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False ad using our company name

Someone posting misleading ad

     
9:17 pm on Oct 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Someone is bidding on our company name and pointing the URL to our site but the copy in the ad is wrong.

The ad says we offer free shipping at $75 but the required order value is actually $100. This has led to some complaints of false advertising even though it is not our ad.

How can I find out who is bidding and can I get Google to stop the misleading ad?

I'm relatively new to adwords so hopefully this isn't a totally lame question.

Thank you.

9:37 pm on Oct 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Clarify...is this an affiliate pointing traffic to your site, or is this a competitor that's showing your URL but directing traffic to another URL?
9:39 pm on Oct 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Double and then triple check all your ads just to make sure it isn't a mistake on your part and check the destination URL to see if it includes an affiliate id.

Never had this problem but I think it is a ToS breach. I would suggest contacting Google using the link at the bottom of the Adwords home page.

Get the full url of the link, as that will contain the advertisers Google id number, and include it in your message to Google.

They won't tell you who it is but I hope they would suspend the ad and possibly the advertiser.

9:50 pm on Oct 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

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PhilB I find it hard to believe someone else is doing this I am with piatkow check your ads very close to make sure it isn't a mistake on your part.

welcome to Webmasterworld and please let us know what you discover.

10:24 pm on Oct 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for the quick replies. It is possible that it is an affiliate link. This is the part of the URL that appears to relate to the affiliate. <snip>

I tried searching the affiliate site for 3Dx9UhajBkJLA but didn't get any results. Am I looking at the correct code for the id?

[edited by: buckworks at 11:46 pm (utc) on Oct. 6, 2009]
[edit reason] No URLs please; see TOS [/edit]

3:26 am on Oct 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

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If they're your affiliate can't you look up their affiliate ID?

I assume if you click on the ad it will take you to something like domain.com?affiliateID or something similar, right?

3:15 pm on Oct 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

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The link appears to go straight to our home page but I'm assuming there is a redirect or something in it.
3:19 pm on Oct 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Then right click on the ad and then click on "copy shortcut" or "copy link" (I'm not using English version). Paste the link to a txt file and there you have the affiliate link including the ID.

And if it is indeed an affiliate then you must have a way to track this somewhere on your site or back end. For example on the order page or a cookie that will be set on your computer.

8:28 pm on Oct 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Many affiliate networks allow affiliates to encrypt their IDs. Sometimes when the link resolves you can see the ID. Otherwise the correct course of action is to ask your affiliate network to identify the merchant. It wouldn't be cool to go via Google - they might be a good affiliate that just didn't notice the email you sent about the dollar value changing.
 

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