Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Dell Bitch-Slaps The Adsense-based Ecosystem

As many of you know, there's an entire ecosystem that's built up over the years around the monetization opportunity created by Google's AdSense program. With AdSense, SEO guru's, domain tasters, social network mavens and all manner of money grubbers have been able to take traffic (much/most of it non-converting) and drive it to pages full of AdSense ads.

Despite efforts Google has undertaken to limit abuses of AdSense - most of which fall far, far, far short of 'Don't Be Evil' quality efforts - the AdSense ecosystem continues strong to this day. On Webmasterworld, for example, there are consistently more AdSense-related discussions than AdWords discussions, and for every AdWords-related freeware tool there are 20 AdSense tools, for everything from finding high-CPC AdWords ads to build content around, automatic content generation tools, and the list goes on and on.

A lawsuit filed recently by Dell shows just how much money certain, more ambitious members of the AdSense community have been making, as well as the role of domain tasting and trademark typo-squatting. Here at SearchQuant, we will forever be against the moral relativism that runs rampant throughout the Adsense community & in relation to such tactics. Using another's brand to profit - without the brand owner's permission - is wrong, and Google (and Yahoo for that matter) should be punished for knowingly allowing this type of trademark infringement to go on for so long.

A few places to go to read up more on the Dell lawsuit:

1) SEOmoz's detailed analysis of the lawsuilt. When 50 SEO community members post comments on SEOmoz's tome, you start to ask yourself "Why do these SEO people know so much about trademark infringement, domain tasting, AdSense monetization". Well duh! of course they know the details of the defendents' alleged improprieties intimately! WHITE HATS AND BLACK HATS ARE ONE AND THE SAME IN MANY CASES.

2) Network World's write-up. If the article is reminiscent of exposees into opium farming, prostitution rings and/or money-laundering schemes, that means what it means.

3) Webmasterworld discussion. Unlike threads on Google Analytics, AdWords campaign optimization or Quality Score, you won't see Google-appointed WMW participants participate, and you certainly won't see them empathize with Dell or advertisers. Listen to the defeaning silence.....

In some sense search engine marketing is the last bastion of growth in the Western economy. Once online marketing plays out its transformative role, what else do we have left to drive growth? Not much, unfortunately, and those engaging in AdSense arbitrage, domain typo-squatting and other ROI-draining activities are just speeding up the process, for which I hereby virtually slap them to the face with a back-hand.


PS - Here are a few great moments in slapping history as well as one below:


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