Google is being sued by Vulcan Golf, LLC in a complaint filed June 15, 2007 over the Google AdSense for Domains program.
According to Eric Goldman on his Technology & Marketing Law Blog, “Domainer litigation is heating up, and this lawsuit may be the most ambitious anti-domainer lawsuit to date. First, it is a putative class action lawsuit. Second, in addition to naming four leading domainer firms, the plaintiffs provocatively go after Google for providing ads to domainer sites. I believe this is the first lawsuit against Google for its domainer relationships.”
Google describes their AdSense for Domains program as follows…
AdSenseÂ® for domains allows domain name registrars and large domain name holders to unlock the value in their parked page inventory. AdSense for domains delivers targeted, conceptually related advertisements to parked domain pages by using Googleâ€™s semantic technology to analyze and understand the meaning of the domain names. Our program uses ads from the Google AdWordsâ„¢ network, which is comprised of thousands of advertisers worldwide and is growing larger everyday. Google AdSense for domains targets web sites in over 25 languages, and has fully localized segmentation technology in over 10 languages.
As I am not a lawyer, I can’t speak to the merit of the lawsuit, but it does bring an interesting issue to the surface.
There has been a lot of fuss over MFA (Made for AdSense) sites, and how Google was going to clean those AdSense publishers out of the network.
But do they really add less value to the end user than domain placeholder pages? I’d say they are in the same league.