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  1. #1
    Verbosely Virtuous Mutt spacedog's Avatar
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    Google's untouchability (and arrogance)
    Approximately a week after Google's AdWords "landing page update" has caused widespread fear and loathing (not to mention large swaths of devastation with no explanation nor any publicly disclosed means of recourse for its affected customers), this is what Google's fawning fan base is oohing and ahhing at:

    http://digg.com/tech_news/Google_sen...ogle_headaches

    4,869 "diggs" by the public on this article. People just eat this fluff right up. Aww, look; the big corporation is listening to a lone blogger on a low traffic site and his petty concerns about the fast and furious little cosmetic changes Google has been slapping on its search product lately!

    If you follow the top link to read the article from marketingpilgrim.com, you'll see no actual discussion of the important AdWords changes that affect business: the poorly thought-out algorithmic AdWords update that was implemented without notice on July 10. Notice that the marketingpilgrim.com article was written (or at least updated) on July 14, well after the AdWords changes.

    Rather than actually address the needs of its customers, Google pulls a cute little PR ploy and sends a blogger, who doesn't even have a real gripe, some generic acetaminophen (Tylenol) for the "headaches" that have so confused the guy. This poor sap's response? "I took the acetaminophen, read their 'Inside AdWords' Blog, and I feel a lot better." Obviously this blogger doesn't actually use AdWords.

    Google is systematically destroying its reputation and alienating hordes of customers, many of whom are in the very group which knows how to use its paid search product most effectively. Google's vaunted algorithms are showing their fatal flaws and proving something which should be readily obvious to anyone who shops: that machines are incapable of judging the humanly subjective trait of "quality" in the selling/advertising arena. Yet this pain reliever ploy is what gets the public's collective panties in a bunch.

    Do a search on digg.com on 'adwords', and you get articles with thousands of user "diggs" on the pain reliever stunt and the announcement of a planned Michigan AdWords headquarters. Almost no "diggs" on articles that actually discuss the AdWords changes and their results.

    Nothing on revenews.com about this. Jangro hasn't blogged on his site about it, either (although I suspect he will). None of the business websites I've been monitoring have anything but praise for Google recently. Google has somehow managed, incredibly, to avoid eliciting an outcry from anyone in any media thus far. Other than a few threads in forums.
    Last edited by spacedog; July 17th, 2006 at 05:46 AM.

  2. #2
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    When you lose your sense of humor this badly, you need to take a week off.

  3. #3
    Verbosely Virtuous Mutt spacedog's Avatar
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    If my assumption is correct that you're referring to my sense of humor, then you are missing the point. Sure, it's cute and amusing that a person at Google did this. But if they had to send me something to fix my headache at having lost 99%+ of my relevant, effective clicks due to their algorithm and arbitrary hyperinflation of my bids, it would be a fat check to offset my losses.

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador simcat's Avatar
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    I think I have a sense of humour, but found the 'article' stupid. not funny.
    Last edited by simcat; July 17th, 2006 at 06:15 AM.

  5. #5
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    Incidentally Andy Beal, who wrote the blog article, isn't exactly our ordinary lone blogger. He's a very well known name in the industry and it isn't unlikely that he's met and hung around with Adam, Matt, et al around the conference circuit.

    Obviously this blogger doesn't actually use AdWords.
    Betcha he does, he's been involved with one of the biggest SEM companies in the business.

  6. #6
    Verbosely Virtuous Mutt spacedog's Avatar
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    Interesting. If Adam Lasnik, the Google employee who sent the acetaminophen, is to do his job (see http://www.bladam.com/main/entry/now-a-googler):

    What I'm doing at Google

    My main focus is on broadening communications between Google and Webmasters...
    ... he certainly has his work cut out for him since July 10th.

