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Understand Google's advertising policies, including ad approval status and account suspension
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Why are obvious violators allowed to run amok?

[ Edited ]
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# 1
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http://www.getfoundfirst.com/blog/ppc-affecting-seo/  

 

Clearly double-serving, and monopolizing all 5 spots on the results page.  Drill down into Google shopping, and it's actually worse.  They have 10+ variations of the same product with different names and descriptions.

 

 If it's not clear, those are all the same product, with different names  .Not just for that product either.  It's not an accident, it's a deliberate strategy, they are keyword stuffing PPC through Google Merchant Center.

 

As if that weren't enough, they also:

- Claim free shipping in Google Shopping, but charge for shipping once you land on the site.  They seem to get away with this by only charging shipping for some products, not others, but showing them ALL as "free shipping".

- Show pricing much lower than what they are actually charging.

 

An example:

 

- Ad says $60, including free shipping: http://i.imgur.com/sm9I3uL.png

- Follow the ad to their site, and it's  $72.50 + $20.80 shipping, total $93.30. http://i.imgur.com/gxXu7yS.png

 

Frustrating for those that try hard to follow the rules.  This isn't new...it's been going on for months and months, reported, ignored, etc. Playing by the rules does not pay.  These guys are clearly doing whatever they want, and Google is loving it.

 

2 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Why are obvious violators allowed to run amok?

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

In Google shopping, I think the terminology is "duplicate offering", but let me ping one of our specialists on shopping  policy.

@Celebird ?

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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Re: Why are obvious violators allowed to run amok?

[ Edited ]
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# 3
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the best likely course would be to report
the potential violations directly to google --
https://support.google.com/merchants/contact/policy

currently, i am not seeing the same results nor the shipping text.

there are several policy violations that could exist
based on the analysis and screen-captures; however,
the final determination would require access to the
accounts and all submitted data -- especially the
item_group_id and shipping-price (sub) attributes
and any promotional-messages set within adwords.

Re: Why are obvious violators allowed to run amok?

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# 4
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>>the best likely course would be to report
>>the potential violations directly to google

I do appreciate the help. However, it's been reported, multiple times, over multiple months.

I think they spend enough on Adwords to get the "Wink and Nod" treatment bonus plan. FWIW, they also rank well organically, despite obvious paid links, spam, etc.

Re: Why are obvious violators allowed to run amok?

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 5
Top Contributor

 

first, you're welcome.

 

the same search-terms simply do not seem to

be returning the same level of skewed results.

which is why the assessment should be based on
the submitted data -- rather than any specific set
of auction results.

google tends not to report any specific progress or outcomes
of individual policy investigations except with the merchant
who is under investigation; there is no set time for how long
an investigation may take.

ads are independent of (organic) search results.

user behaviour may influence both ads and search-results.

Re: Why are obvious violators allowed to run amok?

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# 6
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Sure. The "clustering" might change based on personalization, but the products that are identical, but with different keyword-stuffed names are always there, somewhere in the results.

And, the price mismatch and non "free shipping" should be clear.
Search google for "budget neon open sign". You have to hover over the ad to see the free shipping text. Click through to the site, you'll see the price jump (it's been there for months), then go father, and you'll see the shipping charge.

Re: Why are obvious violators allowed to run amok?

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 7
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there simply seems to be disparate results --

i am not seeing the same level of sameness

or the same results overall.


also, what looks to be identical items may
be variants with different item_group_id;
these are details of the submitted data.

based on the screen-captures the shipping looks
to be a promotional-message set within adwords --
this is not the same as required shipping set within
the submitted data; these issues would likely need

to be investigated separately, since the adwords

promotional-messages have rather different rules

and policies than per-item data.

Re: Why are obvious violators allowed to run amok?

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# 8
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>also, what looks to be identical items may
>be variants with different item_group_id;
>these are details of the submitted data.

I'm sure they do have different item group id's.

What I'm saying is that the item itself is the same item if you actually purchase it.

They are creating individual products for the purposes of keyword stuffing.

For example, lets say you sell a "red widget".

You then create fictional versions of this "red widget" called "cheap red widget", "affordable red widget", "budget red widget", "custom red widget", "personalized red widget", "red widget especially for women", "customized red widget", and so forth.

And, then you put this in your product feed.

Now, for certain queries where terms cross over (affordable, cheap, budget, for example), you get to monopolize the ad space.


And, yes, I get the difference re promotional messaging, etc.

The high level point is that it's all been reported, with screenshots, etc.

Google lets it slide, month after month...

Re: Why are obvious violators allowed to run amok?

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 9
Top Contributor

 

the best likely course would be to post screen-captures with explanatory
text here in the public forums and continue to submit the policy-violation
forms, for any significantly different or new violations, directly to google --

as least until google suggests otherwise.

currently, there does not seem to be any public information
suggesting that the issue has even been assigned to a policy
specialist as yet or how far-reaching the investigation may be

once the issue has been assigned.