Guest Post: Could Revised Google Adsense Policy be a Game Changer for Alcohol Related Domains?

Here is a guest post from Pat Quinn of Big Iron Design, LLC.

Will Google’s New Adsense Policy for Alcohol Ads Increase Manufacturer Spending Online?

Last week Google changed their advertising policy on alcohol to allow ads that promote the sale of hard alcohol and liquor.

Will this new policy encourage the adult beverage industry to spend more of their 2-3 billion dollar annual budgets online? They’re not spending much of it online right now, that’s for sure. According to this 2008 report, the top 12 advertisers in this sector spend less than 2% of their advertising dollars online. More than half of that amount probably goes to their own web sites judging by this chart which breaks down the spending by venue. That amounts to roughly 2 million dollars a month for internet advertising aside from the manufacturer’s own sites. By contrast, they’re spending almost 69 million a month for TV, 50 million a month for Point-of-Sale, and 29 million a month for Sports, Sports Teams and Athletes.

In 2008 Google changed their policy to allow ads that promote the sale of beer, but I’m not seeing a lot of beer ads in my daily surfing, are you? I wonder why. It may be because there are myriad local and state laws regulating this advertising, and the manufacturers are just afraid to go there (yet). But, I don’t really get why there would be regulation differences between running ads online and running them on TV. Certainly the football fans among us are bombarded by them, even on the earliest games (Go Steelers!). Are they afraid kids will see the ads online? Give me a break.

What’s this have to do with domaining? There are hundreds of cocktail names and dozens of generic liquor names, with new drinks being created all the time. Obviously, popular drinks will generate searches because people want to try new things. The CPC and Competition on even many highly searched ones are pretty much rock-bottom, though. I think it goes without saying that most domainers are always on the lookout for any product-related terms with high search numbers. But if the potential advertisers can’t advertise because of restrictions that certainly kills any potential value of these domain names.

So, the question is – will this policy change be enough to drive a few more of those huge advertising dollars to Google, and by extension the owners of these types of domains. I’d love to hear your thoughts, particularly if you have real-world experience in the alcohol names domain (and I don’t mean drunk dialing your ex).

Disclaimer: I own a number of cocktail related names. That’s why this policy change sparked my interest.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. Elliot,

    This is actually the news that I have been waiting for. I own and think that it can be a great platform for alcohol related news and sales.

    Although it is what we would consider a domain hack, I believe it has great potential. What would you suggest in terms of development and marketing strategy? Or am I just spinning my wheels on this one?



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