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Old 12-21-2005   #1
Ottaviani
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AdWords For Domains Garbage Traffic

We recently discovered that we had 20K+ dollars worth of garbage traffic that came as a result of parked domains and similar types of sites. I have sent a complaint to Google and am waiting for a response but I feel like we have been duped. I am going to try and post our numbers in but I don't know if they will show up right. A couple of the sites are porn related.

Anything more than 15 clicks per sale is just crazy especially when AOL and Google are delivering 2-6 clicks per sale. I have little hope of getting any money back but our traffic spiked to four times the norm this month and it is a result of two parked domain type sites. I have removed our ads from the AdWords Network until Google can assure me of real quality search traffic from their "partners."

See for yourself...

Month Http Referer Base Visits (unique clicks) # of Sales Visits per Sale
2005-01 http://search.information 1057 7 151.0
2005-01 http://landing.domainsponsor 455 8 56.9
2005-01 http://pagead2.googlesyndication 748 47 15.9
2005-01 http://web.ask 136 15 9.1
2005-01 http://search.earthlink 101 13 7.8
2005-01 http://www.mywebsearch 89 14 6.4
2005-01 http://www.comcast 51 9 5.7
2005-01 http://www.google 2154 394 5.5
2005-01 NULL 1137 240 4.7
2005-01 http://mysearch.myway 64 16 4.0
2005-01 http://aolsearch.aol 563 172 3.3
2005-02 http://www.newsjg 144 1 144.0
2005-02 http://apps5.oingo 100 2 50.0
2005-02 http://pagead2.googlesyndication 332 14 23.7
2005-02 http://www.google 1169 206 5.7
2005-02 NULL 545 157 3.5
2005-02 http://search.information 54 16 3.4
2005-02 http://aolsearch.aol 336 108 3.1
2005-03 http://www.newsjg 279 1 279.0
2005-03 http://www.anna 67 1 67.0
2005-03 http://pagead2.googlesyndication 543 37 14.7
2005-03 http://apps5.oingo 112 18 6.2
2005-03 http://www.google 1667 318 5.2
2005-03 NULL 901 194 4.6
2005-03 http://web.ask 54 13 4.2
2005-03 http://www.mywebsearch 61 17 3.6
2005-03 http://aolsearch.aol 474 136 3.5
2005-04 http://ads.indiatimes 125 1 125.0
2005-04 http://atheism.about 121 1 121.0
2005-04 http://landing.domainsponsor 91 1 91.0
2005-04 http://search.information 89 1 89.0
2005-04 http://search.foxnews 168 2 84.0
2005-04 http://catholicism.about 146 2 73.0
2005-04 http://kd.mysearch 67 1 67.0
2005-04 http://cnn.netscape 59 1 59.0
2005-04 http://web.ask 1038 19 54.6
2005-04 http://pagead2.googlesyndication 4456 94 47.4
2005-04 http://www.websearch 69 2 34.5
2005-04 http://search.netscape 216 10 21.6
2005-04 http://home.bellsouth 106 5 21.2
2005-04 http://www.mywebsearch 207 13 15.9
2005-04 http://mysearch.myway 127 8 15.9
2005-04 http://www.google 5699 377 15.1
2005-04 http://www.latimes 77 6 12.8
2005-04 NULL 3092 254 12.2
2005-04 http://www.comcast 60 6 10.0
2005-04 http://search.earthlink 57 10 5.7
2005-04 http://apps5.oingo 122 29 4.2
2005-04 http://search.aol 83 22 3.8
2005-04 http://aolsearch.aol 1015 292 3.5
2005-05 http://pagead2.googlesyndication 1010 29 34.8
2005-05 http://web.ask 231 10 23.1
2005-05 http://www.google 2417 327 7.4
2005-05 http://www.mywebsearch 89 13 6.8
2005-05 NULL 1143 226 5.1
2005-05 http://apps5.oingo 55 15 3.7
2005-05 http://aolsearch.aol 785 358 2.2
2005-06 http://pagead2.googlesyndication 1596 59 27.1
2005-06 NULL 1223 145 8.4
2005-06 http://web.ask 52 7 7.4
2005-06 http://www.google 1742 303 5.7
2005-06 http://www.mywebsearch 51 10 5.1
2005-06 http://search.aol 84 34 2.5
2005-06 http://aolsearch.aol 566 268 2.1
2005-07 http://searchportal.information 418 2 209.0
2005-07 http://www.sedoparking 204 1 204.0
2005-07 http://www.treefrogcommerce 150 1 150.0
2005-07 http://apps5.oingo 265 3 88.3
2005-07 http://www.gogogo 57 1 57.0
2005-07 http://pagead2.googlesyndication 1925 65 29.6
2005-07 http://www.friendster 93 6 15.5
2005-07 http://www.mywebsearch 80 10 8.0
