Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from

Forum Moderators: buckworks & eWhisper & skibum

Message Too Old, No Replies

Google attempting to steal my clients?

5:03 am on Apr 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I think that the "Do no evil" seems to perhaps not apply outside the US.
Google recently opened official representation in Israel, in order to facilitate awareness and the effectiveness of AdWords, Google has quickly put a small team together that will manage AdWords campaigns for selected clients.
The Israel sales team calls major corporations and 'aggressively' tries to educate them on the effectiveness of AdWords...

So where is the problem?

Google has called every client of ours (for whom we already manage AdWords campaigns) and attempted to convince them that they would do a better job then us.

Putting aside if an AdWords manager hired only weeks ago can give more efficient and better service then us (we have been running AdWords for major Israeli businesses for over three+ years).
Why does Google Israel contact client who already maintain AdWords accounts and are completely satisfied?

Early this week i spoke to Mayer Brand head of Google Israel at a local Internet Conference in Tel-Aviv and he assured me that they where contacting only 'selected clients', i relayed him that the clients he was contacting where already on AdWords, he responded that he would look into it.

I have been contacted by four major clients of ours who told me the same story, Google is consistently calling us asking for the CEO in an attempt to have the client move the accounts to Google?

That sounds evil to me...

5:09 am on Apr 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

accept the fact that google started as a nice kid because that was the only way it could get to our homes easily by word of mouth. but google is not a kid anymore, he has grown a lot and became a man and men want to do business.

when you are kid, you dont care about money but when you grow, it's all about money, right?

5:27 am on Apr 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Sorry to hear about that. I hope your customers remain loyal to you.
3:07 am on Apr 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Might this mean that Google feels its Israeli revenues need to come more from growth of existing clients than from growth in # of new clients? If so, that's a pretty negative picture.

Being in sales myself, I suspect it's salespeople trying to 'get spend under management' so they can get quota credit for existing spend - taking the easy way out, so to speak.


5:25 am on Apr 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

no doubt, Google Israel (sales and management) are under pressure to show that they are both expanding marketshare and bringing a few shekels to boot to justify having any operations in Israel.

Overall this is really good for our industry, they're raising awareness and bringing valuable [Google] services to the local market that to-date where only offered abroad.
My only qualm is that there are enough large local organizations that they can target who are not yet utilizing search engines marketing/advertising, i see no advantage at [also] targeting those that already have AdWords Accounts.
While it is true that SEM companies like ours take a [very] small management fee for maintaining and running the AdWords Campaigns, where as Google is pitching that we are eating-away at the clients budget, i think that its a valuable service to have someone [Google Certified] to maintain the campaigns.


5:37 pm on Apr 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

This happens in a few countries. The local sales team are paid on commission, and some of them get the "screw the main office and that "do no evil" crap, we're in this for me!" attitude. That causes problems.

Remember: they're sales critters. Actually manage a campaign? And all that nerdy tech stuff? No way!

One of them totally screwed a client's acct. They didn't understand that tracking code stuff. They thought it was all misspelled, so they ran it through spellcheck and uploaded it. Several thousand keywords got dumped. Luckily, I had a copy of the previous bulkupload and we were able to restore the acct.

5:54 am on Apr 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

The real scary thing is Google has soooo much data...sure it would be against their 'do no evil' motto to actually use such data (conversion rates, conversion costs, keywords, bids etc) but no all apples in the basket will be good right.
5:56 am on Apr 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

happening in India too.
6:50 am on Apr 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Well that tears it. I'm off to start a search engine in my treehouse.
4:12 pm on Apr 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I've been reading reports in other forums that this is happening in Canada too.

Does anybody else think that using the client center might be detrimental to your business?

Google has access to all your clients and all the campaigns and keywords you are running for them. It would be pretty easy to just go down those client lists and call all the clients offering them the same service at a lower price....

4:38 pm on Apr 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Warn your customers that Google has low level people try to optimise campaigns.

Also, it is unwise using Google to manage your marketing spend as that will likely decrease your client's ROI and increase Google's.

6:21 pm on Apr 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

While this obviously isn't a big issue in the US, it does seem to be a sneaky sales technique that makes the aggressive salesmane a commission without necessarily improving anything for Google the company. I am very surprised that they would get any commission at all for bringing in clients already successfully advertising on Google (unless it was run so horribly that they could really improve efficiency and increase spending).

Also, there seem to be several major advantages of using an agency versus having Google directly manage your account:

1) The agencies incentives are more closely aligned with the clients; we are being paid to manage accounts and have an incentive (i.e. the client's success) to making things work and keeping the client happy (i.e. paying us).

2) We manage more than just AdWords campaigns; having Google manage just your Google campaign is an incomplete solution (and having another entity manage other campaigns would make for an awkwardly balanced overall search engine marketing effort, as we constantly compare, for example, Google and Yahoo results and shuffle spending to the more efficient areas).

3) Agencies have access to tools (whether internally developed or third party) that Google's optimizers obviously aren't going to be employing.

Got a little off on the "why we're worth it" tangent but completely agree that it is a shady practice that these sales people appear to be employing. I am surprised that the higher ups (i.e. higher than the Google Israel office) have not cracked down on these practices.


