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05|16|2011 12:37 pm EDT

Google Experiments with highlighting the Advertisers Domain Name

by Frank Michlick in Categories: Up to the Minute

After years of efforts by Google to de-emphasize the importance of domain names (i.e. by combining the search and URL bar in Google Chrome), the company is apparently now experimenting with highlighting the domain name for paid search results, as reported by Search Engine Land who got the tip from a reader.

The domain name of the advertiser is displayed behind the ad headline, separated by a “|” and written in all lower case.

[Update]: This is now an official feature on “select ads”, as per a post on Google’s Inside Adwords blog. No details have been published as to how eligible ads are selected. Lisa Shieh from the Inside AdWords crew writes:

In an AdWords ad, the display URL may be last, but it’s certainly not least. In fact, the display URL can be an important deciding factor in whether a user clicks on your ad.

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[…] – Published prior to seeing the DNN article published earlier in the day. Tagged with: […]

Stephen Douglas

May 17, 2011 @ 9:11 am EDT

Frank, excellent report on this. has been researching and analyzing domains based on Google’s “embrace or shunning” of “quoted” combined word search queries. This is the best way to see what companies understand a combo generic domain name and use them in their keyword searches. However, we’ve always found that Google was insistent on presenting EVERY ad that matched just one word of the combined “quoted search”.

Where you’d want to know how many current adwords were coming back as fully “bolded”, clearly defining the generic keyword combo phrase within search query results showing ads that matched that keyword combo, Google failed to promote just the adword “phrase” the company was using. This, we felt, was duplicitous, especially to advertisers, because when a “customer/client” searches in “quotes” a phrase, EX: “123 Not Exact”, they would get back ads using any part of that phrase, so they’d see ads featuring “123” or “not exact”, or “exact”.

Those results DO NOT HELP THE ADVERTISER because a “quoted” search should bring back ads specific only to the google ads that utilize that phrase as their keywords. There’s a reason for that: THE CUSTOMER IS LOOKING FOR BULLSEYE MARKETING, which means, not “shotgun” marketing, where maybe a “piece” of their keywords brings back a response. The danger for an advertiser on google in this position was that just a “piece” of their keyword phrase being utilized on a search meant that many more google users would be shown the advertisers’ “keyword bid” ad with other advertisers in a completely different field/area of business. This means that google users would possibly click on the advertisers link, thinking they were getting the “EXACT” keyword phrasing, when in fact, they weren’t.

So advertisers should complain, or stop advertising on Google, until they promise to feature ONLY ads in a quoted phrase search query that match EXACTLY what the quoted phrase is.

Simply put: If you search for (example) “123 Not Exact” in QUOTES (which means only keywords and content matching those words in the search phrase) will appear in the results’ AD LINKS and BOLDED, that will indicate to the google user that the advertiser shown is selling/providing exactly what the user searched for “in quotes.”

Truth in advertising. If I search for keywords in a phrase on google, I know the “non-sponsored” results will show only the pages featuring that exact quoted phrase in my search. However, I will get sponsored ADLINKS that feature ANY word in that phrase, which I believe is greatly misleading.

My opinion of Google adlinks, adsense, adwords, etc will rise considerably once I see that their adlink results are rendered EXACTLY how their non-sponsored results are. If that’s happening now, this will be HUGE for domain owners.

Excellent story, Frank. I hope domainers don’t miss reading your article. They’ll be missing a very important reality about the value of their generic longtails, even premium 2 word phrases, based on search query results.


May 18, 2011 @ 10:09 pm EDT


Now they are showing up in Google’s “Gmail”.

Here’s one quick example:

New Bose® VideoWave™ – Experience the Best Entertainment System We Know How to Build. – www .Bose .com




Never even thought about it. Wonder what it the importance or the function of | bar.


May 23, 2011 @ 3:46 pm EDT

Does this mean Google will pay publishers more? Think about it, if the advertiser’s domain name is displaced, what stops the visitor from just copying the domain name and type it in or for future visit? How will the Publisher be compensated for this scenario? Pretty much it becomes a billboard advertising in the simplest of terms.

I strongly consider this a negative for publishers and domainers alike as this can lead to missed clicks. If I am an advertiser, I can really put in low bids as long as my ads will be displayed with my domain name in it for recall and potential future visits.



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