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Signed up for Adsense for Domains - Was Rejected

Now the Problem is Bigger than if I Never Tried it at All

     
4:18 am on Dec 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

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System: The following message was cut out of thread at: http://www.webmasterworld.com/google_adsense/3805291.htm [webmasterworld.com] by martinibuster - 11:56 pm on Dec. 14, 2008 <small>(utc -8)</small>


Long Story, Short: Ok, I went ahead and tried to sign up a domain for Adsense for Domains, it got rejected and now the problem is bigger than if I never tried it out at all.

Long(er) Story: Well, you already short version, so you prob'ly want to hear the details...

I have a domain name, it has about 7-8 months of registration left on it. I paid money to get the domain name, (and 3-4 others at the same time as I wasn't quite sure which way the content would go, and I wanted to be sure to have the right domain name.

(this next section is to defend against the "nobody should own unused domains crowd)...

Since I paid money for the domain, I have 4-5 choices of what to do with it:

1. Cancel the registration and suffer a loss on the money I've paid for it.

2. Try to sell it to someone who may compete for part of the same niche, (after all, widgets is widgets, and this is big blue marble we live on). Still I would like to put up a domain name for sale notice and try to network with someone else in the niche, or partner with them somehow.

3. Park it somewhere and try to earn back something in case it expires and I don't sell it, (in which case it means it is truly excess domain inventory, and nobody really wanted it and I am the only one who lost any moey). But, if it earn well as a parked page it is acting as an aggregator of links relevant to the terms, and is not much different than looking at any page with other links to the "missing information", (e.g.- a search engine result page). Let's face it, the days of commercial sites getting 100% free traffic from search engines is over. Unless your domain has content relevant to the mating habits of the nearly extinct Everything Should Be Free Bird.

4. Develop content on the domain.

5. Forward the domain to another site.

Now, back to Google Adsense for Domains;

So I had a domain which was basically:

U.S. state name + example consumer product + .com

I bought several version, then decided to something like:

example consumer product + world + .com

Google rejected the domain name, even though the term "consumer product" is not offensive or against any part of Google or anyone else's policy. In-fact, a search for the term on Google yields SERPs with (3) premium sponsored Adwords ads at the top left and more than (10) normal right-column Adwords ads. Another domain I own which does have content related to that term as displays AdSense / Adwords ads...

So, here's the problem:

1. I spent time changing the DNS info on the domain, I spent time setting up the Adsense for Domains entry for the domain name. I waited it out, and got a notice on the account saying "Policy Violation", (I wish I could make that flash in red)... Policy Violation?... I disagree! Worse, I beleive that the EPC on all my Adsense ads has been lowered in the past 48 hours due to this "Policy Violation", (as if the algorithm for sharing profits is programmed to drop the share to the publisher after Google marks a strike against the account). This is pure speculation on my part, I will have to watch it over the next week or so and see what happens.

So, I have a few options, (one of them ISN'T to remove the domain name from a list of rejected domains now permanently blemishing my otherwise spotless multi-year record as an Adsense Publisher).

I can request reconsideration. There is a form to do, but I only have (1) chance. (And, Google says they probably won't reply to a majority of requests.).

I figure I need to feed the kitty, so I submitted (5) more domains, but this time I didn't bother to do the DNS work -- why should I? If Google is going to reject the names, I don't want to waste any more time on it. But, there is nothing in the Adsense for Domain info pages that tells you if you have to do the DNS work to get approved...

For ASA:

Please transmit to your program people that Google Adsense for Domains need;

1. to have a "this domain for sale", (or make an offer for this domain, or other such language), with appropriate link capability / options / settings.

2. to have a "Contact Domain Owner" capability / option / settings. This is important! What if I own the domain "rubberwidgetexample.tld", and Google starts advertising rubber items or services on my domain and someone is offended and wants to report it to me?

3. to have people be able to submit domains for approval with a simple "not approved", (as opposed to "Policy violation"), if Google chooses to reject a name, it should just be rejected with a polite, "no thank you", or a specific reference to a specific policy violation and no penalty for "machine interpreted" rejections unless they are blatant or excessive.

4. Ability to submit domains without doing anything to DNS until the name is accepted.

5... probably more stuff, but I'm tired of typing and others are probably tired of reading.

