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Double Serving Policy

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi there

 

A completely clear-cut violation of the Adwords Policies has come to my attention. It involves double serving ads on the same South Africa targeted SERPs on a large scale, in a flagrant breach of Google's Double Serving policy. One of the SERPs involved, "blacklisted loans", is displayed to more than 100 000 Google users per month, so this is not a small problem and must be dealt with immediately.

 

The violation involves the twelve websites:

 

www.loanpickersa.co.za

www.loanconnectorsa.co.za

www.loanspottersa.co.za

www.loantrackersa.co.za

www.loanzoansa.co.za

www.loanhubsa.co.za

www.loanmatchsa.co.za

www.ltracersa.co.za

www.ldsa.co.za

www.loanscoutsa.co.za

www.loanlocatorsa.co.za

www.loanchoicesa.co.za

 

Google, as the largest online marketing platform, has the Double Serving Policy in order to create a fair advertising system for its customers. I appreciate that it is an extremely large platform to police, but when presented with irrefutable evidence of breaches of its policies, Google must be seen to act.

 

Below is a comprehensive report on the violation.

 


Google's Doubling Serving Policy:

 

The Google Double-Serving policy is located here:

https://support.google.com/adwordspolicy/answer/2600168?hl=en-GB

 

 

Below is proof of violation of this policy.

 

Proof of Violation

 

Proof of Common Ownership

 

The definition in the policy states:

 

Common Ownership

Common ownership occurs when the same entity, whether an individual or a business, owns or controls one or more of the sites in question at the time of multiple ad serving.

 

The sites (www.loanpickersa.co.za www.loanconnectorsa.co.za www.loanspottersa.co.za www.loantrackersa.co.za www.loanzonesa.co.za www.loanhubsa.co.za www.loanmatchsa.co.za www.ltracersa.co.za www.ldsa.co.za www.loanscoutsa.co.za www.loanlocatorsa.co.za www.loanchoicesa.co.za in this violation have been very public about being commonly owned. Indeed, a search for "blacklisted loans" on Google South Africa brings up the following results all confirming the status of being commonly owned:

 

Blacklisted? Need a Loan? - Loans up to R200 000, no loan fees‎

Ad www.loanzonesa.co.za/loans

 

No credit checks. Apply Online now

 

 

List goes on and on

 

Other sources again confirm common ownership:

 

https://hellopeter.com/loan-choice-sa

 

https://hellopeter.com/loan-connector

 

https://hellopeter.com/loan-detector-sa

 

https://hellopeter.com/loan-hub

 

https://hellopeter.com/loan-locator

 

https://hellopeter.com/loan-match-sa

 

https://hellopeter.com/loan-picker-sa

 

https://hellopeter.com/loan-quest-sa

 

https://hellopeter.com/loan-scout-sa

 

https://hellopeter.com/loan-spotter-sa

 

https://hellopeter.com/loan-tracer-sa

 

https://hellopeter.com/loan-tracker-sa

 

Further evidence of common ownership is available from this Facebook link as well as disgruntled consumers who feel that they have been done in.

 

https://www.facebook.com/Action-Against-Loan-Match-Loan-Connector-Lifestyle-Legal-1011244758964327/

 

Whois for domain searches on the above domains shows common trends where registrants details are hidden purposefully to avoid being visited at work place etc.

 

Companies and Intellectual Property Commission in South Africa. This is where business owners register their businesses. As you can see all abovementioned companies are all registered to 1 owner.

 

* Please look at attached file 

CSI Person Report-4-page-001.jpgCSI Person Report-4-page-005.jpgCSI Person Report-4-page-006.jpgCSI Person Report-4-page-007.jpg

 

Based on the above sources, it is undeniable that these twelve website fall under Google's definition of common ownership, and are owned and controlled by the same person.

 

Proof of Common Product Offering

 

The definition in the policy states:

 

Common product offering: For physical goods being sold, the sites share products in common such that a user browsing the site would perceive little difference in inventory between the sites.

 

Visits to loanchoicesa.co.za, loanspottersa.co.za, loanlocatorsa.co.za, loanpickersa.co.za, ldsa.co.za, loanzonesa.co.za, loanhubsa.co.za, loanmatchsa.co.za, loanquestsa.co.za, loanscoutsa.co.za, ltracersa.co.za and loantrackersa.co.za will make it immediately obvious "a user browsing the site would perceive little difference in inventory between the sites". In fact the inventory is almost completely identical. An irrefutable piece of evidence is the service offering for the twelve sites, which show identical product lists:

 

 

Based on this evidence, it is undeniable that these twelve websites fall under Google's definition of having a common product offering.

