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Old 11-30-2005   #1
Turulillo
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AdWords No Longer Human Reviewed?

I went on ThreadWatch today and I found this storry about Google Adwords Loosing Relevancy.
Of course, I went on SEW blog and I've read Danny's post Irrelevant Google Ads, Due To Humans No Longer Checking For Relevancy? where he is talking about SearchViews article Google, Heal Thyself.
All this noise reminds me of DaveN's Losing Trust in Adwords and the thread he posted here AdWords In UK Sucks -- Massive Duplicate Ads Get Through .
I've heavily participated to this thread (please check my XXL post with many screeshots) because we are seing something quite new.
It seems that AdWords aren't human reviewed any more.
In my previous post, I was highlighting the growing number of online casinos advertising in France, Spain, Italy, UK but also US, without even hiding, like they use to do before through redirections, showing up only by night, etc...
Today, we can see Casino on Net (or one of their affiliates) advertising on n°1 position on all those markets through Google AdWords, and if you check, you'll see that the URL they've puted in the AdWords system is 888.com (+affiliate ID which could also be just a conversion tracker).
They didn't use a trick, they didn't put a 'clean" URL to bypass the human edition process, otherwise we would have seen a redirection.
The fact that the URL which appears in the AdWords system is 888.com means that on this particular case, the human edition process didn't exist, otherwise this couldn't happen.
And Casino on Net isn't an exception, it's becoming the rule.
I've wrotten 4 e-mails to Google Madrid staff and another one to Google Paris + the mega post on DaveN's thread...I'm still waiting for an answer...it's quite a shame.
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Old 11-30-2005   #2
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It doesn't look like the review process is as it should be, and at the very least there should be some algorithmic pre-screening.

Incidentally, Google is dead set against spyware, as an official, public software policy, and I've seen Adsense running on publisher pages for Hotbar with deceptive ad copy

http://www.google.com/search?num=100...al&btnG=Search

Also, saw another one that's popular but comes bundled with adware that phones home, without disclosure, and also another site that was nothing more than an affiliate site for 99% questionable downloads.

That, coupled with sites appearing in Adsense with well written, targeted sales copy for sites that are nothing more than a search box on the index page for PPC ads - makes it appear that screening Adwords ads is sparse and random at best.
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Old 12-01-2005   #3
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It's all about money!
If Google can skoæ the editors and handle quality algorithmically then they will (most likely) save a lot of money. However, of the quality drops that could end up costing them even more. So, the big question is: Can they keep up with quality with no human editors? I don't think so. Not ell enough, at least, as we've seen lately. There are simply too many "mistakes" and too much junk than slips through. This, in general, will lower advertisers repsect for the guidelines and lead to even more confusion about what can be done and not. It will also add to the speculations that large advertisers (eBay, Kanoodle etc) can get away with everything and "the little man" can't.

I don't think this will benifit Google in the long run. But then again, if Google mess up their product advertisers and contextual sites will just move on to another network. It's a free market and people move fast, so watch out Google
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Old 12-01-2005   #4
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Google Should Remember Who Brought Them To The "Google Dance" = Relevancy

Rhetorical Question = "What's more important to the long term profit growth of Google; Increasing the number of Sponsored Link ads at the top, and now possibly the bottom of the SERP, or Increasing the relevancy of whatever number of PPC ads are on their SERP's?"

If these less relevant PPC ads continue, will end-user consumers continue to like the natural, organic listing results better than the paid listing results (even more than they already do)?
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Old 12-01-2005   #5
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If these less relevant PPC ads continue, will end-user consumers continue to like the natural, organic listing results better than the paid listing results (even more than they already do)?

My problem is that less relevant PPC ad's plus poor serps in certain areas
.. means people move to other search engines

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Old 12-01-2005   #6
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I wanted to mention that the question asked in the subject line of this thread was addressed in a follow-up post by Danny, here:

Humans Still Part Of Google Ad Review Process
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/051201-080716

Excerpting from that post:

Quote:
Google uses a combination of humans and technology to review keywords and ads for relevancy, editorial guidelines and our content policy. In many cases, ads are reviewed through automated processes first and then followed by human review. This enables ads to go live almost immediately, a feature that many of our advertisers like. We continue to remove ads that don't meet relevancy requirements, editorial guidelines or our content policy.

Quality based minimum bidding is not a replacement for determining, and reviewing for, relevancy. Relevancy is an important factor in determining the Quality Score which is the basis for assigning minimum bids for keywords. Quality-based minimum bidding provides advertisers with more control to bid on keywords that are valuable to them.
AWR
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Old 12-02-2005   #7
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It can be a lot more than just relevancy, it can be the difference between benign and malevolent.

Quote:
Google uses a combination of humans and technology to review keywords and ads for relevancy, editorial guidelines and our content policy.
URLs should also be checked, beyond a shadow of a doubt. Running ads for known spyware is implying sanction, when it would take milliseconds to filter against a list.

