I bought the domain name adwordsmanagement.com about 7 years ago but about a month back Google asked me to transfer it to them. I’ve since found out that this process is going on quite widely now so I expect domain names with the word “adwords” in them will be disappearing over time.
There must be one heck of a lot of them though. What I haven’t found out yet is why Google has started to do this now, especially to people who use the word adwords simply to highlight the fact that they provide adwords management services.
I responded quickly to Google’s first request and they were very reasonable about it, allowing me a bit of time to sort out new email addresses etc.
What the process has done has highlighted one of the facts of internet marketing that is very easy to overlook: your online legacy. If you own a range of domain names like I do and have set up email addresses for many of them, it is very easy to lose track of what’s going on. It’s a similar position with any publications you might have produced. For example, about 7 years ago I wrote a book called The Definitive Guide to Google AdSense and in it I included a number of links either to some sites I owned or to some affiliate products I used to promote. I suspect that most of the links in that book are now dead (see 404 pages!).
How can you solve this issue?
The first step is to recognise that the problem exists when you first start out online and not several years later. The second one is to record all links and email addresses you ever set up. Thirdly you need to record which sites you log into using each email address.
This of course takes discipline but out of this comes one clear lesson: keep all your links under your control so that if anything changes in the future you can update things. The way to do this is to set up any links to 3rd party sites as redirects from your own. I’ll explain more about this shortly.