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Could competitors double-serve against my website?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hello

 

I was just wondering whether in theory a competitor could set up an adwords account to run ads to my website with the same  keywords as those in my account? This would obviously be flagged as double serving but if it did happen, would Google take my site down as well as the competitors? I'm assuming that Google have some policy to stop this or people would be doing it but some clarification on what happens would be great.

 

Thanks!

4 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Could competitors double-serve against my website?

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Hi Laura and welcome to the forum.

 

I'm honestly not sure what would happen here.  On the one hand, only one Ad would be shown (on Search) anyway since the URLs would be the same (Google only displays one Ad from any URL so the two couldn't appear at the same time anyway).  But on the other, the Double-Serving policy does clearly say:

 

"To comply with this policy, advertisers should avoid running ads from different accounts on the same or similar keywords that point to the same or similar websites."

 

(my underlining).

 

I'll ask for clarification.  Do you think this is happening to you or is it just a "wonder"?

 

Jon

AdWords Top Contributor Google+ Profile | Partner Profile | AdWords Audits

Re: Could competitors double-serve against my website?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi Jon

 

Thanks for your reply. It's not happening but a client wondered if this could be a threat to them as they're in a particularly competitive niche where negative SEO has happened. So I guess they're concerned about negative PPC and their site being suspended for someone else's actions.

 

Thanks again

Re: Could competitors double-serve against my website?

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor

Hi Laura,

 

I would say that the instance you suggested would probably not be flagged for Double Serving.  The two accounts would need to be linked somehow to the same advertiser.  As far as I know, the domain in itself is not enough to suggest double serving.

 

I will wait to hear myself about the negative PPC aspect but I would say that your client would be the only one with access to your website.  The suspension risk for site issues would solely rely on your client.  The remaining suspension possibilities would be account related and I'm not positive how that carries over to additional advertisers.

 

Looking forward to some clarification myself. 

 

-Tom

Tommy Sands, AdWords Top Contributor | Community Profile | Twitter | Philly Marketing Labs
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Re: Could competitors double-serve against my website?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Thanks Tom.

 

It would be very concerning I think if this was not flagged up for double serving, as an advertiser I would want to be informed if another advertiser was sending traffic through to my domain. (I'm sure it would be obvious if checking Analytics). As far as I'm aware there is no site ownership verification in AdWords as there is in Webmaster tools for example? So theoretically, anyone can point ads to any website if they wanted?

 

Thanks

 

Laura

Re: Could competitors double-serve against my website?

Top Contributor
# 6
Top Contributor

Hi Laura, no, there's no positive site verification, although it's possible to verify ownership by relationship to a linked Analytics account (Analytics does require verification).  I don't know if Google does research such links but I'm sure they've thought of it Smiley Happy

 

Adwords wouldn't really suit this type of site verification as it is sometimes used for Affiliate marketing or simply to promote a product on someone else's site.  For example, if I had a book published by Amazon, I might decide to run my own Adwords campaign promoting the book and have the Destination URL as my Amazon page.  (I wouldn't actually, there's better ways to do this, but it serves as an example).

 

I really don't think you should worry.  Firstly, I've never heard of this happening.  I don't know everything, of course, but I have been a regular member of this forum for almost ten years and I know most things that people can get into trouble over with Adwords.  Secondly, it would be an extremely stupid tactic for the competitor.  If their aim is to disable your advertising by causing a Double-Serving suspension, that in itself will also mean that they are suspended and can never advertise again.  They'd be cutting their own throats, shooting themselves in the foot, etc. etc.

 

Jon

AdWords Top Contributor Google+ Profile | Partner Profile | AdWords Audits

Re: Could competitors double-serve against my website?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 7
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi Jon

 

Yea I'm assuming that Google does prevent it - it would just be interesting to know how! And yes, you're right it would be a very stupid thing to do. Thanks for your thoughts on this, really helpful.

 

Thanks again,

 

Laura

Marked as Best Answer.
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Accepted by topic author Laura1504
September 2015

Re: Could competitors double-serve against my website?

Google Employee
# 8
Google Employee

Hi Everyone,

 

Thanks for your questions!

 

To confirm what Jon said, the AdWords system would not run more than one ad for that company because of the shared domain. As Google, we're not in the position to decide whose advertising for what domains or what URLs (for the most part), so we're not going to disallow someone from running ads on a specific URL. This means that multiple advertisers could, in theory, have ads directing to the same website. In the search results, only one would show and that would be based on who wins in the auction.

 

To clarify, double serving typically would be when two different accounts run ads for two different domains that are deemed to be double serving based on the factors listed here. I'd say it's possible that we'd find two accounts that are directing ads to the same site to be in violation of double serving, but I mean the issue arises when two ads are showing for different sites that are nearly identical. This is when we need to take action, because users are seeing ads for two sites when they should really only be seeing one (since the sites share common ownership). That would be prevented in this case, since AdWords would only allow one ad to show per website.

 

If you do run into anything like this in the future, please feel free to contact us for further guidance, but right now, since we're speaking hypothetically, the most I can say is that this likely would not be deemed double-serving and determining which ad would show would be determined in the ad auction.

 

I hope this helps!

 

Anne

Re: Could competitors double-serve against my website?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 9
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Thanks for clearing that up Anne. Very helpful 

Re: Could competitors double-serve against my website?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 10
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

What if you see a company running 4 ads?! I know of a company that is running multiple sites that all funnel to the same company for mortgage loans. This can't be fair right?