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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Google AdWords Design Flaw - Not So Googley?

After reading What makes a design "Googley" on the Google blog and then an anonymous advertiser comment on my Vulcan Golf v. Google Trial Will Tarnish Google Brand post, I started thinking about an AdWords design flaw. Here's the comment:
when you opt out of the domain ads using the site and category exclusion tool, does it eliminate the ads coming through the search network from the parked domains? not clear here.
Since the site and category exclusion tool was designed for the AdWords content network, its impact on the search network doesn't seem like "Googley" design. I think it violates at least 3 of the 10 stated design principles:
  1. Simplicity is powerful. (Do these instructions seem simple?)
  2. Engage beginners and attract experts. (I think the way Google has implemented parked domains in AdWords takes advantage of beginners and frustrates experts.)
  3. Be worthy of people's trust. (Google's lack of transparency leads to a loss of trust.)
Now, having said all of that, I am pleased Google has introduced this feature. I'm perplexed, though, as to why they haven't announced it on an official blog (maybe Matt Cutts will take care of that). At any rate, this is an important new feature and all AdWords advertisers need to be aware that some aspects of the site and category exclusion tool apply to the search network. So, here was my response:
Yes, anonymous advertiser, opting out of the parked domain page type via the site and category exclusion tool applies to the search network, as well. This is a confusing design by Google since that tool is a content network tool. The What page types can I exclude help page says:

"The AdSense for domains network is encompassed by both the content network and the search network. If you exclude this page type, you'll exclude all parked domain sites, including the ones on the search network."

Also, see the guest post I wrote over at Search Engine Journal, Google AdWords Feature: AdSense for Domains Opt Out. The screenshot in the example is for a campaign that's opted into the search network but not the content network.
Here's the screenshot (not very Googley, IMHO):

not googley adwords tool

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