[edited by: martinibuster at 7:57 am (utc) on Dec. 15, 2008]
[edit reason] Fixed formatting. [/edit]

9:20 am on Dec 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

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May be 'example consumer product' is a registered trademark. Adwords has policy to drop / deny ads with registered trademark.
12:08 pm on Dec 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

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May be 'example consumer product' is a registered trademark. Adwords has policy to drop / deny ads with registered trademark.
-himalayaswater

It is a common dictionary word and its spelling and origin dates back hundreds of years. There is no trademark, salesmark, copyright or other restriction on the word.

A search for the word displays the following (made generic) PPC type of text ad:

Wholesale [WORD] Factory
Ground Freight Free. Fly in 9 Hours Open Nights & Weekends, Call Now!
BestPrice[WORD]s.com
2:11 pm on Dec 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Why do you not create a simple, single page site with relevant, unique information for that widget name and include a couple of AdSense units?

It's a 30~60 minutes job, upload, done and dusted and you're much more likely to earn money with it by ranking in the SERPs than possible type-ins.

2:29 pm on Dec 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I agree with HP. It is really nice idea.
3:27 pm on Dec 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

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It is a common dictionary word

I tried to create an Adwords ad with the very common dictionary word "Wow" in it. Adwords rejected the ad, I'm guessing, but even regardless of the ad context.

US Patent & Trademark search [tess2.uspto.gov]

If you do a search for the word "Wow" you will see many trademarks that are simply "wow" or sentences containing "wow" (over a thousand).

My guess is Google has a threshold for the number of trademarks for common words. If that threshold is exceeded (or Google has been sued); Google will reject the use of that common dictionary word, for ads, domains, basically any usage.

So I'd suggest you do a trademark search on your "common dictionary word" and see how many 100's of trademarks you find!

Of course trademark infringement does not occur unless the trademark is used in relation to the trademark owners usage, but with so many trademarks for commonly used words how can Google tell, so they just prevent certain words from being used at all.

Try to do a Google search with the word "Wow" and any other words, you will see almost no Adsense ads showing with the word "Wow". Those that do show are probably, actually, breaking the TOS, perhaps using the Adwords API, where apparently Google is still letting trademarks pass. After all the trademark owner is entitled to use the trademark!

4:02 pm on Dec 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Why do you not create a simple, single page site with relevant, unique information for that widget name and include a couple of AdSense units?
-HuskyPup

This is truly left over domain name inventory. Any content I have for that niche will go on a domain that covers the same ground.

It's something like: buying the domain " NewYorkExample.tld" then deciding to go with "USAExample.tld" because you have info for more than just NY you want to publish. That leaves you the option of forwarding the domain to the NY page or home page, or competing with yourself in the SERPs... if you release the domain, someone else will just compete against you for that smaller market niche.

I tried to create an Adwords ad with the very common dictionary word "Wow" in it. Adwords rejected the ad, I'm guessing, but even regardless of the ad context.
-bumpski

I will say, "Wow!", I'm surprised that "Wow" is so well protected, (just the three letters by it self).

So did it appear as a policy violation?

(and if so, you may want to watch other Adsense earnings and see if you've been penalized (in traffic from google search, in eCPM or other quantifiable, trackable way).

My word is NOT listed as being copyright protected, service mark, word mark, etc.. not alone, not in combination with any other part of my domain name, etc, etc, as I said it's a STATENAME + WORD + .COM

(I was surprised that 2-4 others had trademarked their use of:

[WORD]s ONLINE
THE [WORD] STORE
[WORD] OUTLET
THE [WORD] FACTORY

amongst others..

My "word" is a noun. It's as simple as "shovel" or
"basket", "towel", etc, (and it's bigger than a bread-box).

4:23 pm on Dec 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

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If I can ask a question (I really don't know enough about domain parking and probably should know the basics).

How much would such a site be likely to make in the google parking program?

I would have thought a single domain would generate pretty much trivial money, and that perhaps it's not worth the time you are spending on the issue.

Or is it potentially more lucrative than I would have thought?

4:55 pm on Dec 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

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So did it appear as a policy violation?

(and if so, you may want to watch other Adsense earnings and see if you've been penalized (in traffic from google search, in eCPM or other quantifiable, trackable way).

This was basically an example derived from an attempt to create an "Adwords" ad. The ad was simply rejected by the Adwords automated rejection system! This was a long time ago; I believe there was even the trademark explanation given, or I asked Adwords why the ad was rejected. I couldn't believe there would be a problem with the word Wow! It certainly did not affect my Adsense account in any way. In the good old days the account logins were even different.

