Below is a comment I got on the blog today. It’s from Scott Phares, who is being told that Google considers the industry he’s in to be illegitimate. He’s not the first, believe me. Nor will he be the last.
He’s in MLM. Those of you who know me know I’m no big fan of MLM. But that is totally irrelevant to the subject at hand. I have seen the same thing in totally unrelated industries, things that have nothing to do with affiliate marketing or business opportunities.
Where Google makes a sweeping judgment and sweeps a bunch of advertisers away. Businesses are suddenly DOA.
“Yep, you are right. Google definitely tightened the screws … already. I found out the hard way yesterday. All my PPC ads were disapproved or their Quality Score went so low they won’t ever display. I called an 800 number I have for Google and spoke with one of their adwords reps.
Google no longer considers network marketing, affiliate marketing and MLM businesses as “valid” businesses. As a result, they have disallowed all ads forwarding to affiliate links/sites, bridge pages that then forward to an affiliate site, and any site that contains or mirrors all or portions of a parent company site. Even my ads for my own personal biz site landing page and home business web sites went down.
They did not disapprove them, but they immediately lowered my Quality Score (from GREAT to POOR) so low that the ads never display. The adwords rep. also told me that to get my Quality Score back up, Google would have me increase my bid so high that it would kill my ROI completely. To all – be prepared, you may not see this happen until you edit an existing ad or create a new ad, then Goggle will review all your campaigns, that’s when all your MLM, home business and affiliate ads will drop.
I moved all mine to Yahoo last night until we all can come up with a solution to this. This is going to shut down every ad anyone has running on Google as an affiliate where you have registered a domain and have it forwarded to your affiliate links/sites. I am looking forward to your call on Monday at noon CST, hopefully you will have some suggestions as to a solution.”
I recognize that there are some areas that generate lots of complaints, and Google is trying to provide a quality user experience. However this is NOT a trend any advertiser should be feeling good about. First it’s anyone Google thinks is an affiliate… then it’s an MLM guy… then it’s someone who sells a hair growth formula… then it’s YOU.
If you’re saying to yourself, “Well I’m in a legitimate business, this could never happen to me,” think again. By whose definition of legitimate?
Sleep with one eye open.
And don’t go down without a fight.
And don’t let Google be your only means of getting new customers.
And somebody please, tell Yahoo and MSN to get their friggin’ act together. A mutual fund company that USED TO OWN $500 million of Yahoo stock couldn’t get them to wake up, 3 years ago. But… maybe somebody else can.
If Google’s the only game in town, then Google is Big Brother.
P.S.: Surely you’ve heard versions of the following quote – it applies here:
“They came for the Jews and I did not react because I was not a Jew. Then they came for the trade unions and I did not react because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the communists and I did not react because I was not a communist. Then they came for the social democrats and I did not react because I was not social democrat. Then they came for me and there was nobody left to defend me.”
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