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The only good news is - so many other advertisers have had their accounts closed that our ROI has gone up.
I've been in that mindset since the first "QS Slap" in 2006. My business has a real office staffed by real people who have real families to feed. We are not set-up to handle randomness.
At this point, It all sucks…
They do give real personalized replies to mails which make sense in english.. really pleased with them.AdCenter support is indeed exellent. About a year ago I started using AdCenter. The first days I was spending a couple of dollars a day and I send them an email with asking them a question. Within a couple of hours I received a reply. They apologized for the fact that they could not reach me by phone (something wrong with internatiol dailing code I entered in my profile) to answer my question. So they wrote the answer in the email and asked me to call them (or send an email) if I needed more information. Google could learn something from this. Yahoo support is also much better then Google support.
I'm currently only managing a couple of account for clients but since my own account got banned I also do not add or change anything in those accounts. I only remove things (started doing this at the moment I received the first and final warning). Result: instead of spending more money each month the spendings are going down each month.
All the companies that I have contacted want to run the campaigns from my company Adwords account.
From what I have read on WebmasterWorld this could lead to my account being banned. If an agency receives a ban and signs in to my account it's all over.
I can't risk that.
I haven't spent a penny with Google since September
I would never manage client campaigns from my own account. By the way, I've been doing this for almost five years and have never done anything to get a client's account banned.
My understanding is..you log into a clients account and it is later banned, for whatever reason. Your IP and PC will be blacklisted.
You subsequently log in to my account and it's history.
This is only my interpretation of recent events, and I wouldn't think for a moment that you or any other pro would jeopardize a client account deliberately
"As we near the end of the year, we wanted to take a moment to thank you for the time, energy, commitment, and trust you've shared with us in 2009."
Somebody at Google has a sense of humor...
For years affiliates have driven up our adwords costs, competed with me for traffic in the organic results, stolen our content and pictures, and confused our customers.
I know many of you will be angry at my post. But this crackdown on affiates was long overdue. You guys don't really sell anything. All you are doing is trying to make a tiny fraction of a sale by confusing the customers into thinking you are actually selling the product that they are looking to buy.
</pointing out the reason for the crackdown>
p.s. I'm not in AdWords/adCenter to promote affiliate stuff. I'm not sure if that's totally what AdWords was banning folks for or not...
Understand you point. But we also have legitimate ecomm store selling widgets which we stock and store and ship. Got hit by QS 1/10.
I am guilty that I blended some affilaite links in my other info. websites which also got hit by QS 1/10..Always thought that it was not wrong to give more options to customers.
Some website have QS 7/10 to 10/10 .
The problem is that I am SCARED to do anything that might activate some filter .. trip some red flag at G.. so spending less and less and seeing the account die slowly.
The lack of communication, poor handling of the whole process, and hearing horror stories everywhere means that I do nothing, status quo prevails and the campaigns slowly die or survive..depending upon factors I can't control.
I am guilty that I blended some affilaite links in my other info
So it sounds like you have been labeled as an Affiliate. Therefore you are caught in the net with the others.
That does suck if it took down your legit biz.
It is amazing this aff. business plan lasted so long. But it had to come to an end soooner or later.
I will tell you how frustrating it is from my standpoint. I will be selling and shipping a product and have a few legit competitors. Then one of the competitors signs up with an Aff. program. Suddenly dozens of websites are competing with me and driving up our adwords costs. Reducing the profits for me and our legit competitor. Its very frustrating. Every once and a while, google will kill off one of the useless Affs. and before you know it, they are back with another throw away domain. For some keywords I have seen dozens of aff. domains come and go.
It's the inevitable result of creating a "black box" that is totally unpredictable. Such a channel has very high implicit costs (all the second-guessing, lost sleep, wondering if it will force you to lay people off, etc.). At some point, it no longer makes sense to grow the channel, and you simply focus your attention on other ways to grow sales.
Yes, very true. Last month we did the unthinkable - we went from internet only to opening a retail storefront. In the last 30 days about 1/3 of sales have come from local promotion and craigslist. We are promoting our "costco-like" shopping experience, i.e. its a big warehouse filled with non-descript brown boxes. Working so far.
Cost per click/action/customer = zero
They do take longer to deal with, wanting to talk and ask questions, but the shipping costs are lower (zero) and we are not at the mercy of black box decisions any more.
Google doesn’t care about 'user experience', Google cares about $$$. BTW, I just received the latest Google Affiliate Network offerings for December. Talk about double dipping?
I just don't like competing with people who are not actually selling anything, don't care about the product, don't care about the customers and lay waste to the SERPS for a short period of time then move on.
This is reason why Google has brought the hammer down. Google does care about the user experience or this would not be happening.
1. Affiliates who are making fake review sites and/or sites with copy paste content.
2. Affiliates who are promoting the merchants website using direct linking. (so the link of the merchant is in the ad). Those affiliates don't use their own website(s). You should see such an affiliate as an agency that handles the adwords campaigns for a merchant.
I'm an affiliate that uses direct linking and got a ban (after 5 years of using adwords). I never used my own domains but guess what the result of the ban is? Now I'm starting my own websites and will compete 'with you' in the organic results.
So the second group of affiliates that never used their own websites are now moving to the first group. So perhaps in the upcoming months there will be even more competition in the organic results then there was before Google started to hit both groups of affiliates.
Google does care about the user experience or this would not be happening.Is that why for almost every search term you see an ad for ask.com that takes you to ask.com where you see almost the same SERP results and Adsense ads? Is that why Google also has an affiliate network?
I agree that Google cares about user experience. But in this case they are also banning people that do not offer a bad user experience.
I've also noticed that advertisers are simply "assuming" they are going to be banned and slowly diverting their budgets elsewhere so that the day the ban DOES come, they wont be impacted too much.
I recently read (don't have a source) that 80% of Google revenue comes from a single digit percentage of advertisers. Many smaller advertisers are seeing the actions of Google the past few months as a "we don't need you anymore" middle finger.
I 100% agree with weeding out the affiliates from the AdWords system but the way they went about it....
It's so strange hearing a client tell us not to touch their accounts during the holiday period.
Anyway, Google probably have an algorithm to predict what is happening. They're not surprised.
I 100% agree with weeding out the affiliates from the AdWords system
Absolutely. They are just driving up the cost of adwords with the goal of trying to squeeze a tiny margin between the adword cost and their commission.
You folks think you are not hurting anybody with this practice but most certainly you are. I am sure its cost us 10's of thousands per year. That comes right off of our bottom line. It also prevents us from hiring new employees and moving into other product areas and expanding our company.
There are likely lots of WebmasterWorld members who agree with me but would never say so for fear of making enemies out of friends. I feel bad that some of you folks relied on this income but you had to know the gravy train was going to end some day.
i would also suggest you open up PPC account with yahoo and adcenter, you'd be shocked at how low their CPC in contrast to goooooog.
CPC also is all in how you manage your keywords and are you tracking what keywords are REALLY making your sales? im not saying "blue widget" makes all your sales cause if that keyword is on advanced match maybe "dark blue widget" is making all your sales...in which maybe "dark blue widget" is only 0.10 Per click and you'd go from sucking wind to knocking it out of the park!
don't get angry at affilates cause your CPC is rising cause their are more factors that play into your end CPC... get thos CTR %'s up on your ads! just a million things you could be doing to drop your CPC instead of getting mad at affilates.
[edited by: J_RaD at 7:30 pm (utc) on Dec. 23, 2009]