2005-07 NULL 1237 167 7.4
2005-07 http://www.google 2128 334 6.4
2005-07 http://web.ask 70 11 6.4
2005-07 http://search.earthlink 56 16 3.5
2005-07 http://aolsearch.aol 663 305 2.2
2005-08 http://www.sedoparking 350 2 175.0
2005-08 http://www.aleryj 153 1 153.0
2005-08 http://searchportal.information 295 2 147.5
2005-08 http://www.zegarsmierci 146 1 146.0
2005-08 http://www.lalki 70 1 70.0
2005-08 http://www.grydladzieci 64 1 64.0
2005-08 http://www.amatorki 63 1 63.0
2005-08 http://www.filmyporno 59 1 59.0
2005-08 http://www.treefrogcommerce 59 1 59.0
2005-08 http://www.gogogo 55 1 55.0
2005-08 http://pagead2.googlesyndication 2903 56 51.8
2005-08 NULL 2120 171 12.4
2005-08 http://www.google 1856 313 5.9
2005-08 http://www.mywebsearch 80 15 5.3
2005-08 http://apps5.oingo 183 41 4.5
2005-08 http://aolsearcht4.search 90 37 2.4
2005-08 http://aolsearch.aol 495 239 2.1
2005-09 http://lb1.netster 534 1 534.0
2005-09 http://searchportal.information 336 3 112.0
2005-09 http://pagead2.googlesyndication 3020 32 94.4
2005-09 http://www.sedoparking 51 1 51.0
2005-09 NULL 2330 221 10.5
2005-09 http://www.google 1630 244 6.7
2005-09 http://apps5.oingo 275 42 6.5
2005-09 http://www.mywebsearch 54 13 4.2
2005-09 http://aolsearch.aol 293 105 2.8
2005-10 http://www.pure-asians 132 1 132.0
2005-10 http://pagead2.googlesyndication 1990 20 99.5
2005-10 http://lb1.netster 172 2 86.0
2005-10 http://www.sedoparking 57 1 57.0
2005-10 http://apps5.oingo 416 11 37.8
2005-10 http://searchportal.information 67 4 16.8
2005-10 NULL 2040 166 12.3
2005-10 http://www.google 1586 241 6.6
2005-10 http://aolsearch.aol 198 61 3.2
2005-11 http://landing.domainsponsor 531 1 531.0
2005-11 http://searchportal.information 604 4 151.0
2005-11 http://pagead2.googlesyndication 79 2 39.5
2005-11 http://www.mywebsearch 85 11 7.7
2005-11 http://www.google 1790 280 6.4
2005-11 NULL 1070 227 4.7
2005-11 http://aolsearch.aol 300 85 3.5
2005-11 http://search.aol 58 19 3.1
2005-12 http://landing.domainsponsor 1789 2 894.5
2005-12 http://searchportal.information 2519 4 629.8
2005-12 http://megadirectory.ask 138 1 138.0
2005-12 http://pagead2.googlesyndication 78 1 78.0
2005-12 http://www.google 1185 157 7.5
2005-12 http://aolsearch.aol 179 38 4.7
2005-12 NULL 945 206 4.6
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Old 12-21-2005   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ottaviani
We recently discovered that we had 20K+ dollars worth of garbage traffic that came as a result of parked domains and similar types of sites. I have sent a complaint to Google and am waiting for a response but I feel like we have been duped. I am going to try and post our numbers in but I don't know if they will show up right. A couple of the sites are porn related.
"Recently discovered"? Sounds like someone should have been paying a bit more attention to what their money was being spent on

I get quite a bit of traffic from parked domains via Adwords. The conversion is slightly less, but still profitable none the less. I've never seen a porn site hosting any of my Google ads...would be interested to know what sites you are talking about.
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Old 12-21-2005   #3
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Angry Actually I assumend and probably was stupid of me...

that "quality search partners" meant just that. I am glad your numbers are close but ours are WAAAAY off 6 click per sale of Google vs. 894 clicks per sale off of domainsponsor.com. Come on that is just crazy and unethical to call it search.

Moderator edited out the URLS but they (2) are in my list you just have to search for them.

Last edited by Ottaviani : 12-21-2005 at 04:19 PM.
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Old 12-21-2005   #4
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If you haven't looked already you may find this page very helpful.

