Google Adwords Domain Traffic: The Discussion Continues
There's a great thread at Search Engine Watch forums called "Adwords for Domains Garbage Traffic." The thread was actually started in Decembe 2005, but it was revived a couple of weeks ago by poster ApogeeWebLLC. For one thing, ApogeeWeb and others have found that attempts to exclude sites like "searchportal.information.com" have not stopped Adwords traffic from that referrer. This is disconcerting.
Others have asked about conversion rates on domain-parked traffic, to which I replied that yes, we do get conversions from some of these - with the emphasis on some. Some of the domain traffic is awful - which is why I keep asking (begging?) for exclusion at the site level, network-wide.
Also, ApogeeWeb posted a link to his free tool which parses out the actual referring site from the content network. So instead of seeing "pagead2.googlesyndication.com", you can get at the actual referring site. I haven't tried the tool, because it's complicated and I haven't had time, but it looks pretty cool.
Today, I noticed a new development in our referral analysis from Atlas. Starting sometime in January, we've been getting traffic from:
What the heck is that? SEW forum moderator Discovery and I surmise that Google may be trying to add a classification for domain traffic, distinct from Search and Content. Is that the case? Or is this another attempt by Google to cloak or mask their traffic and make it less transparent? And why is this such a touchy area for Google? They've been responsive to click fraud accusations, trademark complaints (TOO responsive on that one, if you ask me), and numerous other advertiser requests - why is this domain thing shrouded in mystery? Why the silence and backpedaling on the part of Google?
I think I know the answer: BIG MONEY. I believe there is huge money being made on this traffic. In fact, I bet it makes click fraud revenue look like yesterday's pocket change. I know we pay for a lot of clicks from stuff like this, and it's not all good.
Keep watching - I feel this is going to be a hot topic for a while to come.