Misuse of Google Ads

With a little help from a podcast called Reply All, we take a look at how scammers and bad sites have misused Google Ads to gain the advantage.

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Google Ads (formerly Google AdWords) is a powerful advertising tool used by marketeers and companies all over the world. But what happens when the dishonest inhabitants of this world take their ‘services’ online?

Tricksters on Google Ads

You may be surprised how easy it can be to trick a less-than-savvy googler via an ad. Some blindly click on an ad without actually realising it’s an ad; or perhaps there simply isn’t time to consider an ad’s authenticity.

Misuse of google ads
Image via favoritememes.com


Users see a brand name, a service or product they know and need, they click on the ad and begin interacting with the website, a site they have no reason to question. After all, they found the link on Google, a search engine many of us have used for as long as we can remember. We trust Google. In fact, Google piles hours and hours of manpower into ensuring their search engine is as safe and genuine as possible.

Click with caution

But therein lies the issue. We are inherently trusting of Google’s search results. But I believe our nature to be sceptical of everything we do not know, must be applied to Google search results and, with that, the level of knowledge surrounding search engines must be improved. Anyone who listens to the US based Reply All podcast will know what I am talking about. For those who do not, I cannot recommend these episodes enough: Ep 76: Lost in a cab, and Ep 78: Very quickly to the drill (these podcasts are not appropriate for children). You will be shocked by how Google Ads is used to clinch the advantage. But you’ll also gain an understanding of the dos and don’ts of Google Ads, hear an account from a former Google employee (we all know how rare that is), and as a finale, we are reminded of the good online advertising can be used for you’ll hear about those who search (and find!) lost wedding rings.

Google’s efforts

But what is Google doing about the scams on its platform?

Misuse of Google Ads- scammers

Fortunately we can rest assured that it is working towards finding and preventing these adverts from being successful on its platform. In fact, Google commented on episode 78 of Reply All, stating the company has “invested in best-in-class technology and built a global team of more than 1,000 Googlers specifically dedicated to this effort” and claim to have “disabled 780 million ads for violating our policies in 2015″. Check out Google’s official blog post ‘How we fought bad ads, sites and scammers in 2016’ for more information.

It is more important than ever to review your online advertising, website design, page copy, and the other advertisers competing for the same search terms as you. All in all, you want to adhere to Google’s guidelines, whilst providing users with a website or advert they can trust. If you need help with anything discussed in my blog post, contact the Browser Media PPC team at biddable@browsermedia.co.uk.


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