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Old 03-31-2006   #1
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AdWord Abuse & Search Arbitrage

am an adword advertiser but found that at least one of my keyword "electrical cad" has been the target of abusers of adwords. If you search for it, you will see some of the sites below:

-- MODERATOR NOTE: List snipped per our no spam reporting policy in the forum FAQs. Those interested in more can PM thomas68 for more info (AussieWebmaster posted this on his behalf until his account could get sorted out --

If you click on them, you will find almost no content, and adword ads disguised as menus and content to fool non suspecting users into clicking them and thus making money. It is just spam and outright abuse.

The effect they are having is:
a) Users begin to think that all ads by google are spam, thus making legitimate advertiser's ads looks like spam also.
b) They prevent users from going to legitimate advertiser's sites, thus driving them out of business and driving both users and advertisers away from google.
c) Advertisers cannot outbid them as the more you bid, by showing your ad on their site, the more they earn money.
d) You ad budget goes sky high and even then your ad may or may not be displayed, and even when displayed, is at the lowest or only on the 2nd page.

I have contacted adwords support and informed them of the above and here's what they say:

"Thank you for your email regarding potentially irrelevant advertisements on Google with the keyword 'electrical CAD.'

As stated in our Terms and Conditions, advertisers are responsible for the keywords and ad content that they choose to use. However, we continually strive to enhance the user experience by improving the quality and relevance of our advertising program. To that end, AdWords uses several automatic relevance checks in order to show users the most relevant ads possible. ", that's all.

My question is:
1) Is google permitting/allowing/encouraging such abuse because as long as google get the money they don't care how?
2) What can I do about it, what are my courses of action, how can I get an effective complaint?
3) How can I fight these guys or is fighting them the right course of action?

Sincerely
vkyip

PS AussieWebmaster is posting this until his account problems are worked out.

Last edited by dannysullivan : 04-03-2006 at 08:07 AM.
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Old 03-31-2006   #2
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The link "Ads by Gooooogle" attached to each ad group has a facility for ad feedback. It should be straightforward to use this tool. I agree, these content scrapers use the keywords repetitively to tune the ads Adsense generates for them.
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Old 03-31-2006   #3
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There are some major players in the AdSense forum that may give more insight into that.
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Old 03-31-2006   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ewc21
The link "Ads by Gooooogle" attached to each ad group has a facility for ad feedback. It should be straightforward to use this tool. I agree, these content scrapers use the keywords repetitively to tune the ads Adsense generates for them.
Despite a good suggestion, the resources and time taken to go through the links and report abuse to google is not feasible.
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Old 03-31-2006   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AussieWebmaster
There are some major players in the AdSense forum that may give more insight into that.
Are you suggesting that I cross post this question on the adsense forum?

Need to ask ask I do not want to seem to be flooding the forums.
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Old 03-31-2006   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thomas68
Are you suggesting that I cross post this question on the adsense forum?

Need to ask ask I do not want to seem to be flooding the forums.
Just reference the url and ask questions there... start a new thread called Need Help on Content and AdSense results....
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Old 04-02-2006   #7
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It's tough fighting city hall

I doubt if anything you do to try to correct your circumstances is going to do any good. My experience with trying to get Google to improve anything has been canned letters and stone walls.

I think your only productive recourse is to setup a campaign to display ads on the Google search engine only for any keywords that are being ripped off.

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Old 04-03-2006   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonerman
I doubt if anything you do to try to correct your circumstances is going to do any good. My experience with trying to get Google to improve anything has been canned letters and stone walls.

I think your only productive recourse is to setup a campaign to display ads on the Google search engine only for any keywords that are being ripped off.

Tonerman
Thanks Tonerman, that seems to be the case. I am now going through all my logs and have an semi automated program to extract the URL, and I will manually mark them to be spam or otherwise. Might present the data here. Then I will know if it is worth it to advertise on google network or google network is really rubbish.
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Old 04-03-2006   #9
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The arbitraged search results are definitely a problem but they can get you convertible visitors... it is just that they generally cost a little more due to the middlemen inbetween.
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Old 04-03-2006   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AussieWebmaster
The arbitraged search results are definitely a problem but they can get you convertible visitors... it is just that they generally cost a little more due to the middlemen inbetween.
AussieWebmaster, I would have to disagree, I think it's pretty unlikely. And aren't the Internet the middleman killer? And what value do they pass on to the advertiser?
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Old 04-03-2006   #11
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Help me understand please.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AussieWebmaster
The arbitraged search results are definitely a problem but they can get you convertible visitors... it is just that they generally cost a little more due to the middlemen inbetween.
How do arbitraged search results work Aussie?
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Old 04-04-2006   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thomas68
Despite a good suggestion, the resources and time taken to go through the links and report abuse to google is not feasible.
Not feasible? You gotta be kidding. Of course it takes time and resources. Once acted upon, it can kill lots of rogue ads scattered anywhere. One disabled account can disable ads that posted on hundreds or thousands of pages.
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Old 04-04-2006   #13
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It seems to me that asking the AdWords people to do something about it is asking the wrong people, although showing them the stuff can't hurt.

