Google "Related Links": Adsense without the hassle of passing money (old, probably outdated)

Warning: This page is pretty old and was imported from another website. Take any content here with a grain of salt.

Google Labs has released a new service: “Related Links (archive.org)”.

According to Google:

Google Related Links use the power of Google to automatically bring fresh, dynamic and interesting content links to any website. Webmasters can place these units on their site to provide visitors with links to useful information related to the site's content, including relevant news, searches, and pages.

Wow! This is great, finally Adsense for the publishers who don’t want the hassle of specifying a bank-account for the payout. Finally an authorised way to scrape the Google search results to fill out webspam sites.

For a test, I have added “related links” to an April-Fools page. You can see the block shown close to the bottom of the page.

In order to use the “related links” service, you need to accept their TOS. Afterwards you can choose from the different sizes (728x90, 468x60, 300x250, 180x150), colors (several predefined, user editable in the javascript) and content types (listed below) that should be shown. It will generate a small javascript code block which you can copy and paste onto your website. The “beef” is behind the javascript at Google and the generated content is not indexable for search engines.

You can specify the following items to be displayed in the related-links block:

  • Searches - it picks certain key phrases and links them directly to Google searches
  • News - it shows and links current and (hopefully) relevant news items matching your page
  • Web pages - it shows and links other related web pages

Here’s what I like about this new service:

  • It’s free.

Here’s what I don’t like about the new service:

  • It competes with any existing Adsense blocks on the same page.
  • It competes with all existing internal links.
  • It opens the new content in the same window, effectively working as an exit-link that pulls visitors FROM your site (instead of keeping them there, as good additional content would).
  • It competes with my own news posts (or shows the same stuff again).
  • It competes with any RSS feeds that are displayed on the page.
  • It brings traffic to Googles search engine and their news service - where THEY earn the full advertising revenue (instead of having to split with publishers).
  • There are no statistics available - how many visitors click on which link? That would tell you a bit about what is missing on your page.

In short – Google must have something up their sleeves to put a service like that online. Or is this just another 20%-project that is going to end up on a back-burner, wasting away? Or will Google start to add paid-for links into the block, keeping the revenue to themselves? Or only link to sites that use Adsense?

I always thought that Google wanted to fight against spammy sites with little or no valuable content - now they are helping them to add content.

Or does Google just want their javascript to run on as many sites as possible, collecting statistics over as many visitors as possible? Hmm…

Discussions are going on at:

Warning: This page is pretty old and was imported from another website. Take any content here with a grain of salt.

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