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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Google Domain Parking Class Action Lawsuit

A few weeks ago, I was contacted via email by a law firm in San Francisco saying they were:
... researching AdWords distribution fraud, specifically as it relates to Google's actions relating to their AdSense for Domains and AdSense for Errors programs. Your blog posts have been very helpful in helping to uncover this problem. We are reviewing the possibility of a class action lawsuit against Google, and I would like to discuss this further with you.
Via Techmeme today, I see they did, indeed, file a class action lawsuit against Google related to domain parking. I had a conference call with a few people from the law firm and explained what I know about Google AdWords and parked domains. After hearing about the particular situation that prompted them to look into the lawsuit, I told them I thought they'd have difficulty with the case. I explained that Google now offers an opt out for the AdSense for Domains program. The problem with the opt out, though, is that most advertisers would not know to find it since it's not a setting in the campaign options. That's where most advertisers would expect to find this kind of option. What's confusing, too, is that the opt out applies to the search network but can only be set from the content network site exclusion tool:

site exclusion tool in google adwords

Anyway, I'm not quite sure what to make of this lawsuit. The particular advertiser in question doesn't seem to have too much data to either prove or disprove fraud. Based on reactions I've seen from other blogs (like Domain Name Wire), I think that advertiser will be portrayed as ignorant. Then again, maybe that's the point - that Google is preying upon small advertisers and, in effect, charging an ignorance tax.

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Monday, July 14, 2008

SEO Tool Update: inventory.overture.com Gone

Because Yahoo officially dropped the inventory.overture.com tool, I've stopped linking to it from this SEO tool for keyword research. That SEO tool still sets up links for further research using the free versions of these SEO tools: Wordtracker + Keyword Discovery. Consider this output:

SEO Tool Output

Notice the keyword phrase overture suggestion tool used in both the meta description and meta keywords tags. With the Overture suggestion tool now gone, Keyword Discovery will need to position itself to compete with Google's upgraded keyword tool.

So, what is Yahoo doing now with all of that inventory.overture.com traffic? Let's see:

inventory.overture.com redirect

First, they redirect inventory.overture.com to a searchmarketing.yahoo.com URL.

searchmarketing.yahoo.com redirect

Then, they redirect to a sem.smallbusiness.yahoo.com URL. Eventually, that URL will likely redirect to either adwords.google.com or adcenter.microsoft.com, depending upon this outcome. ;-)

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