The AdSense people are good at cancelling accounts and, since it's an AdSense operation, maybe they should be the ones to approach. I haven't seen the landing pages, but from the description, it sounds like they are breaking the AdSense rules, by disguising the ads as menus. Google is keen that the ads are clearly seen to be ads, and not disguised as content.
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Old 04-04-2006   #14
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I have complained to the adsense people but yet there are no replies. Even positing the same thing over to the adsense thread got deleted on this site.
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Old 04-04-2006   #15
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Quote:
I have complained to the adsense people but yet there are no replies. Even positing the same thing over to the adsense thread got deleted on this site.
Here is exactly why - from our FAQ regarding acceptable posting guidelines:

Public Spam Reporting Policy

That policy is for the benefit of everyone in this community, and was originally implemented with the overwhelming support of our members, and is not likely to change, nor will exceptions be made on demand.

It just so happens that the Adsense people DO respond, but it's to acknowledge that we've communicated; and we can't expect them to act in exactly the way and exactly when we ourselves think they should.

There have to be protocols and internal procedures at Google, and any reports they receive are forwarded to the proper parties for appropriate handling in due course according to company procedures.
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Old 04-04-2006   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thomas68
AussieWebmaster, I would have to disagree, I think it's pretty unlikely. And aren't the Internet the middleman killer? And what value do they pass on to the advertiser?
I do not know what you are disagreeing with.... they pass no value on to the advertiser and in many cases lessen it when they send the searcher to a more expensive term that may not be looking for.

The Internet is the middleman killer??? That does not make sense to me....
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Old 04-04-2006   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonerman
How do arbitraged search results work Aussie?
I start a site that provides search results.... they pay me say 65% of the click value.... so I take searchers for 10 cent words and send them to a page of results of $2 words in that space... any click is worth $1.30 to me so all I need is one click from every 13 clickers and I break even - two and I make $1.30 etc.
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Old 04-04-2006   #18
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Good business to be in!

Quote:
Originally Posted by AussieWebmaster
I start a site that provides search results.... they pay me say 65% of the click value.... so I take searchers for 10 cent words and send them to a page of results of $2 words in that space... any click is worth $1.30 to me so all I need is one click from every 13 clickers and I break even - two and I make $1.30 etc.
Thank you Aussie. Sounds like a viable business deal. A click is a click right?
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Old 04-04-2006   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonerman
Thank you Aussie. Sounds like a viable business deal. A click is a click right?
The whole thing is a mess... they clog the PPC bidding... work on getting organic spots and in reality they are just showing traffic that is already there... this is a major problem and if not stopped will grow until it clogs the entire search industry.... not the smartest of business moves on the search engines part.... guess it is too hard to walk away from the short term money... if allowed to go unchecked this will allow another alternative to spring up - though what at this stage I cannot say absolutely.
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Old 04-04-2006   #20
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I did something very similar to that a few years ago, and it was with the search engine's permission - not Google. I used to bid on lower placings for online casino stuff, but still on the first page. When I got a click as an advertiser, I'd automatically do another search for the same thing as an affiliate, and automatically click on a top casino and send the person there. In this case, nobody lost. The engine got 2 clicks, so they gained, I got a large portion of the difference between my low bid and the casino's high bid, the casino wanted the person from that search and they paid what they'd bid for the search, so everyone was a winner.

I should add that my ads were for the top casino where I eventually sent the person, so the person went to where they wanted to go.

This other thing is different, though. When people click on a Google ad, I do think that they are not wanting or expecting to go to a pageful of other Google ads. I would find fault with Google if they knowingly allow it to happen. So often they talk about good user experience, and this thing definitely isn't that.
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