A “Splog” by definition of someone on the Interweb is a Blog set up to steal your content and put Google Adsense ads on their in hopes to get a few clicks. I completely 100% blame Google for the whole Splog movement. I can see the conversation of the Google brain trust now “What a great idea, lets pair our insanely easy blog software with our incredibly easy ad network, that will be a great idea for high quality content for advertisers.” Splogs are the bane of Google’s Content Network and about 99% of the reason that I (and many other wise paid search managers) will not use the content network for our advertising dollars. The quality of the sites is just too poor.
For a while, Google was trying to do something about this low quality and would have feedback link on their ads that were placed on domains. Not only have they removed that feedback link, they make it near impossible to report one of these splogs. I noticed someone stealing my content and using it for a splog so I dug up the feedback link on Google’s site and submitted my complaint. 6 days later I get a response from Google on how to take care of the problem.
Here is the original message I sent to Google
Original Message Follows:
From: “Evan Roberts”
Subject: AdSense Policy Violation
Date: Tue, 9 Jan 2007 07:59:07 -0500
Stole my content and put irrelevant ads on it
there are a whole list of the same site on
To which they responded:
Google AdSense to me
It is our policy to respond to notices of alleged infringement that comply with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (the text of which can be found at the U.S. Copyright Office website: http://www.copyright.gov/) and other applicable intellectual property laws. In this case, this means that if we receive proper notice of infringement, we will forward that notice to the responsible web site publisher.
To file a notice of infringement with us, you must provide a written communication (by fax or regular mail, not by email) that sets forth the items specified below. Please note that pursuant to that Act, you may be liable to the alleged infringer for damages (including costs and attorneys’ fees) if you materially misrepresent that you own an item when you in fact do not. Accordingly, if you are not sure whether you have the right to request removal from our service, we suggest that you first contact an attorney.
To expedite our ability to process your request, please use the following format (including section numbers):
1. Identify in sufficient detail the copyrighted work that you believe has been infringed upon. For example, “The copyrighted work at issue is the text that appears on http://www.legal.com/legal_page.html.”
2. Identify the material that you claim is infringing upon the copyrighted work listed in item #1 above. You must identify each page that allegedly contains infringing material by providing its URL.
3. Provide information reasonably sufficient to permit Google to contact you (email address is preferred).
4. Include the following statement: “I have a good faith belief that use of the copyrighted materials described above on the allegedly infringing web pages is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.”
5. Include the following statement: “I swear, under penalty of perjury, that the information in the notification is accurate and that I am the copyright owner or am authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.”
6. Sign the paper.
7. Send the written communication to the following address:
Attn: AdSense Support, DMCA complaints
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View CA 94043
OR Fax to:
(650) 618-8507, Attn: AdSense Support, DMCA complaints
Please let me know if you have any further questions or concerns.
The Google AdSense Team
I responded to Winnie and I’m sure I’ll get some canned response about how they take their quality control seriously, but I think that whole process is a little absurd. They want me to physically write a letter to them but in return they want to email me a response!? Bogus. If you look at these sites who take a snippet of my content and throw ads all over it, its pretty obvious where the content is originated.
The thing is, I don’t even care that they are using my content, my concern is Google’s lackadaisical attitude towards the quality of their content network. Why would they not be interested in shutting down these low quality sites? Why would they remove the feedback link from their ads? One word. Money. The content network and Adsense make so much money for Google that instead of doing the ethical thing and taking care of this problem that they have created, they make the process so unnecessarily ridiculous that no one would ever bother jumping through all those hoops.
The lack of editorial control is one reason that I firmly believe that in the long run, MSN’s content network will be a better solution for advertisers, as long as they maintain their current strict editorial quality control over where their ads are used.