Major Google Issue… Affects Us All

2google

Over the last two days I’ve heard some new information which is EXTREMELY disturbing regarding Google Adwords. In fact, this new information will affect literally EVERY SINGLE MARKETER on the Internet and if nothing is done about it, it will probably get your Google Account BANNED.

Watch the video and see exactly what I mean.

[flv:http://armandmorin.s3.amazonaws.com/googlebridge.mp4 480 360]
Here’s a screenshot of part of the email my affiliate received from Google.

I understand that Google may not like this product. Although I’m only teaching people how to use image ads on the content network the right way. It’s not about the product. It’s about the idea of “BRIDGE” page or what they are deeming a bridge page.

If you are selling your products on Clickbank… then under this guide, you are using a BRIDGE page which Google will suspend you for. If you use PayPal… then you are using a BRIDGE page which Google will suspend you for. If you are using Google Checkout… then you are using a BRIDGE page which Google will suspend you for.

Do you see how crazy this is? I was contacted by two people in the past 48 hours both promoting different products. One was using Clickbank. The other was promoting the product above.

What is the solution? It’s a bit difficult, but I have an idea. We’ll wait and see what Google’s response is to our question. I’ll keep everyone updated.

UPDATE: AM Kahn a known Google expert and friend of mine recently posted a two very important posts. One dealing with what Google wants as far as landing pages. I totally agree with what he states here, in fact, I’ve been teaching this exact method for 2 years in my Armand Morin LIVE event.

Google Quality Score Demystified
Advice From Google On How To Create Content

UPDATE #2 – Andy Beard just posted an piece of amazing research regarding Google’s advertising spending and rules. I urge you to check it out.
Google Adwords – Mid to Long Tail – Google Doesn’t Care?

219 Comments

  1. Ryan Healy on September 3, 2010 at 7:00 pm

    Thanks for the heads-up, Armand.

    Recently Google banned my ads promoting a long-form sales letter on my blog that had a lead capture form at the bottom… even though I have a full nav bar, legal disclaimers, and more than 250 articles on the site!

    Google is getting really brazen (and stupid) with some of the “rules” they’re enforcing. They’re getting pompous — which could mean big changes are coming (as advertisers flee to a better medium).

    Ryan

    P.S. Great argument about Google Checkout, by the way. 🙂



    • Chris Farrell on September 5, 2010 at 8:48 pm

      Hi Armand,

      Would another solution be – to stop having review/sales pages for a product — and instead concentrate on creating capture pages instead.

      Imagine I want to sell Secret PPC.

      So instead of having the problem of my page being seen as a bridge page — all I do is create a free report about your product – and give that away.

      Once someone signs up to my list to get this report – I can then email directly my affiliate link to your product – taking them direct to your payment page.

      Of course the issue would still arise if the affiliate link for your product takes them to your sales page which is at a different url to your payment processor….

      …but if it didn’t — that could be a solution???

      Keep up the great work,

      Kindest

      Chris Farrell



    • Chancer Reese on September 6, 2010 at 10:40 pm

      What I think is happening is that Google is wanting an increase of content, i.e. not just a single page or microsite model.

      IF your affiliate had just put up 20+ pages of related info then I think Google would have thought of the site as crappy but still a CONTENT site never the less.

      They are basically trying to kill or control the huge amount of mircosites (LONG SALESLETTERS WITH NO USEFUL CONTENT), which are being put by the thousands everyday by spammers and legit affiliates alike.

      I saw this for myself when I site I promoted in Dec 2009 (single salesletter) worked fine in Adwords, but by March 2010 cost twice as much to run a campaign and was constantly being tagged for poor quality.

      After doing research, I finally found a forum post by an “adwords pro” that admitted that Google was cracking the whip on sites that they felt didn’t have either enough or the right related content.

      So just have your guys write up a bunch of articles with your prime keywords and put in anchor links and/or ad graphics pointing to your standard salesletter.

      This should make the Google Guys happy (gee, look at the content) and also give the visitors more chances to browse around, rather than just “buy or fly”

      Just my 2 cents



      • Ryan Healy on September 7, 2010 at 9:54 am

        @Chancer – Actually, I don’t think content will keep you from getting banned.

        I describe in a post on my blog called “Google’s Big Mistake” how they banned my ads pointing to a sales letter on my site — even though my site has been online nearly 3 years and has more than 250 articles.

        The sales letter had a full nav bar, legal disclaimers, etc, but that didn’t seem to matter. They banned my ads anyway.



  2. Michel Fortin on September 3, 2010 at 7:09 pm

    Wow. This is unbelievable. This explains the slew of banned accounts (i.e., suspensions or dead accounts, really) in the last few months.