I'll have to have a look at those sites you mentioned later...I'm pretty sure they are not "work safe"

You mentioned that you contacted Google...while I'm not Google my guess would be that they will tell you something to the effect of "too bad, you should have read about the program and where your ads will appear before you authorized us to charge you. We delivered on what we said we would."

Just my guess.
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Old 12-21-2005   #5
Ottaviani
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I have seen the page you gave me... but that page

does not include the parked domain type of sites we are getting screwed with.

I don't care how Google spins it, you should not have to eat traffic from domainsponsor.com just so you can be on their real "search partner" site like AOL and ASK.
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Old 12-21-2005   #6
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Some of the more popular parked domains are part of the search network, but most are part of the content network. I assume from your posts that you are not using the content network...so it's an issue with the search network domain program.

You should contact your accout rep. If you're getting poorly converting traffic from parked domains in the search network they will work with you to block those particular sites from displaying your ads.
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Old 12-21-2005   #7
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I use to use the Content network but if you look...

at my list those show up as google syndication and I am not disputing those. I did speak with a rep today and she told me I could n ot block certain domains on the Adwords side only on the Adsense side. Of course Adsense ie. content network is not my problem.
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Old 12-21-2005   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ottaviani
at my list those show up as google syndication and I am not disputing those. I did speak with a rep today and she told me I could n ot block certain domains on the Adwords side only on the Adsense side. Of course Adsense ie. content network is not my problem.
Do you have your own account rep? I assumed you did with $ figures you were quoting earlier. Anyway, when I called and asked I was told they would work with me to block certain parked domains within the search network from displaying my ads if I told them which ones I wanted to block.
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Old 12-21-2005   #9
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You should be sure to look at Google AdSense For Domains Program Overdue For Reform -- And Yahoo & Microsoft Should Also Take Note, which I posted today. In short, it summarized (and for members goes deep) into how you can't block Google AdSense For Domains becuase Google -- wrongly in my view -- considers this part of Google AdSense For Search rather than Google AdSense For Content.

<rant>
These names are just killing me. Honestly, let's just call AdSense for content AdSense, AdSense For Domains DomainSense or DomainPark and AdSense For Search AdWords, so that it's much clearer these are three very, very different products.

Then, if you want to buy search targeted ads, you buy AdWords. Want content? You buy AdSense. Want parked domain traffic? You buy DomainSense. Want to carry Google ads? Then you can also decide which of these programs to carry.

The entire I bought AdWords so I got AdSense For Content, Search & Domains but I can exclude ads on Content but I can't on Search and oh, Domains are part of Search, it's nutty.
</rant>

Overall, as GuyFromChicago says, some people may find parked domain traffic converts. But it clearly is NOT the same as search targeted traffic and so like the content program, it ought to be a completely separate buy/marketplace.
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Old 12-21-2005   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dannysullivan
In short, it summarized (and for members goes deep) into how you can't block Google AdSense For Domains becuase Google -- wrongly in my view -- considers this part of Google AdSense For Search rather than Google AdSense For Content.
Danny, I was told the opposite no more than an hour ago - they would "work with me" (whatever that means) to block my ads from being displayed on "adsense for domains" that are within the search network. Different rules for different people?

I do fully agree, this should be a seperate entity (check box option) all together and you should be able to opt in and out as easily as you can with the search and content networks. I think you should be able to do the same with gmail ads...but that's a topic for another thread
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Old 12-21-2005   #11
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I heard from someone else that they'd also heard about the "work with you" type of thing -- and I'm with you on the checkbox and Gmail checkboxes.

What's incredibly frustrating is that it took THREE YEARS for Google to finally let people pick and choose exclusion on the content side, which advertisers wanted from the start. Oh, it'll be too confusing what the initial excuse.

I'd hate to see them spend another three years sorting out all these different channels. Ads that are contextually targeted on web pages are different from ads that are targeted against email content versus those against keywords versus those on parked domains. Break out the channels, make them separate as Yahoo pretty much does and they'll win more support and hear less complaints.
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Old 12-21-2005   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dannysullivan
I heard from someone else that they'd also heard about the "work with you" type of thing -- and I'm with you on the checkbox and Gmail checkboxes.
I would even take them up on the offer just to see what "work with you" means...except for that as I mentioned previously they happen to be working for me at the present time.
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Old 12-21-2005   #13
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Thanks Danny that was one of the reasons I...

posted the information I did. Unlike Chicago guy the rep I spoke with today told me I could not exclude certain sites. She also told me each site that was in the AdWords search network had to have a search box. The problem is that it doesn't matter if that have a search box or not since many of these queries are being generated by clicks on a keyword or merely a parked domain.

