Google is emailing participants in its hosted AdSense for Domains (AFD) today to inform them that the sometimes-controversial program is headed for closure in mid-April. The change will only affect domains that Google hosted.
“After evaluating the benefits of our partner network, we’ve decided to retire the Hosted domains product within AdSense,” Google wrote in the email. “Going forward, undeveloped domains will only be served through our existing AdSense for Domains distribution network.”
Google linked to a migration guide on its site (some links from which are not currently functioning), which advises that hosted domain AdSense participants move their sites to other third-party domain parking providers, such as DomainSponsor or Sedo, which already have relationships with Google to serve ads.
After April 18, Hosted domains will become inactive and owners will no longer be able to earn from them. On July 27, AdSense users will no longer be able to see the Hosted domains in their accounts. Account holders will not be able to create new Hosted after March 21.
It’s not clear what is happening, if anything, to AdSense for Domain participants who do not have their domains hosted by Google. We’ve reached out to Google for some clarification and will update when we hear back.