 

Proof of Similar Pricing

 

The definition in the policy states:

 

Similar pricing: When pricing is available on the sites, there's a price difference between the sites of R30 for substantially the same product or service. When two or more sites solicit contact information from users in order to provide a custom quote, they will be considered to have zero price difference.

 

Visits to loanchoicesa.co.za, loanspottersa.co.za, loanlocatorsa.co.za, loanpickersa.co.za, ldsa.co.za, loanzonesa.co.za, loanhubsa.co.za, loanmatchsa.co.za, loanquestsa.co.za, loanscoutsa.co.za, ltracersa.co.za and loantrackersa.co.za will make it immediately obvious that "there's a price difference between the sites of R30 for substantially the same product or service". Pricing IS identical. Below are links to their Terms of Service where the costing is provided to client (See point number 5) out of the twelve sites six are R399 and the other six R429 for the first month, with a monthly fee of R99 for the remaining 11 (eleven) months.

 

https://www.loanconnectorsa.co.za/terms-conditions/

https://www.loanspottersa.co.za/terms-conditions/

https://www.loantrackersa.co.za/terms-and-conditions/

http://www.loanpickersa.co.za/lpsa/terms-of-service/

https://www.loanhubsa.co.za/lhsa/terms-conditions/

https://www.loanzonesa.co.za/lzsa/terms-conditions/

https://www.loanmatchsa.co.za/lmsa/terms-and-conditions/

https://www.ltracersa.co.za/ltsa/terms-and-conditions/

https://www.ldsa.co.za/ldsa/terms-conditions/

https://www.loanscoutsa.co.za/lssa/terms-and-conditions/

https://www.loanlocatorsa.co.za/llsa/terms-and-conditions/

https://www.loanchoicesa.co.za/lchsa/terms-of-service/

http://www.loanpickersa.co.za/lpsa/terms-of-service/

 

All prices are similar with a R30 difference, and this is the case for all products on the sites. Telephonic Legal advice is a service product for various legal advice and therefore consumers will receive the identical product whichever site they apply on, hence they are receiving the "same product" for the price they pay.

 

Based on this evidence, it is undeniable that these twelve websites fall under Google's definition of having similar pricing.

 

Proof of Similar Customer Support Experience

 

The definition in the policy states:

 

Similar customer support experience: The sites offer the same or similar type of product or service for which the customer can expect to receive the same or similar level of Support (defined below).
...
Support
t occurs after the purchase of the product or service. The sales process isn't considered part of support delivery. Support levels may be considered distinct in the case of self-service vs. dedicated support models. A dedicated support offering will provide a single named point of contact for the service, such as a dedicated customer service representative or advisor. Call centre availability and online help are classified as self-service offerings. The use of different online tools to deliver support is not relevant in the identification of a distinct support offering.

 

Although the policy is somewhat vague in the definition of a Similar Customer Support Experience, in my view these twelve sites do offer the same customer support experience.

 

A Client Area login is available on all sites. Consumers apply on the website, enter details required for services agree to Terms of services, submit and their money comes off their account on their salary date. All website also point straight to apply page when clicking on url, which tells me they are their just to have people apply and not know what the services are or what the fee is for.

 

The operating hours are all the same (8am – 5pm Monday to Friday), 

 

Please see contact us page on all websites

 

The addresses on the site are all factitious if you search on google maps it will point you to pharmacies, hotel, industrial business park, residential homes, shopping complex, furniture stores or addresses that don’t exist on google maps.

 

Based on this evidence, it is extremely likely that these twelve websites fall under Google's definition of having a Similar Customer Support Experience.

 

Proof of Ads Appearing Simultaneously on the Same SERP

 

In order for the violation to occur, ads from both sites need to be displayed on the same SERP simultaneously. Google will have the data on this, but I am doing real-time searches at the time of writing and I have seen ads from both sites being served on the following SERPs (searching from Google.co.za):

 

loans blacklisted

blacklisted loans

same day loans no credit check

loans for bad credit

bad credit loans

loans for blacklisted

car loans for blacklisted

car loans for blacklisted people

homeloans for blacklisted people

bad credit personal loans

  

Due to the variety of search terms there will be hundreds of SERPs that Google is currently double serving ads for these sites on.

