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Is Google Soliciting YOUR Clients to Yellowbook?

     
3:55 pm on Jul 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I joined this forum just so I can vent my frustrations about this atrocity with hopes I'm not alone with my sentiment...

I just learned that Google is sending direct emails to the Client accounts under our MCC. They are blatantly offering $100 vouchers to give clients incentive to move to Yellowbook for PPC management.

As a small business that only manages a few clients, I am blown away by the fact that Google is trying to steal our hard earned business by soliciting our customers for Yellowbook. Yes, some of our Client Adwords accounts are temporary dormant, but that doesn't mean we're not still working with them or actively trying to get them back on Google. To try sending them away from us is a disgrace.

I guess Google believes they can do whatever the heck they want. Partnership with Google? What Partnership? Adwords Certified Company? What does that even mean anymore?

Google's actions are absolutely disgraceful. See for yourself, and you tell me if this email makes us feel like a "Valued" Partner:


Hello from Google!

For a limited time, Yellowbook will set up a new AdWords account just for you and build your online advertising campaigns at no charge.* And even better, you get a $100 Google AdWords credit to get started. This is a great opportunity for you to have Yellowbook professionally manage your AdWords campaigns.

Professionally managed AdWords campaigns created and built by Yellowbook
Pay only if you exhaust your $100 credit and choose to continue with Yellowbook*
No up-front costs and cancel at anytime
Offer expires July 31, 2011

Just call Yellowbook at 866-306-9060 or visit [webreach....] yellowbook com/tryus to take advantage of this offer right away. Hurry because this offer expires July 31, 2011!

Note: If you prefer managing your AdWords account on your own, you can redeem your $100 credit in your existing AdWords account instead.

Sincerely,

Your Google AdWords Team



Anyone else have any thoughts about this?
4:52 pm on July 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

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First of all, Google does not make recommendations of individuals or companies that provide account management services.

This Yellowbook obviously is trying to solicit more business but also trying to pass themselves off as Google. I'm sure Google would like to know about this so I'd report this business to them. They just happened to solicit to your clients.

Another thing, existing accounts of more than a couple of weeks cannot redeem vouchers. To me, that part is a lie.

Explain to your clients what's going on and not to contact them.

Being an Adwords Certified Individual or Company only means you've taken the tests. It does not give you special treatment, something else some are trying to convince potential clients of.
4:53 pm on July 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Yea, this is not from Google.
8:45 pm on July 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

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and I doubt the emails are from yellowbook either. I would get a look at the email header, and I bet the whole deal is a scam.
9:06 pm on July 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I'm sorry, but you're both wrong - very wrong. I have the email and it's directly from Google. I called Google and they confirmed it was their internal "Partner" team that sent the email.

I don't understand how you are both defending Google here. They are soliciting our clients on behalf of Yellowbook, and this is inexcusable. Plain and simple.
9:11 pm on July 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

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You don't know me, but please give me some credit....it's not a scam email...I already looked at the email headers and even called Google about it.

They sent it, and they admit it with no remorse. They should have no right soliciting to our clients on behalf of Yellowbook.
3:14 pm on July 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

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as a consultant, i often advise my clients to run some MSN AdCenter ads, and other non-AdWords channels as well... hope G doesn't get mad at me for not being exclusive with them.[/sarcasm]

:-)
2:14 pm on July 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

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This is actually from Google. I've received several of these.

In fact, in Australia this is also going on with another company.

This is probably happening through the reseller channel.

I was very surprised to see this - first time I've ever seen Google endorse a PPC company before.
6:16 pm on July 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

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It's Google's right to endorse whoever they want, I guess, but to be actively and aggressively promoting them to businesses who already have someone managing their AdWords account is tacky, tacky, tacky.

In my opinion, the OP's anger is justified.
6:38 pm on July 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

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not saying he is, but if he were hypothetically a very poor manager, then would G's promoting an alternative still be tacky?

and yes, i know, slippery slope.
4:35 pm on July 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

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if he were hypothetically a very poor manager, then would G's promoting an alternative still be tacky?


Yea, it would be. I even have a stronger word with a lot more syllables, but I can't post it here. And it's yet another reason why I have given up on AdWords certification. You don't create a professional network, with certification and standards, and then poo all over the very people you've been setting up as evangelists, by using them for lead generation.

Fortunately, I have plenty of real world anecdotes about Google-managed accounts to dissuade my people from going that way.
7:54 pm on July 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

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note i said very poor manager... while that's still subjective, it's not in G's interest or the clients to have very poor managers, nor is a very poor manager an asset as a "professional network".

i don't like the general gist of it, would rather they stop, but can see a few times when it does make sense to me.
12:26 pm on July 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I still don't think it's up to Google to (unsolicited) insert itself in between client and account manager.
2:12 pm on July 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Hehehe, they are never happy. As a public company they cannot be happy with a 10% increase of earnings year to year for example. They want total domination and apparently you guys are next in the "crush them" line.

