Google Tells Domain Tasters To Eat Cake

In its continuing quest to provide a better user experience at the expense of AdSense publishers, Google is putting an end to domain tasting. The new policy will go into effect before the end of February.

What Is Domain Tasting?

All new domain purchases are subjected to the Add Grace Period (AGP). This a time period (normally five days) when registrars can delete a domain at no cost. What the domain taster does is register millions of domains and place Google Adsense for Domains on them, then drop the domains after the AGP expires and start all over again. It’s kinda like kiting a check.

Apparently, there is good money in domain tasting. According to Domain Tools, one Google domain taster was generating as much as $3 million dollars a month from the practice and that was after Googleโ€™s revenue share.

Oversee.net and other companies have been using this practice for years and it will have a direct impact on them. The gravy train of free money might be coming to a halt very fast. This policy change at Google should be announced to the channel partners soon and it will have a huge echoing impact on the Industry.

By not allowing AdSense for Domain on domains that are less than five days old, Google hopes to provide a better user experience by cutting down on the millions of parked pages on the Net. Of course, this move will also has an effect on Google’s bottom line. It’s going to cost them millions in lost revenues.


45 thoughts on “Google Tells Domain Tasters To Eat Cake”

  1. Good riddance. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has tried to register a domain name for useful purposes only to find out that it’s already taken by a parking company.

    1. Parked domains shouldn’t even be allowed.

    2. I think I might be victim too and hopefully this will change in the months to come.

    3. Now I wish I had waited to buy some of my ’08 domains cause I’m sure plenty good ones will be available soon. Thanks for the heads up, John. And a very special thanks to the big G :mrgreen:

  2. Domain tasting makes the market so much more frustrating. Good domains are hard to find, and if we have companies test driving domains for 5-day periods, it’ll make finding domains even more difficult.

  3. Mubin says:

    Millions in Lost revenue a month, but maybe by cleaning up the act the cpc will start to increase?

    1. I highly doubt it. ๐Ÿ˜•

    2. That could be a possibility but parked domains will still lower the cost so I highly doubt it will change the market a lot.

    3. RacerX says:

      I don’t see Google losing at all. You are making an assumption the customers won’t click elsewhere, or that the diminishing utility of AdWords for major PPC buyers hasn’t been affected.

      Often you have to amputate to save the patient ๐Ÿ™

  4. bennyong says:

    I never knew domain testing exists but that is abusing the system and affects genuine interests. Good that Google is putting a stop to this. Cheers ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Will says:

      yea. the ideas people have will never cease to amaze me.

    2. I would rather say it was about time that they stop that. They had a long time fighting the fraudulent clicks but they kinda left behind (or did not thought about) at all for domain tasting.

  5. Billy Jack says:

    I am relatively new to the whole blogging family, but in the short time I have been in it, it seems to me that Google is terribly anal about how things are done. I can’t believe they ever allowed this practice on principle (even though it was profitable). It seems to be very self contradictory.

  6. Seopher says:

    Looking at it from the other side of the argument, Google is challenging every user who tries to make money using them! Cutting the Affiliate scheme for the US, changing the Adsense clickable area, this…

    I see their point from a business point of view but as someone who makes money online it looks like they’re closing the door on entrepreneurs. Domain parkers may be the bottom of the Internet food chain but still, this’ll hurt a lot of people.

    1. I think the first 2 (cutting affiliate and change adsense clickable areas) were bad decisions on Google’s part but I think this domain parking thing is a great move.

      Domain parking and AGP are 2 totally different issues. The former pays for the domain (most of the time) while the latter is just doing it for free, at the expense of other users who may want to purchase those domains in the first place.

  7. Great to see Google doing something about it. I doubt it will end unless the other advertisers like Yahoo and MSN follow suit but it’s definitely a good start.

    And hopefully it would be much easier for us to get the domain names that we’ve all been searching for now.

  8. Shaun Carter says:

    I was pretty bullish on Google stock before they made the clickable area change and now this. Changing the clickable area has lowered ctr rates and revenues for publishers (and Google I presume) and this will have the same effect.

    The only way G can continue to grow earnings while at the same time cannibalizing their revenue is to increase their cut of the revenue share – which may turn publishers away and into other advertising programs.

    1. That’s true but considering that Google is the biggest search engine out there and has the most user base, publishers might still be inclined to use them.

  9. I think this is a great move on Google’s part. Now more domains will be available to the rest of us. However, I’m sure there are other monitization methods available to do this kind of thing, Adsense was just the easiest.

  10. Will says:

    Well atleast it’s good to know google is doing something that doesn’t involve increasing their profit.

