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Google Cutting Back on Monetizing Domain Kiting
Ed Kohler

Google finds itself in the middle of quite a few sketchy markets where they both profit from the existence of the markets, yet potentially could also benefit from destroying the markets.

The current example is domain kiting where domain registrars temporarily register (yet avoid paying for) massive quantities of domains, throw up some Google AdSense ads, then collect up to 7 digit checks monthly from Google (after Google's allotment).

This type of advertising provides no value to customers while generating millions and millions per month for Google. Google has decided to destroy this market by banning AdSense ads from domains registered for less than 5 days. That's a simple move that has little effect on legitimate publishers.

It's a tricky situation since advertisers, who's ads get clicked on generating charges, may or may not have a problem with this. If the ads convert at a reasonable rate, no big deal. But is it really a market worth enabling?

An ongoing example that gets me more worked up is splogs. Why is it so easy for people to set up thousands of junk blogs on blogger, throw AdSense ads on the blogs, ping the crap out of blogs across the web, and actually make money?

This seems like such an easy thing for Google to detect since it generally uses at least two Google services: blogger and AdSense. Shouldn't they be able to do a better job detecting splogs and suspending the AdSense accounts of sploggers? Or, at least driving down the value of clicks from AdSense ads on splogs to a low enough point that splogs are no longer economically feasible?


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1. Posted by: ryanol on January 25, 2008 11:19 AM:

I think the days of blackhat BnP using the major blog providers are mostly gone or on their way out...most of the serious guys are way ahead of that curve. They generally roll their own platforms and aggregators with specific attention paid towards generating anonymous code signatures. Put em all on diff class C IP's and cash the checks before it all gets flushed down the toilet. Rinse, Rather, Repeat.

2. Posted by: Ed Kohler Author Profile Page on January 25, 2008 11:26 AM:

I could see that, ryanol, but Google's involved in more than one part of this market. They could prevent this by degrading the revenue per click earned by non-trusted publishers. Or suspend publishers who are doing spammy things.

There used to be a time when you had to actually be editorially approved to serve AdSense ads. Those days are long gone.

3. Posted by: ryanol on January 25, 2008 11:41 AM:

are you suggesting that they have a vested interest in serving these ads? ;)

Balancing revenue from adwords/adsense against overall search quality is IMHO where the serious mathematics are happening at google.

On a side note I have site that gets decent traffic from a k1nkos-dot-com offshoot splog. People are stupid they click on the ads on these pages.

For god sakes everytime I search something on my dads computer the stupid coolsearch results pop up.

4. Posted by: Ed Kohler on January 25, 2008 3:05 PM:

Exactly, ryanol. Lots of competing interests balancing quality & revenue, short and long term.

5. Posted by: Andrew Goodman on January 26, 2008 10:13 AM:

Yep Ed, splogs are sickening especially as they devalue the effort put into real blogs, making it harder for real bloggers to be compensated.

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