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How do I stop double-serving ads?

[ Edited ]
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hello,

 

One of our valued clients has a competitor who has been double-serving ads for quite sometime. I have filled out the Adwords complaint form here: https://support.google.com/adwords/troubleshooter/4578507?visit_id=1-636169272008401432-2574204674&r... multiple times during the past month and nothing has been done about it. I'm hoping somebody here can help or at least influence the Powers-That-Be at Google and put a stop to this.

 

The unscrupulous company who is managing these campaigns is clearly double-serving ads that go to slightly different URLs. If you click on any of the URLs you will see that they all go to a nearly identical page for <edited by a Community Manager as noted below>. They are using this same technique for several regional phrases, including:

 

  • Santa Barbara storage
  • Santa Barbara self-storage
  • Goleta storage
  • Goleta self-storage
  • Carpinteria storage
  • Carpinteria self-storage
  • Montecito storage
  • Summerland storage
  • Summerland self-storage
  • And more!

Below is a screen grab showing an example of the ads being double-served.

 

<edited by a Community Manager as noted below>

 

 

It appears as though the company managing these campaigns,<edited by a Community Manager as noted below>, has created dozens of different URLs like this. See examples below.

 

 <edited by a Community Manager as noted below>

 

All of these URLs and ads are being used to promote the same business, <edited by a Community Manager as noted below>.

 

Taking matters a step further, the company who runs these campaigns, <edited by a Community Manager as noted below> is known throughout the self-storage industry for this behavior. They appear to manage several other campaigns for self-storage companies and they need to be stopped. I think if you take 5 minutes to review their website you will definitely smell something fishy. 

 

Anyway, if anyone can help or has any words of wisdom to share with me, I'd sure appreciate it.

 

Thank you all for your help.

 

Eric

This post has been edited by a Community Manager, per Community Posting Guidelines.

2 Expert replyverified_user

How do I stop double-serving ads?

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Hi @Eric P,

 

It's best not to blast competing businesses in this public community, as it is it not really fair to them. And it could lead to more complications for you and others. When URLs are posted here, they are indexed by Google and will appear in the SERPs, leading that competitor back to here to see your post created about them. They could then go elsewhere and do the same about you and escalate issues between the parties. 

 

We generally want to help you, the actual AdWords user, avoid unfair advantages and/or other errors with the operation of your Adwords account, and to share information about optimizing campaigns, and stuff like that.  

 

When it comes to ads of others that you see abusing the AdWords system, the proper course of action is to report the ads and allow Google time to react. Each report is handled in the order to which it is received and each case takes time to investigate and take action. This is what Google states they need and want done when abuse is found online. Since you have done that already, the situation is either in the process, not let started yet... or the competitor is actually not breaking the unfair advantage policy.

 

Regardless, advertisers that abuse the system are caught and handled at some point, so just because it seems like someone is getting away with it... does not mean that they actually will. Those that act badly with AdWords will be dealt with severely in due time. Lifetime bans from AdWords is rather typical for severe abuse.

 

Kind Regards,

 

James 

_________________________________________________________
Google AdWords Top Contributor | Google Partner | GYBO | Local Guide | My Profile


 


 


 

How do I stop double-serving ads?

Top Contributor
# 3
Top Contributor

Investigating " gain unfair advantage " could be a long process. My experience: a clear presentation of the case in a clear format (e.g. A table)  with a breakdown of the violation to  sub categories (e.g same service, same audience) is helpful to the reviewer at Google.

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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How do I stop double-serving ads?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 4
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi James,

 

Your point is taken about posting business names. I appreciate your input.

 

Thank you.

 

Eric

How do I stop double-serving ads?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Thanks for your feedback Moshe. 

 

Eric

How do I stop double-serving ads?

Badged Google Partner
# 6
Badged Google Partner

Actually the businesses and destination URLs in question are a necessary part of the process. Can you share a screen shot of the double serving violation?

Tom

How do I stop double-serving ads?

Top Contributor
# 7
Top Contributor

Hi @tomhalejr,

 

A moderator has already removed the screenshots. There should be no more screenshots posted here. This is not a technical issue with AdWords and there is really nothing more to discuss with this inquiry. 

 

Thanks,

 

James

 

_________________________________________________________
Google AdWords Top Contributor | Google Partner | GYBO | Local Guide | My Profile


 


 


 

How do I stop double-serving ads?

Badged Google Partner
# 8
Badged Google Partner

Double serving is not double serving if there is a clear distinction between services, or clear distinctions between ownership. Maybe this is double serving, maybe it's not. Without knowing the sites/businesses in question, no one knows for sure.

Tom

How do I stop double-serving ads?

Badged Google Partner
# 9
Badged Google Partner

It's only because @MosheTLV gave me "kudos", that I am continuing to engage @James_Clemens. I don't want to pick a fight, but, like Moshe said:

 

"Investigating " gain unfair advantage " could be a long process. My experience: a clear presentation of the case in a clear format (e.g. A table) with a breakdown of the violation to sub categories (e.g same service, same audience) is helpful to the reviewer at Google."

 

That is exactly what @Eric P did!!!!! He did all that, and has yet to find a resolution to this problem! He as earned some kind of answer to his honest question, here in this forum.

 

I can guarantee you @Eric P is not the only one with these concerns. Google does not address this matter in the help documentation as well as they have previously, and I know the only place someone like Eric can get answers - Real answers! - is in this forum. Smiley Happy

 

I wrote this blog post years ago, and it is obviously not a good example of exceptional content. Smiley Happy However, these same questions are still being asked, and Google has still not yet "resolved" the "problem", or "answered the question" to this day.

 

http://www.thomascreekconcepts.com/what-does-double-serving-really-mean/

 

If we can't have a discussion about AdWords/Google advertising policies here, then where can we have that conversation?

Since when did citing direct examples of the Google SERPs become taboo in this "community"?

 

In my experience - @Eric P seems genuine, and I consider it disrespectful to dismiss his concerns.

Ask an honest question - You deserve an honest answer.

Do any of you disagree?

Tom

Re: How do I stop double-serving ads?

Top Contributor
# 10
Top Contributor

@tomhalejr@James_Clemens@Eric P;

Since I am  a long time policy "veteran" on this Community, let me give some background on the subject;

What was known in the past as double serving and included a list of criteria,  was streamlined in Sep of 2014 to  a new section  in the Policy :  "gain  unfair advantage".

 

The rule is now quite simple: promoting the same product or service to the same targeted audience by the same business entity -  is not allowed.

Hence, two  franchises  of the same  brand, each with  a different website, targeting the same Geo region  - is NOT a violation (because they are different business entities).

 

As part of the change Google sets a clear process to file  complaints  about gain unfair advantage. As part of the change,  Google  has put efforts  and resources to enforce violations of "gain unfair advantage". Indeed, statistically on this community, we have seen a decrease in the number of complaints about "gain unfair advantage".

 

There are periods in which there is an increase in the number of complaints.

During the years we have solved several cases of  "gain unfair advantage"  / (or in the past "double serving") to illustrate users how google investigates this type of violation.

 

That said, I reiterate  what I explain to clients:  presentation matters. Clear presentation   using a neat / clear format helps the reviewer to investigate  the case. If  details (requested)  are missing (e.g. Click string) the reviewer might find it hard to complete the investigation.

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’