March 27, 2013
This week I was informed of some gross inequities regarding Google AdWords. Apparently, not all advertisers are treated equally. That probably doesn't come as much of surprise to many of you, but because I don't play in the AdWords space, I had no clue.
What I learned was that Google doesn't apply the same rules across the board. For instance, this company that sells knives (full disclosure: I did an SEO website review for them many years ago, so they are a former client) was forbidden to advertise on Google AdWords as long as they were selling a certain type of knife. Sounds fair enough as long as all companies were also forbidden. But that's not what is happening. If you're interested, you can read more about it in this post: How Google Sliced Away Our Knife Ads.
Reading that prompted me to ask my social media followers this:
++Do you often see an unlevel playing field these days in either the Google organic search results or paid search? Explain either way below!++
Here's how they responded:
James Svoboda: I often see an organic search engine results page (SERP) bias towards bigger brands. Their content is not always better, but their reach is large enough for them to gain the extra attention (links) to move them up over the little guys.
Barb Young: I have a pay-per-click (PPC) client who has advertised wine gift baskets via AdWords for years. While hard liquor is "non-family safe," advertising wine and champagne products is NOT prohibited. Twice in the past six months (including during the peak of their holiday season), Google has without warning suspended their Product Listing Ads (PLAs), saying they violated Google's policies. Meanwhile, their large competitors' ads were not taken offline, and even larger competitors appeared in the PLAs (Soap.com, Hayneedle, etc.).
The client appealed to Google with screenshots, etc., and in the first instance it took over 5 weeks for Google to resolve the issue and say, "Oh, never mind." This last time, they took about 10 days. Meanwhile, the client has lost considerable online sales and revenue, not to mention new customers who might have come back for repeat orders.
Peter Geisheker: I am finding with PPC that getting ads approved for new companies and new products is becoming much more difficult. It seems that every time I add a new client to my AdWords account, I have to contact my Google account rep to get the ads approved.
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