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Adwords Confusion

Can't get meaningful support from Google



8:53 am on May 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I'm using ad-words.
Since I run an adult shop, I'm using the keywords "Ann Summers". This is a UK adult shop chain here, whose customers I woudl liek to connect with.

The ad is set up, but it does not display when I enter the test phrase. Other ads for adult shops DO show up.

Google give a long explanation which says that if a search phrase would normally activate an adult adwords ad, but there is no other adult content on the search page, the ad will be supressed.

This makes sense - it prevents to possibiity of offending people who aren't really looking for that kind of content.

But it can't presumably be an explanation in this case, because other ads for adults shops ARE shown.

I have been round this loop with Google Adwords support perhaps six or more times. EAch time I get a different support person. Each time they paste in the same explanation. And each time they ignore my replies explaining why I can't see how their explanation works on this case.

So, a couple of things would be useful:

1. If you can show me I'm wrong, and Google is right, please help out an old codger. So far, I can't see how they can be right, when other adult ads show up in the search, but mine does not.

2. If you know how to bypass front-line support and get to a support manager, please tell me how. I've asked Google several times, but this request is ignored.

I don't want to cause trouble, I just want to get a solution to the problem. OK, I spose I DO want to cause trouble too. I've wasted lots of time on this, because they can't apparently be bothered to read my emasils carefully.



7:46 pm on May 10, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator brett_tabke is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

I think what you are seeing is that Google is sticking to their positions on AdWords editorial decisions. I don't think they are open to engaging in discussions defending their policies. When it comes to advertsing, Google has thought through and engaged in deep policy decisions that few of us can appreciate. Google has taken several very sharp legal pokes from their previous decisions on AdWords and have taken action to prevent such problems again. I think the bottom line here is that they are going to do what they feel they need to do and don't feel the neccessity to explain it. They can't afford to engage in discussions about their policies and get trapped into a 'he said - she said' type scenario that those policy discussions bring about.


8:26 pm on May 10, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Hi Brett,

Don't be offended, but I just can't see why I'm having so much trouble making myself understood here. If I can't see a glaring error in front of me, please feel free to point it out to me.

I understand Google's policy, I support it, and I am not challenging it.

I am challenging the assertion that this policy is the reason for my missing ads.

The reason for this challenge is that similar ads to mine DO appear. So - are they immune to the policy? Or is there some missing data in here? I'm suspecting the missing data theory, and finding that missing data is my goal.

And I understand that they are busy people. But they're not too busy to take the money, I notice.

Can you imagine running a business like that? "Sorry guys - I've taken your money. Shame you don't like the service you got for it, but see - I don't want to pay to resource adequate support, so - here's yet another automated email that doesn't address your problem - now go away."

Any respectable business model must factor in the costs associated with delivering reasonable service to your customers.

Furthermore. Google's habbit of sending semi-automated replies which don't address the customers' responses, and ignore the case history is actually WORSE than a message that says "we don't dialogue with customers - go away".

Had they done that - at least i would not have wasted so much time trying to make someone understand, and I'd have withdrawn from the scheme much sooner.

There are no "he said - she said" scenarios here. I joined the scheme. I am paying the money. I have a legitimate question, which their answers does not address.

I'm being given the runaround, and I don't like it.

I am a big Google fan. They're way ahead, and they deserve success. They've given ME success by their persistently efficient indexing of my site; they route half my traffic to me for free.

And when you run the best searchengine on the planet, of course you can't talk to all your users - that's unthinkable.

But when they start taking money from people they should be required to adequately resourcing those people. That's me.



9:06 pm on May 10, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Is it something simple as raising your maximum cost per click and/or daily spending limit? I know your ads are rotated out when your daily limit is set too low.


11:27 pm on May 10, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

>1. If you can show me I'm wrong, and Google is right, please help out an old codger. So far, I can't see how they can be right, when other adult ads show up in the search, but mine does not.

Did you check your daily budget? Sometimes if your daily budget gets over they don't display your ad.

That had happened to me once and i did contact them and they asked me to raise my daily budget and my ads started to Roll..

Try it once..set a good amount of daily budget to start with and see what happens


12:47 am on May 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I would guess that they have implemented stricter editorial guidelines after the AOL deal and that the ads you are seeing are old ones that so far have "slipped through the net".


4:11 am on May 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

For this example, the explanations about spending limits and bid amounts are more likely than those involving editorial policies. If it was an editorial decision you would have received a specific disapproval message via email.

Also, I disagree that they are not open to explaining and discussing their policies. I've discussed them with Sheryl Sandberg, Director of AdWords Select.

But the fact remains they will stand by most of their policies even while engaging in dialogue with some customers and some industry analysts about the pros and cons of these policies.

The "identify business" rule enforcement has been relaxed somewhat in response to advertiser feedback (and in response to an article I wrote about this feedback).

I do have some theories on editorial policy enforcement in general. I know the staff are largely new and therefore understandably gung-ho to be working at Google and want to do a great job so they can keep working at Google. But IMHO the interaction with advertisers needs to change its tone. Google has long been suspected of having Spock-like "emotional tone deafness" in some areas... often interpreted as arrogance, it more likely means that an engineering-oriented group largely sees matters in black and white terms, not realizing that paying advertisers have a lot of emotion invested in this process given the effort they've put in and the risk they are taking. Strong emotions are raised in advertisers who are constantly told their ad copy is "disapproved" (who likes to be "disapproved of"?). This bedside manner issue needs to be addressed, and the rules need to be relaxed as much as possible as long as quality control and level playing field are being maintained, IMHO. The less intervention, the better for everyone, including Google. I mean how is this going to affect their profitability and their relationships with advertisers if they need to start hiring editors who can speak French, Japanese, German, etc... and will the rules really be enforced uniformly and fairly across different cultures and languages?... will advertisers be even more offended in some countries than they are in the US?

All that being said, this example doesn't seem like it's an editorial decision. Your ads won't show up every time for your query, but as long as your queries are generating impressions every day, and clicks, well then everything is as it should be.


12:21 pm on May 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator brett_tabke is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Chris, I do understand your situation, and I still think it is an editorial decision. It's common for certain words or filters to be applied to commercial business names. I was in the exact same situation as you under some other kw's and never could get to the bottom line over it.

>open to explaining and discussing their policies

You dealt with them since the last two dust ups? There's an chill over that dialog now. It appears that the legal department has spoken up and been heard.


4:23 pm on May 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

When I searched for "ann summers", only ebay had an ad showing but using "ann summers lingerie", there were several advertisements listed. I tried the same thing using the name of an adult-site webmistress and five adult sites' ads did show up this time. I believe someone named "Ann Summers" may have complained to Google about her name being associated with erotic clothing.


9:27 am on May 13, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Thanks for all the effort guys.
Answers to your questions:

1. I'm not spending at my daily budget so I don't think it can be a daily budget issue
2. I still can't see how it's an editorial policy issue
- as mentioned often before here - other adult ads appear.
How can any editorial policy exclude my ads but allow theirs?
- and my search for "ann summers" fills the page with links to adult sites - which seems to remove the need to even invoke the policy they mention.
3. Brett - I'm totally lost regarding your "dust-ups" comment.
4. NotNervous - I don't know why your search shows you different things to mine. I'm at www.google.com, typing in "ann summers" - without the quotes. I see lots of matches for Ann Summers, and on this occasion - one adwords ad for a UK adult shop.

Still puzzled.

Wouldn't it be oh so nice, if Mr Google could afford the time to support his customer.


7:29 pm on May 13, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I'm still only seeing an Ebay ad. Weird..

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