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Reporting bad ads
What do YOU do?
zeus661




msg:1136758
 9:00 pm on Apr 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

If you see an ad after a search in Google and you know it not to be true (such as a bad display URL) do you report that to Google? What do you do and what kind of things have you noticed? Thanks in advance.

 

cline




msg:1136759
 9:17 pm on Apr 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

Any time I see an ad for one of my clients' competitors that violates Adwords TOS I inform my Adwords rep. My rep passes it to the editorial team. I've done this for something like 20 ads so far. 100% have been removed within about 2 working days.

I've had similar experiences with Overture, although they're slower. Both of them want to enforce their TOSs and both are interested in and willing to act upon reports of TOS violations.

AdWordsAdvisor




msg:1136760
 11:52 pm on Apr 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

Any time I see an ad for one of my clients' competitors that violates Adwords TOS I inform my Adwords rep. My rep passes it to the editorial team. I've done this for something like 20 ads so far. 100% have been removed within about 2 working days.

Glad this has worked out for you cline.

BTW, most often, of course, 'bad ads' are newer ads that have not yet been reviewed. But we really do appreciate sharp eyes looking out for ads quality. ;)

AWA

RedWolf




msg:1136761
 1:15 pm on Apr 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

AWA, do "bad ads" include ones for the multiple price search places that just lead to a search page that says no items found matching your criteria?

What about big retail sites for "widgets" that have an ad using wild cards that make it sound like they sell something that they don't.

Those of us who follow your advise about creating targeted specific ads instead of general ones still get pounded by these general sites. The second type can at least be dealt with by filing an FTC complaint of false advertising, but the first is harder.

patient2all




msg:1136762
 1:34 pm on Apr 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

What about big retail sites for "widgets" that have an ad using wild cards that make it sound like they sell something that they don't.

Between the faux "shopping sites" and big retail site home pages that show for every common word searched and the "gimmick" ads that offer the item (any item, amazing how they do that), if you sign up for a credit card or an on-line service, you're talking about 3/4 of the ads in the consumer sector.

This is the great downside to the new broad matching method. Once a company has poured enough $ and misleading ads toward "widget", they show for every search on widget. Even though there is no chance they really have your "certain widget".

The small operator (perhaps a**iliate) who has a site devoted to "certain widgets" misses out even on those searches for "a certain widget" or "buy certain widget" since they are too niche to get enough exact matches on their broad match to warrant any expansion.

So "a certain widget", "the certain widget", "find certain widget" all go to the sharks and unless the small "certain widget" seller is able to manage the difficult task of including every variation that a human may type in for their quest for "certain widget", they'll never be seen.

It's the white elephant sitting in the middle of the room next to the adsense elephant (more about that later).

As someone here said earlier, "he with the most gold makes the rules" and by extension controls your shopping experience.

No, those places don't get removed. The same players have been out there forever playing the same games.

once patient2all

patient2all




msg:1136763
 7:59 am on Apr 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

Redwolf,

BTW, I appreciate your frankness on the matter. Most posters don't dare go near the big advertisers. I'm glad someone else has noticed this clear dilution of the so-called "relevance" of adwords results.

Sincerely,

patient2all

cline




msg:1136764
 1:01 am on Apr 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

Just lately I've been experiencing much slower rates of addressing such problems. My rep is reporting to me that Adwords editors are swamped.

patient2all




msg:1136765
 1:08 am on Apr 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

It's not the first time we've read here that the editors and CSRs are backlogged with work.

I would imagine to stay profitable, Google has to keep the payroll at a bare minimum :)

patient2all

AdWordsAdvisor




msg:1136766
 9:51 pm on Apr 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

I would imagine to stay profitable, Google has to keep the payroll at a bare minimum :)

Nope, that ain't it. ;)

It's more like more and more advertisers, creating more and more ad groups, with more and more ads and more and more keywords, and then editing them more and more often. ;)

AWA

patient2all




msg:1136767
 9:55 pm on Apr 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

If there are more and more advertisers creating more and more ads, thereby creating more and more profit for Google, then Google should be able to hire more and more people to service the clientele :)

patient2all

inasisi




msg:1136768
 10:19 pm on Apr 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

Also if the lag is definitely getting to be more and more, it is all the more critical that we need to be shown the status of our ads. Many a time I have been wondering why the impressions is so low . Then I need to go over to AOL and then check if my ads are shown or not. It would be much easier if it was shown in Adwords interface itself.

