A judge presiding over a potential class-action lawsuit by search marketers against Google, has ordered the company to divulge financial metrics associated with its parked domains program.”
“The data that Google must disclose concerns its assessment of the quality of sites within its AdSense network, including its parked domain and errors pages. ”
“Among other information, Google must reveal the “conversion score value of the property source” — defined in the court order as “a metric Google uses to price clicks from Web sites contained in its network.”
“Also, Google must reveal the “smart pricing discount,” or the discount that Google applies to clicks on some of its AdSense properties.
Here’s the bad news, apparently under the court ruling only the advertisers would get that information, not the parked domain owners.
“U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Harold Lloyd in San Jose, Calif. ruled that Google should share this information with the marketers that are suing. The theory is that it sheds light into Google’s pricing formula for its parked domain program.”
“The legal battle between the marketers and Google dates back to 2008, when several companies filed lawsuits complaining that Google shouldn’t have placed them in its AdSense for Domains and AdSense for Errors programs.”
“The marketers alleged that such pages are low-quality and yield fewer purchases or other conversions than ads that appear on Google’s search results pages.”
“The marketers also said they believed that clicks on ads on parked domains “were unlikely to lead to desirable business outcomes, and that placement on such pages could damage their brands.”
“Google counters that parked-domain ads “perform as well as or better than ads on Search and Display Network sites.”
As every domainer knows despite Google revenue and profits increase quarter after quarter, year after year, our revenue has continued to decline drastically.
Not on has Google Revenue and profit risen but also the cost of the average click to advertisers and the amount of clicks.
Therefore there are only a few possible logically conclusions.
1. Google is being untruthful when they say “parked-domain ads “perform as well as or better than ads on Search and Display Network sites”. In fact ads on parked pages would have be be doing quite the opposite to reconcile Google’s financial reports which are running diagrammatically opposed to domainers income from parked pages.
2. Google is using its lack of transparency, to simply reduce payments to the domain holders and increase it’s bottom line.
Once Google introduced smart pricing, the revenue paid to all domainers has fallen.
Again this is counter intuitive since by definition such a product should reduce the payment for low quality traffic, but then would have to reward the higher quality traffic, thereby producing somewhat of a wash industry wide.
But every domainer’s income has fallen dramtcially over the years to just fractions of what we used to receive just a couple of years ago.
Hopefully though this case or as a result of this case, Google will have to start disclosing this information.
We will get to see how Quality Scores impact per click prices to the advertisers and whether in fact parked domains perform better than search and display ads.
Depending on what the information Google releases looks like, Google maybe seeing another class action suit, this time from domainers.
First we will also have to see if Google appeals this ruling.