    You mean to tell me, Google, that you are going to ban Google Checkout merchants, too (which is only in the US, and I’m Canadian)?

    Don’t be evil? Ya, right. This is illegal anti-competitive behavior, if you ask me. But what do I know, I’m not a lawyer. Just an online business owner trying to make a living. Sheesh.



  3. Jeanette Cates on September 3, 2010 at 7:14 pm

    While I understand Google’s desire to provide relevant results to their searchers, it seems like something has gotten lost in the translation. Only huge companies like Amazon are able to transact a full sales process on a single domain. The “rest of us” depend on third party vendors like Google Checkout, Clickbank, The Shopping System and Red Oak Cart to process our payments for us. As you said – this will virtually outlaw every small business online. Perhaps they only want to deal with Fortune 500 companies. Luckily, there are other ways to advertise online – and Google is sending us there quickly!



  4. Antone Roundy on September 3, 2010 at 7:16 pm

    I presume Google’s goal in banning bridge pages is to prevent affiliates from putting up sales pages for other people’s products, which send the buyer to the seller’s order form when they click the order button.

    That is a legitimate issue, since, with the vendor not controlling the sales page, it’s likely that the sales materials would get out of date and become inaccurate and misleading.

    Assuming this is what Google’s trying to prevent, they need to train their reviewers to recognize the difference between that kind of situation and cases like yours. The simple and obvious solution is for them to check the domain registrants for the two sites. If they’re the same, then it shouldn’t be considered a bridge page.

    The other exception that they need to recognize, as you pointed out, would be when clicking the order button sends the customer to a site that simply acts as a payment processor. With the big ones like PayPal, ClickBank, etc., that’d be easy. I’d expect people using smaller payment processors to keep having trouble with this until Google puts a bit more thought into how to figure this kind of thing out.



    • Michel Fortin on September 3, 2010 at 7:37 pm

      Antone, I think the initial issue came out after the FTC’s recent guidelines with affiliate marketers and bloggers. They made a massive sweep and banned accounts left and right. Bad CPA offers are what I think they’re really after… but by swinging their ax with abandon, they’re killing innocent bystanders in the process.

      It’s either that or their attempt to kill off competitors — and only allow Google Checkout. Either way, this is HUGE. It’s definitely going to result in serious repercussions.

      How many of the “big” companies have single domains, anyway? Just a handful, I suspect. Because event some of the large companies use multiple domains.



      • GoogleInsider on September 3, 2010 at 8:22 pm

        Actually…

        This is about something completely different besides the fraudulent CPA business model.

        It has to do with Net Neutrality.

        Google & Verizon are both trying to turn the internet into a media for fortune 500 companies, big business & any corporation that has a lot of capital for internet toll fees so they can publish content & have users quickly access that content.

        Anyone other company would have to use the slow & inefficient rail road – their visitors would hardly be able to access that content.

        This both has to do with censorship & establishing a illegal monopoly.

        It would hurt the consumers because they would deprived of neutral information & being a able to voice their opinions.

        It would hurt business because it would cut off innovation & create barriers for aspiring new business owners who want to make a life for themselves.

        The FCC is controlled by Congress which means their is a pretty high chance that this will go through since Congress has strong ties with Big Business.

        The big Google Adwords ban was all about establishing monopoly where only a few are able to advertise on the “Google Media”.

        They DO NOT want business owners who came from nothing to start competing & taking out big business.

        The problem is that the internet is exposing a lot of things & also informing the public of a lot of things which the Illuminati DO NOT want others to know about.

        John Rockefeller himself hates the internet because there is no control on it.

        It’s all about dumbing down the masses & preventing some small time venture from becoming big & competing against big companies…

        That’s the real story… Take it for what it is… The CPA business scam was just a perfect scapegoat for the massive irrational google adwords bans.

        Now I understand that the internet media is becoming more mainstream, reliable & their needs to be some “quality control” but it needs to be dealt in another way if that would be even a possibility.

        This is defiantly anti-competition & it is actually against the concept of a free market & capitalism.

        The big lie that they tell little kids & students in public schooling as well as universities is that their is a such thing as a free market which is false.

        What you need to be in business as you get bigger & bigger… Is to team up…

        When you are a small business you need to QUICKLY get some growth ASAP as well as establish some connections.

        Anti-trust laws are good because they allow ONLY those businesses to succeed which consumers value & consider them to be best for them. They also give business owners a chance to succeed by their mere competency, skills & value & not simply by inheriting a bunch of capital.

        Trusts & cartels are bad because they suppress true value to consumers & they also make it harder for business owners to succeed & provide value to the world. Which means this would allow a few individuals to earn from the expense of the majority.

        A monopoly over something is okay as long as it is not through harming or suppressing competition but merely through value & marketing which captures the consumers makes them loyal over any other competitor.

