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Google - idiots in your midst

Your staff are confused by this internet thing.

     
3:30 pm on Jun 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I deleted a friend's database for his site, while 'cleaning up' my server. Site returned a database error, so Google takes his adwords offline. Fair enough. I get with the program and restore his database,site's live again.

Google refuses to reinstate the adwords. The reason? A 404 error. But not just any 404 error.......here's what they had to say:
Thanks for getting back to me. I'm not able to make outbound calls, but am more than happy to answer any of your questions via email.

I understand that the site appears to load fine. However, until NO elements on the page are returning 404 status code errors, your ads cannot
be approved. I reviewed your site again this morning, and the favicon.ico is still returning a 404 error, and so your ads cannot be approved.

In order for your ads to approved, you will need to ensure that all elements on your page are functioning properly, including the favicon.ico. If the favicon.ico is still returning a 404 status code error, your ads CANNOT be approved.

I would strongly recommend that you work with your webmaster to ensure
that this element does not return a 404 error, as this is the only way
that your ads can be approved.

Regards,

Andy L.
The Google AdWords Team


If you're village has lost it's idiot, Google's found him. They're holding him in the adwords facility and NOT letting him make outbound phone calls.

And that's the response we got even after I explained why he's getting a 404. (A typical user wouldn't know why favicon.ico returns a 404, but a Google employee certainly should.)

If an AWA is reading this, you've got three problems. A hole in your guidelines that specifically talks about favicon.ico files and how a 404 is acceptable on this file. You've got a problem with a culture where employees are drones. And apparently your phone system is broken.
3:44 pm on June 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

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If I had an idiot like that, I wouldn't let him make outbound calls either! Heck, I wouldn't let him access the Internet. Well, I might keep him in a cubicle with a web cam trained on him for entertainment purposes...

In this case, it sounds like copying favicon.ico to the directory may be the path of least resistance.
4:04 pm on June 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Yeah - I've installed a favicon.ico, so it's fixed. I hope that 16X16 black box I stole off the internet wasn't (C). Anyway, my post addresses two things - one to let AWA know about their problems, and two, if someone else runs into this they know that it's a bogus claim.
4:56 pm on June 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I had no idea that Eric had a "restricted" line !
5:26 pm on June 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I live about a mile from AdWords HQ; next time you want I should go down and knock a few heads together?

I could at least set the poor imprisoned employee free - he probably can't find his way out of the building with a book of matches and a compass.
6:03 pm on June 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Ah, it's not him. It's people. Every large company has employees like that. Problem is, I doubt Google realizes it. Really - do Google employees realize how stupid it makes one look when they say that they don't have outbound calling ability? yeah, I understand why. They don't want to speak to their clients. But bundle it up and blame it on corporate policy. What jacknoodle at Google woke up one day and decided that their service reps should specifically not be able to speak to clients? And nobody along the way said 'wait a second, that doesnt' make any sense at all'. Nope. They've now got a corporate culture where this stuff is fine all the way up and down the ladder.

Would you deal with a hosting company that had no phone capability? Your server goes offline, and all you've got is an email address?

I remember speaking to Google employees when they were fonts of wisdom and technology know-how. Now their front line staff ask 'where's the any key?'.

[edited by: wheel at 6:19 pm (utc) on Jun 1, 2011]

6:09 pm on June 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I could at least set the poor imprisoned employee free
Please don't! There's obviously a reason he has limited contact to the outside world. Better for him (and the rest of the world) to keep things that way...
7:24 pm on June 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

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i always thought that google employed people with degrees and medals and CVs from the queen.

i remember reading about them putting coded messages in newspapers, which unscambled into a telephone number for their recruitment line... a bit like that bruce willis movie where that little kid cracks a super code hidden in a wordsearch.
9:19 pm on June 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Oh, and by the way - I can't get the adCenter people to STOP calling me. Just sayin' if you're watching, Google.
10:14 pm on June 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Here's a theory I read about: Google hires almost exclusively math people and engineers. They are brilliant, but let's say, that they are different and obviously see the world differently.

/enough on that but think about it
10:21 pm on June 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Hey Wheel, send the guy a link to this thread. Maybe it'll motivate him to help, if he hasn't seen it already.
10:42 pm on June 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I told him to take it to his supervisor so that they could explain to him why a 404 on a favicon.ico was acceptable. He said he would take it to the appropriate people (that's cajun for "blow it out your ear, wheel-boy").

So if AWA or related sees it and actually gives a rip, maybe somebody will drill down from the top and see that this person actually took some action and got a tutorial. Or not - I've no need to school him any further. I'm as happy letting people know publicly about the nonsense at Google as I am in trying to fix their problems.
11:01 pm on June 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Scary that this is the kind of employee who could be suspending accounts wholesale without knowing the internet equivalent of 2+2...
11:44 pm on June 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Scary that this is the kind of employee who could be suspending accounts wholesale without knowing the internet equivalent of 2+2...


I would hope that lifetime adword suspensions and site penalties are made by more than a person acting on a whim. I really hope so, so much damage can be done.
12:20 am on June 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Scary that this is the kind of employee who could be suspending accounts wholesale without knowing the internet equivalent of 2+2...

Good point. Thankfully in this case we had an easy solution to avoid their lack of knowledge (and unwillingness to learn).
5:02 am on June 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

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If you pound on them awhile you'll find very little of that support is US based. It almost seems the only thing Google keeps in the US anymore is infrastructure to keep it from being nationalized. Plus its millionaires.
8:52 pm on June 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

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rep emails me, asks to schedule a call, i email back twice saying yes, no call, no reply. jilted, like prom night. :-)
8:56 pm on June 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

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We can only hope Facebook develops their own search capability, and deflects some of Google search numbers
4:35 pm on June 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

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fb discontinued their "conversion" tracking... while G ain't perfect, i'm not expecting fb to be "better", or even close. customer service is an issue for G, a fairly big one, but others are so far behind in so many other ways, including customer service.
9:16 pm on June 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Was recently doing some work for a division of a large PC chip manufacturer with a 5 letter name starting with I and ending with L.

Spoke to G US rep with urgent Adwords query as it was after hours for our own rep. Spelt out client name for them as part of my problem.

Google Rep: "Oh - what does that company do?"
Me: "Thanks for your help - I'll just wait for my own rep to get back to his desk"
9:23 pm on June 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Was recently doing some work for a division of a large PC chip manufacturer with a 5 letter name starting with I and ending with L.

was it Dell?

as in, inDELl?
10:36 pm on June 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

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How d'you guess?
lol!