AdWordsAdvisor




msg:1136769
 10:22 pm on Apr 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

If there are more and more advertisers creating more and more ads, thereby creating more and more profit for Google, then Google should be able to hire more and more people to service the clientele :)

Just so, patient2all - and that is exactly what is happening, day by day. Check out the job listings if you'd like to be one of them, or if you have another sharp candidate in mind! ;-)

I'd drop the link, but I don't want to self-promote, heheh. It's pretty easy to find, though...

AWA

robertskelton




msg:1136770
 1:14 am on Apr 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

I report false display URLs almost every day. I would love it, really love it if Google had a form set up just for people to report the bad ads. That way the reports could go straight to a person who deals with them, rather than through the help system.

I figure for every person that reports bad ads, there would be 100 who would if they knew how.

AdWordsAdvisor




msg:1136771
 3:47 pm on Apr 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

I report false display URLs almost every day. I would love it, really love it if Google had a form set up just for people to report the bad ads.

Interesting idea, robertskelton, which I'll pass on later in the week.

I will say, though, that (by far) the majority of ads that advertisers and users 'turn in' are ones that haven't been reviewed yet - and which would have been caught in the natural course of the review process that all ads undergo.

Thanks for caring about ads quality, btw!

AWA

eWhisper




msg:1136772
 3:57 pm on Apr 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

Once upon a time there was a link below the ad displays to report/comment etc on the ads.

This went away months ago. Not sure why Google would take it out unless they were getting too many report emails.

toddb




msg:1136773
 6:06 pm on Apr 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

I try to wait a few days before I turn in a bad ad. Google is great about checking them out.

I have one competitor who has a display URL that does not match the landing page. My ad rep said that was ok for this person's ad. The landing page is the shopping cart which has a different url then the store. They are reviewing it again to see if that is something they will allow.

Steve6




msg:1136774
 8:57 pm on Apr 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

How about an ad selling pirated software? For example, I wanted to buy Adobe Acrobat so I searched for it, and one of the ads was for "<link removed>". Wow, what a deal! Adobe Acrobat 7.0 Professional for just $69.95!

I switched myself into the "Ignorant Joe Office User" mode and gave it a try. After they took my credit card I was sent to a professional looking download site, where the instructions included:

> a). Run the "keygen.exe" file from the main directory
> of the installation folder. b). Copy the serial number
> from the "Serial Number" field."

Ok, so they're selling stolen software to unsuspecting users. So I reported this to Adobe and my credit card issuer, but until recently they still showed up on AdWords. Perhaps someone else reported them, but where should this stuff be reported?

[edited by: eWhisper at 9:13 pm (utc) on April 27, 2005]
[edit reason] Please don't drop links. [/edit]

AdWordsAdvisor




msg:1136775
 9:43 pm on Apr 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

Perhaps someone else reported them, but where should this stuff be reported?

In terms of from the AdWords end of things, when you spot a bad ad (or a bad advertiser) I'd advise writing AdWords support - who will escalate your information to the right team.

Be sure to provide enough info so that our team can find the advertiser you're concerned with. A pasted copy of the ad itself is really helpful, btw, as are the keywords you searched on.

Thanks for your concern on this.

AWA

paleolith




msg:1136776
 4:50 pm on Apr 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

Let me add my voice as one who is primarily on the consumer / end-user side and only has his toes in the advertiser side.

I detest the way those large retailers -- I think we all know which ten or so names we're mostly talking about -- end up occupying the top several ad spots in about half the searches I do. And which at least half the time are totally irrelevant. I'm often tempted to click on all their ads even though I suspect they have nothing -- I don't think it would be click fraud because I would be interested if they actually had something related, it's just that I know from experience they are advertising things they don't have.

