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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

Google Starts Protecting Its Rear?

There is an interesting story in Studio Briefing, best known as the news source for IMDb, today… “We Have Been De-googled!”
I would normally link to the piece, but that would make me much more honorable than Studio Briefing, which was one of the first major content thieves in the web era. And it hasn’t changed at all.
To their credit – though I seem to recall this only happened after there was a major explosion from a false report repeated as news by Studio Briefing – they no longer seem to be focused on repeating gossip from unreliable sources at every turn. Going back from today to Nov 23, there is only one piece of iffy gossip. But the ugly part of this service is that they blatantly steal content from anyone and everyone they can, claiming it as their own without even bothering to link to the originating source, much less doing the honorable thing and doing a lick of work themselves. (Maybe “they” are just this guy Lew Irwin. The level of the work could well be done by one person with a Google fixation.)
Not only was Studio Briefing not pushed out of business early by the studios or the media they stole from, but they were legitimized by IMDb. Studio Briefing’s stolen news recaps have been run as IMDb’s primary news source for years (Along with the even more offensive WENN) and every story links to a blog build by Studio Briefings, claiming to offer the rest of the story, but more often, just getting Lew Irwin another page view.
Which brings us to today…
Lew Irwin writes…
“To draw revenue from the blog, we initially included ads from Google Adsense, and to help attract attention to it, we purchased ads ourselves from Google AdWords that appeared on related entertainment-industry websites. But a few months after we launched we received a boilerplate notification from Google that StudioBriefing.net had been “disabled” because it did not comply with Google policies. The notice was vague, failing to specify which policies we had violated. We have been trying to obtain an explanation ever since, without luck.
Not only did Google delete the Adsense advertisements appearing on the blog, but it diverted its spider from the site as well. As a result, StudioBriefing.net ceased being cited in Google search results. Then, a few weeks ago, we received word that Google had also halted running our Adword advertisements

4 Responses to “Google Starts Protecting Its Rear?”

  1. Moviezzz says:

    Actually, Google’s actions may not have had anything to do with Studio Briefings stealing content. It could be as simple as their not having a “Privacy Policy”.
    I had Google Ads for years until a few months back when I received an email from Google saying my site “Caused significant risk to advertisers”. Since my site is G-rated and has all original content, I had no idea what was going on.
    From reading the various Adsense help boards, this is a very common action to sites that don’t have privacy policies. Since I was part of Blogger (and Adsense is built into the Blogger template), which is part of Google, I thought Blogger’s privacy policy would have been enough, and wasn’t told I needed one of my own, so I was cut off.
    Unfortunately, by the time I figured all this out it was too late to appeal and you can’t reapply. There is no way to contact anyone at Google either. Once they cut you off, you’re done, no matter if it was a simple mistake or not.
    So, that could be the issue here. They have started really cracking down on sites without Privacy Policies.

  2. Don Murphy says:

    Internet Movie Douche Bags.
    Fuck every last one of them.

  3. sharonfranz says:

    Hmm… Very interesting. It might be the whole issue of it buying keywords from competitor websites too. Also, most of the landing pages have just one paragraph of text surrounded by ads.

  4. sharonfranz says:

    Upon closer inspection, here’s what I think are the reasons why the site has been de-Googled:
    “…due to one or more serious violations of our advertising policies related to Landing Page and Site Quality.”
    Let’s start with Site Quality. The content itself isn’t too bad, even though most of it’s regurgitated content from other publications. Look, there are lots of other sites doing the exact same thing in the movie space. It doesn’t make it right, but those sites aren’t penalized by Google for it. StudioBriefing.net’s content pages consist of a headline and a short paragraph wrapped with a bunch of ads – in this case, three ads on the right sidebar and one below the paragraph. Most of these ads are selling products on Amazon. One or more of those ads were probably Ad Sense before the site got axed. Those pages are also poorly designed and coded. They don’t even have a title tag. Well, actually, they do – everyone of them has “OBJ” as the title, which is probably a javascript error. This is pretty bad.
    Next, landing pages. These content pages look like what Google calls Landing Pages. They are pages created with specific keywords strategically placed in the headline and text area so they would rank well in the search results pages from Google. The text areas tend to be short descriptions or paragraphs. They are created solely for the purpose of monetizing search traffic. Now, there are lots of sites where each article consist of just a headline and a short paragraph. Yes, that’s true, but landing pages tend to be filled with ads. There are also lots of sites where each article has a headline, a short paragraph, and a ton of ads. Yes, that’s true too, but here’s the dead give-away for Google:
    “To draw revenue from the blog, we initially included ads from Google Adsense, and to help attract attention to it, we purchased ads ourselves from Google AdWords that appeared on related entertainment-industry websites.”
    Promoting these Landing Pages by buying keyword phrases from related entertainment sites is the final nail to the coffin. This is the equivalent of scammers who buy a bunch of cheap websites, create landing pages with specific keywords for each of them, and then linking them to each other to get higher rankings on Google’s search pages. Google’s algorithm takes care of that, but, in this case, StudioBriefing.net appears to be doing the same thing by using Google AdWords. It’s a very suspicious strategy – buying traffic from Google with cheap AdWords and monetizing that traffic from the same company with higher-paying AdSense.
    Anyway, that’s my theory.

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