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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!
So, can anyone say what is or isn't acceptable? Heard stories etc?
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.
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.
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.
AdSense for Content doesn't seem to have URL-specific guidelines, although AdSense for Domains does have some info:
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.
- 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
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.
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?
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. :)
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.