The fact that they are selling all of this traffic under the banner of "search" is a joke. This is why we see ROI rates that are hundres of times worse from parked domain sites versus real people initiating a search.

I know some people get good ROI off of AdSense traffic, we never did. I wasted thousands of dollars experiementing with that traffic trying to get good ROI. Now that you can bid differently on that traffic it probably will greatly improve. But even under the old system at least they seperated out which traffic was which. Right now all "search" traffic is show the same way in their reporting tool. To me that is deceptive and unethical.
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Old 12-21-2005   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dannysullivan
In short, it summarized (and for members goes deep) into how you can't block Google AdSense For Domains becuase Google -- wrongly in my view -- considers this part of Google AdSense For Search rather than Google AdSense For Content.
Thanks for reporting on this issue. It's unbelievable. Definitely seems contrary to the whole "Don't Be Evil" mantra. Then again, "Evil" is rather subjective.

Despite Google's documentation explaining that "AdSense for domains features ads from the Google AdWords network" I've been seeing traffic for my clients coming from the Google content network. Then again, when they say "Google AdWords network" it could mean "Google AdWords search network" or "Google AdWords content network" so this isn't very clear. How do I know that some parked domain clicks are coming from the content network and not the search network? I create duplicate campaigns. One with only the search network checkbox selected and the other with only the content network selected. Even after Google created the option to bid separately on the content network, I find it useful to track them separately and see separate stats via the Google AdWords admin interface.

For example, when creating separate, duplicate campaigns, I'll create separate tracking URLs along these lines:

www.client-domain.com/?refH=goog&t=xyz
www.client-domain.com/?refH=goog&t=xyzC

where the latter is the tracking for the content network campaign. I'm seeing hits on these tracking URLs from referring sites that look like:

apps5.oingo.com/apps/domainpark/domainpark.cgi?s=www.some-stupid-site.com&cid=XYZ123&uid=54321

If all parked domain clicks are coming from the content network, I can live with that. If some come from the search network, that's "evil" IMHO. Do other people track search and content network separately? If so, are you seeing parked domain traffic coming from the content network?
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Old 12-22-2005   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ApogeeWebLLC
If so, are you seeing parked domain traffic coming from the content network?
I see domain traffic from both the search an content networks. It was explained to me that some of the more popular domains (i.e. high traffic) are included in the search network.
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Old 12-23-2005   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ApogeeWebLLC
Thanks for reporting on this issue. It's unbelievable. Definitely seems contrary to the whole "Don't Be Evil" mantra. Then again, "Evil" is rather subjective.
What I don't understand is why more people are not outraged by this. Even if the ROI for most people is not as bad as mine on the parked domain type sites there is no way the traffic is performing as well and yet all of us are paying a premium search price for it. This is so unethical and there is no way most companies would get away with this sort of thing. But Google is the new 1,000 lbs. gorilla.
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Old 12-27-2005   #17
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4 Business Days and not response.

I know that with the holidays a slower response might be expected but it is not day 4 and so far not phone call or email from google responding to my request to look into the fraud/garbage traffic coming from parked domain sites. Up to this point I have done the following...

1. Submit a complaint through Google Chat.

2. Called and spoke with a customer Adwords customer rep.

3. Email an excel spread sheet with teh data and an explaination to the cumstomer rep at her specific email address.

4. I confirmed the number of the account in question as we have multiple accounts with google.


But at least I have my red vinyl google laptop kit...
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Old 01-09-2006   #18
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Google continues to sell bogus "search partner" traffic...

Google sent the following response to our complaint about bogus/fraudlent traffic. In the response they did not even address a single issue we compained about and did not reference a single piece of data. They have been unwilling to refund even a penny of our money. Below is Google's response to a summary of the information we compiled from our web logs. The fact that Google continues to sell domain parked traffic the same as traffic coming from AOL or Ask.com is unethical and immoral. The worst part is they give you no recourse to to fix the situation since you cannot get traffic from authentic partners wihtout getting the bogus traffic from parked domains.

---------------------------------------------------------------------
We finished our investigation of your report regarding suspicious clicks on ads in account xxx-xxx-xxxx. Thank you for your patience while we researched this issue.

We investigated all click activity in your account, examining numerous data points for each click, including IP address and other click patterns, looking for any signs of clicks made by unethical users and other potentially invalid activity. After a thorough investigation, our team was unable to find any conclusive evidence of invalid clicks in your account.
The clicks you received are typical of normal user and system behavior.