AWA -- you talk often about improving the user experience and how users will come to distrust Google ads if the experience is bad. Well, here's a blatantly obvious case of bad user experience with Google ads! If you want to protect the user experience, then you desperately need to stop this over-generalizing of ads. The Google experience is already a good way down the slippery slope of AdWords being pre-empted by this trick to become nothing but a variation on useless banner ads, and we the users are noticing.

As an example, try googling "azaleas". In this case the top five hits are good. But then you get

Y----.com: Compare prices, Search over 200,000 stores!
S-------.com: Compare & Buy from 1000's of stores
S===.com: 600+ popular stores - One Website
A-----.com: Rhododendrons and Azaleas, by Geoff Bryant
P----G------.com: Find Merchants with the Best Price!
eXxx.com: Great deals on Azaleas, shop on eXxx and save!
c--------------------------.com: enter zip to qualify for gift card

Of those, the A----- ad is actually relevant (and theirs aren't always!). The others are obviously just "we'll help you find any physical object". (They mainly show up in searches for concrete nouns, not for concepts and other parts of speech.) In all, half of the top 14 ads -- the first page since I ask for 100 results per page -- are total junk. Spam basically. It's bad for the users, bad for focused advertisers, and -- I think you agree based on your own orguments -- bad for Google.

Edward

[note -- I was using x's rather than -'s to blank out the URLs, but the forum software changed some of them to random punctuation, so here's to -------- instead.]

patient2all




msg:1136777
 7:05 pm on Apr 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hi Paleolith,

I could accuse you of copying a couple of my posts :)

It is truly gratifying to know that I'm not the lone voice in the forest who has noticed this trend. AdWords is getting farther and farther away from relevancy because deep pocketed large retailers and "shopping sites" can afford to bid on every word in the language and eventually build up the CTR to show on searches for tens of thousands of terms -- whether they offer them or not.

I can find these same general ads in my bulk mail folder if I cared to look. The purpose of these ads is just to get their company name in your face and hope if you're lured in you'll buy something.

They become even more obstructive to your search when you want a particular azalea. They show not because you searched on a "red and green rectangular azalea" but simply matched the word "azalea".

The humble affiliate has been maligned here again and again for various unproven sins, but they too might be able to point you right toward the "red and green rectangular azalea" that you need. In fairness, as could a small to medium sized florist business that chooses to advertise.

However, there are plenty of sites that will *give* you the azalea for free plus a video game console and dvd player just for visiting :)

Thank you for being the first (second, just remembered someone else) voice to agree with my perception. Until now, I always felt I was coming off like sour grapes because I don't own one of these shopping sites. I'd even take that job at Google before I compromised my principles luring in customers under false pretenses to one of these places and I'm not someone who labors for others :)

patient2all

patient2all




msg:1136778
 11:22 pm on Apr 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

PS: Didn't really mean for the "working for Google" comment to come off as mean spirited as it sounded. I've already worked 30 years and it wasn't until I went out on my own that I felt free.

patient2all

paleolith




msg:1136779
 11:46 pm on Apr 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

I could accuse you of copying a couple of my posts :)

Don't be too sure I didn't. ;-)

They become even more obstructive to your search when you want a particular azalea. They show not because you searched on a "red and green rectangular azalea" but simply matched the word "azalea".

I will admit that narrowing the search to "piedmont azalea", or any or several similar, drops all but one of the shopping sites. And as compensation, one of the truly relevant retailers, who have an excellent reputation, drops out of the ads -- but becomes #1 search result. Sometimes the universe fights back.

But I've seen other cases where the problem persists exactly as you describe.

The humble affiliate has been maligned here again and again for various unproven sins, but they too might be able to point you right toward the "red and green rectangular azalea" that you need.

I'm one who generally has little use for affiliates. However, I have not noticed them interfering with my use of Google and so have no complaints in that area. UCE from certain affiliates, yes (I won't paint with a broad brush), but I haven't run into problems on Google.

Edward

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