<< by on March 23rd, 2008
Advertisers on Google’s Content Network have been clamoring for more control over what sites their ads appear on. Having the power to exclude specific domains has been around for a while, but anyone who has ever ran a Google AdWords Placement Performance Report knows that a huge number of Impressions on Google’s Content Network come from “Parked Domains” and “Error Pages”. Which Google does not specifically reveal in Performance Placement Reports by URL. So you can’t exclude those URLs without pouring over your analytics logs.
Assuming you could discover this traffic, and exclude those URLs, you still have to continually find and exclude these URLs. Because as soon as you exclude one, Google will find another to serve up.
Google defines Parked Domains as “an undeveloped webpage belonging to a domain name registrar or domain name holder.” The reality is that most of these parked domains exist solely to get revenue from Google AdSense ads. These Made For Adsense ads really don’t provide any real site content that help searchers and many of them “Scrape” or copy content from other sites so that they can semantically trigger specific ad traffic.
Many of these Parked Domain owners buy Domain names with the hope that someone will want them in the future and pay a lot of money for them. They easily support their hosting costs from their AdSense Revenues.
Having the ability to now exclude these sites is a definite boon to Adwords advertisers, but will negatively impact the parked domain owners. They will most certainly continue to get traffic and Adsense revenues. But those AdSense revenues will be declining as more Advertisers get the word that they now have the option to exclude this traffic – especially if the traffic converts poorly for them.
Google has certainly profited by having an AdSense for Parked Domains Program. But I think they finally figured out that it wasn’t improving the searcher experience and was keeping advertisers from using the Content Network because of poor quality traffic.
In addition to giving advertisers the ability to exclude parked domains, Google also gave Adwords advertisers the ability to exclude Content Network Error Page Ads, Traffic from Forums, Image-sharing pages, Social Networks and Video Sharing Pages. The new interface to accomplish this even gives you access to a break down of Content Network traffic in all of these page types.
They even took exclusions a step further, by giving you the power to exclude your ads from appearing on pages with content containing: Crime, police & emergency; Death & Tragedy; Military & International Conflict; Juvenile, gross & bizarre content; Profanity & rough language; and sexually suggestive content.
Advertisers have got to love the additional control they have on where their ads appear on Content Network. Demographic Bidding also gives additional flexibility in targeting advertising further. Being able to exclude traffic to searchers 17 years and older is particularly good for high end expensive products.
The bottom line is Google has take steps to allow advertisers more freedom to improve the Quality of their Content Network traffic. As a result more advertisers will likely use Content Network advertising. But Made For Adsense sites and poor Quality web sites will likely see a reduction in their AdSense Revenues as a result, which might reduce the asking price for ownership of some of these Parked Domains.
With this latest turn of events it makes one wonder which is the better or worse market: Real Estate or Domain Buying.