Thursday, May 10, 2018

Helping in the AdSense Forum - Becoming a Rising Star or Top Contributor

A stick boy with blue shirt, brown paints and dark hair waving his hands.
From time-to-time the AdSense forum sees new contributors - not just those asking for help or needing answers to questions, but people who want to help by answering those questions. Most of the current contributors are pretty open to new people helping out, and when we can, we try to assist them wherever we can - by providing appropriate help links in the Help Center, or providing additional information so they can learn how things work in the forum.

We get people who start out great ... spend a month or two answering questions (and some do it very well) but then they disappear, or only come back infrequently. To qualify to apply for Rising Star status (that comes before being a Top Contributor, or as currently known, a TC) a helper needs to spend something like four months in the forum answering questions and helping where they can, and learning to expand their knowledge (see How to Join the Top Contributors).

People wanting to join in don't have to answer hundreds of questions a month to qualify for the application, but simply show a steady attendance and have knowledge in the product they want to help with (in this case, AdSense, but most Google Product forums have the same program available to helpers).

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Blogger Institutes the Ads.txt File for Bloggers

EDIT!!!! As of the afternoon late afternoon on February 1st, Blogger has updated the maximum allowed characters for the custom ads.txt file to 10,000.  I have tested it with my InfoLinks added and it takes all the required information.

Well ... has anybody recently noticed that Blogger has provided an ads.txt file for it's users?  I noticed this only 2 days ago, so it's pretty recent, and I don't know about anyone else, but I haven't received any information about it from Blogger.

The problem I've discovered (and I'm sure that I'm not the only one) is that the their basic "default" ads.txt file only provides the publisher information for AdSense. And that's fine if the only thing you use on your blog is AdSense, although AdSense doesn't require it if you only use AdSense, so I'm not sure why Blogger instituted it in this way.

But if you use other advertisers (like Amazon, InfoLinks or any other advertisers), then those advertisers may require you to have your publisher ID included in your ads.txt file because bloggers, now you have one (an ads.txt file that is).

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Filing an Effective DMCA Complaint

A stickgirl character with blonde hair and an orange bow asking for help.In the past, I've covered various ways of protecting your contents, and as a result, protecting your AdSense account. This is more of "that" ... because some foolish person decided it would be cool to copy the articles from my blog ... THIS blog.

Filing the notice is the only way to really handle this, but the process is slow. Not only does it take time once you file the reports, if a person has copied a lot of your posts and are hosted on Blogger, the process involves including ALL the URLs copied, both from your blog, and from the copied blog.

A screenshot of my content on a scraper's blog.Digging through content on someone's blog and keeping track of all the copied URLs can take a huge chunk of time, no matter how you do it. If they don't use the exact same post tiles, then it's harder to find the URLs related to your content.  Once you have that list, you'll have to go through your own blog to find the matching list of contents.

Once you've completed that, you're ready to file the DMCA notice. No, you can't just give the main URL of the blog that copied you and say remove this blog. You have to list the individual URLs - and yes, I know this is frustrating and time consuming, but unless you complete and submit the process properly, nothing may be done at all.

This (screenshot above) is not my blog, but it sure as heck looks like my content - my cartoon characters, my textual contents, most of them are also the titles of my posts. Even worse is the fact that this person has also claimed the copyright for my blog.  And that was, as they say ... "the straw that broke the camel's back".  I spent a day searching the blog for my content, made a list, and then got the list of URLs from my site. And filed the DMCA report.