  7. #7
    Verbosely Virtuous Mutt spacedog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by webworker
    Betcha he does, he's been involved with one of the biggest SEM companies in the business.
    Apparently he's either very lucky in not having seen any results of the algorithm, or in tight enough with Google people not to want to say anything negative in his blog. Here's another bit from http://www.marketingpilgrim.com/2006...in-relief.html:

    Google certainly knows how to keep good relations with search marketers, and it just proves that Google thrives on word of mouth.
    That almost made me choke on my orange juice.

  8. #8
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    About Andy

    When you or your clients rely on search marketing in whole or in part for revenue it is very important to develope a close relationship with the search engines.

    I'm in contact with many webmasters who report no changes.
    Could it be that their landing pages are designed differently?

    How does ranting help? Work on your landing pages - imo

  9. #9
    Verbosely Virtuous Mutt spacedog's Avatar
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    I did not research in detail Andy Beal and his work before I posted, and perhaps I got it wrong writing that he's a lone blogger who doesn't use AdWords.

    Many webmasters have not seen any changes due to the landing page update, and more power to them. However, post after post on ABW, WMW and digitalpoint show that numerous legitimate marketers are getting the whammy, some of which I'd have to guess have very well-designed landing pages since there are skilled longtime affiliates and SEM firms in those that have spoken up. Read the most recent threads in the Google forum here and you'll notice that the update has not done what Google says it's intended to do: to weed out only the non-relevant sites with poor landing pages or arbitrage/link spam cheaters. Instead it's had haphazard, arbitrary effects. If G intended it to address landing page issues, they have made some huge errors across the board that can't simply be explained by "not a quality landing page".

    Working on my landing pages is not going to be helpful in addressing this AdWords update, because Google does not explain to each advertiser what specifically needs to be done. All G has is general guidelines, and their support group has no answers as to how to help people get their pages relevant enough to pass the algorithm's muster. There isn't even any stated review process for how to get your updated landing page looked over for approval. And, from the widespread posting of effects of this update, it is clear that if one of the sites on your domain is deemed to be low quality and gets its bids hyperinflated, all of your other campaigns follow suit (at least on that domain and possibly account-wide) without any individual review by a human being of the real quality of landing pages.

    How am I supposed to "fix" my landing pages when I'm up against that? I've contacted support by several emails and a long phone call. I tried unsuccessfully to get my case bumped up to a manager-level position so that I could get helpful specific information. They have not provided any help for getting my landing pages approved. Obviously I'm now faced with more diversification, placing my ads on the other SEs. And as an affiliate marketer should always know, making my landing pages ever better is an ongoing process.

    For now, I hate to throw away months of work setting up and tweaking my AdWords campaigns because an algorithm has flagged my entire domain (with many, many different campaigns) as low quality. It's more than a rant; Google needs to see what they've wrought with this update and I'd like to do all I can to get my campaigns back running again.

    It seems absurd what the public is paying attention to with respect to Google, when the real issues get forced to the background. That's what I wanted to point out.
    Last edited by spacedog; July 17th, 2006 at 08:29 AM.

  10. #10
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    >an algorithm has flagged my entire domain

    spacedog:
    If you have a landing page problem change that page.
    If you have a domain wide problem change the domain.

  11. #11
    Verbosely Virtuous Mutt spacedog's Avatar
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    If you have a domain wide problem change the domain.
    That's what I'm in the process of doing. With all my landing pages having picture logos and privacy policy, etc text that match my original domain name, I've had a lot of extra work changing each and every page. Also I'll have to go through every ad group in every campaign in AdWords and change out the URLs. There's no guarantee that this workaround will even help more than temporarily, since my account as a whole has already been whacked. This is a major pain, and it's ridiculous that it's even necessary.

  12. #12
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    If you have a landing page problem change that page.
    If you have a domain wide problem change the domain.
    Unfortunately it does not work like that. I have tried it and it doesnt work. Keywords go inactive in a few days. My page was as targeted as it could ever have been, and showed exactly what was promised in my ad. I was getting .40 to .50 cents a click for position 3, and within a few days the bid was $10. That does not make any sense at all.

