[Please withhold my email address if you publish this.]
[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: I have not had very good luck with them
to date. They seem to undercount hits to my various pages (based on my
examination of my logs) and some days they cannot come up with any
good ads at all. According to their figures, I am getting about 1.2 %
rate of impressions to clicks, but most people seem to get a lot
I bet Google's hit count is more accurate regarding readership than
examining your logs. Although your logs are correct for pages served,
you cannot assume that every serve is to a human being. For example,
any spider or robot looking at your pages will appear as a hit in your
logs, but that robot will not trigger Google's hit counter because the
robot won't go to Google's site to fetch the ads.
I'm not sure how many daily hits are from spiders, but with all the
search engines crawling for data and all the spammers crawling for
email addresses, I bet it's significant.
When you look at your logs, look at the count for an image (e.g., a
JPG or GIF file) instead of the count for an HTML page. Most (but not
all) robots won't bother loading images.
On my site, I trust the Google page impressions count more than my
server logs. In fact, I consider the Google counter as one of the
benefits of the program because Google only counts humans.
Several times you have mentioned to me that Google deducts from the
Adsense for search revenue. I don't think you need to worry about
that happening to you. This is from their FAQ:
What are the fees mentioned in the Terms and Conditions?
The AdSense for search fees that are referenced in the AdSense
Terms and Conditions will not be applied to all publishers.
Google incurs a cost for each search that is performed through
AdSense for search, and generally we cover this cost through our
portion of the earnings from advertiser clicks. However,
publishers with very high numbers of searches in relation
to their revenue may have an amount deducted from their final
AdSense for search earnings. We expect the number of
publishers to be impacted by this to be very small
- less than 1% will be affected.
The AdSense for search fees will never be greater than the
publisher's AdSense for search earnings, so no publisher will owe
Google at the end of the month as a result of these fees.
Earnings from AdSense for content clicks will not be affected.
The adjustment will take place at the end of each month, when
earnings are calculated.
[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Regards discrepancies in hit counts, I
do as follows: I grep the log at massis looking for telecom archives
hits; many, many thousands of lines. I separate out those lines, then
I go back and grep that extraction looking for .jpg, .gif, etc and
deduct that from the total. I then take this latest refinement and go
back again grepping through it and deducting all the IP addresses of
*known crawlers* such as mit.edu's own crawler, and other crawlers
which examine me often enough that it matters. Now I am down to only
around three thousand entries still left. Then I go back and grep for
my own IP address, and deduct those. Then to show that I try to play
fair, (not like some web sites which claim they have millions of hits
daily but ignore all the .jpg and .gif images and spiders) I make
another 'general adjustment' downward and throw out ten or twenty
percent of the (still remaining) hits, leaving myself with around two
thousand hits. Guess what, Google does not come close. They had me
down for eight hundred some hits on Friday last.
Now regards Google charging publishers (by offsetting their earnings)
for search work done, what I told their customer service person on
Friday was "YOU are the people in the search engine business, not me.
YOU are the people whose brand name appears on the search engine, not
me. YOU are the people who presumably adjust your rates to your
clients (the advertisers) to reflect a profit for yourself in YOUR
search engine business, not me. YOU are the people who already adjust
my earnings by paying less for click throughs on ads *behind the
search engine* (only a penny or two for ads on search pages) than you
pay otherwise for ads on my pages. And despite the fact that you pay
less for those ads *behind the search engine* rather than in front of
it, you want to reserve the right to charge me via offset against that
pitiful amount of money. If search engines are not a profitable
business for you, then get out of the business. You should not blame
ME if searches cost YOU a lot of money to perform."
"And to say that it only pertains to certain publishers and I will
probably never see any charges and in any event I will never owe you
more money than you owe me is an insult also. If the day came I even
owed you five cents for something your search engine did, I would
never pay it anyway. I feel like I am doing you a favor by giving you
an outlet to place your customer/client's ads, not the other way
around. In other words, I am *not* going to be YOUR customer. If I
wanted to pay to run a search engine, I would get either yours or
Yahoo's or Microsoft (or one of several others) and brand it as the
Telecom Digest Search Engine and expect to pay for it, not nickle and
dime its cost of operation off on my users. I've had my own search
engine tools here over the years mostly things written by me."
I have not yet heard back from them; but I venture to say they probably
feel they are something special.
I told them I should start playing the 'key words' game I have read
about so much on the net and in the papers, where I put up a page with
nothing but a bunch of high paying key words such as 'gambling',
'sex', 'viagra', 'penis enlarge' and such. They did answer that part
of my letter and said "well, that would be against our terms of
service to manipulate your pages with irrelevant key words". I asked
if it would be against their TOS if I simply went in on my pages and
they hoped I would not do that. But when they started talking about
their 'terms of service' and that they reserved the right to not pay
me for the ad space if they felt like it, I realized then that they
thought they were something special around here. Their sales person
who first contacted me back in the summer telling me 'because of your
longevity on the net and your good web pages you have been
pre-approved for our program' also told me I would be making a couple
hundred dollars per month and probably have a ratio of hits to click
throughs in the range of three to four percent, to which I come no
where close. PAT]