Do you remember in elementary school how much you looked forward to recess? I LOVED RECESS! You know, boy chase girl, girl chase boy, waiting your turn on the swing, sports, etc. Remember the recess aids? You know, the ladies on the playground that wore the whistle around their neck like it was a jewel on a necklace. They watched carefully for kids that misbehaved and when they did, that shrill of the whistle was loud enough everyone could hear it. Punishments for misbehavior included time out against the building wall for just a couple of minutes all the way down to a trip to the principal’s office.
Just like the playground at recess, the Google Adwords platform has been monitored for years by recess aids. Google has had robots reading the text of ads, the keywords involved, and watching the landing page content to ensure that their search engine only provides relevant results, and rightfully so! If you wrote an ad the wrong way, the robot would disapprove your ad and put it in timeout until you fixed your mistake and made right what was wrong. In worse cases, if the robots caught you writing ads that went to a landing page with a business model against their policies, Google would simply shut down your ads. Your only choice at that point was to go to the principal (your Googler – a person at Google with expertise in Adwords policies) and talk it out with them. A lot of the time if you just change the way you are doing things, you can get your ads up shortly, other times it is suspension, and in very worst case scenarios, they will go as far as expelling you, your address, your credit card, and everything from the Adwords system.
Times have changed. When I was in High School over 12 years ago (my bones are creaking already), right after the shootings at Columbine High School in Colorado, my school in Washington got a full-time security guard that carried a loaded weapon. No more recess aid. In high school we had police.
Well, there have been no shootings that I am aware of because of Google Adwords, but Google is upgrading from recess aids to police as well. Robots are still going to play a major roll in the day to day stuff that happens on the Adwords platform. The difference is that they will now have human emloyees that police the day-to-day business practices of the PPC management agencies. In 2010 they made this announcement in July and this one in December on the Adwords Blog. But the biggest news is the latest from their blog about “third party partners” and their intention to “audit,” or as I like to call it, “police” how we do business with our clients. They have new policies, and a lot of ones that were already in place, that you can read. Today, with our reports that went out to all of our clients we have added a link to the Google Adwords disclosure document that is required that we provide to all or our clients. Don’t forget to do the same if you haven’t already. If you figure you already know them, or that they will bore you, at least take time to know the penalties if the Google Police catch you:
“Program Policy Enforcement and Non-compliance
Google will enforce policies through compliance audits as well as through investigation of complaints that it receives. Complaints can be filed by filling out this form.
If we find you in violation of any of the above program policies, you’ll receive a warning. If you fail to correct the violation within 30 days, your membership and access to Google programs will be reviewed for corrective action.
Corrective action can include disqualifying you from Google Certification Program, Google Engage for Agencies, AdWords API preferred pricing, AdWords API access, and/or terminating your AdWords accounts if violations of these policies continue.
As noted in Section (8), some egregious violations will lead to immediate suspension without notice, and/or termination of your AdWords accounts, all qualification status, and AdWords API access.”
Some have said that Google should stay out of business that isn’t theirs. That if an agency wants to sell their services and price them in another way other than that which is outlined in Google’s policy, that should be between the agency and their client. In my opinion, Google has every right to monitor this as their reputation is put in jeopardy by third parties doing shady things. Plus, since my company is always in compliance with their policies, I have nothing to worry about, right? Only the Shady McShadies in our industry should be worried according to Google:
“We believe that most agencies, resellers and other third parties that sell AdWords already meet these policies and will need to make minimal or no changes to their systems. Proactive audits for selected third parties will start on April 1st 2011, although you are strongly encouraged to start complying with these requirements today. Note that we will continue to investigate any complaints and take appropriate actions.”
What do you think? Were recess aids enough or is Google smart to hire “Google Police?”