        Can online business owners succeed despite all this? Yes but they just need to find innovative ways to word around the.
        barriers.

        Now there is your answer. If anyone disagrees, feel free as I neither care nor am I interested in a online hothead discussion.



        • GoogleInsider on September 3, 2010 at 8:28 pm

          Also the ban on bridge pages are perfect for suppressing small-time competition since the majority of business owners who come from nothing most likely don’t have the resources & finances for a merchant account & they are mostly likely better without one.

          And by the way, Google could care less about affiliates using merchants links to the order pages.

          They only care about suppressing competition.

          Why else do you think they started their own affiliate network & started promoting their OWN offers from their affiliate networks through direct linking on adwords as well banning any affiliate caught direct linking.

          Google is very well in violation of the law.



          • GoogleInsider on September 3, 2010 at 8:37 pm

            And they also have a inflated worth of themselves & their company.

            I want Steve Jobs to start a Search Engine from Apple.

            That would really piss off Google & probably take away a good amount of market share.

            -Ex Google Employee.



          • Ryan Healy on September 3, 2010 at 8:49 pm

            Apple is not perfect either. For the first time, I was surfing the web on my iPhone and encountered a page that required Flash. Oh, wait. Apple won’t let Flash be used on an iPhone.



          • GoogleInsider on September 3, 2010 at 9:22 pm

            @ Ryan

            Don’t worry.

            I am not a fan girl.



        • Antone Roundy on September 3, 2010 at 8:39 pm

          Ha, ha, ha!

          Uh, you are joking, right? Google built the worlds biggest ad network, which is where they get pretty much all of their revenue, so that they could change the rules and kick out everyone but the Fortune 500 from using it?

          I think you must be trolling. Shame on me for taking the bait.



    • Ryan Healy on September 3, 2010 at 7:38 pm

      Antone – Good points. Question: What if a person uses private registration for their domain names?



      • Michel Fortin on September 3, 2010 at 7:43 pm

        Good point, Ryan. As I said earlier, I think this is — or was — about CPA offers, whcih are getting a bad rap, especially the free trial forced continuity offers and mobile phone rebill scams. Many of the CPA ads are from marketers driving traffic to their sites, through a “bridge page” (usually a salesletter on their own site or a network).

        Needless to say, this is serious. Regardless.



      • Ade Martin on September 3, 2010 at 8:01 pm

        Hi Ryan. I remember listening to an Andy Jenkins webinar where he said that private registrations are transparent to Google. It was a while back but may still be the case.



        • Ryan Healy on September 3, 2010 at 8:04 pm

          Actually, I think you’re correct. A friend recently told me that Google is also a registrar even though they don’t actively register domain names. This would probably give them the ability to see through private registrations.



          • DanLopez2012 on September 6, 2010 at 2:01 am

            Ryan,
            Private registrations are …. in e-commerce a no-no, plain and simple on many fronts. As for them seeing through? Eh… Hmmm… Isn’t that a breach of contract on the side providing the privacy? Not sure a registrar would willingly ask for a class action suit. And a few networks like ebay, for instance, won’t accept your privately registered domain.

            One heckuva thread… much speculation till the dust settles… If it settles..



      • Kevin Koop on September 3, 2010 at 8:04 pm

        Hey Ryan,

        As Google is a registrar, I assume they have the ability to see all domain registration data. I don’t know this for a fact, but I believe they can see it regardless of whether someone has requested their registration be private or not.



      • Antone Roundy on September 3, 2010 at 8:08 pm

        One the one hand, I hate running into private registrations when I’m trying to figure out who runs a site. On the other hand, I hate the spam that I get at the email address I use to register domains. It’d be nice if you could expose only a name and mailing address, and keep your email and phone number private.

        But I rant.

        As has been said, Google should have access to the private data.



  5. Haroun Kola on September 3, 2010 at 7:36 pm

    Anyway, its turning out to be really expensive advertising on Google recently too!



  6. Backlash on September 3, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    Hey

    I’ve never been banned by Google but then I don’t do shitty black hat con artist crap.

    Well done Google for banning the scanners!



    • Ryan Healy on September 3, 2010 at 8:01 pm

      I think you’re missing the point. In the examples mentioned so far, nobody was doing anything “black hat.” That’s a term usually reserved for SEO anyway — not paid search.

      Google has banned plenty of advertisers who aren’t doing anything wrong or unethical. In their effort to “clean up” the online advertising world, they’re casting too wide a net.



      • Michel Fortin on September 3, 2010 at 8:05 pm

        I agree, Ryan. As I said in another comment, I believe this is because of last year’s FTC guidelines and the slew of CPA offers with rebills/scams. Many of them are CPA advertisers using “interim pages,” which is probably what Google calls “bridge page.” Problem is, as you stated, they’re casting too wide a net.



