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Google Adsense Cracking Down on 'Tasters' 187

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the can't-hurt-things dept.
ZerothOfTheLaw writes "It appears that Google is going to eliminate Adsense for Domains for all domains younger than five days old. From the post 'The Good news is that the Quantity of advertising will be spread among fewer domains now and so those domain owners that actually own real full domains should receive more money if bid prices start to rise as a result of this. However some advocates of Domain Tasting say that perhaps no one will be able to serve the niche for some ads and no one will make money on the unserved ads.'"
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Google Adsense Cracking Down on 'Tasters'

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  • That's a problem? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ScrewMaster (602015) on Saturday January 26, 2008 @11:30AM (#22193404)
    However some advocates of Domain Tasting say that perhaps no one will be able to serve the niche for some ads and no one will make money on the unserved ads

    Good. Advertising revenue is not something that anyone is entitled to receive. Show me a site with useful content supported with unobtrusive advertising and maybe you'll get my eyeballs for a while. What we don't need are more linkfarms.
    • Re:That's a problem? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by jaiyen (821972) on Saturday January 26, 2008 @11:52AM (#22193574)
      What we don't need are more linkfarms.

      Indeed, but Google seems to actively support this kind of domain squatting - see http://www.google.com/domainpark/ [google.com] . Seriously, how does this 'service' they provide possibly fit into "don't be evil" ?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by empaler (130732)
        I have several domains that I've purchased, but they are currently only used for mail purposes. I did purchase them for actual use, but why not let me set up domain parking?
        (minor note is that I haven't, partly because I don't think anyone will visit randomly, and even if they do, why the hell should the follow links)
        • by Z00L00K (682162)
          If you purchased them it's not a problem, and it's a 5 day "buffer" that the question is about.

          The problem with "domain name tasting" is that domain names can get blocked and abused during the period. If all domain names had to be paid for then there would have been less problems with domain kidnapping...

          • by empaler (130732)
            I was responding to jaiyen's disdainful remark about the Google Adsense Domain parking program, not the current developments.
            I did, however, rebuff my own statement, as I then discovered that it's only available in bulk.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by 1u3hr (530656)
          I have several domains that I've purchased, but they are currently only used for mail purposes. I did purchase them for actual use, but why not let me set up domain parking?

          If they don't have any content, putting ads on them is totally parasitic. Which is good for you, you make money for nothing, but a waste of time for everyone who stumbles on your page.

          But you knew that. If you don't care about ading more worthless crap to the world, fine.

      • by oncehour (744756)
        Do you honestly find domain parking to be evil? It may not be classy and domain squatters tend to piss me off but I still wouldn't classify it as evil. The problem isn't so much the squatters as the idiots that actually click ads through squatted domains and the registrars that allow "tasting" to begin with. Google isn't the only player in the industry as far as Domain Squatting goes and thus them not being in the market doesn't really stop it, it just limits the amount of competition.

        If you care so mch
      • by Asmor (775910)
        Because domain tasting is not evil.

        Wal-Mart is evil. Hitler was evil. Bush is evil. Domain tasting is annoying and inconveniencing, but to call it evil is to mollify the term evil.
    • Pot. Kettle. Black.

      Since Google already has all of their squatter domains established, they won't be bothered by the five day rule. And now they won't have to share that pot of ad revenue with a bigger group of people.
    • Re:That's a problem? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by MindStalker (22827) <mindstalker @ g mail.com> on Saturday January 26, 2008 @01:04PM (#22194084) Journal
      How bout this, Virtual tasting. You can have adsence ads for the 5 days, BUT you don't receive any real money and the advertisers aren't charged. This way you can know how successful the domain might be, without occurring actual ad revenue.
      • Google is preventing money to be made from AdSense while domain-tasting. The problem is domain-tasting tests whether a domain receives traffic. If a domain receives one visit during a five-day period, the domain is likely to receive enough traffic to offset the registration cost. Whether income is earned on that first visit does not change the domain-tasting business. This policy only affects companies that taste and never buy. No company spending money on equipment to handle tasting (automating regist
    • I concur, ScrewMaster. Those same linkfarms are very often the ultimate target of massive spam runs, which is why various attempts to identify recently-registered domains and deny all mail from them until they're N days old (N > 5, with various experiments choosing other values) have been made.

