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Old 02-02-2006   #1
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Competition Telling Competitors to Report a Competitor

Nice title, ehhh? Used the word compete three different ways. ok, back on topic....

I got an email with a thread from someone which showed me that a competitor for a specific keyword phrase emailed all the other people bidding on those keywords, to report one competitor who has 3+ different sites all listed.

He went through his proof and explained how it is against the AdWords TOS.

What do you guys think of that? This is beyond reporting a violator yourself, it is telling everyone else to report the person.
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Old 02-02-2006   #2
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A lot of industries are clubby. Most of the players know each other, and choose to compete fairly with each other. When someone breaks that rule, it's the whole industry that feels it.

It's similar to how we in the SEM community have outed certain unethical firms.
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Old 02-02-2006   #3
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great title for sure

Really though that is a little absurd to expect someone else to jump in and help you report. Google might like the idea of having a network of known snitches to be able to tap into a-la Starsky and Huggy Bear every once in a while.
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Old 02-02-2006   #4
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Interesting Cline.

Question. In organic search there are two types of people.

(1) Those that are proud to report spammy sites.

(2) Those that would never report a spammy site.

Do you have the same types of people within the AdWords community?
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Old 02-02-2006   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rustybrick
Interesting Cline.

Question. In organic search there are two types of people.

(1) Those that are proud to report spammy sites.

(2) Those that would never report a spammy site.

Do you have the same types of people within the AdWords community?
Of course there is.... I have no problems pulling the trigger on people blatantly breaching the T&Cs....
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Old 02-02-2006   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Boggs
Really though that is a little absurd to expect someone else to jump in and help you report.
No, I have clients who communicate with their competitors regularly and are on an easy first-name basis. Some have worked together in the past. Do note that the situation rustybrick identifies is one where the potentially cooperating competitor is also being harmed by the competitor who is breaking the rules.

My Adwords rep can vouch that I'm with Aussiewebmaster. I've sent in a pile of reports of advertisers who are breaching the TOS. I consider it my responsibility to my clients to do so. I have to protect them from competitors who take unfair advantage.
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Old 02-02-2006   #7
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Ok I will agree with that I guess, cline. Seems reasonable if there is one "bad apple" that others could maybe band together to report them. Are you not worried about potential backlash from that such as the person possibly setting up an automated system to hit your listings, or even just taking personal vengeance and manually or through "viral assault" having friends click on listings?

Just seems dangerous to me but I guess you have to fight fire with fire. Count me on the fence here and it would have to be purely on a case-by-case basis after attempting possibly to communicate directly with the offender.
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Old 02-02-2006   #8
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Chris, you are pointing to one thing that didn't occur to me. That the friendly competitors might tell the unfriendly competitor what you're doing. If you submit a report to Adwords, Adwords doesn't say who tipped them off. Adwords just says they are enforcing their TOS. Adwords is the fall guy. But if you tell someone else other than Adwords, the secret is out.

OTOH, if someone is unscrupulous enough to run multiple accounts, they may be unethical enough to engage in click fraud. Of course, they may *already* be engaging in click fraud, but that's another matter....
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