Advertisers Can't Sell Hard Liquor But Google Can

Google AdWords has a strict no advertising rule for hard liquor, as they call it. You will not find ads for terms like rum, gin or vodka. Well... vodka searches now add a twist. Google has started to promote their vodka sellers with the top entry.

Before you get to the search results, there is a Google Checkout listing promoting various vodka sellers. Now that does seem like they are contradicting their own rules.

One hopes this was an oversight, since there are none for rum or gin as yet. Maybe vodka is just such a good Checkout seller that it has reached some number where it automatically gets the Checkout promo?

Hopefully someone at Google will publicly address this one. Right now, I would guess every vodka seller is signing up for a Google Checkout account. Not a bad mistake to make, if it generates new shopping cart customers.

About the author

Frank Watson has been involved with the Web since it started. For the past five years, he headed SEM for FXCM -- at one time one of the top 25 spenders with AdWords. He has worked with most of the major analytics companies and pioneered the ability to tie online marketing with offline conversion.

He has now started his own marketing agency, Kangamurra Media. This new venture will keep him busy when he is not editing the Search Engine Watch forums, blogging at a number of authoritative sites, and developing some interesting online community sites.

He was one of the first 100 AdWords Professionals, a Yahoo and Overture Ambassador, and a member or mod of many of the industry forums. He is also on the Click Quality Council and has worked hard to diminish click fraud.