      In my own research, I've frequently noticed that spam source or spam target domains often have been de-registered by the time I run a WHOIS lookup on them. Just about as often, I've noticed that their A records p

    • Ever notice how Slashdot articles on abuse of the DNS system or attempts to stop it are often on websites that serve the DNS abuser business? I can't tell for sure about domaintools.com, but it looks like they're mainly in business to support people who rent domain names for their advertising value rather than for their ability to indicate the content on a real site. It's possible that I'm mis-characterizing them, but their domain name sale and auction tools and a number of their blog articles look like t
  • Tasting parasites (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ritz_Just_Ritz (883997) on Saturday January 26, 2008 @11:32AM (#22193418)
    I never quite understood the "tasting" concept. The vast majority of the people utilizing "tasting" are doing it for unscrupulous reasons. Anyone with a legitimate need for a domain is going to be willing to pay the going rate to actually register one.
    • Re:Tasting parasites (Score:5, Informative)

      by Firethorn (177587) on Saturday January 26, 2008 @12:02PM (#22193648) Homepage Journal
      Well, imagine that you're a company/person contracted to build a website for XYZ Company. You come up with a dozen or so potential domain names, 'tasting' them in order to make sure they're available(without tying them up for a full year, or spending the money to register them for a year). You then present the domain names to the company, which picks the one they like the best, maybe one other for a redirect. You then release the other four and call it a day.

      Make sense that way. Abusers, of course, were not initially considered.
      • by Alien54 (180860)
        And the cost of a domain is what? 100 200 300 standard monetary units?

        [or these days 1 2 or 3 standard monetary units]

        where this comes in is spam websites, where someone is looking for concept x, and they find a junk site.

        Cleverly done, you might accidentally click on a link, only to realize that it's a bogus cookie cutter bit of web spam.

        oh my aching eyes.
        • by Firethorn (177587)
          Like I said, abuse not initially considered

          As for cost, domain registration is considerably cheaper than it used to be.

          Right now, services like google adsense can make 'tasting' profitable because it doesn't cost any money. If you simply make it cost more than what 5 days of ad revenue would likely generate, you'd kill it immediately.

          And yes, I know and hate the spam websites.
        • by Lehk228 (705449)
          if a standard monetary unit is 10 cents then yes, about 100 standard monetary units.
      • Re:Tasting parasites (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 26, 2008 @12:18PM (#22193768)
        In this case, there should be the option to "conditionally" purchase a name. You get a 5 day grace period, but the name cannot be associated any DNS records.

        This would give you the ability to grab the names for the client to consider, but not allow people to set up these link farms unless they actually shell out the money to outright purchase the name.

      • Well, imagine that you're a company/person contracted to build a website for XYZ Company. You come up with a dozen or so potential domain names, 'tasting' them in order to make sure they're available(without tying them up for a full year, or spending the money to register them for a year). You then present the domain names to the company, which picks the one they like the best, maybe one other for a redirect. You then release the other four and call it a day.

        And if you didn't release the other four and had to buy them, the client would have spent an extra $40 -- cost of doing business. I fail to see the problem here.

        • Exactly. How much of a competent web designer's time does $40 buy? Maybe an hour (if it's a small outfit and there isn't much overhead)? Would it really add much to a web design contract? I doubt you'd get more than one or two low-content static pages for the cost of a few extra domains.
      • by PPH (736903)
        So, implement tasting by having the domain registrar direct requests for 'reserved' names to a page that says something to the effect that 'There is an application pending for XYZ.com which will expire in N days'. Until the application is paid up, the name shouldn't resolve an address.
        • by Firethorn (177587)
          Yes, there are some other easy fixes.

