Source exclusion is a feature that Mirago started providing in 2003 and BlowSearch is now offering. It helps advertisers to identify, track and then allow or disallow the traffic from specific sources in a PPC network. For example Source Exclusion would enable you to exclude your ads from being shown on overture.com. Almost no real user uses Overture.com, so these clicks would most likely be fellow marketers intentionally using up your ad budget or just curious about your site. Either way you don't want this traffic (I believe Shak has reported that clicks from the overture.com domain are not billed?). This is a great feature for advertisers so why don't the big three PPC companies offer it?
The PPC companies created many tools for advertisers to track conversions - why haven't they given advertisers the ability to use that information to make the most of our money? Instead the PPC companies have decided to take the position that self-policing is better than giving advertisers control.
One reason may be that it is harder for Google, Yahoo and Espotting to do this since they have much larger networks with large numbers of publishers to manage. It's just easier to let self-policing handle it. But that is not the real reason I feel they have yet to launch this feature. Could it be that the ugly truth is that Source Exclusion helps advertisers and hurts PPC networks?
By giving the advertiser more control it jeopardizes large segments of PPC networks. Publicly the big 3 PPC networks hate click fraud and poor quality traffic and they police their publishers to supposedly ensure the "best quality of traffic". But it can financially benefit them since they collect money for unreported click fraud and poor quality traffic. This makes me doubt the validity of self-policing.
Also if advertisers had the power to more closely monitor the quality of traffic, it could create a public relations nightmare. Imagine if Google was exposed to be allowing very poor quality Adsense sites to stay in their network. Currently they state that they monitor and control the quality of adsense sites. But there is no public proof that their self-policing is working. There is no auditing. We just have to take Google's word and let them manage the quality of our traffic. And remember it is financially benefiting for them to allow poor quality adsense to remain since they could collect more money that way.
I doubt we will ever see a large PPC company offer source exclusion since it requires work to get implemented and maintained, transfers some control from the PPC network to advertisers and also creates a potential public relations nightmare. If anyone provides this I would expect it to be MSN or Yahoo. These two are trying to outdo Google and these companies have much smaller networks of publishers to manage then Google's Adsense. Oh well, I'm not going to wait for the big ppc networks to provide source exclusion. I just want changes made to the self-policing policy of these networks. Ideally some independent organization would oversee these networks and certify them.