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AdWords Customer Service = Quality Score 1/10
What Google can do to win us back.
NoLimits




msg:4026621
 3:59 pm on Nov 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

This pertains mostly to the way Google deals with sites and advertisers that it deems "low quality"

As we all well know, Google treats million dollar advertisers like cannon fodder if they don't fit perfectly into the Google mold. I've never seen a business treat their customers so poorly. Even a pain in the ass customer is a paying customer - and eventually Google's shareholders will understand that million dollar advertisers are finite.

Google's current philisophy is to slap/ban now, and ask questions never. They are happy to burn a bridge for life when a simple phone call could resolve the issue and pave the way for years of mutually profitable business.

We, as Google Advertisers, want you to know that we are not idiots. We are perfectly capable of working with a member of the Google team to make whatever changes are necessary to run in compliance.

Instead of arbitrarily assigning a 1/10 quality score, or banning the advertiser entirely - do like every other business does and pick up the phone. I am completely baffed by Google's willingness to sever ties with no communcation whatsoever.

By conducting business in this manner, you create hundreds of unwritten rules that do nothing but confuse and create feelings of hostility and resentment towards Google.

What we need from you, Google, is for you to start having grown up conversations with the people that PAY TO USE your service. Stop being candid. We need direct answers to our specific questions. If you don't have the staff to accomodate customer contact of this magnitute - hire more staff.... or don't, and watch your advertiser base continue to dissipate.

The other comapnies we work with don't have a problem telling us, hey - we don't like co-registration, or we don't like your upsell, or we don't like this or that specifically. As a result we are able to bend and flex to meet their needs as well as ours, forming long-term business relationships all over the internet. This is how a grown-up company handles their clients.

So Google - here is "a pinch to grow an inch". I hope you do.

 

James_WV




msg:4026651
 4:21 pm on Nov 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

From the other side of things - as an advertiser who also uses AdWords a lot - Google must have done their sums and know that recent events aren't really going to impact their revenue, and a lot of low quality sites are now out of the system.

It's been a long time coming really - although I do feel for the people out there who are losing business over this and I do think it could have been handled better...

NoLimits




msg:4026818
 7:44 pm on Nov 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

I agree James. Google has surely calculated the impact of this sweeping change on this quarters revenue. I do not think they've considered the impact of this 1, 2, or even 10 years down the road.

I would be willing to make a friendly wager that a large number of people who get started in advertising dabble in grey areas early on. Many of these people will grow into mature business men and women. If their businesses grow in parallel with their maturity over the years, everyone but Googe will benefit.

Banning an account without a phone call is like sending someone to prison for life without a trial... when perhaps community service would have been more appropriate.

netmeg




msg:4026850
 8:41 pm on Nov 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

Just to play devil's advocate, though. If I have a finite number of support resources, am I going to want to spend them on clients who stay out of the grey or black areas, and work within the program, or am I going to want to divert them into reclaiming past transgressors?

NoLimits




msg:4026865
 9:01 pm on Nov 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

Very good point netmeg. I can't argue with that at all from a business perspective.

mortgagemax




msg:4026978
 12:22 am on Nov 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

If a finite number of support resources is the problem then hire more people - Google made almost $4 BILLION GROSS PROFIT this quarter alone!

This whole slap/ban process seems like a simple way of dealing with a problem when the real solution is to hire more people.

NoLimits




msg:4027072
 2:44 am on Nov 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

Exactly my point mortgagemax... exactly.

I would think that google would easily make up for the extra cash spent on employees in additional ad revenue.

Besides... not everyone is turning these gray area affiliates away. These people are empowering Google's competitors now, like they empowered Google up to this point. Yes, you read that properly. Google has been the biggest short-term profiteer of all the scammy products, services and downloads that have thrived on their network up to about a year ago.

Nobody can tell me that this isn't hurting Google's revenues... it is, they simply have the advantage of a growing internet userbase to offset the loss.

For example. Last year at this time we were paying $2+ per click to be in average position 1.x for weight loss terms on the content network. This year we are paying about fifty cents a click. Knowing this, you'd think we would be happy about the recent shakedown... but we're not that smug. We've had enough sites thrown under the quality score bus after months or years of paid advertising to know that we cannot depend on google for anything long-term, ever.

copemedia




msg:4027073
 2:54 am on Nov 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

@nolimits I'm the un-targeted big merchants and search sites (ask.com) that aren't really under the same guidelines spend more having the lower QS and make up a lot of the slack in affiliates and smaller players vanishing.

