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4 Facts on the Google Adwords Slap

4 Facts on the Google Adwords Slap

Last month Jason wrote a blog post of some techniques to avoid the dreaded Google Slap which were very well received so when I received an email from Dush Ramachandran, VP of Sales, Marketing & Business Development at Clickbank the other day I thought it would well wroth passing onto Affilorama members. So with Dush's permission I have republished the email below. This has been passed to Dush directly from a contact at Google so it contains some pretty good advice and is well worth reading.

Here it is...

Many of you have experienced difficulties with your websites’ quality ratings being downgraded by Google, or your AdWords account being shut down or suspended recently, in what has come to be known as the Google Slap. We have been approached by a number of vendors and affiliates asking for further information on what may have caused this and what can be done to have their sites’ quality ratings restored or their AdWords accounts re-activated. To this end, I have had a number of conversations with Google and have managed to gather some information.
I am providing below the information provided by Google, in the hope that this will be helpful to you. We are continuing our conversations with Google and I will pass on any fresh information that we learn through these conversations.

1. Duplicate Mini-sites

The issue is often that affiliates create sites for the purpose of circumventing Google’s affiliate link policy. This policy states: "We'll only display one ad per search query for advertisers sharing the same top-level domain in the display URL. This means that if you're an affiliate advertiser, your ad may not show for a query because another affiliate or the website that runs the affiliate program also has ads using the same (or a similar) domain in the display URL." (http://adwords.google.com/support/aw/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=14844)

When one site is essentially the same site as another, while the product is fine, promoting it with different domains is against the rules. It violates the requirement that a site's content be unique.

2. Use of trademarked terms in the Ad text:

AdWords ads will not show if they're using a trademarked term (e.g. Photoshop) in the ad text and the landing page does not provide a reasonable amount of information about this product. Please make sure that the landing page provide enough information about the trade-marked term, so that it is not a ruse to attract visitors to the page but offers valuable information.

3. Squeeze Pages to obtain visitor names and email addresses:

Landing pages that act as squeeze pages to obtain visitors’ names and email addresses are often rated poorly on landing page quality. This is usually because the landing page is a data harvesting site that only contains a form. A site of this nature could most likely be advertised successfully if the user was taken to the page that describes the product and lets them buy it. Asking the users to provide a name and email before they can learn more about the product is not considered a good user experience and will be discouraged. If users are being asked for their name and email, then there should be some value that is provided to the user.

4. Thin reviews:

Review sites that contain short one paragraph reviews of products are considered thin reviews by Google and are not rated highly. If the review is a short abstract, and a link is provided to a more detailed version of the same review, then that review is considered by Google to be more valuable to the user and is therefore rated more highly. Google values reviews where the basis for arriving at the recommendation or the rating of the product is disclosed in the review, as it delivers a better user experience.
In general Google suggests the following practices to ensure a high rating on their search results:

When in doubt consult Google’s webmaster guidelines for more general information.

I hope this information was useful to you. Please let us know if you have any specific suggestions or additions to this information.

12 Comments Add your comment
  • Reply Michael Curtis3345 days ago

    Great information here. Thank you so much for this. My adwords account is at a stand still right now. I don't know if google plans to show my ads but for now i am not getting impressions. My ads are paused now. Hopefully im don't get slapped.

  • Reply Eric Marlow3345 days ago

    Thanks for this post Simon. We need every bit of "intelligence" that can be gathered from Google in regards to their Adwords rules.

  • Reply Emmanuel Ampere3345 days ago

    Its a great piece...I am a newbie and I love the information I have read so far,I am still learning

  • Reply Kurt Novak3343 days ago

    Thanks for this information. Does Google ever plan to reactivate the accounts they shut down recently? As they don't communicate with account owners, how can an account be reinstated?

  • Reply Charles • 3342 days ago

    Hey thanks for the tips for adwords but I already got slapped a few times and I never gave up. I have finally started making some money with some tips from that interview with Gauher Chaudhry something clicked and I just started to profit.

  • Reply Thad • 3341 days ago

    This is some great information for anyone using pay per click advertising through Google. But, if Google keeps using these type of tatics not to show ads as well as shutting down accounts, advertisers will start looking for other much lower cost and effective ways to advertise and avoid them altogether.

  • Reply Adele • 3341 days ago

    Great info, thanks heaps

  • Reply Stew Shaw3341 days ago

    Not sure how many of your members know but AdWords totally without warning permanently closed a large number of accounts recently (November), including my insignificant one that had been dormant for 2 months. No prior emails that my ads were not acceptable, and no opportunity to ever open another account. My greatest crime that I can work out (because they would not ever say why)? Direct linking - a practice which a prominent marketer was promoting as perfectly acceptable because only the top bid would win the right to advertize, etc. Anyhoo, that's the last PPC spend Google will get from me.

  • Reply Bruce Mackay3340 days ago

    This is great we get so little of the information on what Google really sets guide lines for. I have suspected that the quality content is always going to have to be up to par. I signed up to Google Adwords but seeing the amount they paid I refused to give my tax info.

  • Reply elogic007 • 3339 days ago

    I recently recieved such an email, I then proceeded to contact google, however they were not in a talking mood, since I know that my campaigns were all legit, I paused them for 3 weeks, I then un-paused them only to find that the impressions began to rise, to which I thought, there must be
    some sort of blanket shutdown of accounts, I have tried to contact google but they are not intrested in
    responding to my queries, anyway, I have decided never to rely on one single source for traffic so I have started up my bing(msn) , yahoo and 7 search accounts, I am also have another 3 or 4 ppc engines to activate, how one can every use one source of paid traffic to me no longer makes business sense, my 2 cents is to go out and find as many traffic sources as you can, it may seem strange but due to Google I have found around 30 additional ways to get traffic to a website and using only 1 article as well as over 600 top quality directory ad platforms.... Google may think they are the greatest but the way they their customers from the comments above is shocking...
    sorry for the rant... much success to all in 2010

  • Reply frederick doucette3339 days ago

    hey everybody! hope you all having great holidays !

    im totaly new to this . but 5 months ago i started with yahoo marketing soultions , selling e-books from click bank .

    being new and overwhelemed with Information i gave up .........:( but now im back and im soaking up usefull info whare ever i can get it ,

    can ANYONE can help me with learning the ways of yahoo PPC?

    i just need a push in the right direction , how did the pros get whare they are now ???


    frederick doucette jr.

  • Reply tennisf9 • 3133 days ago

    Hi everybody, I just want to say hello! How is everyone??

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