Duncan Riley> I was doing a little blog advertising research recently and visited the up-and-coming contextual advertising firm Kanoodle for a bit of imformation on their latest offerings. Clicking thru from their main page I was presented with 2 options, BrightAds (Kanoodles version of Adsense) or DomainHop, essentially a service for providing contextual advertising for unused domains.
Now by way of context I own about 30 odd domains, some I’ve bought for others but remain in my name, some I use, but over half I don’t. They’ve been bought either because I thought they were a good idea at the time, or because I want to develop them at some stage in the future. Most, it would come as no surprise to readers, are blog related. A few of them had been up with generic pages with links back to other pages, but most have been sitting idle.
I’d heard of services like DomainHop before but had never really bothered having a serious look at them before, so I thought, well, I was here so why not check it all out. I was impressed with the offering on the spot and thought, well, why not, they are after all just sitting there, so I immediately signed up and put 9 domains into their system, which takes a good 10-15 minutes all up, including name server redirections and the like. Received an email that night telling me I had been approved (I’d note that at no stage during sign up did I see a warning that I was up for an approval process), but thought it was just a standard email and nothing to be concerned about.
The following evening, I thought that the name server changes of the domains should have gone through so I’d type some in to see what sort of advertising was being servered up. Message on the screen appeared: “domain is inactive”. Then went to the site to login to the account I’d set up. Similar message: “account is inactive”. So, off to the support email I went. “What’s going on” I asked nicely. The response: “I am sorry, but your account was not approved. I apologize for the inconveniece”. No explanation, despite having received an email stating that my account had been approved. 9 mainly blog related domains sitting idle (well less idle, some where pointing elsewhere originally) to their servers and atleast 15 minutes wasted, and apparently I wasn’t good enough. So I emailed back “not good enough, no courtesy to tell me why, first experience with the company and not impressed, will write about this if no explanation given”. My response: more stock standard rubbish:
From: Bree Zimmerman
“Perhaps you can give me more details on whom you had been in contact with about signing up with us. This would greatly help us in our verification process. We do not like turning away clients but we also have to reduce fraud potential as much as possible to retain the patronage of our advertisers and partners.
The account status did not have to do with the quality of the domains but rather basic verification of account information. As of recently, we noticed a couple of accounts had been created with similiar [sic] information to your account, which unfortunately turned out to be from non-existant [sic] sources looking to take advantage of revenue via “paid to click” or other intenivized bases, neither of which are allowed for our services. Again I apologize for our proactive security measures.
I am sure you can understand that in this day and age where anyone can try to get more credentials by pretending to be someone else, particularly when using an ever-more-common gmail account for a paypal address without anty [sic] direct contact with one of our reps, we try to do our best to make sure clients’ information is not compromised nor presents a risk to our traffic quality. It puts us in a rather difficult position with each new account created.
Again, I am sorry for the inconvenience, it is not an intentional “shut out” of service to you. We only look at the info provided to us and base our decisions from this with others in our database.
Again, if you could let me know who you had been working with (at Kanoodle or DomainHop) I am sure that we could be able to reactivate the account according to your discussions with them.
Please let me know if you have any other questions.”
Now, a couple of things, I’m not working with anyone at Kanoodle, I simply stumbled across the program and signed up, and received via email from [email protected] a message that stated in part “Dear Duncan, The domains you have submitted have been reviewed by our relevancy team. The following domains have been accepted…”. Secondly, Kanoodle/ DomainHop are now suggesting that somebody is either pretending to be me and registering my domains with them, or alternatively, are they are basically saying that I’m trying to defraud them…I mean, is it the Australian adress? perhaps they are confusing Australia with Nigeria? Remember Australia folks, we’re a member of the co-alition of the willing, but apparently an Australian blogger is a security threat to Kanoodle? “basic verification of account information?” They had my details but not even the slightest attempt in trying to contact me, no, we’d rather waste his time then cut him off because he is using one of those evil GMail accounts for his email correspondence. Well Kanoodle, I never like using language here but F*ck you and your services. To bloggers out there who are considering using Kanoodle for advertising, go elsewhere, because if this is how they treat potential clients they aren’t worth wasting your time on.