Advertisers on Google Are Told to Keep It Proper from the New York Times looks at how it's not anything goes with ads on Google, in terms of language, spelling and grammar.
Yahoo-owned Overture has policies like this too -- and has had them longer than Google since it was Overture, not Google, that created that paid search revolution that both companies are now harvesting.
You might not realize this from the article. The fact that Overture has policies warrants an "also" mention way, way, way down at the bottom of the page. That's it. Despite having a nearly even split of the search ad world, the good/poor folks over at Overture didn't apparently warrant a quote or any extended look.
To put this in perspective, it's like the New York Times just did a big article about how NBC -- a major television network in the US -- has editorial policies on its ads but didn't bother to examine or talk to those from ABC or CBS -- equally large networks.
The article focus isn't on some of Google's controversial ad policies that have come up in the past. Instead, it's more about language and creative issues. "Check em out" wasn't allowed in an ad the story's author had placed, but "check them out" was. That sort of thing.
Hey, nice to see the Denver News Agency so knowledgeable about Google's ad system. It chimes in to the story with: "Google's ads are just placed online without any human interaction."
Um, no. First of all, some human interaction placed the ad in the first place. It IS true that ads are allowed to go online at Google before review (unlike the case with Overture, kudos to them) which has made for some embarrassment with Google in the past. But all ads, Google says, are supposed to be reviewed by humans at some point, usually within 24 hours.
The time may be longer with some ads that hit terms that aren't very frequent or which generate little revenue, but it may only be hours before an ad for popular terms or which generates much revenue is reviewed, said Salar Kamangar, director of product management at Google, told me last week when I talked with him about Google's new one ad per merchant policy. But all ads are supposed to be eventually reviewed.
Having said this, there's still the case where ads tapping into automated creation of titles and description aren't really going before humans at both Google and Overture. Gary's post last month points out some issues this raises: Poor Relevancy and Automated Search Ads.
For some related information on this topic see:
- Compare & Contrast: Ad Guidelines At Overture & Google: My article from August 2002 looked in depth
at how you couldn't just say anything in ads at Google and Overture. Yep -- time for a revisit. I'm working on it for the near future
- Search Ads within our
Search Topics area for Search Engine Watch
members provides links to articles on the topic of editorial policies and other issues
stretching back for years. The Google: AdWords and
Yahoo: Overture Ads categories have related material specific to
- Google Posts New Ad Guidelines looks at Google clarifying policies on what it will and will not accept
as advertising period, aside from the language of ads. It links to the current content policy page plus to a background article on issues prompting the creation of that page.
- Kraft Supports Pro-White Groups? Lack Of Search Ad Targeting Makes It So from last week looks at how while the search ad networks impose controls on advertisers, advertisers themselves need more control they can impose on the networks -- any why this was a painful lesson for Kraft.