NoLimits




msg:4027090
 3:51 am on Nov 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

Yah, I wouldn't get too comfy. The last thing Google wants is for the same exact brand advertisers to show in all their remnant ad-blocks. Not to mention, those filler ad companies you are talking about are mostly all blatant arbitrage and/or amazon clones. That's not quality - that's temporary, count on it.

coolfx35




msg:4027294
 1:38 pm on Nov 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

It's more like you need google than google needs you. I figured that out long time ago.

NoLimits




msg:4027318
 2:26 pm on Nov 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

@coolfx35 - You don't need them anymore than they need you.

What exactly is it that you think you need them for? There are hundreds of companies to buy traffic from and millions of ways to monetize it. Sure Google traffic is nice to have... but it certainly isn't mandatory for success.

coolfx35




msg:4027377
 3:42 pm on Nov 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

Maybe not to you.

But for many small companies, google is as important as water to human lives.

Google has changed lives of million-dollar advertisers in just couple of minutes, I have heard countless stories how these people are crying and begging for mercy, but without any success.

netmeg




msg:4027381
 3:46 pm on Nov 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

They need to pick up and move on.

Google does not run your business. Google does not ruin your business. If it can't survive without Google, then YOU have ruined your business.

I'll keep saying it till it sinks in.

coolfx35




msg:4027384
 3:56 pm on Nov 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

It's easily said than done.

Considering 37% of world's internet traffic comes from google, and closed to 70% of all searches goes to google.com, it's hard to not depend on adwords.

While I do think no one should put all eggs into one basket, regardless of if it's internet business or investment strategries. But when you talking about the web, we do need a second close competitor to help the system with check and balances, which is what we are missing currently.

netmeg




msg:4027389
 4:13 pm on Nov 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

But in the *meantime* there are all kinds of things you can do. You can do direct mail (catalogs/flyers/brochures) You can do email. You can do banner ads. You can use adCenter (I'm getting great results there now, and it will be even better when they start feeding Yahoo) You can use blogs and Facebook and Twitter and a bunch of other newer technologies.

Sorry, the "hard not to depend on adwords" excuse doesn't fly. All that means is, the easy way isn't so easy any more, and the easy money isn't coming in anymore, and it's hard to have to think up some other ways to creatively market and then implement them. Nobody *made* anyone dependent on AdWords. People just got stars in their eyes when they saw the money roll in, and forgot to set aside a good portion of it to test and put other strategies into place.

[edited by: netmeg at 4:14 pm (utc) on Nov. 18, 2009]

James_WV




msg:4027390
 4:13 pm on Nov 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

@netmeg

>>I'll keep saying it till it sinks in.

Then you definitely have more patience than me - I think it's going to take a long time to get through to some...

netmeg




msg:4027391
 4:15 pm on Nov 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

I've been here since 2005.

James_WV




msg:4027399
 4:26 pm on Nov 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

Then you definitely have more patience than me ;-)

smallcompany




msg:4027407
 4:39 pm on Nov 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

If it can't survive without Google

... and keep telling this to those that have made 1, 5, 10, even 15 Millions in cash that is currently sitting in their bank accounts. Yes, real cash in US dollars. All made through AdWords... some AdSense, too.

Only time can cure it... somewhat... once they figure out they're done, and start going fishing...

luke175




msg:4027711
 12:35 am on Nov 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

Just to play devil's advocate, though. If I have a finite number of support resources, am I going to want to spend them on clients who stay out of the grey or black areas, and work within the program, or am I going to want to divert them into reclaiming past transgressors?

Unless support staff are getting annual salaries of 900k and up...I think it's a "win win" to hire some people to save million dollar accounts, no? ;)

I'll say it again...we keep talking about "gray hat" and "violations" but there are plenty of non-affiliate confused small businesses that are getting banned in this sweep and "good intent" does not make it OK.

Google simply controls too much of search traffic and we are seeing the abuse of that market control.

The fact that businesses can advertise through other venues does not make it OK. i.e. just because I can buy a yellow pages ad or use AdCenter does not somehow make Google a saint.

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