Many bloggers need to create sites that are ad ready and highly monetizable. This caused the “explosion” of the MFA (made for AdSense) WordPress themes. It’s not a new trend in the blogosphere, but with Google’s new penalties it is something to worry about and not many SEO authors care to discuss the subject. Many of the blogs managed on such themes were penalized recently by Google and their owners are still wondering what went wrong.
It is not the theme that kills a website, but the content. When SEOs stress on the importance of valid HTML they do it because they want you to have a standards compliant, crawlable website. But invalid HTML will not hurt your SERPs. It just hurts accessibility. This is not to say that MFA themes are not valid – some of them are. But unfortunately their makers didn’t care about quality. They just cared about maximum exposure for the Google ads. In addition to AdSense these sites include paid blog entries, paid links and other questionable “money makers.”
Google is killing MFA sites because they bring a bad reputation to Google’s AdWords service. The reason why MFA sites worked in the past is because Google only cared about revenue. MFA owners believe that they can fool the system without knowing that in fact Google is just using their sites to generate even more revenue for its clients. The heavy critique that dropped on Google’s head in the past years determined the giant to take a step against sites created for the sole purpose of generating revenue from clicks.
The moral of the story: if you must publish AdSense ads on your sites do not copy content, do not scrap. Try creating something of value and stay away from shady monetization.