          My point was that tasting was implemented back in the day when:
          A: Registering a domain was still fairly expensive
          B: Malicious usages of the internet were still rare and fairly inelegant.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ShieldW0lf (601553)
      People are entitled to "Buyers Remorse" in a good chunk of the world. Aside from that, if they change their mind about an online purchase inside of a couple of days, they often utilize the facilities their credit card companies give them to cancel the payment, which incurs significant cost to the seller.

      If you don't give purchasers the ability to cancel their order without cost when they changed their mind, it generally ends up costing you more than it's worth.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by tomhudson (43916)

        People are entitled to "Buyers Remorse" in a good chunk of the world. Aside from that, if they change their mind about an online purchase inside of a couple of days, they often utilize the facilities their credit card companies give them to cancel the payment, which incurs significant cost to the seller.

        If you don't give purchasers the ability to cancel their order without cost when they changed their mind, it generally ends up costing you more than it's worth.

        Come off it - we're not talking people buy

        • Come off it - we're not talking people buying something retail here - we're talking domain names. Buy it because you want it or need it. Don't like it after a week -sell it. This whole "domain tasting" bullshit has to end.

          Try returning that losing lottery ticket the day after the draw. "Buyer's remorse"? Are you fucking kidding? Try returning your big mac an hour later. Try returning your custom-made whatever (and all domain names are custom - by definition, no two are alike).


          Yeah, well, try telling th
          • by Anpheus (908711) on Saturday January 26, 2008 @02:56PM (#22194868)
            Way to ignore his points. On another note, tomorrow I'm off to buy lottery tickets with my credit card.
            • Way to ignore his points. On another note, tomorrow I'm off to buy lottery tickets with my credit card.

              He didn't have any points. He ranted about how stupid he thought everything was and compared registering a domain name with buying a lottery ticket. It's a moronic argument, because a lottery ticket is a consumable item, while domain name registration is a long term service agreement.
              • by Anpheus (908711)
                Except it's not a long-term service agreement when getting out of it is as easy as it is.

                You can call it a long-term service agreement when that's actually enforced, k?
        • Bad analogy.

          If someone else buys a particular lottery ticket before you, you can still buy the exact same numbers yourself. If you don't register a free domain name when you see it, however, you might find it gone by the time you get budget approval or whatever.
          • by jtev (133871)
            If you can't make a $35 (US) purchase out of petty cash, then you should go talk to your boss, about what is a reasonable business expenditure to make without talking to higher management. If they are going to pay you enough to be a webmaster, or whatever, they should give you enough purse power to do your job.
          • by tomhudson (43916)

            Last I looked, you can register domains for as little as $5.00 per year.

            Really, if you're not happy with the domain after you bought it, just park it, sell it, or even contact a ppc aggregator and make a few bucks off it.

            There's no excuse for "domain tasting".

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by ArikTheRed (865776)
      It's hardly a terrible thing. These people make money because there are currently vast inefficiencies in the advertising market. As long as there is money to be made people will do it, forcing companies like Google to close up the holes, either making their process more efficient in the mean time - or creating a new, possible legitimate, market. It amazes me how - when it comes to political articles - it seems the majority of Slashdoters are Libertarian Anarchocapitalists - yet when something like this com
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by tkinnun0 (756022)
        Here's a secret: parked domain owners don't like click-fraud. They like clicks, but they don't like a large amount of clicks from persons not interested in purchasing whatever is being advertised. Why? Because the people paying for AdWords don't like click-fraud, they don't want to pay real money for nothing. So they take it up with Google, who now has to reverse the click-fraud, costing them money in work and lost revenue. So Google takes it up with the parked domain owner, who's not gonna like that.

