Is Google Partnered with Spammers?
Depending on the design of the site, a parked domain site will be classified as either a search site or a content site. That means your ads may show on parked domain sites if your campaign is opted in to the search or content networks.I have a problem with that. I can live with parked domains cropping up on the Content network. You can use the AdWords Site Exclusion Tool to block sites on the Content network. Despite suggestions that this tool now works for parked domains on the Search network, that is not the case. So, it's either turn off the Search network and lose valid traffic with invalid traffic or split a campaign into two and run ads on the Search network at lower bids. Yes, that'll minimize the risk but it still means the loss of valid traffic. I'd rather simply block the parked domain garbage sites and keep a campaign's distribution preferences set to Google + Search network.
Google's algorithms should've picked up the traffic as fraudulent. No way there are more searches from a parked domain traffic than on google.com itself. No way all these searches from different IP addresses just happened to all type the exact same keywords with the exact same case. Each search has the first letter capitalized. That's not normal search behavior. It is, however, what you'd see if someone went to a parked domain site powered by searchportal.information.com and then clicked on a link. Those pages have pretend navigation that looks something like this:
» Some Keywords
» Other Keywords
» More Keywords
» These Keywords
» Those Keywords
Those links go to a long, ugly URLs that look sort of like (for obvious reason I'm editing):
Note the "query=" part of the URL. The keywords begin with capital letters. If anyone reading this blog entry is using the Search network, start digging through your traffic (either via web analytics or log file analyis) and see if you have been exposed to traffic from this site. Judging by Alexa, information.com has a traffic rank of 167 and 91% of that traffic is on the searchportal.information.com subdomain. Doesn't that sound fishy? I don't know if information.com owned by oversee.net who also happens to own domainsponsor.com are spammers or not. I'd be hesitant to label anyone a spammer without solid proof. I do wonder, though, where they get their traffic from. How can parked domains bring more traffic than a property like google.com? Gee, it just so happens that this is the case for some expensive keywords. Whether these guys or spammers or not, Google is guilty of cheating its clients, the AdWords advertisers. I think they're looking out for these domainers more so than their advertisers. Note this line on their parked domains page:
Powering millions of domain names, Google AdSense for domains is the industry's premier parked page service. Google is seeking new partnerships with large domain portfolios owners. As a leading innovator and one of the fastest growing ad providers on the web, we want to build strong relationships with partners who have a proven record of high-quality traffic and who share our vision of providing highly relevant advertising on parked page inventory. We align our goals squarely between Google and our partners, making the user experience positive while generating revenues for both parties.Yikes! Millions of domain names? Where in here does it talk about the interests of the companies that pay Google's bills? Nope, not a word about the advertisers. I need to figure out how to get a clickfraud refund for my client and also how to manage all of my clients' accounts going forward to prevent this sort of fraud from happening. I need your help. If you use AdWords and are opted into the Search network, check your site traffic and see if you're paying for traffic from searchportal.information.com. Post a comment here if you are. With an Alexa rank in the top 200 of all web sites, I've got to believe many AdWords advertisers are exposed to traffic from these garbage sites. If you've complained to Google about searchportal.information.com traffic, let me know. I'd like to find out Google's response. Now, I've got some web server log file analysis to do. Sigh.
Is Google partnered with spammers? It looks that way to me. What do you think?
Apogee Tags (NOT Technorati Tags): google adwords, adsense for domains, click fraud, domain parking, clickfraud, parked domain sites, ppc advertising, pay per click, search engine marketing, searchportal.information.com, oversee.net, spammers, shuman ghosemajumder, invalid clicks, content ads, search network