homepage Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from
register, free tools, login, search, pro membership, help, library, announcements, recent posts, open posts,
Become a Pro Member

Home / Forums Index / Google / Google AdSense
Forum Library, Charter, Moderators: incrediBILL & jatar k & martinibuster

Google AdSense Forum

A domain using a city mispelling violates adsense TOS?

 10:18 pm on Aug 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

Call me ignorant, but I'm not completely clear on this. I know sites have to adhere to webmaster guidelines and tricking is a gray area. On the other hand I've heard that some adwords participants will put their ads on mispelt domains. I'm not an expert at all, but Adsense isn't something worth losing over an oversight or poor judement. So, if your website is a mispelling of a city, are you NOT allowed to use adsense. It would mean auto-ban?

I've really done some serious looking around the internet regarding this, but I cannot find the answer. I respect the experience and knowledge of you folks here, which is why I'm asking. Thanks!



 10:34 pm on Aug 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

I don't see why it should be banned. If Pen Island can have adsense, why not you ?


 11:03 pm on Aug 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

I LOL at that. Seriously though, just because somebody has a site a certain way or is doing adsense on a mispelt domain doesn't mean that their adsense account if safe. I'm reading TOS, and those say we must abide from webmaster guidelines. "tricking" with misspellings is certainly mentioned as being a possible issue. In theory then, it opens the door for an adsense ban. Doesn't it? That's what I'm trying to confirm here. I've had enough depression lately, and I don't need more.

So, can anyone say what is or isn't acceptable? Heard stories etc?


 11:16 pm on Aug 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

Here's what I think: the possibility that it gets you in trouble is low, but existent.

I, personally, would never do anything that might jeopardize my account. It's just too damn important.

If I really wanted to build such a site, I'd just use another, less important, ad network, or stick with affiliates.


 11:18 pm on Aug 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

I think they will have to prove if your domain is mispelt to deceive, or to be funny [or whatever].

If for example, you want to spell Houston as Hooston, then there *may* no ban.
But, if you were trying to do it do steal visitors from the official Houston site [if there is one] may be seen in a different light.

Until Google goes to your Hooston site and looks for itself, who knows ?
It could be because your surname is Hooston.

ASA is about the only one here that can say for sure about how Google will behave.


 2:12 pm on Aug 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

Is there going to be any content on this domain? Or is it just a mispelling of a city that gets some typo traffic?


 2:49 pm on Aug 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

Why don't you just use the domain to redirect to a more legitimate looking domain name...that way you get the benefit of the type-ins without the "risk".


 3:52 pm on Aug 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

Yes, for sure it's a content site. More tourism related, city info, photos etc. Write ups on the best attractions etc. It's about 6 or 7 pages so far. My banner will be along the lines of "It's not Seeatle, it's Seattle!" to at least make visitors aware of the correct city spelling.

I won't get into the whys of using a misspelt city name, but some research does indicate it's worthwhile going after some of that traffic. Of course, if that is in fact against webmaster guidelines then of course it's not a worthwhile venture. It was more experimental on my part more than anything.


 8:31 am on Aug 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

This thread kind of died off so, should I assume that I'm an idiot? I know you folks are experts, so I should assume no answer means the answer is obvious? For me Adsense is the best thing that ever happened with the exception of the birth of my children. Since there is no clear answer on this I have to assume that like swearing, Google doesn't approve of this type of site having adsense. I thought that I read somewhere, folks were using adsense on site with misspellings. I don't know adwords, but isn't it cheaper for them? Therefore isn't a site that I'm describing useful and not some type of sham? I'm finding myself swallowing my pride when starting threads. Oh well. Thanks for the advice given above. I still don't have a true answer from Google's perspective, so it's obviously not worth thinking about. Certainly not worth the risk that is for sure.


 9:07 am on Aug 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

Experts or not, the only definitive answer you will get is by asking Google support, the rest are educated guesses.


 9:08 am on Aug 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

Like I said before, only ASA can answer for sure about how Google will behave.

BTW, many here are not experts, myself included.


 9:41 am on Aug 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

If someone searches for the misspelling of a city and reaches a site that offers the information they are seeking, is that "tricking"?

Just my opinion but I don't see how it's deceitful to offer the correct information to visitors who can't spell.


 10:43 am on Aug 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

I agree with you martinibuster, but the OP needs clarification, and I am not in a position to say yeigh or neigh.


 11:24 pm on Aug 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

Ditto MB's opinion. I think the only exception would be if the misspelling is also a trademark.

