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Unread 2nd Oct 2009, 11:50 AM   #1
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Latest Google Slap - Don't Get Caught Up
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Google Mass Bans & Warns AdWords Advertisers, But Why?

Oct 2, 2009 at 9:18am ET by Barry Schwartz


I have been watching ongoing complaints from Google AdWords advertisers for the past five days or so, in regards to Google both banning and warning of banning advertisers for having “poor quality landing pages.”

I first reported about the issue on Sunday at the Search Engine Roundtable.

There are a few SEM threads on this topic, but the largest one is at WebmasterWorld, currently at 160 posts long. Normally, when you see this much discussion around such a change in AdWords, it means Google made some type of change in their algorithms.

I decided to wait it out and ask Google to look into the issue. I figured, it had to be some type of bug, where the algorithm was tweaked a bit too strong against the landing page quality. Google first sent us a statement that read:
Google is constantly working to ensure that we’re showing ads to our users that are relevant, in accordance with our ad policies, and safe for users. To that end, we perform regular reviews, using both manual and automated processes, in order to detect and disable ads that violate our policies.
That didn’t sit right with me, so I pushed on and asked them to dig deeper into these complaints. AdWordsAdvisor, the official Google representative at WebmasterWorld, replied to the thread last night.

Unfortunately, the reply isn’t what these advertisers wanted to see, nor what I wanted to see. Here is the reply:
The suspensions and final warnings that are referenced in this thread are due to account level actions taken against advertisers who’ve submitted multiple sites that violate our landing page quality guidelines.

This is an existing policy to discourage repeat offenders by taking account level action. These final warnings and suspensions were only applied to sites with multiple violations which were manually reviewed to ensure that our policies were being applied correctly.

Certain kinds of websites (ref1) are not allowed per our policies because the user experience is of low quality or we consistently receive negative feedback from our users about these kinds of pages. These sites include:


* Data collection sites that offer the false promise of free items, etc., in order to collect private information.


* Arbitrage sites that are designed for the purpose of showing ads


* Affiliates who provide limited value by being a bridge page with the intent of solely driving traffic to another site or who are framing an affiliate site

* Malware sites that knowingly or unknowingly install software on a visitor’s computer

You can find more information on this topic in the AdWords help center, under Landing Page Quality (ref2) Landing page checks happen continuously, even after an ad has been approved, through both manual and automated methods. You can evaluate whether or not your site is in line with our landing page quality guidelines (ref3)

If not, you can make the appropriate changes to your site or delete all ads that point to the low quality sites. Paused ads will still accrue violations against them.

We apply the same standards to all the sites that we check so violations are evaluated regardless of spend, keywords bids or history of the account.

Also note, some accounts have both allowed sites and not allowed sites. For these accounts, if you received a warning please remove the low quality sites from your account by deleting the ads pointing to these sites.


We constantly try to improve the quality of the ad experience which we believe helps both the consumer and advertiser when users can trust the quality of the site they reach when they click on an ad.
I have no proof of this, but I really feel Google is missing something. Google often has bugs in their systems, heck, Google just fixed a bug that told advertisers they had a “low share of voice” problem. With these many advertisers effected and many of them being really old-school, old time, advertisers – it just seems wrong that this comes down to some policy that has always been in place and always been enforced.

Google Mass Bans & Warns AdWords Advertisers, But Why?

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Unread 2nd Oct 2009, 12:14 PM   #2
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Re: Latest Google Slap - Don't Get Caught Up
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Good thing I don't mess with Adwords.

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Unread 2nd Oct 2009, 02:56 PM   #3
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Re: Latest Google Slap - Don't Get Caught Up
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Same here only because of my budget mind

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Originally Posted by Alan Mater View Post

Good thing I don't mess with Adwords.

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Unread 2nd Oct 2009, 03:30 PM   #4
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Re: Latest Google Slap - Don't Get Caught Up
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Hello:

I can understand the frustration of some users, but in my opinion, the good thing is that some of the true scammers are being limited or thwarted entirely. It's just unfortunate when honest or sincere marketers have to suffer in the bargain.

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Unread 2nd Oct 2009, 03:57 PM   #5
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Re: Latest Google Slap - Don't Get Caught Up
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Yes, what GT said, but "* Affiliates who provide limited value by being a bridge page with the intent of solely driving traffic to another site or who are framing an affiliate site" doesn't sound familiar?

They sure deny Adsense to a lot of affiliate sites and they are the judge and jury 'Does not add any value'. They are really not understanding affiliate marketing and have been on an all out war for some time now - this is just some more persecution from them.

Then again 'Necessity is the Mother of Invention' and this should help to motivate people to do SEO and to make their sites unique...

