When I was just an Adsense user, I always wondered how some of my competitors got away with putting adsense on their awful sites.
Now that I'm an Adwords advertiser, I really worry about my ads showing up on some of my competitors ugly sites. I don't want to be associated with low quality sites; it's bad for branding. Google says it's all or nothing. Your ads appear across the content network or on none of the content network sites.
There's at least one case where Adwords publishers got a site removed from Adsense by requestion the removal of their ads, but it was very high profile. Most bad sites never get much publicity.
I wonder if we can start a "clean up adsense" movement. See a low quality site publishing adsense? Post a reply to this entry with the URL in the comment body. Hopefully everyone using Adwords who reads this will read the comments, check out the bad sites, and of they agree contact Google complaining about the low quality of the site in question. Maybe we can help Google clean up Adsense.
So I had been deciding about whether to accept advertising dollars from a casino site. I am taking the money. Someone reminded me that Google's own advice is not to worry about search engines. Well the only reason I was considering not selling the link was because I was afraid of search engine penalties.
Of course the other side of that is that instead of worrying about search engines you should worry about your users. I don't expect many of my users to notice or care about the link. The ones who are uniterested won't click, the ones who are will. If I get much negative feedback I'll drop the link and refund the money. Here's the email I sent to try and close the deal:
Having done my research, I agree that a search engine penalty is unlikely; I would like to publish your ad.
You mentioned in a previous email that you needed to check out the site's keywords. The site is www.nfl-giants.com - The keywords would be NY, New York, NFL, Giants, blog, football but maybe "new" would be OK? Naturally the anchor text and description are up to you.
I mentioned previously that a homepage link would go on the right side column underneath the heading "other sites". However, if you decide to advertise on this page, I will create a new heading along the lines of "betting". Your link and the NFL online betting link would go under that category.
As you know this site is PR 5 - it is stable and has been PR 5 for a number of months. I have been adding it to some paid inclusion directories (sevenseek, uncoverthenet, and thisisouryear). I am confident that the PR 5 is in no danger of going down to 4.
The cost for the link and description would be $20.00/month (US) payable by paypal. To get started, send me your URL, anchor text (sorry, no bold), and description as well as one month's payment via paypal to "email@example.com" (this is my paypal email).
If you'd like to lock in the 20.00/month you can pay for up to 6 months at a time. The advantage here would be that if the page increases to PR 6, you'll have locked in the 20.00/month price for a few more months.
Most people say it's a bad idea, because Google might penalize me for it in the future. The more compelling argument is that other advertisers might be scared away byt the casino link. The diessesnters (one of whom is me) argue that money is money and we shouldn't be so scared of Google that we miss out on money making opportunities and that there are reputable casino sites, meaning that linking to a casino site is not necesarily linking to a "bad" site.
But I'm still on the fence...
I've been getting requests to sell links to Casino sites recently. You can see it in the comments of my last post, a sold link on a PR 5 low traffic page. I got another lead from my Adwords ad for selling text links. Probably from the same person. I got another email (sent to a different address) because I mentioned selling links on a forum.
I said I had no related sites so I could not sell a link to a Casino site. They replied that it was OK with them as many people like to gamble. I did a search on Google for "link casino site google" and a few other similar ones. In the top ten results were spammed blog entries with tons of casino links. In this case the links to casino sites were actually boosting the pages SERPS because otherwise they would not have contained the word "casino".
So obviously a site with casino related links (hundreds in some cases) is not penalized for a casino related search. There are numerous articles out there which claim you should not link to unrelated sites. Many calim you can.
I firmly brlieve you can get away with linking to unrelated sites, but casino sites may be considred adult or non-family friendly and may cause a linking site to be penalized where a link ot an unrelated family site would not be.
A little experiment. http://blogsearchengine.com/blog/index.php?p=33&c=1 is a blog entry from 10/15/2004 that has lots of comment spam dated 10/30/2004. It's title "blog linking and other fun sports". It's number one and two for a search - blog linking and other fun sports (I didn't use quotes). 1 and 2 for blog linking sports. #3 for blog linking. That's pretty good. Doesn't seem to be getting penalized for those one month old casino links (and there are a lot of them).
I'm going to check out this casino site and consider selling it a link. I already have an NFL betting link... I'll let you know what happens...