    Once this starts happening to you, you will be singing a different tune. This is a deliberate attempt by Google to get rid of affiliates. Spacedog spicificly mentioned that in his phone call the rep asked him if he had a "shopping cart" on his website. That has nothing to do with a landing page's quality, nor can google dictate what is quality and what is not. What if my page had only a phone number? Is that of poor quality too? I dont think so. If it was a "made for adsense" issue, then dont let pages using adsense advertise on adwords... otherwise, leave our years and years work alone and let us run our business.

    Google's new system does not work. Its as simple as that.

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador MoneyBusiness's Avatar
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    Unfortunately it does not work like that. I have tried it and it doesnt work.
    Is this the general concensus now? Switching domains doesn't work at all?
    Follow my dog, Maya, and I, as we fumble around the affiliate marketing world: www.MarketingMaya.com
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  14. #14
    Full Member apex-auctions's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Merchant Consultant Team
    >an algorithm has flagged my entire domain

    spacedog:
    If you have a landing page problem change that page.
    If you have a domain wide problem change the domain.

    Unfortunately you do not have a clue.

    It’s one of two things:
    1) A Major technical glitch
    2) Greed.

    I tend to think it's number 2.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by MoneyBusiness
    Is this the general concensus now? Switching domains doesn't work at all?
    It works for some time. I did it, 6 months ago and I kept my campaigns during two more months. It's accelerating now, so it can be just a few days. If you just switch domains without some changes, IMHO it's not going to last too long.

  16. #16
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    Is this the general concensus now? Switching domains doesn't work at all?
    It might work for a while, I guess it all depends on how fast Google gets to it.

  17. #17
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    Post I don't have a clue?
    I think have a clue.

    I'm the consultant in North America for a PPC Management Tool that all Yahoo! properties in Europe use across all PPC platforms including adwords.
    As an example, we track the ROI for all sales at Kelkoo UK and we measure a "good" number of sales per second.

    What I'm trying to say is that if you got zapped you will need to start over and build your domains differently.

    Mike Mackin

  18. #18
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    What I'm trying to say is that if you got zapped you will need to start over and build your domains differently.
    If you or Google could tell me how then that is what I will do. I will not however read their stupid TOS again.

  19. #19
    ABW Ambassador MoneyBusiness's Avatar
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    There really are only 3 things to do here:

    1) Try to band up with others and bring Google down...
    2) Put your entire business on standby mode and do nothing, waiting for The Miracle.
    3) Or get back to work on ways to make your business profitable again.

    I'm all for trying to figure out what happened, but spending all day on this forum doing so can only drive you crazy...
    Follow my dog, Maya, and I, as we fumble around the affiliate marketing world: www.MarketingMaya.com
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  20. #20
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    I vote for 1 and 3. And I want Google to tell me how to do 3, if they dont I want number 1 more than anything and Ill take number 3 to Yahoo and MSN.

    If you have not done so already, please file a complaint with the FTC and the California Attorney Generals office. Please visit the links in this post.

  21. #21

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    It's funny how after a company goes public (IPO) how it soon turns into an Evil Empire in the eyes of the public.

  22. #22
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nakedgamer
    It's funny how after a company goes public (IPO) how it soon turns into an Evil Empire in the eyes of the public.
    More like, funny how people don't realize how much of an Evil Empire a company is, until it goes public!

    As for AdWords, I've never made much use of that anyway. Any place that has a pricing scale and ranking system (even for PAID ads) which is--by definition--unfair, does not entice me to do business with them.

    Their pricing system has ALWAYS been unfair and lousy! From the beginning, you didn't get what you paid for--what value (ie, your ad's rank) you could get out of your investment was based on your popularity. This is such an unfair way to do business that just by itself it ought to be illegal!!!

    For the free listings, that was one thing. Although I still thought it was a bogus way to rank sites, free or paid. Many good ideas are "unpopular" and the same goes for people, and by extension, sites.