        In t
  • by El Torico (732160) on Saturday January 26, 2008 @11:35AM (#22193432)
    Mod me off-topic, but sometimes the English language takes a surreal turn - Domain Tasting? Does .mil have a metallic, cordite taste while .com is a cornucopia of flavors?
  • It'll never happen, because there is no way Google would do anything to reduce it's revenue, but they really need to do something about Google Ad Spam on web pages. More and more web sites have more Google Ad 'content' than real, useful information. First there was email spam, now we have Google Spam. Blah.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Sigma 7 (266129)

      It'll never happen, because there is no way Google would do anything to reduce it's revenue, but they really need to do something about Google Ad Spam on web pages.

      Domain name tasters don't pay google to have ads displayed - they get paid by google.

      As an example, we'll say that NetworkDNS registers a domain name that you look up. When you attempt to register from GoDaddy, you find it's been snatched up. When the 10 people that visit the site look at the page, Google pays NetworkDNS for showing these 10 ads while NetworkDNS pays nothing for tasting a registration. These 10 people are not going to follow links as most normal people can recognize a taster/pseudo-sit

      • Re:Google Spam (Score:4, Informative)

        by EVil Lawyer (947367) on Saturday January 26, 2008 @12:32PM (#22193862)
        Um, you're kind of wrong about a couple of points. Google doesn't pay the site owner for "displaying" ads, it pays them when and only when someone actually clicks on those ads. Second, Google is, in a certain sense, "paid" by the domain name tasters, to the extent that the ad clicks generated by the tasting domains only exist as a result of someone tasting that domain: Google gets a certain amount, $X from the advertiser, whenever someone clicks on an advertiser's ad, and then pays $X-Y to the person who owns the page where the ad was displayed. So Google in effect is "paid" $Y by the domain tasters, in the sense that that click was only possible as a result of the page existing.
      • Google makes money from advertising by charging you money for showing ads, at least if people click on them.

        Google shows ads on pages that include Google Adsense banners, so if you can get somebody to look at your web page and click on the ads, Google pays you. Domainer Parasites do this by buying or tasting plausible-sounding names and putting up ad banner pages, usually with no real content, and domain parking services will do the work of implementing them if you don't want to serve them yourself. Domai

  • What will this do for sites that spring up around pop culture memes, breaking news and other immediate items?
     
  • The whole idea of advertisement is to reach as many people as possible, how can you say that not having the ability to post on any billboard is a good thing?

    More over from a business standpoint by one company turning down a new site which has the potential of becoming an old site, the new site will have to goto another ad company to bring in revenue, won't doing this make it more difficult to bring in the 'diamond in the rough'? Don't most companies/sites start off new?

    The internet is far from static
    • Any real site is going to need more than five days just to get content developed, scripts written, yadda yadda yadda. Sure, everyone may "start off new" -- but that's not to say that they're ready to earn revenue from day one.
    • by Nikker (749551)
      Sorry for the bad comment, coffee didn't kick in yet. I was commenting on my misinterpretation that it was 5 years not days.
  • by webword (82711) on Saturday January 26, 2008 @11:43AM (#22193498) Homepage
    Why is is evil? Well, domain tasters [wikipedia.org] are folks trying to capitalize on traffic they don't really own. That's kind of hard to understand but you have to understand the definition of domain tasting to full grasp that.

    This should also help understand the "evil" behind the practice...

    "In January 2007, VeriSign said that among the top 10 domain registrars, 95% of all deleted .com and .net domain names were the result of domain tasting." (Information Week [informationweek.com])

    Google's doing this to protect users who get to these sites on accident. I guess it's good for everyone.
    • Google's doing this to protect users who get to these sites on accident. I guess it's good for everyone.

      I think it's good for Google's self-interest. It's nice that it helps us in the end, but let's not fool ourselves that they are doing it for our sake.

