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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Update on Google's Ad Network Opacity

Quick update to my last post (about Google's selective lack of transparency regarding the new placement performance report which was designed to increase transparency). The Inside AdWords blog has some good information about the new placement performance report:
The report also provides a new level of transparency for traffic you accrued from sites in our network that are participating in the AdSense for domains program. Currently, AdSense for domains statistics are collectively reported, but we are working to give you site-by-site level statistics soon.
Good to hear that they are working on making the AdSense for Domains traffic transparent. I still think they should simply create a new network on the AdWords side for this traffic on the AdSense side. If AdSense for Content traffic is distributed to the AdWords content network, wouldn't it just make sense to have AdSense for Domains traffic distributed on an AdWords domain network?

The problem with these networks is that they include a significant number of low quality sites. It's essential for advertisers to identify and block these low quality sites. Again, good advice from the Inside AdWords blog in that regard:
Conversely, you can use this report as a guide to take action on the sites that aren't meeting your ROI goals. For poorly performing sites, we recommend optimizing your ad groups by refining the keyword lists in your campaigns or using our site exclusion tool.
Ah, but the site exclusion tool doesn't work for parked domain traffic. Well, you CAN block parked domains with the tool, but you have to block at the domain parking partner level. That's not a good solution - it's a hack. Perhaps this is part of the reason Google hasn't reported individual parked domains in the new placement performance report. Advertisers wouldn't be able to block those individual sites if they deem them low quality. The advertiser would have to know what domain parking system the particular parked domain was partnered with and block all traffic from that partner.

Again, wouldn't it just make sense to have all the AdSense for Domains traffic on its own AdWords network? I suspect Google's developers are as frustrated as I am with the current implementation of stuffing the domain traffic across *both* the search and content networks. Sigh. At least Google is working on the problem...

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