    But for PAID listings, it's even worse. It's a violation of the fundamental principles of commerce, and of fairness: Namely, that you will get what you pay for, and that everyone will pay the same for the same thing (unless negotiated differently, like with car sales. "Negotiating" being something that's done between humans, not mindless programs!)

    I hope that someday it becomes as illegal to do what Google is doing, as it is to refuse/degrade service to people based on their color or gender.

    The private-property argument shouldn't hold any more water for them than it does for a traditional bigot renting out a house. It's all prejudice, and there's no good in any of it.

  23. #23
    Moderator BurgerBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leader
    More like, funny how people don't realize how much of an Evil Empire a company is, until it goes public!

    As for AdWords, I've never made much use of that anyway. Any place that has a pricing scale and ranking system (even for PAID ads) which is--by definition--unfair, does not entice me to do business with them.

    Their pricing system has ALWAYS been unfair and lousy! From the beginning, you didn't get what you paid for--what value (ie, your ad's rank) you could get out of your investment was based on your popularity. This is such an unfair way to do business that just by itself it ought to be illegal!!!

    For the free listings, that was one thing. Although I still thought it was a bogus way to rank sites, free or paid. Many good ideas are "unpopular" and the same goes for people, and by extension, sites.

    But for PAID listings, it's even worse. It's a violation of the fundamental principles of commerce, and of fairness: Namely, that you will get what you pay for, and that everyone will pay the same for the same thing (unless negotiated differently, like with car sales. "Negotiating" being something that's done between humans, not mindless programs!)

    I hope that someday it becomes as illegal to do what Google is doing, as it is to refuse/degrade service to people based on their color or gender.

    The private-property argument shouldn't hold any more water for them than it does for a traditional bigot renting out a house. It's all prejudice, and there's no good in any of it.
    YES

    You're right.

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  24. #24

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    The fact is in a free market people do NOT pay the same prices for things. Larger more traffic sites are always going to get more money for their ads than the little guys. It can't be equal across the board.

    You folks are saying that everywhere else in the world that pricing is equal for all and therefore google should do the same? I think not.

    Poor converting sites advertisers shouldn't have to pay as much, and they will have to pay a premium to get on sites with quality high volume traffic. Google is just trying to figure out how to calculate such things and keeps it a trade secret. That is their right and is not a violation. They are not descriminating on basis of color, race, or gender and I have never heard of such a thing.

    I have seen very little changes in my adwords campaigns other than some rates going down per click. Adsense is paying about the same. Not all of us see things the same way, and I might be the minority here... so be it.

    Google Adsense was and is a great thing for the small guys. Really there was very little before it that allowed a small blogger or site to monetize their loyal traffic and make some good money at it.

    Now there is some competition. If folks don't agree with google then move over to Yahoo and their offerings. When MSN is ready move over there and support Microsoft since they are doing so poorly in the world and are so fair in their offerings of the past.

  25. #25
    Moderator BurgerBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nakedgamer
    The fact is in a free market people do NOT pay the same prices for things. Larger more traffic sites are always going to get more money for their ads than the little guys. It can't be equal across the board.

    You folks are saying that everywhere else in the world that pricing is equal for all and therefore google should do the same? I think not.

    Poor converting sites advertisers shouldn't have to pay as much, and they will have to pay a premium to get on sites with quality high volume traffic. Google is just trying to figure out how to calculate such things and keeps it a trade secret. That is their right and is not a violation. They are not descriminating on basis of color, race, or gender and I have never heard of such a thing.

    I have seen very little changes in my adwords campaigns other than some rates going down per click. Adsense is paying about the same. Not all of us see things the same way, and I might be the minority here... so be it.

    Google Adsense was and is a great thing for the small guys. Really there was very little before it that allowed a small blogger or site to monetize their loyal traffic and make some good money at it.

    Now there is some competition. If folks don't agree with google then move over to Yahoo and their offerings. When MSN is ready move over there and support Microsoft since they are doing so poorly in the world and are so fair in their offerings of the past.
    I guess that you think that the oil companies aren't gouging us with gas prices either.


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