• Toni Voutilainen

    Thanks Ginny. I’ve certainly shared the same frustration. A competitor of our client (selling printer cartridges and ink) has been utilizing triple-quadruple ad serving for a couple of _years_ and despite having reported this to Google many times and talking to different reps about it, nothing has changed.

    Adding to the inconsistency, then there was a payday loan lender that was very closely scrutinized so that their two sites didn’t violate this policy. And despite the fact that the brands and their services actually were different (one for loans below X and the other for loans above X) the domains were blocked from being served at the same time with generic search phrases.

    Although it shouldn’t, enforcing the policy seems to vary between industries.

  • Alex Staunton

    Do a search for “Le Cordon Bleu”

  • Terry Whalen

    It varies between advertisers, too, just just industries. Google is sometimes money-hungry, if not evil. These are examples of Google knowing right from wrong, but still doing wrong.

  • Pat Grady

    This issue needed some attention, thanks!

    On a separate article authoring note, I think your screenshots in this article are one of the most powerful presentations I’ve seen this year. The article is fabulously written, but your examples and presentation of them, are truly outstanding – screen grabs are not “pretty”, but they have very high clarity and are powerfully compelling. Bravo Zulu!

  • http://www.LeadDiscovery.com/ Jerry Nordstrom

    Another great write up Ginny on an issue that many PPC managers have been dealing with for years. In the early days circa 2004 Google was very vocal about punishing those who violated their double ad serving policies. So when we found clear and compelling evidence of our competitors exploiting MCC accounts in order to double serve, we presented our case to Google and Yahoo at the time.. Later Live.com/Bing.com etc. We expected swift and nasty punishment…Their answers were a unified “We have averted our eyes, so do as you wish”. Future “off the record” conversations confirmed that we could create as many accounts as we think necessary to cover any given industry. This changed the game significantly.

    The small budget competitors got squeezed out of any competitive industry and the ones remaining are no longer competing so much on CPC as we are on CPA and CLV. This is also why QS has become a major KPI for competitive PPC markets.

    The next stage of this game is manipulating QS. This is done simply by “stretching the truth” in advertising. I won’t go into detailed examples here, however we have all seen the ads making false promises. Not a single PPC platform polices the legitimacy of ads being run. The offenders achieve a high CTR thus higher QS and lower CPAs. We are willing to be aggressive in the creative use of accounts, but will never stoop to dishonest or misleading ads. We are financially impacted for this stance. In the long run I believe the liars will lose and the good guys win.

    All of these tactical elements of PPC is why PPC management is quickly becoming (or has already become) a service that requires professional management.

  • http://www.can-goldlink.com/ Alex CAI

    As I know,Baidu(which is the lagerest SE in China now)dosen’t care about which company has how many sites.There is only one policy :same domain can not appear 2+ times at the same time.
    And they encourage you to have more and more account.(like develop some programs to help you handle 2+ account)

  • Toni Voutilainen

    No doubt it does vary between advertisers and sure they’re money-hungry, but the advertisers that have gotten the closest scrutiny have often had mega budgets vs the ones where no action whatsoever was taken. So clearly $ is not the only factor.

  • Toni Voutilainen

    No doubt it does vary between advertisers and sure they’re money-hungry, but the advertisers that have gotten the closest scrutiny have often had mega budgets vs the ones where no action whatsoever was taken. So clearly $ is not the only factor.

  • Ginny Marvin

    Pat, thanks so much for the kind words!

  • Daniel Fallon

    Try a search in the UK for any airport parking i.e. “Heathrow Airport Parking” and see how many Holiday Extras owned companies appear. Normally they run between 2 and 3 ads and whilst this activity has been flagged multiple times to Google they appear to take no action. Frustrating.

    If Google has a policy they should either enforce it or come clean & admit they allow double & triple serving if the money is good enough and it is well enough disguised.

  • Ronnie’s Mustache

    This is a tough one.

    It can be tough for Ad vendors to “police”. Especially if the sites are offering a quality user experience w relevant offerings.

    I’ve found, that reporting these sites often works, even if Google doesn’t acknowledge any violations.

    As Ginny describes, build a compelling case & contact Adwords. If no action is taken, bring the situation into the public forums.

  • Stacey Vermaak

    I have had some great successes and some failures with reporting double servers. Besides giving the ad URL and site names- this is what google requires.

    A. Do the accounts share at least two of the following characteristics?
    Contact name

    Billing address

    Contact phone number

    Contact details on the website

    B. If not, are the accounts related at least by a cookie ? Any other significant link between sites to indicate ownership?

    I would also suggest using your Google account manager rather than calling the helpline to log these.

  • Bill Bodge

    Thanks Ginny.
    I compete with the largest seller of Licensed Collegiate Merchandise on the web and they get away with quadruple and quintuple serving ads. Same exact merchandise on different URLs. All the websites show this company as running them. They spend millions a year on advertising and have a big piggy bank to overspend on ads.
    I can only surmize that Google wants to deal with less customers so they can save money on customer reps and customer service side.
    I have reported this company directly to Google and on Adwords Forums. The issue was escalated by a monitor on Adwords Forum but I have not heard back or seen any change in the ads showing.
    Small biz on the web is in trouble if this issue continues.

  • John

    I have the same frustration. A competitor of ours and we are 100% sure (not disclosing here) is running 14 different websites and we believe they have 8-10 google adwords reps and accounts.

  • John

    What is the best way to report this in adwords community site? Like best practices. Anyone know?