Google Sued Over Parked Domain Names
Tuesday, July 15th, 2008
Lawsuit alleges ads on parked domains are low quality and unlikely to convert.
A lawyer has sued Google claiming that none of his ads on parked domain names converted into leads, and that Google didn’t provide an easy way to opt out of domain parking, writes Information Week.
The lawyer spent $136.11 on ads on parked domains and error pages. He got 668 clicks and zero conversions, according to the lawsuit. According to the article, the lawsuit alleges that “Google includes millions of parked domains and error pages that have little or no content, and that result in practically zero conversions, in both its Content Network and its Search Network. Given the low quality of these parked domain and error pages, advertisers would not want to spend their advertising budgets on these distribution networks. However, Google designed its network in such a way that it was virtually impossible to opt out of the AdSense for Domains and/or AdSense for Errors programs.”
The lawyer apparently advertised his services before Google allowed advertisers to opt-out of domain parking. The lawsuit seeks class action status.
Although there is fraud on domain parking, this appears to be another manufactured lawsuit to milk Google for money. The article in Information Week doesn’t suggest how the lawyer’s ads converted on other pages. And only $136 worth of ads on parked domains is hardly a fair sample size. Perhaps he was advertising for a highly competitive topic with known high click prices, which would have been more susceptible to fraud. Or maybe his landing page wasn’t designed to convert well.
A possible outcome of this lawsuit is that Google may be forced to reveal more data about conversion rates on parked domain names. The company has marketed that parked domains produce similar results to other web sites in its content network.
As many domainers and people who advertise on parked domain names will tell you, lack of content doesn’t mean lack of converting ads. Many parked domains convert extremely well for advertisers.