  11. I just blogged about this after checking my RSS reader and saw domaintools post. Its great news as Domain Tasting sucks for sure ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Jacob says:

    I think that this was a good idea for Google. These parked domains make a ton of money for people and the truth is, it’s just a domain sitting there getting clicks; there’s really no content on it; there’s really nothing on it that suits people other than potentially getting more clicks. And doesn’t Google constantly try for more targeted clicks?

    Now, when it comes to the topic of domain tasters, I think that it is absolutely ludicrous. I don’t think someone should be allowed to buy a domain name and then decide five days later he or she does not want it. If you bought the domain name, you should have to keep it for the year. But, I guess the truth is, the problem with domain tasting is that it’s people trying to profit from it for five days before saying they don’t want it.

    So, with Google’s three changes to their program, the first being the way the ads can be clicked, the second being the affiliate program and finally this, I can say that they’ve got a 33% success rate in doing things the right way. The first two things were stupid, but I like this. That’s just my opinion, though.

  13. Rhys says:

    I agree with everything said before. I had a domain name that was farily premium. Stupidly, I let it go, and within about half an hour, it was snapped up.

    I hate squatters, and domain tasters, they kill domains from using them for useful purposes. Imagine if shop fronts weren’t allowed to be occupied for real businesses, but instead for people making money on property? People would go insane! Why should poeple do it online?

    Incidentally, here’s a fantastic story on cybersquatting:

    http://calloftheday.net/?p=149

    1. Rhys says:

      Incidentally John, what’s your view on this? From first impressions of the first line of your post, you appear to be for domain tasting. Then, rereading it, you appear to be fairly neutral about it, looking at it from Google’s POV?

  14. I hope google DIE – they banned my adsense acc yesterday and I had only just hit $30 a day! Ta hell with google, helloo adbrite!

    1. Shaun Carter says:

      You’ll go from $30 a day to $1 a day with Adbrite. There really aren’t any GOOD adsense alternatives and it’s a shame.

    2. Adbrite aren’t a good adsense alternative.

      1. Ankur K says:

        Why do you need ad networks??

        Just look at john’s earnings itself and you will notice the only way to go is PRIVATE ADS.

        They may be difficult to get at first, but if you continue ad networks, you will never know!

  15. I’d rather Google have fixed their affiliate network instead. I still see spam in there and they are a long way behind CJ, and perhaps even pepperjamnetwork on that front.

  16. I Make It Harder for People to Rank with My Automated Spam Empire So More People Buy AdSense says:

    Was dropping links when Google was earthless
    When meta tags had purpose and backlinks were worthless
    When the SERPs was dirtless and before TLA had surfaced
    Underground before Matt Cutts had his hands on PageRank
    Quality content
    Pre links exchange and splog posts
    Keyword researches
    Before the links was purchased
    Matt Cutts stands in person
    No care for spam or hijacks
    Selling links at a yard sale
    PageRank merchants
    G don’t care

    Unconscious servers its disaster time
    When spam hijacks SERPs AdSense spirals like blackholes

  17. Thanks for telling us about this “trend”… Certainly some of these black-hat guys may be raking in the money, but once they’re caught it will be their very own loss.

    Earning money that way is certainly low ethics…

    Thanks for explaining. As always: excellent blog articles. ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. Smart move by goog…ty 4 the update

  19. David Chew says:

    Thanks for posting john.

  20. Nice to see you take your point of view on this John – I’m a regular reader (direct and RSS) of your blog and it’s to follow a Canadian success story.

    However, while Google is a major player in the domain parking space, they are far from being the only one – and possibly far from being the dominant one.

    If anything, this will drive the domain tasting/kiting revenue model to a multitude (dozens) of Tier-2 and Tier-3 parking PPC/CPA players….

    A search for “domain parking” on any of the current search engines (facebook, google, amazon, a9, mahalo, live, yahoo etc etc) reveals PLENTY of monetization methods.

    All this being said, I think that ICANN (amongst others) must address the abuse of the 5 day refund window.

    Robin

  21. I guess it’s hooray? :mrgreen:

  22. Yes, there are lots of parking monetization models but the best one I’ve tried so far is in my name.

  23. Andy says:

    This move should have been made at least 1 year ago.

    btw. did any normal people manage to cancel a mistakenly registered domain name at no charge within 5 days?

  24. Anthony says:

    John,
    You are the “making money online” guru.

    If you google me, you know I have the experience to say this.

    Though you are way off on google losing money on this. It is the opposite. Since most of the reputable advertisers no longer advertise on extended network, moves like this will actually help convince advertisers back to the extended network. The money that is left on the table will allow higher click rates on what is left, as conversions will increase.

    If you check Florida lawsuit about domain tasting, it amount to about $5,000,000 a month in revenue, that Google PAYS out. Granted they keep some but there net loss is little.

    Stopping domain tasting is a GREAT THING, that will only help with Trademark Disputes and the like.

  25. Chip says:

    This is very good. It will cut off a large share of domain noise and junk out there.

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