If your "word" is trademarked, even in conjunction with other words, I believe this may be enough for Google to reject your "word" even though you've combined it with others in a domain name. Google certainly does parse "dictionary" words even though they are embedded in domain names. So perhaps in your case those few trademarks are enough? They really shouldn't be if your context is dissimilar to all the trademarked sentences. But for me Google said no to the word "Wow" regardless of my context!

There may be certain dictionary words whose trademark owners have directly contacted and perhaps even intimidated Google. The power of language!

5:27 pm on Dec 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I tried to create an Adwords ad with the very common dictionary word "Wow" in it.

If I recall correctly from my brief stint as an AdWords advertiser, words or terms such as "Click here", "Wow", etc. are not allowed in ads. Maybe that's why it was rejected and nothing to do with trademark issues.

If I'm wrong, I'm sure someone will point it out.

There is no trademark, salesmark, copyright or other restriction on the word.

Unless you've conducted an exhaustive search in that regards, you can't be sure.

FarmBoy

6:04 pm on Dec 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I have a half dozen 'parked' domains. These domains, bought much like the OP did, were for testing which domain I would use. They are all about seven years old, and are just unused inventory.

I had decided to sell them a little over a year ago, because some are short, only four or five letter .com and others are major two word keywords for the industry they represent. I thought I might be able to recover my expenses over the years.

This is OT, but had to mention it. Over a year ago, I offered them for 50% of what I had sold some related domain names for (four figures), about 5 years ago, with no problem. A few months ago, I dropped the price to 1/10 of what I had sold others for five years ago, and they still have not moved. That is how bad the domain market is.

What I did a year ago was create a tiny site for each domain name pair ( I registered hyphenated and non-hyphenated because I could not decide which to use), so I could sell each set.

It is clear the domain only is for sale, it is not a bait and switch for keyword deception tool. I put a shopping cart on each site main page for immediate (lol) sales along with a sales pitch as to why buying this domain name is so great (it ranks in the search engines), a contact page, a privacy policy page (required by Adsense) and a terms of service of page.

That is it, four pages. I rarely get a click on the one ad block and one link unit found on the main page only. But, I also get very little traffic to each site, maybe 5-20 visitors a day each. This is because while each ranks for the #1 keyword it represents, that is it. One keyword ranking in the engines, does not a website make. The only reason I get any traffic at all is because they rank in the search engines. This would not be the case for most domain names that are on the market.

On one of the domain names, it ranks #1 for the keyword in Google and at Yahoo as well. Another ranks #2 in Google for the keywords in that domain name. That one ranks #5 in Yahoo, but ranks for another domain name I have for sale, that makes reference to the ranking site I am also trying to sell. Still a third domain is ranking #2 in Google for the two keywords it represents, right behind the #1 company on the web that has registered the primary one word #1 keyword for the industry.

With all that ranking, I can't sell any of them, at any price. The market is not moving in that particular b2b sector.

One I have is making $57yr, another $45yr, another $25yr, another is only making $12yr, the rest much less. Now, keep in mind, that the only reason I make this money on the 'sites' is because they rank. If they did not rank, I would not break even for my expenses.

For this reason, I have dumped 21 other domain names, that would be even harder to sell in the coming decade and the domain names would not earn pip via Adsense. I only kept these eight or nine, because they have the most potential to eventually sell, and at that point, I can break even for my expenses I have had since I have owned them.

This is not a viable business model, IMHO. I would not be rushing out to buy hot domain names just to earn Adsense. It is a way to off set annual costs, as a whole while you try to figure out what you are going to do with domain names that have longevity and name quality. I don't see newly registered, low quality, non-ranking domain names making enough money to cover annual registration fees.

My guess, if you are turned down by Adsense for a parked domain, and nothing else is throwing a red flag, it is likely the privacy policy missing.

6:17 pm on Dec 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Regarding "Wow" and other wording restrictions, you could be right.

But I do specifically remember trademark "infringement" as the reason given, I just don't remember the source of the feedback. I was so "astonished" at the time; that's why I remember the reason.

Trademarks are not meant to allow anyone to "own" words! But fear of litigation from large organizations makes "ownership" almost possible. (Google wasn't quite so BIG, when all this occurred.)

