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Google AdWords Forum

Google is showing poor judgment
Exploitation of current events via adwords

 8:45 pm on Feb 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

Google needs to show better judgment when they accept keywords for their sponsored links.

I've been working hard on Enron research, and have a fair amount of research material and documents about Enron in a special section of our nonprofit site.

There's a single sponsored link that comes up whenever one of your search terms includes "enron." Some novelty company is selling framed one-share certificates from Enron as a conversation piece.

Considering the fact that thousands of people are involved in serious research about Enron now, this is an insult to our intelligence and it hurts Google's reputation.



 9:30 pm on Feb 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

Keeping *far* away from the "P" word;

"it hurts Google's reputation."

It could, I'd cut them a little slack as it is a little too early to judge the impact of PPC on Google.


 10:10 pm on Feb 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

Adwords are supposed to go live immeadiately - so how are they "edited for relevance"?


 10:46 pm on Feb 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

Go live immediately? Really?

Forget about the "P" words -- Pandering, Pornography...

What about the "T" word -- Trademark?

Surely Google screens the adwords somehow. They can't be that anxious to be named as a defendant in that huge lawsuit.


 11:58 pm on Feb 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

What a boring world if we can't even laugh at Enron! I'm just glad I put all my money into excite and webvan!


 12:01 am on Feb 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

Here's a chuckle:



 1:23 am on Feb 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

How and why should Google decide what is most relevant? And if they did try to use "better judgement", couldn't they be sued for discriminatory practices? The sponsored link does in fact pertain to Enron, which is all that Google should care about. The fact that it's worthless to the vast majority of people is really irrelevant.

Besides, with how fanatical some people collect historical "junk" (for lack of a better word), this link is very pertinent to them.


 3:06 am on Feb 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

If Google intends to be a shill for shameless consumerism, then it should not pretend to be a search engine.

If Enron fooled Wall Street with a fake trading floor and with thousands of offshore partnerships and bogus financial reports, then it should not have pretended to be a corporation worthy of investment by ordinary folks with precious retirement assets.

(There are laws that apply to Enron, but no laws yet that clearly apply to Google. That's probably because Google is only three years old, while corporations are over 100 years old. However, we all have common sense and innate ethical standards that we can apply to Google. If search engine optimizers think spamming and opportunism is okay as long as you can get away with it, then I should be hanging out in a different forum.)

What I'm questioning is whether you can have it both ways. The fact that the left side of the screen is doing one thing, and then the right side doing something completely different, doesn't solve the problem. It merely makes the situation schizophrenic.


 4:11 am on Feb 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

Someone just paid for an "enron" keyword sponsored link that invites you to sign a petition to have the Justice Department appoint a special prosecutor. Apparently, if more people click on this one as opposed to the framed stock certificate, it will begin to show up on top. The charge for the clicks will be more for the political site and the charge for the clicks for the commercial site will be less. Google comes off as a mere popularity tabulator, and laughs all the way to the bank. (Is this right?)

Okay, I'm starting to understand what Google is up to. It's still schizoid, and I still think it needs some screening. But there's an element of objective popularity to it that, until now, I didn't realize was present. It's like PageRank for sponsored links, but it's based on click-throughs instead of inbound linking.


 7:41 am on Feb 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

That's right, Everyman. At least one o' our co-founders considers the ads just as important as the search results, and wants them to be just as useful in their own way. That's why we incorporate clickthrough to show the most useful ads on top.

I think one of most valuable things Google tries to do is demarcate the "shameless consumerism" off into a well-marked area that's separate from our search results. ;)

Okay, gotta go buy me an Enron certificate. Anybody got a Pets.com socket puppet to trade for it?


 7:51 am on Feb 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

I fail to see what this has to do with "shameless consumerism". It would probably be a good idea for anyone who invests in the stock market to buy one of these certificates and hang it by the computer as a reminder of all the theives and cons out there.


 7:53 am on Feb 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

>socket puppet

GG, you want a socket puppet or a sock puppet? I know where you can get a sock monkey, but it'll cost you a Google sweatshirt. I've nagged the Googlestore, but they're just not with it.

>demarcate the "shameless consumerism" off into a well-marked area that's separate from our search results.

Oh, now - isn't it just being accommodating in trying to help searchers find what they need? SEO is actually very philanthropic.


 12:03 pm on Feb 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

Everyman, I realise that many people are upset about the recent events involving that corporation, but I really don't want Google to become the arbiter of taste. Unlike 'adult content', it's just too subjective.

> I think one of most valuable things Google tries to do is demarcate the "shameless consumerism" off into a well-marked area that's separate from our search results.

Google doesn't get enough credit for this. The price of success is that people will judge by increasingly higher standards.



 1:31 pm on Feb 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

It just so happens that I found a similar site to the one you are talking about when searching for something else.

I do not remember what it was, but frankly - I thought it was a great gift idea. It wasn't related to enron.

I don't think there is anything wrong in using a trademark - when YOU ARE SELLING that trademark.

Should pokemon vendors not be allowed to advertise under pokemon?

Not everyone (or everyman :) ) feels the sameway about everything. I do not want google to decide what is best. This is one of the reasons I have harped on custom SERP. The vast majority of people do not use the Internet for serious research. They look at the internet for dancing hamsters, simpsons sounds, and greetings that have tons of annoying bouncing clip art in it.

Notice that the site refered to has a "perfect" interest rating.

People deal with life events - even serious ones in different ways. I remember being at a funeral and seeing someone take a picture of the deceased in the casket. I was kind of young and it took me off guard. This person did not mean to be disrespectful or anything - it was just their way in dealing with it.

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