|What to do about competitor and their MULTIPLE ads|
In my city, a competitor has 3 to 4 ads per local search term.
So you search for "My Cities Widgets" and the top 4 ads are from ONE company with 4 different websites. They make no effort at covering up the fact. All 4 ads state clearly who they are and also state their phone number.
I keep reporting this to google adwords and they seem to do nothing.
This happens for pretty much every major keyphrase in my local market and it bugs me a little bit.
Any ideas or thoughts?
This is double ad serving and theoretically goes against Google's ad policy. Are the sites different in content or do they overlap? If the content is different but still owned by the same company, it doesn't matter. Google won't address the issue. However, if their content is near identical, Google may intervene by consolidating their accounts into one. If one of the sites cover a larger/smaller area, Google typically does not interfere either.
it pretty much overlaps. Say for instance the company sells BRAND A and BRAND B and BRAND C. They have a site for each, that is slightly focused but still showing for a more generic key phrase.
From the above explanation, I would say that this goes against the spirit and intent of the policy. However, I doubt that even if you complain, Google won't do a thing about it in this case. It's 3 different sites selling a product in the same category but effectively 3 different products. Even if they were the same brand, I don't think they would do anything about it. The company has 3 different accounts with different names and to Google's eyes, is three different companies.
Are you saying the phone number is the same on every ad?
Here's what you do: get back at them. Not by creating multiple sites with multiple accounts but by having better quality ads. With proper bidding, you can push their ads down and even increase their costs. They may increase their bids to regain the top positions which will only increase their costs (assuming here they want to dominate the top positions and, as with most advertisers, don't know how to increase quality). If they bleed enough money, they'll either keep only one account active or shut them all down. When that happens, you've won.
And that is what I hate about AdWords. They make your focus be on their either system, failure to enforce rules, blind eye, QS, and who knows what else - instead of being on customers, sales, etc.
and the bidding for these keyphrases has gone from say $4.00 two years ago to a bid of $17 to just hit the first page.
I happen to have the #1 organic spot so I never tried to keep up. And of course, this competitor has all the money in the money in the world. I can only imagine what their bill looks like and I have to seriously wonder if they get a return on it or if it's just image.
Hi, I do not post here much, but Google policy was changed a while ago with regards to one entity running more than one ad on any given keyword if the ads landing URLS are different in what the offering is, and the relevance is still there. Google will often have larger non agency advertisers create MCC accounts so they can acomplish this. I hate to say it fellas, but money makes the Google World spin and if you can spend big bucks with them, you might get some of that action too. Don't even get me started on things like bogus review sites that a lot of companies to this day can still double serve on because they made it tough to link companies together, but if they would spend time looking at source codes, they would easily be able to find them, but wait, thats a lot of money google loses and since the recession they are hurting on the B+M and affiliate marketers, got to make that money somehwere.
Regardsless if we like the ethics or not, its all about money and the sooner everyone realizes google is about making money, all of the ethical things they double speak to everyone makes you realize they are a company.
Look at their "open source" ways...there is more than one way to make money, there is the immediate "lets make it now" money and then the long in the tooth cash from brand awareness by making everything open and accessible to all is just a long term branding method to get people to keep buying in to the "do no evil" BS they run.
As much as i know how you must feel about multiple ads running on the same keyword, it is something that I am not against if Google allows it because ultimatley if I spend more money, I make more money, Google makes more money, etc... Lets be honest, some here might have "dedicated reps" from Goog, but these reps are nothing more than highly trained sales reps that are manipulating each one of us to SPEND MORE MONEY. It might not be so obvious to some, but I manage a budget in excess of a a million dollars a year and thats just Google. They want the monoey and they will tell you "we see great conversions from other industries"... all you need to do is spend more money. And when you dont, they do not seem to talk too much anymore. I am amazed when I read posts (thankfully this is not one of them :)) about how ethical and honest Google is.
All of this stuff ties in together, adwords, right down to SEO. Thats right, SEO, all of this panda stuff is entertaining to me because I still see crap rising to the top, they call them signals, but really its crap. Why? Well it could be becauuse if there have been SEO sites that organically dominate natural and compliment it with PPC, they can get some quick dough by creating a rank and tank scenario organically and force more people to spend even more money on PPC.
Uhg... I could go on forever about this subject, because i care about the way Google messes up their UI to create confusion about QS, first page estimates, etc....
You know what elese they do? If they know you have a big budget, they will gradually jack your avg CPC up over time because they know a few pennies here and there wont add up in the short term, but if the long run it will add up. Of course I watch that stuff, but I also manage smaller budgeted accounts that have a fixed budget each month and you know what, the avg CPC for that particular account is considerably lower than out larger accounts. I know you do not know me and that I get, but I am not making any of this up, take it for what its worth, Google continues to and will continue to segment their advertiser freedoms based on the amount of money you are willing to give to them. Its a fact of life and of this business, not a fan of it, but more than willing to play if I have to.