AdWords Team Sabotages Google Corporate Mission & Philosophy
Google does not allow pop-up ads of any kind on our site. We find them annoying. So why do they occasionally appear when you search on Google? Here are a few possible explanations:Now, what I'm about to explain doesn't violate this philosophy, technically speaking, because pop-up ads are being displayed on the Google search network and not on Google's site itself. However, if they "find them annoying" yet allow them on partner sites on their own network, then they are clearly violating the stated philosophy. This example is particularly ironic given Google's choice of the word "squatter" in this context. Google is profiting from sites who engage in this kind of practice through their AdSense for Domains program. How do I know this? I've seen the traffic in clients' web server log files.
- You may have encountered a squatter with an address similar to Google's. Occasionally, individuals will register domain names that are one letter off from a well-known URL in hopes of attracting those who make mistakes in their typing.
In the recent AdWords experiment I conducted, I chose not to exclude domainsponsor.com like I do now for clients' accounts. I was curious to see if I'd pay for any parked domain traffic and, if so, where that traffic would come from. What I found was that people intending to go to the Iowa GOP site (iowagop.net or iowagop.org) were instead typing iowagop.com which is a parked domain powered by searchportal.information.com which is owned by DomainSponsor which is partnered with Google. Now, going back to the above text on Google's corporate site where they talk about "a squatter with an address similar to Google's" - would iowagop.com be considered a "squatter" in this case? I don't know. I don't know what's considered typosquatting or cybersquatting versus legitimate domaining.
My point is that if Google is going to use the term "squatter" on their own site, then they shouldn't make money via their domain parking network from sites that could even be construed as squatting. I think this is the reason the AdWords team has sabotaged the Google corporate mission. They are choosing to not report to advertisers the actual domains where ads are displayed. They are, therefore, choosing to not "organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful." They are ignoring Google's mission. Judge for yourself:
That screenshot is from a searchportal.information.com URL I traced in my firm's web server log files. Trying to figure out where that Google ad click ultimately originated from led me to the "fake" Iowa GOP site:
Notice that Firefox blocked not 1 but 2 pop-ups from this site. That's what I mean by the AdWords team ignoring the Google no pop-ups corporate philosophy. If pop-ups are prohibited on Google, they should also be prohibited on the Google search network.
Now, what really irks me, though, as a buyer of pure search advertising via AdWords (content network off) is the fact that Google lumps this traffic in with their search network. This is distribution fraud, an important distinction from click fraud, which Google claims to have under control. Notice the "Iowa Straw Poll" link on the iowagop.com parked domain site. I had purchased the exact phrase [iowa straw poll] via AdWords with ad distribution set only for Google and the search network. IOW, the content network was off because I wasn't interested in contextual advertising for the experiment. My expectation, then, was to purchase the kind of traffic described on the Google help page answering the "Where will my ads appear?" question for the search network:
Your ads may appear alongside or above search results, as part of a results page as a user navigates through a site's directory, or on other relevant search pages.Do they mention navigation through a parked domain? No! Also, I'm not talking about direct navigation from generic keyword domains. That kind of traffic from a parked domain could be considered search advertising. Here's the path for each click my firm paid for that came from this particular searchportal.information.com URL:
- Someone types iowagop.com when intending to visit iowagop.net
- They click on the Iowa Straw Poll link
I can see, though, why Google doesn't want to report this kind of information to the advertisers who are paying for this traffic. That violates Google's mission. On top of that, these sites display multiple pop-ups, which is contrary to Google's no pop-ups philosophy. More important than either of those egregious facts, this is simply not search advertising. That's just plain wrong. Is it fraudulent?
Apogee Tags: domainsponsor, searchportal, iowagop, google mission, adwords, adsense for domains, domain parking, parked domains, distribution fraud, click fraud