We just want to give an appreciative acknowledgment to Google AdWords for a recent change to their policy regarding display URL’s. While we’re most excited about how this rule change is a big win for most businesses and all consumers, we thought it might be interesting to describe the impact from Mozilla’s perspective. In short, other advertisers are no longer able to show ads that display something like “mozilla.com” or “firefox.com” as their domain (then redirecting to their actual site).
Why does this matter? The example below, captured a couple months ago, provides a powerful illustration. Neither of those two ads on the right-hand side belongs to Mozilla (nor are sending clickers our way)! An advertiser was previously able to list anything they desired as the URL displayed and then send the consumer to a completely different, unrelated web site. The process, from the consumer’s perspective, was non transparent, and in extreme cases, could be dangerous.
And here’s a close-up:
Please note: we’re always happy to see affiliates helping with the distribution of Firefox; we’d just prefer that other advertisers not use our actual domains (e.g., mozilla.com) in their ads (when those ads are not actually directing users to Mozilla’s sites).
What’s remarkable here is that Google may take a revenue hit as a result of this change. I’m guessing they made this decision because it’s clearly in the best interest of consumers and because it’s the right thing to do. It’s always enlightening to see a company put the interest of users ahead of the interest of shareholders.