The Google AdSense Blog announced they have begun rolling out the AdSense for Domain product to US based publishers and will continue to roll this feature out to all publishers in the future. AdSense for Domains allows publishers to place ads on domains that have not yet been developed yet, also known as parked domains. Google said they would show “ads, links, and search results on the pages, and may add other useful information in the future,” on these pages.
You have to understand that AdSense for Domains, formerly known as Domain Park, is a product that has always been extremely controversial in the ad space market. Since 2005 and likely before then, Danny Sullivan has called for major reform of the product, because it delivered poor quality traffic sparked huge controversy. Not only that, we have reported lawsuit after lawsuit over the product and even with the reformed opt out feature, it still has resulted in more lawsuits.
So why did Google promise to make this available to all publishers? I think because they are getting worried about the economy and want to earn a buck anywhere and everywhere they can. Let’s look at the recent history, all in Q4 of 2008.
- December 8, 2008, Google now allows hard liqueur search ads in some cases, a policy they were against since AdWords launched.
- Before that, on October 31st, Google loosened their policies to allow beer search ads.
- On December 1st, we noticed Google showing text ads on image search
- Before that, Google on October 3rd, for the first time, placed display ads on Google Image search.
- In mid-November started placing ads (for the first time) on Google Finance and Google News.
- YouYube got ads in November as well
- Google Maps ads started appearing in early October.
- Google also started to allow gambling ads in the UK sometime in October.
- Google is also giving us more tools so we can spend more with them, including the Search-based keyword tool launched in November.
Again, these are only the changes we have seen to AdWords in the fourth quarter, or in the past two months and 11 days. I did not include the November quality score change that gave ads an easier time reaching the top spot above the organic results, which would likely drive more clicks on the ad and thus earn Google more money.
Do you see a pattern here?