      I'm really surprised that the domain registrar system has allowed this practice to go on. I think maybe they should allow a return or two, but this wholesale "tasting" helps no one but the parasites.

      I think it's also bad faith to allow the registrars to se
      • Some registrars apparently benefit from it, probably from domain parking services that they provide along with the names or whatever other fees they charge in addition to the $6 ICANN price. Otherwise there wouldn't be so many of them doing it, since it costs them not only the relatively minimal cost of handling transactions but also the cost of capital on the $6/year for the domains they're kiting (though obviously that's only 5/365th of the cost each time, so it's still not much.)

        It's easy to remedy it

    • by mpcooke3 (306161)
      Google's doing this to protect users who get to these sites on accident. I guess it's good for everyone.

      Surely the entire "Google for domains" service is primarily used by domain squatters and other people that aren't using the domains for anything worthwhile.

      How exactly is a profit sharing system between domain Squatters and Google not evil? - Because if they didn't do it then someone else would?

      I am waiting with anticipation for the next 'non-evil' use of adwords, maybe GoogleAds for Zombie Computers so t
  • Does Anyone else find the choice of Capitalized words in the summary Interesting?
  • by broothal (186066) <christian@fabel.dk> on Saturday January 26, 2008 @11:48AM (#22193536) Homepage Journal
    For me, Google adsense for domains [google.com] is a scammers paradise anyway. How many hours haven't I wasted walking over "parked" domains trying to find a real domain. Let's face it - 99% of the "parked" domains aren't parked - they are purchased because people will visit them by mistake. It would be much faster if the domains simply didn't exist and as such wouldn't turn up in search results.
    • We're all nerds here, and this seems to be a real problem. What can we do about it? Can a Firefox plugin be made to weed out flagged squatted domains? Have you physically complained to Google either through email, written letter, or even in a blog posting/article? Or on the other end, perhaps we could evelop a software suite for parked domains that provides relevant information. Parked domains are annoying, but they'd be less annoying if they were still relevant.

      It'd be kind of neat if accidentally typoi
  • Oblig (Score:3, Funny)

    by Trivial_Zeros (1058508) on Saturday January 26, 2008 @12:01PM (#22193638)
    Don't taste me, bro!
  • by Animats (122034) on Saturday January 26, 2008 @12:44PM (#22193946) Homepage

    I hope Google really does this. They need to, to restore their "don't be evil" reputation. Arguably, Google went over to the dark side when they started offering domain parking. [google.com]. "Maximize revenue on your parked pages with Google AdSense for domains", they advertise. (Insert Darth Vader quote here.)

    "Domain tasting" is a drain on the anti-fraud systems of the Internet. All those domain changes help conceal phishing attacks, many of which involve buying domains with stolen credit cards and exploiting them before the credit card transaction is reversed. Blacklist systems like McAfee SiteAdvisor [www.siteadvisor] and PhishTank [phishtank.com] are always running behind the domain changes.

    We rate sites at SiteTruth [sitetruth.com], and all those domain changes are a headache for us. I'm considering taking the position that all domains less than 30 days old are junk, unless they have a good SSL certificate. Is that too severe, or a good idea? Comments?

    • by AlXtreme (223728)

      I'm considering taking the position that all domains less than 30 days old are junk, unless they have a good SSL certificate. Is that too severe, or a good idea? Comments?

      Sounds like a good idea. The Domain tasting [wikipedia.org] article has a few interesting numbers on the amount of domains canceled within the 5 days grace period (after which the bastards re-register it for another 5 days). You really shouldn't want to handle those domains.

      30 days would also rule out legit domains that suddenly get a lot of interest (via

    • by vyrus128 (747164)
      I would call it a great idea. If it's too harsh you can always tune the 30 days down to something lower. Also remember when looking for "good SSL certificates" to check the issuer, though I assume you are already doing that. Otherwise they can always self-sign one...
      • By a "good SSL certificate", I mean one that identifies the business. SiteTruth ignores those "domain control only validated" "Instant SSL" certs. They don't certify much of anything, other than that an e-mail sent to the domain gets to the party that requested the certificate.

