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Clarification on Double Serving Ad Policy

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# 1
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I have a scenario which I believe is pretty common across industries:

 

There is a product that is being sold online via various ecommerce platforms like Amazon, Ebay, Flipkart, Snapdeal, Shopclues & advertisers own website as well.

 

Whenever search the product name we see 4 ads from all these advertisers Amazon, Ebay, Snapdeal & advertisers own website. Plus you also see PLA ads from Healthkart & other websites.

 

The product logo, design & price is just the same throughout all website & is being sold through a single company itself. But just due to the ambiguity of rules from Google they are taking advantage of almost 7 spots in search results through various big ecommerce platforms.

 

I would need views of the experts here to understand if this stands as a violation of double serving policy? and if I make a complaint on Google will they be able to pull down ads from advertisers like Amazon and Flipkart?

 

Thanks,

Rajat

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Accepted by MosheTLV (Top Contributor)
March 2016

Re: Clarification on Double Serving Ad Policy

[ Edited ]
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# 12
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for product-listing-ads there are policies related to
both duplicate-content and duplicate-physical items.

merchants who attempt to gain an unfair advantage within shopping-campaigns
are subject to having their listing's quality reduced so that the items are
blocked from appearing, the listings removed altogether, disapproval, or
a (permanent) suspension from the program, at any time.

duplicate-content relates to site or submitted content that is replicated --
most typically from another source used without proper (legal) permission,
or from variant-items that do not follow all the variant rules and policies.

note that variant-items may be submitted with identical prices,
titles, and descriptions if, and only if, all variants within the
group have identical item_group_id and at least one variant
attribute with a unique value among all items in the variant-group.

the image must simply accurately display the product --
for example, size variants can use the same image.

duplicate-listings relate mainly to the same physical item --
regardless of any content duplication or content differences;
for example, the same item that is compatible with multiple
systems, submitted multiple times.

generally, only one listing per (physical) product,
from the same merchant's inventory, is allowed.

a minor note with respect to marketplaces and etsy in particular:
duplication is often difficult to ascertain by sight alone since
most duplicate-listings are typically for mass-produced items
with gtin, or improperly submitted variants; whereas, handmade
items that may look identical may also be slightly different by
the very nature of handmade -- and variant (attribute) details
can be seen only within the sub-account's submitted data.

for marketplaces (e.g. etsy, ebay, etc.) any potential policy violations
are best reported directly to the marketplace; since the marketplace
is responsible for all sub-accounts (individual marketplace-sellers)
conforming to all google policies

otherwise, potential violations of the merchant-center
product-listing-ad policies may be reported directly
to google by submitting the following form --
https://support.google.com/merchants/contact/policy
be certain to submit the specific aclk ad-links and a simple cogent summary.

google can deactivate individual sub-accounts
or entire marketplaces, or disapprove listings,

depending on the details.

note that some product-listings may seem like duplicates but are not --
for example, variant products submitted using proper item_group_id
or, the same product from multiple, different, merchant inventories,
submitted by a single marketplace.

if the photographs are the same but the title of the item and description
is worded slightly differently for properly submitted variants, or different
physical inventory items from the same merchant, or different merchant
sub-accounts under the same marketplace, those would not be violations.

if the photographs are the same but the title of the item and description
is worded slightly differently for the same physical inventory item from
the same merchant's sub-account that are also not properly submitted
variants, those likely would be policy violations.

of course, google is the final arbiter of all policies.

see also
https://support.google.com/merchants/answer/6276171
https://support.google.com/merchants#topic=3404779
https://www.etsy.com/help/contact?ref=help_contact

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Re: Clarification on Double Serving Ad Policy

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# 2
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Hi Rajat,

 

I think you are talking about the abuse of the network policy here (https://support.google.com/adwordspolicy/answer/6020954?hl=en). It happens when the advertisers tend to promote the same business using multiple AdWords accounts with multiple websites.

 

But the scenario you are telling looks different. Advertiser might have purchased the marketplace across the big names that you are referring to i.e. their own advertising platforms. So can't comment on that.

 

But if you still feel some violation happening, you could directly report and provide feedback to AdWords here:- https://support.google.com/adwords/troubleshooter/4578507?rd=1

Re: Clarification on Double Serving Ad Policy

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# 3
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Hi Pankaj,

Yes...the policy name has changed to Abuse of The Network. It clearly states that "Using the Google Network to gain an unfair traffic advantage over other participants in the auction". Which in this case holds true.

I can report the issue via feedback form for one of the ads, but not all the 7 ad spots at once. Also I don't believe Google will be able to take down ads from Amazon & Healthkart just on the basis of a feedback form!

We should ourselves be first sure if this is considered as an abuse of the network!

Re: Clarification on Double Serving Ad Policy

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# 4
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Hi @Dusons

Promoting the same product to the same targeted audience, by the same business entity,  using   different accounts is indeed a violation of the "gain unfair advantage" clause of the Policy.

However, re-reading your question it looks that this is the same product sold / distributed by different sellers, each has a store on either ebay, amazon, or a website. If this were the case, those would be different business entities, hence - no violation.

 

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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Re: Clarification on Double Serving Ad Policy

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# 5
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Hi Moshe,

You have definitely put forward an argument that the advertiser would put forward in case of a violation.

but firstly Google will never know if this is the same seller across each marketplace because no big ecomerce house would share (or even care) merchant's details with Google. Even if they do it would be very easy for a big advertiser to have all his distributors to open up accounts at adwords and promote the same product everywhere.

It would be like if anyone searches for "chocolates syrup" and see "hersheys syrup's" ads all over because they have authorised 10's of their distributors to advertise on their target keyword. So even though its not a single advertiser they are advertising a same product, with same logo, price everywhere.

Thanks,
Rajat

Re: Clarification on Double Serving Ad Policy

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# 6
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@Dusons

Quote:

>>"But firstly, Google will never know if this is the same seller across each marketplace because no big ecomerce house would share (or even care) merchant's details with Google"

 

Google doesn't have to get the information from other platforms. It has its ways to investigate, get  the details about the advertisers, and conclude if 2 or more advertisers are actually linked, and could be considered "one business entity", OR they are independent businesses, not tied to each other.

Once you file a complaint Google can investigate that.

 

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
Did you find any helpful responses or answers to your query? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer’

Re: Clarification on Double Serving Ad Policy

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# 7
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Well I hope so that comes true and workable. Let me get in touch with one of the Google's representatives to file a complaint and I will share the results with you all!

Re: Clarification on Double Serving Ad Policy

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# 8
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I have a different situation. I am looking at ads of one of my competitors that dominate Google Shopping pages because they create multiple listings of the SAME item in the merchant marketplace that supplies the data to Google, in this case, by Etsy. The photograph is the same but the title of the item and the description is worded slightly different as to capture as many keywords as possible. I find this practice deceptive. It may be allowed on Etsy (as they do capture fees for each listing) but it seems like it violates Google policy? Would love a confirmation one way or the other.

Re: Clarification on Double Serving Ad Policy

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# 9
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Do they have different prices as well? In case they are advertising
different packages (multiple quantities) of the same product with different
price points then it might be allowed. But if they simply change the title
& description, use the same image, price & landing page then it is eligible
to be reported to Google.

Re: Clarification on Double Serving Ad Policy

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# 10
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The prices are the same.

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