6:52 pm on Dec 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I think coachm made a valid point when he said: "I would have thought a single domain would generate pretty much trivial money, and that perhaps it's not worth the time you are spending on the issue."

Unless you're ready, willing, and able to buy parked domains by the truckload, why bother? Trying to make money with a handful of parked domains is like trying to operate a profitable sand-and-gravel business with bins in a market stall.

8:07 pm on Dec 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

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One I have is making $57yr, another $45yr, another $25yr, another is only making $12yr, the rest much less. Now, keep in mind, that the only reason I make this money on the 'sites' is because they rank. If they did not rank, I would not break even for my expenses.

Another question. So, if I understand this, you aren't actually parking the domains, per se. You've actually got some content text on them, if only to try to sell them?

So, you could be in the search engine ranking.

My understanding is that parked domains aren't supposed to be included in the SER's, although I'll believe that's 100% effective when things freeze over.

8:09 pm on Dec 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I think coachm made a valid point when he said: "I would have thought a single domain would generate pretty much trivial money, and that perhaps it's not worth the time you are spending on the issue."
-signor_john

The one name was a test. I had never parked a domain (anywhere) before. I own about 50-60 names that are excess inventory, duplicates of names with or without hyphens, fizzled ideas, spelling or synonym variations, etc. If the setup was simple and they earned $0.05 a day, they be worth keeping, ($0.05 x 365 = $18.25/yr.. subtract the $7.69 I pay GoDaddy, and that yields $10.61 per year per name net profit... anything over a nickel a day is gravy. Multiply again by (50) domains and there's a $530 per year of net profit -- again, if each domain only earns a nickel a day.

Right now I am more concerned with the "Policy Violation" and the effect it could possibly have on my overall Adsense earnings -- if it did incur some sort of monetary penalty, it could wipe out thousands of dollars of earnings over the year.

Sign me: "One too many eggs in Google basket?"

10:41 pm on Dec 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Per definition, the domain names I owned are not 'parked'. I don't "park" anything and let it sit doing nothing. That is a waste. I have had domain names "point" to other sites. That only served to remove the domain names from the search engine rankings.

Once I build a "site", such as they are, the rankings came back.

But, you are right, Coach. In theory, a "parked" domain should not rank in the engines, and as such would not get much traffic, beyond a click or two a day for those doing a search on the domain name.

Of course one reason it would not rank for the primary keys, is because of the key dilution on the page, muddled by the host's own promotion of themself.

Certainly, if the intent is to sell the domain name, "parking" then, is not a good idea. It is better to do a full-blown promotion on them, that "parking" doesn't normally allow.

I still think the OP's violation, could be TOS and privacy.

1:00 am on Dec 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I still think the OP's violation, could be TOS and privacy.
-MsHuggys

It has nothing to do with privacy.

I am 99.9% sure I know what triggered the rejection, although I doubt it will ever be verified by Google.

Six letters within the thirteen letter domain name spell out a word which means the box someone is buried in. I believe this caused the domain name to be interpreted and rejected under the "recent tragedy" clause, (although there is no recent tragedy associated with the domain and Google has a lot of ad inventory for this word -- all generic, not trademarked).

I think its a simple word based filter and some rough artificial intelligence style code which caused or allowed the "interpretation" and rejection to occur.

1:54 am on Dec 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I still think the OP's violation, could be TOS and privacy.

Does the domain program just opened up to all publishers require a TOS and privacy policy? My understanding is Google "builds" the landing page for domains in the program so the domain owner couldn't submit a privacy policy and TOS even if he wanted. Is that correct?

This is not a viable business model, IMHO.

If a person has no domains and is just starting, it's probably not a very good business model to pursue.

But there are people who earn hundreds of thousands, if not more, per year, by doing nothing other than having their domains parked. I remember the Business 2.0 article from a while back where these people had a convention in Florida. Typically, they registered very good domain names in the early days of the Internet and/or have registered a tremendous number of domain names and just earn a few pennies off each one daily.

Someone who doesn't have tens of thousands of good domains but does have a few hundred or a few thousand could certainly profit from domain parking.

FarmBoy

10:14 am on Dec 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Six letters within the thirteen letter domain name spell out a word which means the box someone is buried in. I believe this caused the domain name to be interpreted and rejected under the "recent tragedy" clause...

