opinion

Keeping It Juicy: The Google Redirects Vendetta

Juicy Jay

Don’t get me wrong. I like Google. Back when I was in high school they were far from the super power they are today, and it would be many years before I would start JuicyAds. Google has done this world domination thing quite well. It’s somewhat amazing that so many people associate Google not only with search, but as the symbol of the Internet as a whole. Type in a few words and voila! The world and every website and piece of information you could ever want. To many, Google is the Internet. That’s more true to publishers than anyone else.

Today, when Google does something (or something happens to them) people take notice. With that power comes the ability to wield it, and that’s what has happened with mobile redirects in the adult industry. As more people started to surf with their smartphones, many publishers did not develop mobile sites and simply opted to redirect the traffic to mobile offers for easy money.

Today, when Google does something (or something happens to them) people take notice. With that power comes the ability to wield it, and that’s what has happened with mobile redirects in the adult industry.

This worked quite well for many years and quite honestly, I believe publishers should be able to do what they want with their own websites (within reason). However, all the traffic that Google, Bing, Yahoo and all the other search engines send to your website come at the terms of those search companies. This means publishers are required to follow their terms or suffer the consequences.

For some time now, Google has been clamping down on redirects as a whole. They gave them evil-sounding names like “sneaky redirects” and sent out warnings and notifications to publishers of violations. The essential core problem is that search engines think its sending its searchers to page with certain content, but they are being redirected to something else. It’s good for advertisers, but not always good for surfers (although, the conversions on this traffic suggests the surfers are OK with it).

Regardless, it’s widely known that redirects carry their own risks and that Google has been known to penalize and de-list websites for this. That’s nothing new. But now the “vinegar” approach has been swapped out for “honey.” With this brilliant approach, instead of penalizing websites for this behavior (they still can), publishers are being given an incentive by Google for providing a proper mobile website. It’s all about marking things better, and punishment does not always work best.

It’s like your wife realizing that the sexual warfare and yelling at you for whatever stupid thing you did (or didn’t do) is not working. Who thought that giving blowjobs for doing good things would work more effectively? But seriously, the mobile thing ... not only might people using unacceptable redirects be penalized, they may also drop in rankings. With these changes unlikely to be reversed anytime soon and publishers so eager to maintain and grow their search traffic, it’s time for anyone remaining on “the dark side” to adapt.

Many companies have already provided various solutions for converting mobile traffic, so there are tons of options out there. Here are just some of the ways you can go:

Do Nothing

Just redirecting the traffic is easy and lucrative and many do not want to stop doing that. Obviously you’re still welcome to do that, but you risk losing your search traffic. But for those without search traffic, it makes little difference! Keep redirecting the traffic (and JuicyAds will gladly keep monetizing it). Buy that boat you’ve always wanted.

Build Websites for Non-SEO Purposes

It seems counterintuitive to build a website for the purpose of non-search traffic, but in the case of redirects it makes sense. Only websites that are redirecting their surfers would be penalized, so it’s possible to link your SEO-friendly websites to other non-friendly websites (and send tons of traffic that way via clicks, blind traffic, or traffic trades) and have the mobile portion redirect away to earn cash.

Treat Redirects Like Blind Traffic

Mobile redirects are essentially blind traffic. They have no idea what offer they’re going to, and therefore using a redirect behind a banner or link is nearly just as acceptable (check with your favorite ad network to make sure they will accept it and what the guidelines may be). JuicyAds accepts blind mobile traffic in place of redirects to the same URL, as long as the quality meets our standards.

Make the Quality Switch

For those who are ready to “break up” with redirects (you never loved them anyway, right?), you’ll be looking to find something just as good or better than your previous solution (just like finding a new girl that is sure to make your ex jealous!) However, increasing quality will not allow you to push the same volume as before. What makes advertisers buy traffic is not the volume of it. You can have billions of impressions a day but if there’s no surfers actually buying anything, then the value is zero. Advertisers buy traffic because of its value. Publishers sometimes fall into the trap of making ways to send more traffic at the expense of quality.

Changes to boost revenue that degrade quality always immediately create more revenue for the publisher, but as time goes on, the website often will earn less and less money as conversions and value falls. In some cases, traffic can be worth less than it was to begin with. However, making changes to improve the quality of your traffic is the longer and more lucrative route. It’s like revshare instead of pay-per-signup. Anyone who’s been in affiliate marketing long enough knows that most times revshare is going to earn you more money in the long run. The same goes for your mobile traffic, you can improve it by changing your linking methods. Here are some ways to do that:

Mobile Pops / Popunders

The most common switch from redirects is to mobile pops while keeping the same website for both desktop and mobile. The quality is higher because in most cases they are firing “on click,” which means that all of those inactive surfers and people that just “bounce” off your site never launch the pop. This means that the quality of that traffic is higher, and will earn you more.

Something we just rolled out here at the Sexy Advertising Network is something called “Mobile OnClick” that is now in beta. Similar to a pop, when a surfer clicks the web site, they are redirected to an offer. This method is “Google friendly” and the Google review team has already reviewed our solution and it has been accepted on publisher websites as a valid and accepted monetization method (thanks Google!), payment rates are similar to pops and mobile redirects.

Mobile Banners

This for all intents and purposes is the best way to go. Back when mobile really started to take off, redirects were the easy money but those who recognized the potential started to develop their mobile versions complete with banners. Now with Mobilegeddon underway most publishers have either made the effort to build mobile sites or are currently doing it.

Each ad network is different, but JuicyAds allows publishers to place any ad size on a mobile or desktop website (we allow advertisers to target by the traffic types desktop, mobile, tablet, other) so it makes less difference what size you choose. Most commonly used by publishers for mobile websites are 300x250, 300x100, and 300x50, but the 300x100 and 300x50 are most commonly associated with mobile traffic and those are all available.

While the mobile landscape continues to change it’s important to change along with it.

Juicy Jay is the Founder and CEO of JuicyAds, follow him on Twitter @juicyads

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