Google Slap

Terry_logo Google have been the darlings of the web world for quite some time, and yes, they have provided some pretty good stuff for free. But it is one thing to provide tools and technology, and quite another to actually ENGAGE with consumers … I think they prefer to call us "users".

My friend Terry has a website where he posts his flash games. He makes them for himself and gets a genuine kick out of the responses he gets from the people who play them. After quite some time, his site started to attract a bit of traffic, so he turned to Google Ads to help pay for his hosting. And while he thought deeply about placing advertising on his site, he also realised that he didn’t really have a choice … his hosting provider was already closing down the site due to its popularity — it was either upgrade or go home. And as you know, that costs money.

Things had been going well … until an email arrived from Google. They had detected fraudulent activity on his site and were cancelling his account. Immediately.

Of course, a number of Internet companies talk about openness and transparency … but it seems very few practise it. How do you appeal a decision to cancel your account? Who do you talk to? It seems that the only way to find out is to use a search engine to find out. Certainly there is nothing on the specific Google sites to help. And, of course, the best information was to be found on blog sites.

So after following an appeals process, Terry was duly informed that fraudulent behaviour (ie automated clicking) WAS detected on his site and that the appeal was rejected, and there was nothing more he could do about it. The behemoth had spoken. There is NO SOUP FOR YOU.

It is a shame that the companies like Google and Apple (who I have whinged about before … don’t start me on iPods again!) who have deep community support and the technology (and resources) to ENGAGE in dialogue with their communities simply refuse to do so. By doing so, they very quickly and radically turn evangelists into the opposite … these are the negative brand stories that can also spread quickly.

Did Terry cry like a baby? Well not that he told me … but it is nice to see that Google is starting to feel a little bit whiney.


4 thoughts on “Google Slap

  1. Yeah, google can kiss my arse. I shot the sheriff, but I did not shoot the deputy. I may do some ‘wrong’ things, but trying to rip of google was not one of them.

  2. I had a similar experience however mine was not quite so dramatic, but equally stupid.
    I’d set up my AdSense account, put the ads on my site and found the ads didn’t display. Lot of fiddling around, no help from Google to sort things out and I became frustrated.
    I asked some friends to visit my page click the ads and see if they worked, which I admit was a mistake as it directly violated the TOS agreement.
    Less than two days later and I was notified that my account had been canceled due to illegal clicks. I appealed, and explained my problem but to no avail. I was entirely honest and forthright about the nature of the problem and suggested they simply zero out the account so I could start with a fresh slate.
    The problem turned out to be a new Firefox pop up blocker, which prevent ads from appearing on my browser. I had already figured that the problem was browser related which I why I needed other people to test for me. By the time I had it figured out it was to late for a reprieve. The account was canceled, end of discussion.
    I understand that Google is protecting their advertisers but that coin has two sides. Their policies are very one dimensional and Draconian. Further I found that I had no easily available means of getting the necessary tech support to resolve my issues in the first place.
    Google’s approach to enforcing the rules is bad for Google in the long run. I hate to point it out, but it also sets them with a competitive disadvantage if someone else comes up with a better and more even handed PPC Advertising system.

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