The New Year starts with shady ads on Google AdWords

A company has started the new year with shady Google AdWords ads. Fortunately, Google has pulled the ad in the meantime. Is this ad a sign of the shady advertising methods that we have to expect in 2012?

What exactly happened?

A blogger discovered that a company run a Google AdWords ad that appeared for the keyword “new year’s day”

The New Year starts with shady ads on Google AdWords 1

Why is this a shady ad?

At first glance, this looks like a regular ad. However, the ad is shady in many ways:

  • The ad uses www.dailymail.co.uk (a UK newspaper) as the display URL although it is not affiliated in any way to the site. The landing page of the ad is on a totally unrelated domain.

    That means that the server redirects Googlebot to the dailymail.co.uk website and shows all other visitors the ad. In other words, the advertiser is cheating Google.

  • The ad looks like the website of a television network although it’s not. In addition, the landing page uses a geolocation script that inserts the city of the website visitor on the page.

    This should create the impression that a local lady tested the product. It doesn’t look so good if the page is accessed from another country:

The New Year starts with shady ads on Google AdWords 2

  • The landing page uses a fake Facebook ‘Like’ button with fake numbers.
  • The photo of the woman named ‘Emily’ is from a web page that illustrates how to manipulate photos with Photoshop.

Fortunately, Google has pulled the ad in the meantime. That means that they could discover that someone was delivering different content to Googlebot and human visitors of the page.

If you want to get lasting results on Google, you shouldn’t cheat Google (and you shouldn’t use misleading pages as the one above).

If you want to make sure that your website get the best possible rankings on Google, use ethical search engine optimization methods that are beneficial to you, your website visitors and search engines.

Article by Axandra SEO software

The New Year starts with shady ads on Google AdWords 3

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