Our team noted that your campaigns may have received a higher than usual amount of click activity because they are opted into our search partner network, which includes members of Google AdSense for domains (http://www.google.com/domainpark/). Using Google's contextual targeting technology, AdSense for domains shows AdWords ads on parked domain name pages.

We've found that AdWords ads showing on parked domain name pages often receive clicks from well-qualified leads within the advertisers' markets.
As a result, the return on investment for these pages can be comparable to that of search pages. We also constantly analyze data from the Google Network against a variety of factors. If our data shows that a click is less likely to turn into business results (e.g. online sale, registration, phone call, newsletter sign-up), we reduce the price you pay for that click.

As you monitor the sources of traffic to your site and the conversion rate for each, you can also adjust the search bids, content bids, and distribution settings to a level that is appropriate for your business.
For information on changing your ad distribution settings, please visit https://adwords.google.com/support/b...py?answer=6276.

Please be assured that we strictly prohibit any method used to artificially generate clicks or page impressions and take great efforts in closely monitoring clicks on Google Ad Words ads to prevent abuse. If you have any data that suggests invalid click activity in the future, please feel free to reply to this email, and our team will be happy to investigate your account further.

Sincerely,

Sachan
The Google Click Quality Team
------------------------------------------------------------------------



The “search” traffic coming from domainsponsor and information only 1% was originating from North America. See below:


lacnic = 20%

internic = 0%

apnic = 28%

dodnic = 0%

ripe = 47%

afrinic = 0%

arin = 1%



When we baselined this against the traffic coming directly from Google search, 73% was coming from North America. See below:



lacnic = 3%

internic = 0%

apnic = 9%

dodnic = 0%

ripe = 14%

afrinic = 0%

arin = 73%



Now there are three CLEAR pieces of evidence:

1.The origin of the search traffic is way out of line (Google 73% North America versus 1% North America for these “search partners”)

2. The proportion of the search traffic is way out of line (Google 20%, domainsponsor 29%, information 41%)

3.The conversion rate of the search traffic is way out of line (Google 7:1, domainsponsor 900:1, information 650:1)

Honestly I don’t know what other information that we could provide to make our case more clear! I look forward to your response, and to getting this issue behind us. If you need something additional please let me know.

Again, we are simply asking that this bogus “search traffic” be removed from our bill for 2005
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Old 01-09-2006   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dannysullivan
I heard from someone else that they'd also heard about the "work with you" type of thing -- and I'm with you on the checkbox and Gmail checkboxes.

What's incredibly frustrating is that it took THREE YEARS for Google to finally let people pick and choose exclusion on the content side, which advertisers wanted from the start. Oh, it'll be too confusing what the initial excuse.

I'd hate to see them spend another three years sorting out all these different channels. Ads that are contextually targeted on web pages are different from ads that are targeted against email content versus those against keywords versus those on parked domains. Break out the channels, make them separate as Yahoo pretty much does and they'll win more support and hear less complaints.
I was with you, Danny, ((although I get less frustrated than most people given that I am a self-admitted (OK, Grehan-accused) Google Doyenne), until you got to the "as Yahoo pretty much does" part.

Yahoo's oh so painful in its very own special ways.

But I do agree that it would be neat to break out the channels (eg. Gmail etc.)

For Yahoo and Google both, there is some stuff in the search partners stream that should clearly be over in content.

While I have you -- did you want to elaborate on the "as Yahoo pretty much does" part?
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Old 01-09-2006   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GuyFromChicago
I see domain traffic from both the search an content networks. It was explained to me that some of the more popular domains (i.e. high traffic) are included in the search network.
And to continue on a bit... Ottaviani... asked why more people aren't outraged by it. (In particular, non-search being lumped in with search.) I for one am outraged. And have been for years. And before that, even, met a lot of great folks on forums, when I was outraged at GoTo.com's affiliate crap traffic. I guess though it is hard to keep the same level of outrage going for three plus years.

Google should not lump domainWhatever (TM) traffic in with search network traffic. Period.

Nor should Yahoo lump non-search traffic in with search or precision match or whatever they would like to call it. And for the record, Yahoo/Ov started it, have done more of it, and have been sneakier about it, from what we've seen in our server logs.

The most irritating thing about this is that you can now bid separately on content on both networks. But then you get crap (or at least unsolicited, non-search) clicks thrown in, at the same bid, into the regular search stream. That's not fair -- it basically gives you no defense or opt-out.
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