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TOS: Collecting email addresses

Why is groupon allowed to harvest email addresses?

     

Dlocks

2:38 pm on Jul 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Does anyone know why Groupon is allowed to use landingpages with the sole purpose of harvesting personal information without any added value for visitors on the landingpage?

When I click on a Groupon ad I always get a landingpage with only a form where I need to enter my email address and city I live in.

Example (Dutch):

[groupon.nl...]

If URL is not allowed on this forum or when it doesn't work outside The Netherlands then check the following screenshot:
[i51.tinypic.com...]


I read the following in the AdWords policy:

Examples of prohibited websites:

•Websites that contain minimal or no content and requests user information to access more content

Source: [google.nl...]

I have never ever seen any content on Groupon landingpages. Only a form to collect personal information. There isn't even a link to the homepage.

So why is Groupon allowed to ignore the Google AdWords policy? I have heard from other advertisers that got a lifetime ban for doing the same thing (but then on a landing pages with actual content and navigation links).

Leosghost

2:43 pm on Jul 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

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



money

RhinoFish

3:31 pm on Jul 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



if consumers love it, G loves it.

so look at "content" as including what's on the page, and well as what's off the page - what's implied by the things people know of the brand.

we've all seen G punish very large companies for doing bad things, so while i'm plenty jaded, i do see G's approach as consumer centric, not dollar centric.

they do know that their consumer centric approach brings them wealth (i know the same about the services i sell), but along the way, they are serving value, not just flexing their greed muscles.

Leosghost

4:00 pm on Jul 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

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



You mean a "happy sheep is worth more at the market", or "clicks from contented cows" ..works a treat, but the motivation is the same ..money.


Not that I'm averse to money ..( far from it )..nor to using what I know about sheeple and stock herding and control/conditioning to get it ..I'm just tad more consistent, and honest in how I discuss it as a business philosophy, than Google are.

alexsel

6:30 pm on Jul 30, 2011 (gmt 0)



@RhinoFish,

I sincerely doubt that consumers love being directed to a sign up page before they see deals. There are easy ways of getting to the deals without signing up but as far as being user friendly, that it's not.

@DLocks,

I'm sure this is not helping the quality score of their campaigns but as Leosghost indicated, both Groupon and Livinsocial spend millions in AdWords and one could argue it's part of their business to know the city you are in or want to see deals for so they can offer you relevant content. AdWords policies are mostly guidelines and not always enforced, depending on the situation and the severity. I wouldn't expect Google taking any action on this anytime soon.

RhinoFish

5:20 pm on Jul 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



I sincerely doubt that consumers love being directed to a sign up page before they see deals.


how many people have signed up with Groupon?

would you say hardly any, or that most want to go visit the site and avoid signing up...

i think they reported in March that they had passed 70 million users.

chrisuk

9:21 pm on Jul 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



This belongs in the same bucket as asking why Google allows Ask.com to arbitrage while squashing any others that heaven forbid might have a few ads on their lander

They expect you to take their quality policies seriously yet operate on a money talks while others can walk basis.

Open a new account put up a Groupon or Ask type lander and watch it get slapped. Really they deserve all the legal attention they are starting to get. They casually ruin businesses and incomes and expect no comeback.

The rules should apply to all and as anyone can see they don't.

tangor

10:00 pm on Jul 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tangor is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



"Allow"? Interesting. More inclined to ask Why Do Users Give Up Info? And we'll get all kinds of odd answers, but the leading reply is that the only thing more common in the universe than hydrogen is human stupidity... and these guys and gals out there know that. All they have to do is ask... (and somewhere in their unilaterally applied TOS permission is granted)...

Heck, I have no doubt that most of us, at one time or another, either Thought about or Did the same. Meanwhile, since pants are on fire I'm bring the fire extinguisher...: JUST SAY NO!

alexsel

12:23 am on Aug 1, 2011 (gmt 0)



i think they reported in March that they had passed 70 million users


I think we just misunderstood each other. Groupon's entire business relies to a large extent on e-mail signup. That's their main marketing channel and where large chunk of revenue comes from. From a user experience point of view, I was pointing out that it wasn't user centric. That doesn't mean that this method is not successful. People, as we have seen by their success, are willing to sign up because there's a perceived benefit of doing so. I have no doubt they would make a lot less had they not employed the location/signup landing page.

It really works for the coupon sites but if you tried to implement the same method for a strictly content site, you'd be in big trouble.

alexsel

12:34 am on Aug 1, 2011 (gmt 0)



More inclined to ask Why Do Users Give Up Info?


It's an e-mail address we're talking about here. I bet they could get more information if they wanted to. People will do just about anything nowadays to get a good deal.

tangor

1:32 am on Aug 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tangor is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



It's an e-mail address we're talking about here.

...and if Google goes the same way as Facebook... EVERY EMAIL ADDRESS will be an INDIVIDUALLY RECOGNIZED HUMAN BEING. (or you can't play in their sandbox)

As Judge Judy once uttered in the Title of one of her books: "Don't Pee on My Leg and Tell Me It's Raining."

Or, as the old Sailor of the Sea once said: "Put that in yer pipe and smoke it..."

onepointone

1:37 am on Aug 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



It doesn't seem to me like Groupon's getting any special pass for being 'popular'.
When I search "my city" deals, I see about a dozen other sites on Adwords doing the same thing or similar. Most I've never heard of.

works for the coupon sites but if you tried to implement the same method for a strictly content site, you'd be in big trouble.


Had the feeling for a while now that coupon sites can get away with more than other kinds of sites. Organic and PPC both.

Dlocks

9:30 am on Aug 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



if consumers love it, G loves it.
I thought conversion rate was not relevant for Google AdWords quality guidelines?

What if for example a 'standard' advertiser is advertising a website about widgets containing 50 pages with content and using a landingpage containing:

- navigation links (possible to browse to home page or category page etc.)
- actual content about widgets on the landingpage (and other pages)
- widget product(s) the visitor can purchase
- a form where users have to fill in their email address to get a free gift

The above landingpage/website will be disaproved because of the form. A (for example) 20% conversion rate (people that purchase a widget without filling in the form) is not relevant for Google AdWords.

Then there is Groupon. In the above example they remove the navigation links, all the content, all the products/services but only leave the form in place. In this case the "free gift" is getting to see actual content. Then it is suddenly not a problem for Google AdWords?

This belongs in the same bucket as asking why Google allows Ask.com to arbitrage while squashing any others that heaven forbid might have a few ads on their lander
Good example!

netmeg

2:17 pm on Aug 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

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



I don't know Groupon's situation because I've never seen their site or their landing page. But I have been running campaigns for lead generation or to get catalog signups or email subscribers with no problem. Of course, these are being run on well established sites with tons of content (although it's not on the landing page) and so far nobody's dinged me. Maybe it's coming, but I haven't had a problem yet.

Dlocks

2:44 pm on Aug 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I don't know Groupon's situation because I've never seen their site or their landing page
See the following screenshot from a landingpage:

[i51.tinypic.com...]

Only an option to fill in your emailaddress and city. Then a link to their colophon, terms and conditions and privacy policy. Nothing more. No content, no other links, no explenation why they need your emailaddress.

RhinoFish

4:08 pm on Aug 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



i signed up for Groupon, and i very, very rarely sign up for anything.

i'm just saying that this behavior by many, is what earns them their "pass" as others see it.
 

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