Sometimes bad is good.

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Unread 2nd Oct 2009, 10:14 PM   #6
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Re: Latest Google Slap - Don't Get Caught Up
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This may fall under the heading 'Silly question'....but, why doesn't someone organize a mass account move to another SE.......Google isn't the only player even though they may be the biggest.

If this was another field customers just wouldn't put up with it.
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Unread 2nd Oct 2009, 10:24 PM   #7
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Re: Latest Google Slap - Don't Get Caught Up
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Actually I used adwords few times but haven't worked good for me. so I am not using it these days.

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Unread 3rd Oct 2009, 12:52 AM   #8
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Re: Latest Google Slap - Don't Get Caught Up
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Thank Goodness I'm not using Google Adwords... =)

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Unread 3rd Oct 2009, 07:24 AM   #9
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Re: Latest Google Slap - Don't Get Caught Up
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Say goodbye to adsense arbitrage..:p

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Unread 4th Oct 2009, 08:30 PM   #10
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Re: Latest Google Slap - Don't Get Caught Up
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Originally Posted by Patrician View Post

* Affiliates who provide limited value by being a bridge page with the intent of solely driving traffic to another site or who are framing an affiliate site"
This is used to add click value for running different offers. If someone was using "unethical" means one would use this method for impressions and click, to show traffic. It has and will always be there.

Google is only hurting themselves, but in retrospect, they obviously don't give a damn. This hurts people who are making a living with affiliate marketing. PPC is valuable to many.

It is a shame that they are doing this. I have put all my campaigns on pause until I find a way around this. My quality score has dropped and its not worth it.

But we all have to remember there are 1,000's of other ways of advertising. Adwords might in some eyes be the best, but there are others.

"landing page quality". that might be the biggest bs excuse I have heard in awhile. Accounts are being banned or suspended regardless of what your site contains.

I cant wait to see what the future brings to Adwords.......

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Unread 4th Oct 2009, 08:56 PM   #11
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Re: Latest Google Slap - Don't Get Caught Up
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... well let's watch Bing then...

Looks like there is some potential there.

Adwords has been racked by scandal and allegations of fraud for a long time - multiple lawsuits against Google for same.

So who knows what the future brings - 'necessity is the mother of invention' -

One thing we have learned this past year or so, there is nothing that is 'too big to fail'...

Who will be the White Knight?

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Unread 5th Oct 2009, 12:07 PM   #12
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Re: Latest Google Slap - Don't Get Caught Up
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I would estimate that 75% of online advertising is misleading, overly manipulative, or just plain false. I would estimate that 90% or more of non-MLM affiliate marleting is misleading, manipulative, or false. Print advertising went through the same thing in its early days.

The sad thing is, this has become the accepted "norm" for many segments of the industry. Google is once again slapping the good with the bad, but this industry badly needs some ethics. New online marketers are being taught a lot of shady tactics every day by some big names in online marketing.

Of course, there are many ethical, good marketers and business people online...many of them right here on this forum. When I was researching PiPs before I signed up, I had to wade through pages of fake reviews before I found a real one.

The person who wrote that real review became my PiPs sponsor. Honesty and hard work pay off... even online.

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Unread 28th Nov 2009, 11:46 PM   #13
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Re: Latest Google Slap - Don't Get Caught Up
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Hi this time I have not fallen victim to google slap all the same I got to watch out because they are in my inbox everyday in search of home workers.Thank you. Ben

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Unread 29th Nov 2009, 02:17 AM   #14
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Re: Latest Google Slap - Don't Get Caught Up
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Thank you Patrician for showing that information. I have seen same thing and heard lots of complaints about Adwords and I thought at the first time that there might be something that is related to users who violates Adwords policies and that's why the slap.

But to be honest I also understand Google concern because they want to provide quality service to their users and for instance landing pages which has false promises i.e. giving away free product for having customers/users private information are quiet bad pages if you can say like that. So I don't wonder that why Adwords is slapping for instance those kind of pages.

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Unread 1st Dec 2009, 04:53 AM   #15
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Re: Latest Google Slap - Don't Get Caught Up
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I've been a victim of this, Google have suspended my adwords account, even with my campaign on pause.
I wrote to them explaining that I haen't even been displaying any ads, and I get the same canned response everyone else is getting about poor landing pages etc.
It's about time Google swallowed the humility pill and remember who got them to where they are in the first place.

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Unread 1st Dec 2009, 07:29 AM   #16
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I don't use adwords to promote cause it's not worth the $$$

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Unread 1st Dec 2009, 11:46 PM   #17
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I am glad I use AdBrite, BidVertiser and Yahoo. But did anyone get a letter from In Re Yahoo! Settlement Administrator?

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