skibum - 7:37 pm on Aug 4, 2012 (gmt 0)
So their goal and yours are pretty much the same, making more money.
I know this from personal experience selling direct ads to customers on one of my sites because the more money I help the customer make, the more ad budget the customer will spend on my site. Likewise, if the customer isn't getting the ROI, they pull the ad campaign and I make squat. Therefore, the customer and I have the same basic goal to make the customer ad campaign as lucrative as possible and that's not a conflict of interest.
In an ideal world, yes, but when an ad campaign on one search engine can make or beak your business, Google can be pretty sure they are not going to lose a customer that focuses on online sales unless that company goes out of business. Most advertisers can skip advertising on any one site but probably not G, no matter what the service or proposals are like. Access to the treasure trove of conversion data at their disposal may make proposals these days much better than in the past.
If an advertiser has more money than sense (usually large corporations), then they'll get you to buy as much of whatever they are selling until someone wakes up and realizes that the ad campaign is nowhere near optimal.