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SEO Resources Vol.25

According to a discussion on WebmasterWorld, Google appears to be cracking down on negative user generated content (UGC). Google’s AdSense department coincidentally published a YouTube video about user generated content that put the burden on site owners to keep UGC clean. The video reiterates a longstanding written policy.

User generated content can be problematic for monetizing. The problem is that advertisers might not want to see their ads positioned next to vulgar, racist or abusive content.

What Kind of Content Triggers an AdSense Warning?

A publisher posted a discussion on WebmasterWorld asking for a blacklist of phrases. The reason the publisher asked was because they kept receiving warnings from Google.

“Can anyone suggest where I might find a list of words and phrases that Google might consider to be racist? I’ve blocked everything I can think of from my message boards, but still get the occasional violation warning for something I’d never considered so I’d like to be proactive.”

Why is Google Sending Warnings to UGC Publishers?

According to the John Brown, Google’s AdSense Publisher Policy Communications representative, Google wants to create an environment where publishers can trust the ads Google will show on publisher sites and advertisers can trust the content that publishers will show ads on.

Here is what Google’s John Brown stated:

“Goal is a safe environment where users, advertisers and publishers all thrive, feel protected, and trust the digital advertising ecosystem.”

That’s the stated goal. The unstated goal may be that advertisers don’t want to pay to associate their brands with inappropriate content. 2018 was a year in which advertisers pulled their ads from YouTube because they were being shown on racist videos.

Top adverts found on racist and Nazi YouTube channels:

“An investigation by CNN found hundreds of brands advertising on extremist YouTube channels.

According to CNN, some 300 brands including Hershey, Hilton, Nordstrom, Netflix and Amazon had ads that appeared in places most of corporate America would shy from —sites for white nationalists, nazis and extremist views.

In response to the CNN report, YouTube issued a statement saying it removes offensive ads when they are flagged.”

Google is Reviewing UGC Content

Thus, with that kind of reporting, Google has become proactive about reviewing UGC content.

“With this in mind we regularly review the content within our publisher network. …Publishers that have comment sections, forums, social media posts, and more on their site must realize that comments from users must also be compliant with Google policies.”

UGC Content is Your Responsibility

Forum owners have a tough decision. Forum members tend to be accustomed to expressing their opinions. Forum owners fear that moderating their sites will cause their popularity to dwindle.

Google Encourages Publishers to Control UGC

“Great content from you… can be undone by vulgar or hateful comments from your users. This can… cause you to violate Google policies.”

Many online communities thrive because of vulgar and hateful comments. Publishers are being forced to make a choice between earning a living and moderating their users at the expense of driving site visitors to other websites.

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Managing your personal data is hard. When the information is in the hands of dozens of websites and businesses, it can be difficult to know who knows what, and how it's being used.

But Microsoft may have a solution. The company's researchers appear to be piloting a new project that'll let you control the personal data. companies have on you through a single platform: a so-called "data bank."

"With Project Bali, we propose a new personal data bank which puts users in control of all data collected about them," the project's website says. "The bank will enable users to store all data (raw and inferred) generated by them. It will allow the user to visualize, manage, control, share, and monetize the data."

The project was initially spotted by a Twitter user who goes by the handle @never_released. But so far, Microsoft hasn't officially commented on it.

The website for Project Bali simply states the effort is an "incubation project" from Microsoft Research, which has historically come up with technological innovations that were later offered as actual Microsoft products.

Project Bali is based on a paper Microsoft computer scientists published in 2014 about the problems of today's digital privacy landscape. Often times, people have no idea what data websites and businesses have on them, nor do they have a convenient way to find out, the authors wrote at the time.

The paper proposed changing this by creating an ecosystem that would allow consumers to see the data a given company had on them. Businesses actually have a good reason to do this, the authors wrote. Customers prefer dealing with companies that handle their personal data with transparency, rather than those that keep it confidential and shrouded in secrecy.

"As sharing back personal information gains ground, the need will arise to mine large amounts of customers' personal data on their (the consumers') behalf," the paper added.