3:29 pm on Apr 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Thanks Mike,
These points are exactly what I relay to my clients.
It seems that Google is 'uniquely' targeting those companies that already maintain AdWords accounts.
We run AdWords campaigns for about 50 well known and large companies in Israel in a host of industries, Google has proactively called most of them, only on two occasions where clients submissive and agree to give Google Reps a chance (Google has the advantage of clout I suppose), and judging from me closely monitoring the campaigns Google has set for them, the outcome in terms of clicks/positions/CTR/ROI wont produce any superior results, so we will be prepped to reiterate our advantages.
In other aspects their initiatives can produce positive factors i.e. further market awareness and expand the search engine advertising as a whole, I just would assume they cracked those cookies that have yet tried SEM before those that already maintain active campaigns.


3:35 pm on Apr 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

Sounds like a conflict of interest to me. If they are in charge of your AdWords account, will they care more about ROI than an independent person. I doubt it, they want as much $ going into AW as possible, while someone independent wants the most client satisfaction, ie: ROI.
4:30 pm on Apr 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

It seems that Google is 'uniquely' targeting those companies that already maintain AdWords accounts.
We run AdWords campaigns for about 50 well known and large companies in Israel in a host of industries, Google has proactively called most of them..

I have to say - I really do not like this. You work hard to get the clients, then the "big boys" come to the new local office and just try to steal your clients.

This is very unfair and silly strategy - they make few bucks more, but destroy the good relationsip they could have with their local partners.

I just can not believe that this is Googls's offical policy.

5:05 pm on Apr 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

It's not their official policy.

But it's the result of their commissions policy. If sales critters get paid on commission, they will do whatever it takes to get more commissions.

5:32 pm on Apr 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I agree completely... The scary thing in my mind is the potential for these sales offices to check into the MCC's of agencies and individual managers in the region, look at total spending, click costs and other data points and then use these details, along with the detailed account and contact data, and steal clients away.

Attention should be brought to the right people regarding these practices. Google should be working hand in hand with us, not fighting over clients. Bringing awareness to search marketing and Google Adwords is beneficial to all; this, clearly, is of benefit solely to these regional sales offices and their employees.


5:52 pm on Apr 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

It's not their official policy.

But it's the result of their commissions policy.

OK. It's not their official policy, it's only the result of their commissions policy.

Hm, not big difference from local's partner point of view - the result is still the same silly behaviour that hurts the trust and relationship.

8:53 pm on Apr 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Well its not just data related to costs, conversions etc. They could also see all keywords, ads, history of account, etc already being run for a certain company.
1:45 am on Apr 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I'd really like to see a response from AWA regarding this issue.

It may not be Google's "official policy" but what is the official policy for dealing with these sales reps? If Google does not fire them and just turns a blind eye to it then stealing clients might as well be Google's official policy.

Someone from Google should respond and set the record straight on this as this is a very serious issue.

1:29 pm on May 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Where is AWA?

AWA can you clarify if Google salespeople outside the US are allowed to target the clients of others?

I'm sure we'd all like to know what Google's stance is on this.

1:35 pm on May 11, 2006 (gmt 0)


You better not hold your breathe waiting for any official response from Google.

2:15 pm on May 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


I don't expect them to respond. Still I figured it was worth a try.

A response would be good pr. I'm afraid pr only means "page rank" to Google, however.

7:43 pm on May 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Great to see this topic being debated again. I started a thread on this happening in Sweden. [webmasterworld.com...]

My concerns were not only if this is ethical but if we should be worried about Google pushing up the market prices by participating as a competitor on their own Ad network!

Does anyone else see a moral dilemma that Google has inside information about other users successful keywords campaigns and can profit from our previos track records for each keyword?

Wonīt Google competing in the market inflate prices. Google can in theory dominate all Keywords as they can easily pay $100/click back into there own pocket?

7:54 pm on May 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

Tell everyone you know not to use Google anymore.
8:09 pm on May 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

For fear of this thread getting deleted - in case anyone didn't get it....I was being sarcastic.
4:44 am on May 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

Tell everyone you know not to use Google anymore.

Naaaa....but "tell everyone you know" how bad they have become and the information they keep collecting just about anyone and anything. Information they later use to get into your pocket even deeper. Tell everyone you know how they are slowly but surly choking millions of businesses world wide with their questionable business practices.

Just call the baby by it's name. This octopus arms are way too long and it will eventually suck your very own livelihood if you don’t.

5:23 am on May 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Hi timaruman,

I checked out your thread about Sweden. This seems to be happening in a lot of countries.

I'm really surprised more people are not upset about this. This is a serious conflict of interest.

Did you manage to keep any of the clients that Google contacted, or did Google manage to steal all of them from you?

6:20 am on May 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'm really surprised more people are not upset about this. This is a serious conflict of interest.

And before you know it the adwords department will start asking the crawl department to stop crawling competitors on the free serps so they can present better figures to their (our stolen) clients, then ask the bigdady department to send the competitors supplemental and then ask the site map department to penalize them to hell.

Ho hang on...aren’t they already actively doing those things?

8:55 am on May 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Manga! Google did a Free PPC Campaign (PPC cost only - no service fee) for my client and managed to squeeze a bit more converting traffic and thats all good for the client. My traffic still gives a higher ROI so once the trial is over my client will re-evaluate the situation.

What I am worried about is that Google will/is doing this for many businesses in the same niche, for example travel. If you get 10 companies all bidding on "travel to widget" whats going to happen? Bid prices will increase, Google makes more and independent consultants have to pay more for our clients to get the same results!

I donīt think people are taking this serious enough!

Bids are on the way up due to Google pumping in extra clients all bidding on the same words... price fixing you bet, manipulatining the market ..yep! Evil... down right nasty I would say!

And what was the policy about have multiple accounts and bidding on the same keywords? ... Not for the Google guys.

- Timaruman

This 39 message thread spans 2 pages: 39