Write to your government, FTC or whatever, only they can stop this monster.
3:18 pm on July 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I want the government in my advertising (and search) less than I want Google in it, thanks.
3:39 pm on July 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

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If you are a small fish, Google wants to crush you. They've been demonstrating this in all aspects of their company for a while now. Even search results are now affected by this trend.

They are a publicly traded company whose only goal is to appease the shareholders. Treat them as such and don't expect anything different.
4:09 pm on July 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Hopefully this thread does not turn into a political debate
4:33 pm on July 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Eh, that always happens when people post opinions as if they were facts.
8:33 pm on July 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

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yuck!
3:28 am on July 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

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The internet is Google's world, don't be stirring up trouble yo.

Check this out - "Matt Cutts, Google, Yahoo, Bing, Microsoft, Scam, Money, internet, bug, found a way to beat, secret".

/wave at all the higher ups who are reading this because of alerts for those awesome keywords!

Now that's how you cause trouble. Oh, just so I'm not completely off topic, Google wouldn't be promoting yellowbook. I bet it's an insider if your right and a clever coder if you're wrong. There would have been a whole press release hooplah if the companies had "joined forces to create the worlds first synergistic force in advertising" or some such. I didn't see such a press release.
7:44 am on July 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

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That's very low, but bait and switch has always been the Google model.
7:50 am on July 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Just another example of deteriorating business ethics at Google. Interesting how low a company with the unofficial motto "Don't be evil" can actually sink.

I would write a complaint to Google nevertheless. It simply might be a single brain dead stupid Google employee who has done this.
8:05 am on July 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I'd like to see the headers for said email posted to here or pastebin before I pass judgement.

I still seriously doubt Google would screw with their bread-and-butter source of income.
11:13 am on July 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

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If that's a bona-fide Google email, that's definitely evil. And the first time I've ever heard of one of those coupons being good for anything except brand-new accounts.
12:15 pm on July 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

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When I ran a Adwords qualified PPC agency they were always sniffing round after the bigger corporate clients that we had because in their view they could do a better job than my piddly little agency could. My response was :

Oh, so you also do Overture, Espotting, FindWhat, Mirago, Looksmart campaign set-up, ROI reporting and management then?

That never stopped them trying, but for me at that point the gloves were off, and they have been ever since.

I only ever worked in the best interests of clients, I found the way Google wanted to set the campaigns up through their "maximizers" was only ever going to be good for Google.

I am pretty sure that 90% of the clients we had came from word of mouth, so we must have been doing something right.

But I think you can expect them to come knocking at your client list door more frequently moving forward, no matter how much you think it's wrong use your efforts doing good work and making yourselves indispensable to your clients or you are guaranteed to lose them. A $100 bribe should be laughable to a decent client and if they are dormant they are no longer clients any way.
2:13 pm on July 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Google wouldn't be promoting yellowbook. I bet it's an insider if your right and a clever coder if you're wrong. There would have been a whole press release hooplah if the companies had "joined forces to create the worlds first synergistic force in advertising" or some such


My understanding of how Google works from what Matt has said is that once someone has proven themselves they are free to do whatever they want more or less. Anyways they tend to do whatever they want as a "beta" and if there are too many complaints as a result or it flops they stop and say well that was only a beta.

Google is also promoting Trada PPC management and Google Ventures has in fact invested in that company so clearly they are doing things that put into question their support for the certification programs.

Trada, by the way, is in my opinion a terrible development for PPC managers and the industry as a whole.
It basically turns PPC managers to compete against one another with the end result that each PPC manager earns lower wages. At best Trada is a place for people to practice their ppc skills on a big account before leaving.
2:55 pm on July 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

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My understanding of how Google works from what Matt has said is that once someone has proven themselves they are free to do whatever they want more or less. Anyways they tend to do whatever they want as a "beta" and if there are too many complaints as a result or it flops they stop and say well that was only a beta.


Interesting, especially when you consider almost all of Google's engineers have their own side businesses/hobbies. Are you suggesting they could do something like influence search results in their favor?
4:19 pm on July 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

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So as far as I'm concerned, this e-mail has not been confirmed by source. Isn't it time someone got an official explanation?
4:20 pm on July 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

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If eWhisper says it's really Google behind it, then it's really Google. He would know.

So far, Google hasn't gone directly to any of my clients; they come to me and offer to help - after the first couple times, I decline all offers. If they do end up going after one of mine (I'm not terribly worried that my clients would accept because I do more than PPC and SEO for them) you will no doubt hear my bellowing across the four corners of the earth. It won't change anything, but I will go down making one big effing noise about it.

If they step on you, you might want to do the same.
7:37 pm on July 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Google has dumped on just about every partner they've ever had, big or small. It is in their nature. If they can do it to Steve Jobs, they'll do it to you. Why do you think they're being investigated by both USA and European regulators?
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