Oh Google. When will you stop getting into the news for all of the wrong reasons? The BBC are reporting that the world’s favourite search engine has a lucrative sideline in selling knock-off Olympics tickets and mail order cannabis.
Of course, they’re not selling illegal products themselves, but they’re yet again profiting from AdWords ads that flout Google’s own rules, as well as laws including the “London Olympic and Paralympic Games Act 2006”.
The BBC’s 5 Live Investigates programme is up in arms over the fact that Google keep the money they’re paid for illegal adverts before they’re spotted and removed (instead of refunding criminals directly?), and that Google’s automatic filters aren’t stopping as many illicit AdWords adverts as they should.
Due to huge demands for first page listings using Google’s pay per click system, adverts cannot be manually examined before appearing in the search engine listings unless a filter is triggered – as a Google spokesperson explained in a statement made to the BBC:
We have a set of policies covering which ads can and cannot show on Google. These policies and guidelines are enforced by both automated systems and human beings.When we are informed of ads which break our policies, we investigate and remove them if appropriate.
Our aim is to create a simple and efficient way for legitimate businesses to promote and sell their goods and services whilst protecting them and consumers from illicit activity.
However, this hasn’t stopped people who’ve not been able to get their adverts to the top to complain that Google’s system is inherently corrupt, slow to react, and generally biased against them. As these statements only mention the amount that businesses are bidding, and not quality scores or any other factors, we’re unable to tell you whether the companies complaining have a point.
This isn’t the first time Google have received a slap on the wrists over AdWords, after being forced to pay out 500 million dollars for providing US citizens with cheap, Canadian medicine.
If you need assistance getting your business to the top of the AdWords pile, give FirstFound’s pay per click experts a call on 0161 909 3400.