If you’ve dabbled in the world of online advertising for any period of time, it won’t come as a surprise to you that dishonest people try to game the system. People (and unfortunately, even established online advertising businesses) use unethical practices to get ahead of the competition. This is true in forms of both organic search engine optimization and paid online advertising, such as Google Adwords.
In the world of search engine optimization, dishonest practice is referred to blackhat SEO. This occurs when people use techniques that are unapproved by Google to get the top spot in the search engines. In the past, this involved keyword stuffing and link farming—but these techniques became ineffective quite some time ago thanks to Google’s Panda and Penguin algorithm updates.
On the other side of the coin, there are also bad online advertising practices in the world of paid advertising. Even under the watchful eye of Google, paid users are able to slip under the radar and misuse Google ads for harmful or deceitful purposes.
The Breaking Point of Bad Ads With Google’s Online Advertising
In 2012, Google released an update explaining the issues behind bad advertising practices and steps they planned to take to correct the problems. Google attempts to uphold rigorous standards to keep Google Adwords the best of quality. They also want to provide the best user experience possible for potential customers clicking on ads.
However, Google found itself in a bind when ads would lead to sources that included malware or any other type of harmful computer virus. Furthermore, there were attempts to sell counterfeit items and even link to underground international operations.
While these are extreme examples of bad online advertising practices with Google Adwords, there are other issues that have cropped up more recently.
The Rise of Weight Loss Scams on Google Adwords
As of 2014, Google also began cracking down on attempts to scam users—specifically weight loss scams. A wave of businesses selling weight loss supplements hit the Google Adwords market, making dubious claims of extreme weight loss that were next to impossible to achieve.
Over the course of 2013-2014, 2.5 billion weight loss scam ads were collectively removed from Yahoo, Google, and AOL.
More Bad Online Advertising Practices in 2015
Unfortunately, bad online advertising practices continue to crop on Adwords. Google released their newest “Fighting Bad Ads Report” in January 2016. This report gave an overview of additional online advertising practices that were causing problems for Google users in 2015.
Beyond the aforementioned issues, Google addressed the new following bad ad online advertising practices in 2015:
- Pharmaceuticals: The healthcare and medicine industries got hit by Google fighting bad ads. There were over 2.5 million ads blocked by Google in 2015 that violated its healthcare and medicine Adwords policy. The majority of these ads were blocked due to claims of being as effective as prescription medications.
- Unwanted Software: Some companies used Google Adwords as an attempt to install unwanted software on users’ computers. Google took action on this by disabling more than 10,000 websites that offer unwanted software.
- Trick to click: One of the major bad ad practices in 2015 was trick to click. These include ads that are designed to look like system upgrades for your computer. Consequently, Google users click on the ad and unintentionally download software on their computer or redirected elsewhere. Google rejected more than 17 million of these trick to click ads in 2015.
- Accidental mobile clicks: While this isn’t exactly a bad ad practice on the advertiser’s part, it’s something that is being addressed by Google. Accidental mobile clicks occur when a user is reading an article on a mobile device and is accidentally redirected to a sponsor’s website. Google is working on removing this for improved user experience.
What Are The Best Online Advertising Practices For Google Adwords?
It’s no secret that Google is an advocate for positive user experience. In order to get the most of your pay-per-click campaign, you should concentrate on the best user experience possible while simultaneously collecting data or selling products.
These are a few of the best online advertising practices for Google Adwords in 2016:
- Carefully profile your target audience before conducting keyword research. You might be surprised at the variety of keywords that your typical customers may use. You can conduct keyword research by using Google’s Keyword Planner tool.
- Provide a smooth user experience for your customer from the time that they click on your ad to the time that they buy a product on your website.
- Ensure that your landing page is straightforward and tells the potential customers exactly what you want them to do (e.g. fill out a form or give your company a call).
- Optimize your pay-per-click ads on a regular basis—daily maintenance is recommended.
How is Your Pay-Per-Click Campaign Performing Online?
Bigfoot media specializes in helping businesses maximize their experience in Google Adwords. If you need direction on how to set up your Google Adwords account or optimize for your most profitable keywords, get in touch with us today.
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