 

Summary Confirming Double Serving Violations are Occurring

 

The policy states:

 

Violations of this policy occur when multiple websites share Common Ownership (defined below), plus when two or more of the following factors are present:
    Common product offering: ...
    Similar pricing: ...
    Similar customer support experience: ...
    Brand: ...

 

Violations are occurring as:

 

1) The websites share Common Ownership, as proved by the evidence above.

2) The websites have a Common Product Offering, as proved by the evidence above.

3) The websites have Similar Pricing, as proved by the evidence above.

4) The websites have a Similar Customer Support Experience, as proved by the evidence above.

5) The websites are double serving ads on the same SERP, as proved by the evidence above.

 

It is undeniable, that according to Google's Double Serving policy, these websites are in violation by double serving ads on the same SERP. The websites share common ownership, and have three of the factors required to meet the requirements to fall under the Double Serving Policy, when only two are required for a violation of the policy.

 

Penalty for Double Serving Violations

 

The policy states:

 

This policy, known as "double serving", prevents multiple ads from the same or commonly-owned company from appearing on the same search results page.
...
What happens if I violate this policy?
Google will notify advertisers if they violate this policy. Multiple violations may result in penalties, including account suspension.

 

These websites have been double serving ads on multiple SERPs for a considerable length of time and may have been previously been warned. Their activities must be stopped by Google immediately.

 

Please let me know if any further information is required for google to put a complete stop to this.

 

Regards 

Sebastian G

2 Expert replyverified_user
Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author Sebastian G
June 2016

Re: Double Serving Policy

Collaborator ✭ ☆ ☆
# 2
Collaborator ✭ ☆ ☆

@Sebastian G

 

You need to make the report here.  Be patient, it can sometimes take weeks for action to be taken.

 

https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/176378?hl=en

Re: Double Serving Policy

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Hi David

Thank you for responding.

The problem by complaining there is that you can only complain by typing out 1000 characters. I have done so a month back and I see their ads are still there. In cases like this I'm a firm believer that it has ended up on a blind mans desk at Google.

Re: Double Serving Policy

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor
be certain that the exact aclk ad-click url's
are submitted with a succinct summary of
the issue -- possibly with a link to this thread.

generally, website links, screen-captures,
and any related information, are typically
inadequate for google to take action.

the primary information google usually
requires is the exact aclk ad-link url --
the link location of the ad.

Re: Double Serving Policy

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 5
Top Contributor

@Sebastian G

Note:
You use the OLD definition of double serving. This is no longer in effect, This section of the Policy  was changed in 2014.... - Now known as "gain unfair advantage". The link you provided directs to the new version. (BTW: where did you find this old version...?)

 In the current version, You  MUST prove  that the same business entity promotes the same products or services to the same targeted audience.

Looking briefly at some links you provided, the loans are offered / promoted to different audiences. If the targeted audiences  were different, there would be no violation.

So, I would say the a much closer look /  investigation  into the case is needed here....

 

 

 

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

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 6
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Thank you celebird.

Should I create a new complaint or should I just add in the aclk url's to this thread?

Re: Double Serving Policy

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 7
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Hi Moshe thank you for bringing this to my attention much apprecIated. I will look further into the matter and look the "gain unfair advantage" policy of Google Adwords and resubmit should I have proof that the targeted audience are all the same.

Re: Double Serving Policy

Top Contributor
# 8
Top Contributor

@Sebastian G;

Where did you find an online version of the old Policy? If this version is still out, it should be removed.

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

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 9
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Did you have any luck with this? I've been filing the online complaint form for over a month now and we're still seeing ads being double-served. If you had any luck getting Google to respond, I'd love to hear about it.

 

Thanks and good luck.

 

Eric

Re: Double Serving Policy

Top Contributor
# 10
Top Contributor

This thread has been closed to new replies.

If you have a new or unanswered question related to this topic, please start a new thread and post a clear, specific and detailed question that describes your particular situation.

To start a new thread, please go to the top level of the Community, and from there, click on the board that is most closely related to your question. After that, you can click on the pink "+" sign in the lower right corner of the screen to start a new topic.

Thank you.

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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