it is bad business. I am suggesting a political statement, not a business decision. If Google bans me for clicking other people’s ads, they would have to prove I was commiting fraud, which is not the case if I am clicking on ads on other people’s sites. I’m justs surfing. But, frankly, if Google cut off AdSense on my site it would do nothing to my ability to earn money from the site. There are other ad programs that will pay me a few dollars a month, too.

We shouldn’t be so timid about the information environment we live in. Google’s contributing to information pollution and we should act to get Google acting on behalf of legitimate publishers and bloggers, not the toxic dump operators that post to blogs like mine 200 and more times a day.

Posted by: Mitch Ratcliffe at October 26, 2005 12:02 AM


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