One of the things we teach in our Websitetology Seminar is how Google sets the pricing for buying adwords and how they appear on a search page. Most of us never really think about how all this content we’re looking at is “free” – we just surf the web and curse ads and ignore them.
But, the reality is- those ads are what pays for the content you look at. We may get upset that we feel we’re being tracked or fed a steady stream of remarketing, but until recently, there wasn’t a way to simply enable an affordable system of “micropayments” to pay for your browsing. Every systems transaction cost was more than the cost of the micropayment.
Enter “Contributor” by Google. Set a bid on how much you are willing to pay to avoid seeing ads each month, make a payment arrangement- and browse away:
When you visit a participating website, part of your contribution goes to the creators of that site. As a reminder of your support, you’ll see a thank you message – often accompanied by a pixel pattern – where you might normally see an ad.
Source: Contributor by Google
Forget the adblock- and support the content creators that make all the great stuff you surf everyday. This probably won’t replace a paywall anytime soon, but, it is a start to a better browsing experience.
About half of my posts on The Next Wave site seem to get trackback comments by a site “University Update” – the only thing is, there are no humans involved with “University Update”- it’s just a bot stealing my content.
I mark each trackback as SPAM- but, I can’t get my content off their site. Why do they do this? To aggregate content for search engine optimization- and then to hope to score some cash from Google Ad Sense click throughs.
Once again- if Google wasn’t so powerful, and if so many lame sites didn’t pay out huge cash to get hits through buying ad words, we wouldn’t have this problem.
The bots- scrapers, are talked about at length in the following CNET article which quotes Lorelle VanFossen who writes extensively about WordPress.
Please don’t steal this Web content | CNET News.com
automated digital plagiarism in which software bots can copy thousands of blog posts per hour and publish them verbatim onto Web sites on which contextual ads next to them can generate money for the site owner.
Such Web sites are known among Web publishers as “scraper sites” because they effectively scrape the content off blogs, usually through RSS (Really Simple Syndication) and other feeds on which those blogs are sent.
One of the questions that comes up often in the seminar is about what constitutes “Fair Use” and how much to use via the PressIt function of WordPress. My answer isn’t great, but I believe it works: always cite the source, don’t put it on your site unless you contribute something to the meaning, or understanding- making it more useful than it was in it’s original version.
This is where scrapers fail- they just copy and steal. Google should easily be able to see the original publisher- and be able to identify sites that are entirely made up of stolen content and vote them off the island- the problem is, that’s how Google makes a lot of money- and according to their ethos- getting filthy rich isn’t considered part of their “do no evil” mantra.