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Friday, August 03, 2007

Does Google Have Permission for this Mission Omission?

As you're reading this post, keep Google's mission statement in mind:
Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.
Ok. What's wrong with this picture?

domain ads in adwords report

No, not the first line that shows that contextual advertising doesn't work on social networking sites, which might make a great topic for a future post. (Note to self: Make sure clients *never* buy CPM ads on social networking sites.) I'm talking about the second line of this AdWords Placement Performance Report Example. The whole point of these new reports is to provide transparency into the AdWords content network. Unfortunately, that transparency is inexplicably opaque. Does Google's mission not apply to information inside the Googleplex? Perhaps their mission, due to the omission of specific parked domains information, is in need of a revision:
Google's mission is to organize the world's information (where world indicates any location outside of any Googleplex) and make it universally accessible (except to AdWords advertisers even though they bring us 99% of our revenue) and useful (where we are the sole arbiters of what could be considered useful and reserve the right to exclude any information that could have a deleterious impact on our earnings growth).
Ok, I think my tongue is now stuck to the inside of my cheek. Seriously, though, can you see how ridiculous this is? I don't think this partial transparency is going to sit well with Google's customers. Now that advertisers are using the new report and realize these glaring omissions exist, some questions are being raised and some pressure's being put on Google to take action:
Transparency is necessary. Simply blocking all AdSense for Domains traffic is not necessarily the answer. If you've been a subscriber since my Not Search Engine Spam post which details garbage traffic from parked domains, you'd probably think I'd advocate blocking parked domains entirely.

On the contrary, just as the AdWords content network includes both high quality and low quality sites (which makes site exclusion an essential tool), the same is true of the domain network. But, wait a minute?! There is no domain network. Precisely! That's what I've meant when I've posted about Google's hidden ad network. The AdSense for Domains traffic is distributed on *both* the search and content networks of AdWords. That's the problem. It's fitting a square peg in a round hole.

It's time to create a domain network, in addition to the existing search and content networks. Let this traffic stand on its own. Let advertisers see precisely where their ads are being displayed. Let them use site exclusion to weed out those sites (or parked domain networks) that are low quality non-generic domains. Let the advertisers measure the results and see if the domain parking traffic conversion myth exists. Let's find out.

Dear Google, would it be possible to have that "information and make it universally accessible and useful" for us, your best customers? Either that, or could you revise your mission statement? And, stop mentioning it on your blog. Or maybe these guys from the search quality team can help out with the quality of the reporting of the quality parked domain traffic on the AdWords content network (which also might be distributed on the search network)? Ah, maybe that's it. Perhaps the mission statement applies to the teams on the organic side of search and not paid search. Is that it?

P.S. Is Google now also a search engine marketing firm?

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