AdSense for Content doesn't seem to have URL-specific guidelines, although AdSense for Domains does have some info:

Domain URL
Domains that are submitted for the AdSense for domains program may not include certain types of terms in the URL. The terms in the URL may not contain or be related to any of the following:

- #*$!ography, adult, or mature terms. This includes, but is not limited to, any terms that refer to or suggest nudity, partial nudity, sexual imagery/acts, lewd/graphic or profane language.
- Violent or racially intolerant language or any other form of hate speech directed against an individual, group or organization
- Excessive profanity
- Illicit drugs and drug paraphernalia
- Gambling or casino-related content
- Weapons, such as firearms, ammunition, balisongs, butterfly knives and brass knuckles
- Beer or hard alcohol
- Tobacco or tobacco-related products
- Prescription drugs
- Promotion of an illegal activity or an activity that infringes on the legal rights of others.
- References to tragedies or other sensitive current events
- Any other terms that are illegal, promote illegal activity, or infringe on the legal rights of others.

In addition:

- Domains submitted for the AdSense for domains program may not violate any trademark (and related rights), copyright, trade secret, patent or other intellectual property right of any third party.
- Domains may not be involved in litigation or under dispute.


On top of that, if you look in the Terms you'll find that Google also frowns upon any use of the term "Google" or any of their trademarks.

So it just doesn't seem likely that Google would care about this. If they did, then why stop at city names? Why stop at typos in general? They would probably also prohibit domains that are nothing but meaningless jumbles of letters and numbers


 11:37 pm on Aug 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

They would probably also prohibit domains that are nothing but meaningless jumbles of letters and numbers

There goes half of the web 2.0 sites ;)


 4:18 pm on Sep 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

Unless you have original content, AdSense for content is not for you.

AdSense for domains seems like a good fit if you're looking to monetize this domain but you don't plan on building out a website with original content, but definitely check Tim222's post for guidance on what's okay and what's not.

You can find out more about the AdSense for domains programs here [google.com].

Actually, this reminds me. I was talking to the Product Manager for AdSense for domains and he was asking if I've heard any feedback from publishers here on the program. I gave him what I had, but if anyone has any thoughts/comments/concerns/feedback regarding AdSense for domains, please let me know and I'll pass it along.



 7:34 pm on Sep 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

Just to clarify. The website is an actual website with content, and yes, useful information for anyone travelling to the city. I think I said this already, but it's around 5 or 6 pages thus far. Again, it's photos, attractions and other info that people would want about the city. I'm not seeing a clear cut yes or no on this. Realistically, I think we could all debate whether a site is useful or unique enough to have adsense. Based on what's out there currently, there isn't a lot of guidelines or enforcement. I'm making a good site, which happens to have a misspelling of a city name in the domain. Outside of that one aspect, it's not some fluff website. Like I'm saying under no circumstances would this be worth risking an adsense account over. On the other hand, adsense is what motivates me to create new content and or websites. Therefore, it seems that I must consider other ad programs? That would be a big dissapointment for sure. I'm assuming that AdsenseAdvisor is pretty darn knowledgeable on this. Can you go out on a limb over this or not?

I appreciate the advice thus far. I realize I could go directly to adsense forums about this, but my preference is to seek out answers elsewhere, if at all possible. Are these answers hard to come by because say yes would open up a flood gate?


 7:37 pm on Sep 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

It's a lot more restrictive than other parking programs, and tends to pay a lot less, so when asked, I generally advise against AFD. Most of the people know in domains do as well.


 10:16 pm on Sep 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

Thanks for clarifying, MrSavage.

I can confirm that having a misspelling in your domain name won't get you in trouble as long as 1) the words in the URL and the content of the site is compliant with our program policies (watch out for trademarks, adult terms, etc) and 2) You have actual, quality content on the site itself. So as long as you're following our policies to the letter, having a misspelling of a city name in your URL won't do you any harm from an AdSense policy perspective.

Thanks for the feedback, netmeg. :)



 11:08 pm on Sep 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

Terrific, I VERY MUCH appreciate your feedback. I guess I'm paranoid, but I'm just double checking. I can take your word to the bank as it were? Sorry I'm not trying to be difficult, I'm just extra cautious, which I hope you can understand. It's a real privilege to be part of Adsense.

Also in terms of AFD, I've been using that for a couple months now. Honestly, it hasn't been worthwhile and has me thinking of moving to a different plan with my domains. I'm not an expert parker, but I had around 100. I think for me, the best part of doing this has been seeing the traffic reports. That's very valuable to me. Also, during a few points, I'm quite sure that I was under some type of spam attack or something, because the views were out of this world. Having that happen, or if it does happen, can really mess up any sort of data for analysis regarding views or impressions. Not sure if this was an AFD issue, or this type of blip happens with parked domain traffic from time to time. So for my experience, the payoff hasn't come with AFD. Parking domains hasn't been good to me. I've had the traffic, but certainly not the results to make it a good option.

Global Options:
 top home search open messages active posts  

Home / Forums Index / Google / Google AdSense
rss feed

All trademarks and copyrights held by respective owners. Member comments are owned by the poster.
Home ¦ Free Tools ¦ Terms of Service ¦ Privacy Policy ¦ Report Problem ¦ About ¦ Library ¦ Newsletter
WebmasterWorld is a Developer Shed Community owned by Jim Boykin.
© Webmaster World 1996-2014 all rights reserved