Is that "for real"? Maybe as an Australian, I live a sheltered and extremely naive life.

3:37 pm on Dec 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Is that "for real"? Maybe as an Australian, I live a sheltered and extremely naive life.

Unless someone from Google says differently its the only reason I can see why the domain name would be rejected.

3:47 pm on Dec 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Does the domain program just opened up to all publishers require a TOS and privacy policy?

No. In fact you couldn't have one if you wanted. The page is generated by Google. You need to set the A NAME and C NAME records in the DNS to point to their server -- they generate the content for the page, (in effect, Google serves a page with no useful content and designed only to serve ads -- kinda in direct violation of everything they tell everyone else they can do).

Those who commented here about the fact that parked domains do not get into the SERPS, made a very good point. Creating a one-page site and letting it get indexed makes more sense... You should still get the type in traffic, and may get some SE traffic to boot. It makes more sense than parking, and keeps you in control of your domains and what is published on them.

4:37 pm on Dec 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

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You do realize keyword domain names are worth a lot less in Google's results than they used to be?
6:40 pm on Dec 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

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You do realize keyword domain names are worth a lot less in Google's results than they used to be?
-StoutFiles

Want to clarify, qualify or quantify that statement?

8:07 pm on Dec 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Parking names makes far more sense than building a 1 page made for adsense page.

The 1 page made for adsense is against adsense TOS.. they don't want millions of useless 1 page MFA's cluttering the serps.

Parking the names takes care of the serps issue because Parked under Google those names will not be found in the serps.(Yeah tons of more crap cleaned up)

Parked under Google the domain can still make money for the domainer just that the traffic has to be natural, old valid links and pure typins ..that ensures/ verify's the traffic going to the domain is real targeted traffic..

the value for the advertiser increases as well as the payout for the Parked name and Serps are cleaner

10:22 pm on Dec 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Do any search engines (other than Google) index parked domains?

FarmBoy

10:40 pm on Dec 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Search google for: "buy this domain"

(with the quote marks)... 1,270,000 results...

Google parking doesn't have a feature to put a notice on the page that the domain is for sale.

I noticed in the help pages for Google For Domains they refer to it as a "pilot program"... I think they didn't think it all the way through when they rolled it out.

10:21 am on Dec 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Update: It appears Google has removed the "Policy Violation" for the domain, and provided tools on the Google Adsense for Domains setup screen that allowed me to remove the domain from any list, (of pending or verified domain names).
6:26 pm on Dec 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Results 1 - 100 of about 2,600,000 for "domain for sale".

As someone who weekly screens many thousands of Google results (with a little help from my bots) I can attest that the SERPS are heavy with parked domains, MFA's and other species of fake websites many of which do not advertise the "domain for sale" or display only images of those words.

So it appears there are many ways to monetize domains that are excess inventory. Oh BTW I'm not a member of the "nobody should own unused domains crowd" but I do think hoading domains harms the internet and the people it serves.

This is Google's vulnerability and it could hurt them seriously somewhere down the line.

edit corrected minor error in grammar

[edited by: OnlyToday at 6:29 pm (utc) on Dec. 28, 2008]

6:43 pm on Dec 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Oh BTW I'm not a member of the "nobody should own unused domains crowd" but I do think hoading domains harms the internet and the people it serves.

Trademarks are hoarded, too (and were being hoarded before the Internet was invented).

IMHO, there's one obvious benefit to parked domains, in terms of the greater good: If unused or misspelled domain names can be monetized with relevant ads, they're less likely to be abandoned and snapped up by p-rn peddlers or scam artists. (I can remember when leaving an "s" off the name of a major travel guidebook publisher's domain name led users to a hardcore adult site.)

9:26 pm on Dec 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Trademarks are hoarded, too (and were being hoarded before the Internet was invented).

Yes, I can see how the larger system of commerce in general resembles the internet. Hoarding trademarks is less of an impediment to general progress than tossing wrenches into the gears of the internet, but it's still not an honorable way to make a buck, IMHO. Oh wait, are we still considering honor a virtue on this forum? I forget...

...when leaving an "s" off the name of a major travel guidebook publisher's domain name led users to a hardcore adult site.

I think the most famous instance of that was when "whitehouse.com" returned a #*$! site(it is now more appropriately a political site).

[edited by: OnlyToday at 9:28 pm (utc) on Dec. 28, 2008]

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