Google Continues Hiding Parked Domain Clicks

    March 27, 2008
    WebProNews Staff

Webmasters might be forgiven if they didn’t notice the option to opt their ad campaigns out of Google’s AdSense for Domains.

The option to keep one’s ads off of AdSense for Domains hasn’t exactly received the same level of promotion as Google’s Site & Category Exclusions, which received a post of explanation on the Inside AdWords blog.

Richard Ball at Apogee Web Consulting pointed out the option to exclude ads from parked domains, tucked away in the Google AdWords help.

“You can help prevent parked domain sites from showing your ads by using the Site and Category Exclusion tool. Before you do, however, we recommend that you review the performance information on the Page Types tab to make sure that you won’t be missing out on valuable traffic,” says Google.

Ball isn’t convinced of that value. If it’s so wonderful, why hide it, he wondered:

How does Google explain the decision to detail clicks from individual domains on their pay per click advertising network but to hide the individual parked domains from advertisers? Over nine months ago, they said (emphasis mine):

Currently, AdSense for domains statistics are collectively reported, but we are working to give you site-by-site level statistics soon.

After almost a year, they still haven’t organized this information for advertisers!

With 916 clicks from parked domains, out of 14,278 impressions generated, Ball wanted to know why Google would be keeping the identities of these domains away from AdWords clients. He wasn’t impressed with what his server logs revealed.

“I was stunned to see where they came from,” he said. “To borrow a phrase from renowned domainer, Frank Schilling, it will “blow your hair back” to see the high quantity but very low quality of these domain names.”

Among these domain names:,,, and others. Several domains in the dot-cn top-level domain, meaning a Chinese registry, also appeared in his log data as sources for ad clicks.

“I honestly cannot believe that Google turns a blind eye to this sort of garbage traffic on their own advertising network. They claim to sift through their log files to help prevent fraud. Don’t they see this traffic?” Ball asked.

We think that’s a great question. How about it, Google? What’s the criteria for low quality traffic? Do parked domains have an exclusion from having their traffic graded this way? Are advertisers being penalized with low quality scores when their ads show up on AdSense for Domains?

Inquiring webmasters want to know. Unless that corporate mission of organizing the world’s information and making it useful has an intentional blind spot regarding parked domains, why not show advertisers in their AdWords reports which domains send along those clicks?

With this in mind, Google’s decision to limit individual site exclusions makes more sense. If they showed webmasters all the parked domains sending clicks, and webmasters dumped them into Site Exclusions as fast as possible, Google could be out lots of PPC ad revenue each month.

Google’s recent click declines have been attributed to weeding out low quality traffic. It seems their paying AdWords customers would be helpful in doing so by excluding parked domain clicks.

Perhaps, just a little too effective for comfort.