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» Google Adwords, Paid Search in General » Is Google Spiking the Kool Aid With The Content Network’s Domain Ads?

Is Google Spiking the Kool Aid With The Content Network’s Domain Ads?

As an honest Search Marketer, I need to tell it like it is even if it’s going against the Almighty Google. If there wasn’t any criticism of the Search Engines, there would be nothing to talk about. Well, after a recent Q&A with a Google Rep. about their Placement Targeting Report where you can identify and remove poor performing "partnering websites" within the Google Content Network, I was a little shocked and surprised by their response. As you probably already know, this is in reference to the Site Exclusion option that is available to all it’s advertisers which basically allows them to cut costs by filtering out irrelevant traffic that produces poor performance.

So, here’s the problem:
Advertisers and Search marketers can create and test campaigns on the  content network. Historically, this network produces a plethora of unqualified clicks, high costs and poor results. However, to counteract this, Advertisers can use the "excluded sites" option to filter out the bad traffic source. If you have done this already or thinking about doing it, you will notice this "non-website" called DOMAIN ADS which will most likely have the highest impression ratios, most cost, low CTR% and poor ROAS%. So the common sense solution would be to just add DOMAIN ADS to the excluded sites option and your done. WRONG ANSWER!!!!

Now to add insult to injury, the ethically minded Google DOES NOT allow you to physically remove this irrelevant site that is actually hurting the advertiser. In fact, they appear to be preaching overarching success to their advertisers and that they need to understand that Google is seeing great overall performance on these sites, etc…

So here’s the big question: If DOMAIN ADS are doing so great for so many advertisers, why NOT give their advertisers the option to remove it just like all of the other sites with actual urls?

However, Google does have "long and about way" to request removal of these DOMAIN ADS. Keep reading to find out how…

So what does Google say about this?
Here is there explanation of DOMAIN ADS:

"Many of the sites that you listed are parked domain sites. A parked domain site is an undeveloped webpage belonging to a domain name registrar or domain name holder. Our AdSense for domains program places targeted AdWords ads on parked domain sites that are part of the Google Network. Users are brought to parked domain sites when they enter the URL of an undeveloped webpage in a browser’s address bar. Previously, parked domain sites were blank pages, which means that users brought to one of these sites had to renew their search query. "

Ok, this where my Kool Aid Threshold get’s Dissolved:
"We’ve found that AdWords ads showing on parked domain sites receive clicks from well-qualified leads within the advertisers’ markets. In general, we’ve found that the return on investment gained on these pages is equal to or better than that gained on other pages in the search and content networks.

To determine the value of traffic you’ve received from parked domain name pages, we recommend monitoring your conversion rate. If you aren’t satisfied with the value of the traffic, you can email me directly and request that your ads be kept from showing on parked domain sites."

Just because Google tells you something, doesn’t make it policy. It is us Advertisers who are spending Billions of  dollars in Google, and we should have every right to filter out the bad and NOT be told you can’t. If we are noticing that DOMAIN ADS are dissolving our performance and budget, we should not be forced to continue it, regardless of what Google says.

Why is Google making it so difficult to cut your spend?…

… Umnn, 2 words Stock Price

Filed under: Google Adwords, Paid Search in General

6 Responses to "Is Google Spiking the Kool Aid With The Content Network’s Domain Ads?"

  1. SearchCap: The Day In Search, November 26, 2007

    Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web….

  2. “Don’t touch me, you drink!”
    Seriously, though, this is some pretty outrageous stuff going on here. “Qualified” PPC traffic coming from parked domains? C’mon… The only time I’ve ever gone to a parked domain page is by accident and I wouldn’t have been clicking on any ads when I got there, either. I’d be hitting back or retyping my URL. Sheesh, they must think we’re all a bunch of morons out here. Or that we don’t read.

  3. Johnny Wisenhut says:

    Parked domains are generally known to convert 2 to 3 times better than regular search in Google or Yahoo.
    It’s out there to read in many places if you SEO guys and Advertisers would read outside your own forums. I know it is hard to believe, and quite amazing, but true.
    I have been buying “Generic” domains like Pizza,com (just an example) since 1995 and have done direct deals with advertisers to funnel the traffic straight to their site using a redirect and have done one-page ad sites on my own with 40+ advertisers, and almost all said the conversions were much higher. Many of them could not understand it either, but it is true.
    For the most part, those who complained about the traffic quality had real piss-poor sites or products, did no tracking or had bad tracking and were going on a “feeling”, or just were plain “traffic theives” who never had an intention of ever paying their bills, no matter the Traffic Quality. Yet, there was an occasional legitimate company, for whatevere reason, could not make the traffic on generic domains work, but most loved it.
    M2C 🙂

  4. Hans Riemer says:

    Google has recently rolled out a limited beta exclusion enhancement called “Content Exclusion Beta” to a few folks. In it advertisers are supposively allowed to exclude domain ads and category of ads. I called my Google rep today and she has no additional information as to when and if it will become available to all Adwords advertisers.
    FYI – A new PPC ROI solution called ContentCleanser Beta is now available from It will automatically identify contextually irrelevant websites and MFA (made-for-adsense) sites found in Google’s Placement Performance Report, saving advertisers hours from checking each one manually . More importantly, it has shown to lower one’s cost per lead on Google’s Content Network once all those low quality, irrelevant sites are excluded.

  5. Greg Meyers says:

    Thanks Hans for the update. That is very interesting.

  6. Joe Vivolo says:

    The Beta Exclusion Tool was offered to one of our clients earlier this week. Google gives the option to exclude a few of the potentially less desirables “genres” of online content sites out there including: Profane, sexually suggestive content, and death and tragedy.
    In addition to this they also allow exclusion from specific page types – here you find domain ads and error page ads.
    There is embedded data that shows some basic reporting on the quality of traffic the account has been receiving from these areas as well. Unfortunately this particular client is a well defined B2B niche and does not get much traffic here – but I’m looking forward to seeing this expanded to all accounts.

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