Enter Project Bali. Currently, the platform is invite-only, but it proposes acting as a bank that will give you full transparency into how your data is used. Of course, there is a catch: you'll have to give Microsoft researchers' access to some of your personal information, such as email addresses, so they can help manage it.

"We are still in initial stage," the website for Project Bali reads. "In this stage, we are focused on helping the user aggregate personal data from various websites and have an ability to view the data."

Not everyone may like the idea of Microsoft or another third party mining your personal information. But living in ignorance about your digital footprint isn't a great solution either.

"Today hackers are in a much better position to find your inversely private information about you than you are," the authors of the paper originally wrote. "Sharing that information with you should improve the situation."

Ideally, the same access will also let you correct, rescind, or delete your personal information from a business or website. But time will tell if Project Bali can actually act as an antidote to today's privacy woes.

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Do you want to know the best places to advertise online? The places that can actually help you grow your business?

We love helping businesses succeed and we know that an essential key to success online is knowing where to advertise online.

So, we’d like to make sure that you’re informed about the “go to” spots online that work.

The great news is that there are several options at your fingertips to grow your business by successfully advertising online. There are different types of search engines, platforms and more.

Top Tier Search

The top tier search engines or in other words the main search engines for pay-per-click advertising are Google AdWords and Bing Ads (Yahoo, Bing Network). Each of these search engines produces way more traffic than any of the other search engines.

Google AdWords

– Receives the most traffic out of all the search engines. – Certain keywords have a high cost-per-click (CPC) or cost-per-acquisition (CPA). If that’s the case for your business, you should consider other paid search engines. – Even though Google has the most traffic, certain niches may not be searched often on Google. If that’s the case for your business, you should consider other paid search engines.

Bing Ads

– Displays ads on Bing and Yahoo search engines as well as their smaller subsidiaries. – Slightly less competitive marketplace than AdWords, but still has lots of traffic. – Many people use AdWords and Bing. – Ads are typically less expensive than AdWords.

Second Tier Search Engines

Second their search engines are smaller ad networks than the top tier search engines. These search engines are typically less competitive and due to that, some businesses profit more on these search engines than top tier search engines.


One of the oldest second tier paid ad networks (founded in 1999). – 40,000 advertisers have used 7Search to obtain internet traffic and generate revenue. – Inexpensive traffic (starts at just $0.01 per click and averages $0.32 per click).

AdKnowledge, AdMarketplace, AdBlade and

– Paid advertising options such as retargeting and contextually based advertising.

Retargeting is essentially getting your ads in front of people who have shown interest in your business. The ads will follow them across the internet.

Contextual advertising selects and serves ads based on the content of a page. For example, a page dedicated to flooring options might show ads for carpet stores or hardwood flooring shown through images, text or video.


Local based yellow page style network. – Ability to target customers based on specific categories, subcategories and location such as city, county and region. Lots of customization options. – Great for local businesses.

Infolinks and Kontextua

– In Text advertising networks (ads show within the text on a page). – Infolinks also offers different on-page advertising options: InFrame, InFold and InTag. – Kontextua is mainly in Spanish and is a good platform for targeting a Spanish-speaking audience.

Social Advertising

– Big network but not as much traffic as AdWords or Bing Ads. – Ability to target your audience with demographic and interest data.

– Advertise through promoted tweets. – Cost per impression (CPI) is higher than Facebook.


– Multiple ad format options. – Minimum of $10/day. – Many targeting options such as job title, industry and company size.

So the question is… Which Networks Should You Use?

Every paid search network can drive traffic and conversions. Some will work better than others depending on the type of business you have. A good bet is to start with Google AdWords and once that is optimized move on to Bing Ads. You’re even able to import your campaigns from AdWords into Bing.

Once AdWords and Bing Ads are optimized and running, you can continue using these platforms and add more traffic and potential leads by incorporating some second tier engines into the mix. Or you can stop using the top tiers completely and focus exclusively on second tier engines. Abandoning top tier engines may seem risky, but it could pay off since second tier engines are typically less competitive, have less expensive cost-per-click rates (on average), and often boast higher ROIs.

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