Irrelevant Google Ads, Due To Humans No Longer Checking For Relevancy?

Google, Heal Thyself is a very nice piece from Peter Hershberg at SearchViews that looks at how ads on Google are running in violation of its own editorial policies such as relevancy, allowing multiple ads for the same advertiser, trademark guidelines and other issues. Just for fun, he found all these violations coming up when doing a search for Google. It highlights an issue that a search marketer raised to me back in September. They wrote me:

In our looking into a related client competitor issue, where the competitor was using a keyword that had ZERO relevancy to a linked result, a Google exec said to us, and this is copied from the email:

"Our editorial team no longer monitors nor disapproves individual keywords for relevancy."

Relevancy no longer an issue at Google! Woohoo!

Another search marketer who was included on this email to me and several others responded:

The key here is "editorial team"

Google is convinced that the new quality score system takes over the relevancy responsibility from the editorial team.

Google thinks that the relevant result will have such a high quality score that a competitor would need to spend many times more to displace the result with a high quality score.

Whether that is in fact true or not depends on how "crazy" the competitive bidder will be on a generic non-relevant keyword.

I've been meaning to follow up on this, so I'll drop a note over to Google and see what the deal is -- are ads really no longer being human reviewed? Do they really assume relevancy can be determined through the new quality scoring system?

Want to comment or discuss? Visit our Search Engine Watch Forums thread, AdWords No Longer Human Reviewed?

Postscript: Yes, humans are still involved as part of the overall process, though it doesn't seem as if they review each and every ad, Google says. For more, see Humans Still Part Of Google Ad Review Process.

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Danny Sullivan was the founder and editor of Search Engine Watch from June 1997 until November 2006.

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