Quote:
We continue to remove ads that don't meet relevancy requirements, editorial guidelines or our content policy.
From a publishers' viewpoint, sometimes it can run into being far too time-consuming to keep monitoring and reporting them. I just had to pull the code and de-activate a site from the Adsense program altogether today.

I excluded www.hotbar.com a day or so ago - the ad copy was 100% deceptive. And guess what was running today?

http://wowpapers.com

Why can't "sneaky redirects" be detected? Why would they be any more acceptable than in organic search? Downloads are treacherous, ads for such sites should be clearly advertised as such.

Last edited by Marcia : 12-02-2005 at 05:07 AM.
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Old 12-02-2005   #8
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Bums on seats

I think that this is typical of Google - they have bitten off more than they can chew yet again. Adwords is now so popular that the sheer number of ads to be reviewed is too great for their editorial team.

Exactly the same concept as the recent Urchin debacle whereby they can no longer accept any sign ups due to over demand.

Just not enough bums on seats. IMHO maybe google could sacrifice a little of their 60% margin to employ enough people to provide the service that they purport to offer.
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Old 12-05-2005   #9
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In short, I can say from first-hand experience over this past weekend, that the ads for G-NA are, at some point, still reviewed by humans. It appears that way to me, anyway.

I am basing this on my ads being put live, then recieveing e-mails over the weekend telling me to rewrite them to stay in compliance with the guidelines - ads were placed on hold until I either:

a - complied
b - did a rewrite, which went live immeediately, but resulted in the same behaviour about 24 - 30 hours later

This suggests to me G is still watching NA ads with human eyes.

This is not a tough thing to manage - we use one login to run multiple ads. If one ad is found to be out of compliance, a quick query at their end wouldf show the rest of the ads being run by the same advertiser.

Anyway, while it might be the case in Europe, etc., I'm betting NA still gets hands on attention. I'm off to try some more combos to see what might take.

...and lest you think I'm being irresponsible here, our company offers products which are on both sides of Google's compliance guidelines (online gaming), so I can test the waters with the gaming-centric ads. If we're out, we're out, but Adwords is worth the try.
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Old 12-05-2005   #10
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Hi Sportsguy,

What do you mean by G-NA ads ?
If AdWords ads are still reviewed by humans, how do you explain that on Google.com we see, for example, 888.com + 888.biz advertising on word "casino" ?
I precise that the same URLs appear in AdWords system, it's not redirects, which means that if an editor reviewed them, he would have seen the most famous gambling website on net.
It also means that we have gambling sites + affiliate sites advertising on the same keyword.
This breaks twice AdWords guidelines.
I don't even mention the neverending list of other online casino websites and gambling guides with banners on their homepage advertising in Europe...just type "casino" in Google.es, .fr, .it, .co.uk and .com to have an overview.
I'm desesperately waiting for an official Google answer before I jump myself in the Google Adwords's weird little game which could be resumed by those words : "you shouldn't do it, but if you do it, we'll take your money".
Playing the same game on natural results will have you banned and you would be treated as a dirty nasty black hat spammer but on AdWords's playfield it's OK.
As I couldn't get any official answer, after writing many times to Google, privately and publicly, I'll take their silence for an approbation.
Don't come and blame me after.

Last edited by Turulillo : 12-05-2005 at 04:04 PM.
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Old 12-07-2005   #11
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Hey Turulillo - sorry for the delay in my response.

G- NA = Google, North America

I'm not completely sure what to make of this situation, but let me sahre some more of my observations:

I had ads "disallowed" for non-compliance with the gambling clause - which, in itself, is VERY gray-area. At least for companies like mine, it's gray area. If you are an online casino/sportsbook/poker room, I can see it's pretty clear, but my situation is quite different. But, I digress...

Some of my ads are still live, some disallowed. In the ones which are still live, I am noticing a trend beginning to develop:

I have all Max Bids set to $0.50. After a few days, the actual terms go dormant, and Google requests I raise my max bid to $1.00. Everything goes live for a bit, then the terms start shutting down again. Throughout this entire time, the ad itself is live and I still have some phrases showing the ad (about 8 of 48 total phrases).

Checking my account again I see the new max bid I must meet to show for those phrases is now $5.00 per click. Doesn't mean I'll PAY $5.00 a click, but I might.

Seems to me there's something afoot in this segment. Not sure what yet, but I do know my overall impression at this point is this:

The ads you end up with to clear the sensors are so devoid of related keywords as to be useless...plus, you're being made to pay a premium to actually show the ads...and since they ads won't perform well, the CTR is super low, and the ad is turned off for non-performance.

Kind of a round-about route, but in the end, Google is still very much putting the squeeze on this vertical.

Thanksfully, I actually have some other items I can advertise to make it worth keeping the account open.
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