        It's interesting to see the Web without the bottom-feeders. Most of the spam blogs, phishing sites, link farms, landing pages, directory pages, "affiliates", and related junk go away. What's left is either has a real business b

  • Millions of 'tasted' domains means extra processing for Google, I suppouse that's why they prefer to filter those domains, quite natural.

    Wake me up when Google allows minimun CPC, that would be news.

  • Domain kiting mainly (Score:3, Informative)

    by kbahey (102895) on Saturday January 26, 2008 @01:57PM (#22194488) Homepage
    According to the CBC [www.cbc.ca] they are mainly targeting so called domain kiting (repeated tasting), which will impact tasting too.
  • Pointless (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Aaron Isotton (958761)
    This is totally pointless.

    1. Register a domain A and pay for it
    2. Wait 5 days
    3. Put ads on it
    4. "Taste" some domains
    5. Put a redirector page from the tasted domains to domain A, or show the content of domain A in a frame
    6. Profit!

    Am I missing something here?
  • by Evets (629327) * on Saturday January 26, 2008 @03:34PM (#22195160) Homepage Journal
    I think domain tasting has taken a turn over the years, but lets not forget why it was here in the first place.

    These days, I have no idea how I would go about registering a domain without paying for it. I don't see the option readily available at any registrars that I work with (although, I personally stay away from the big guns like godaddy and network solutions). It seems to me that the people who are doing it tend to be those who want to park domains and put ads up temporarily - and frankly I am opposed to this - as it's nothing but spam.

    Would getting rid of the tasting option get rid of these guys? No. It takes a minimal investment to create a certified registrar and at that point domain purchases are cheap enough that you can buy them in bulk at a price point that doesn't do much to preclude the web-spam business model.

    But looking back at the reasons for this in the first place - one might want to register a domain, but not have the money to do it immediately. One might change their mind about a registration. Yeah, in the days of $5 and $10 domains, these points seem to lose a great deal of value, but there was a time when it would cost you more than $100 to register a domain. There was also a time when dictionary words and 3 letter domains were widely available because there was no market for commerce on the internet.

    If a registrar were to make widely available the "pay in a week" model I certainly would not be opposed to it. If you want to attack the web-spam business model, I think you should do so directly - much like Google is doing.
  • "However some advocates of Domain Tasting say that perhaps no one will be able to serve the niche for some ads and no one will make money on the unserved ads."

    Yup. Those niches are going to go completely unserved. The internet just doesn't have enough websites to support the kind of content diversity necessary to serve all marketing niches.

    There's FUD, and then there's just plain thinking people are dumber than a bag of hammers.

  • by Aaron England (681534) on Saturday January 26, 2008 @05:24PM (#22195824)
    It seems every time Google gets itself involved in something questionable, we as a community immediately scream "EVIL EVIL EVIL" and this occasion is no different. Several posters have already mentioned that Google has "gone over to the dark side" with their domain parking [google.com] service. But can anyone explain to me how allowing people to make money off domain parking is evil? Surely it is not even remotely on the same level as Yahoo giving up the identities of Chinese dissidents to the PRC [bbc.co.uk].


    Have we as a community lost sight of what evil really is? I would agree with you that it is somewhat annoying to accidently stumble upon a link farm. But does that make it evil? Is the practice itself evil? I would say no on both counts. I think we don't give Google enough credit for accomplishing all that they have without succumbing to the predatory practices of large corporations a la Microsoft. I submit that we have really lowered the bar on what it takes to commit evil, and we should consider that a testament to the virtue of Google management.

    Let's keep that in perspective. Slashdot discussions show that we don't even begin to hold our other sacred cow corporations (eg. Apple [slashdot.org]) to these extremely high standards.

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