Should you opt for the new AdSense for Domains opt out feature, quietly launched with the Google AdWords upgraded Site Exclusion tool?
(Author’s Note: This is a long overdue followup to Google AdWords & Domain Parking : Garbage Paid Search?)
The site exclusion tool applies to the content network. However, notice what happens if you click on the “Page Types” tab from within a pure search advertising campaign:
Google issues the following, confusing alert:
This campaign is not opted in to the content network. Most site and category exclusions do not apply to this campaign.
However, domain parking ads have clearly been running in this *search-only* advertising campaign. Via the checkbox, it is now possible to block this traffic. Do so if the conversions are poor. In the above case, NONE of the 916 clicks resulted in a conversion. Why?
Because the traffic being routed through the search network from these parked domains is not the generic keyword searches promised by Google.
Google’s annual report doesn’t say much about their AdSense for Domains program. This is the only mention (emphasis mine):
Google AdSense for Domains and Feeds. Google AdSense for domains allows owners of undeveloped domains that receive traffic from users typing generic terms into browsers or search to generate revenue from relevant advertising…. Like AdSense for search or content, Google shares the majority of the advertising revenue from AdSense for domains… with the domain owner.
The idea, then, is that if the user ends up on a generic keyword domain like rumcakes.com then that’s equivalent to a “rum cakes” search. That type of scenario benefits both the user and advertiser. Unfortunately, these generic keyword domains are not what I’m seeing via Google AdWords search campaigns. Digging through web server logs to find the parked domains responsible for the above 916 clicks, I found domain names like these:
Um, no thanks. Google, these aren’t the generic keyword domains you promised. I’ll opt out now!
For more details on tracking AdWords search network traffic from parked domains, read Google’s Miserable Failure.