      • GoogleInsider on September 3, 2010 at 8:34 pm

        Like I explained with my post above.

        Google simply used the CPA fraud as the perfect scapegoat.

        Read my post & you will the bigger picture behind this whole thing.



    • Paul Schlegel on September 3, 2010 at 9:01 pm

      On the contrary…something like this usually BENEFITS the smartest and most unethical blackhat marketers, because they ALWAYS figure out ways around stuff like this.

      Just now I did a quick search on “work at home” and came up with two ads where the advertisers display URL didn’t match the destination URL AND it appeared that the advertiser didn’t even OWN the display URL.

      It’s an old, old, old blackhat trick and it’s still going on while legitimate advertisers get the Axe.



  7. Dennis Rosenberg on September 3, 2010 at 7:42 pm

    Banned a year ago by Google, I’ve been a free man ever since and have never looked back.

    The sooner you start building other sustainable traffic sources and diversifying your business model, the happier you’ll be in the long run.

    Don’t wait for them to dump you, it’s just a matter of when, not if.



    • Ryan Healy on September 3, 2010 at 7:57 pm

      Now there’s a silver lining! 🙂



    • Maria on September 5, 2010 at 7:41 pm

      Hi Dennis,
      I have been reading these comments and was interested to know what you meant by building other sustainable traffic sources! Do you mean Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, or something else?

      I have not started anything on the internet yet, however was starting to look into it and getting a web page built.

      Thanks for your time and I hope you have a great week.

      Kind regards
      Maria



  8. Cheryl C. Cigan on September 3, 2010 at 7:50 pm

    Interesting.

    What caught my attention was the “bridge” pages and the actual transaction and exchange of money.

    Keep an eye out for MasterCard and Visa to become players here. They want that revenue. At the heart of it will be the PCI compliance issue. Watched that industry develop and every time I think of it my skin crawls.

    Somewhere they are putting pressure on someone and they will couch in “payment fraud” or something similar.

    Cheryl



  9. Brian T. Edmondson on September 3, 2010 at 7:53 pm

    Armand,

    Looking forward to hearing Google’s response…

    Hopefully this is just an isolated / temporary thing for those who rely solely on PPC.

    Brian



  10. Cheryl C. Cigan on September 3, 2010 at 7:53 pm

    Oops, forgot my manners! Thank you for bringing this to our attention, and Michel, thank you for your email directing me here!

    Cheryl



  11. Kevin Koop on September 3, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    If this is accurate, this will affect many online business owners and not just affiliates or even digital product sellers.

    I consult for clients who drive traffic to their ecommerce sites via Adwords. Because of PCI Compliance issues and costs, many of my clients are starting to use a 3rd-party vendor (like CRESecure.com) to clear payments because it allows them to bypass the requirement to keep their own server PCI Compliant.

    As the purchaser leaves the domain during the order process (to an even more secure environment) I’m guessing they’d consider that interim page a “bridge” page.

    Only time will tell what this really means but as Michel Fortin said in his email to me, …it doesn’t bode well.

    Thanks for the heads up Armand,
    Kevin



  12. Paul Schlegel on September 3, 2010 at 8:04 pm

    This seems like a strange development considering Google and ClickBank’s joint presentation at Affiliate Summit East just two weeks ago:
    http://www.affiliatesummit.com/10e-agenda/

    Avoiding the Google Slap
    Session 5b
    Location: Murray Hill Suite
    Time: 2:00pm-3:00pm

    Panel discussion with key executives from Google and ClickBank on landing page quality scores and ad quality guidelines.

    Experience level: Intermediate
    Target audience: Affiliates/Publishers, Merchants/Advertisers
    Niche/vertical: Google

    * Dush Ramachandran, Vice President – Sales & Business Development, ClickBank (Twitter @DushR)
    * Frederick Vallaeys, AdWords Evangelist, Google (Twitter @siliconvallaeys)

    (This Session is Open to Platinum and Diamond Pass Holders Only)
    ======
    Unless now has a list of “trusted 3rd party ecommerce platforms”.



    • Michel Fortin on September 3, 2010 at 8:08 pm

      The left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing. This is what Antone said earlier… they’re not training their reviewers properly, and people like us — legit businesses — are suffering because of it.



      • Paul on September 3, 2010 at 8:13 pm

        True enough.

        Maybe they should have sent their reviewers to their panel discussion. LOL.



  13. Andy Beard on September 3, 2010 at 8:17 pm

    I just popped this up on Sphinn as maybe a Google rep with some more influence can look into it.
    I must admit I had to watch the whole video before I realised exactly what Armand meant was happening, and I am not the slowest to grasp technical stuff.

    This is the description I used on my submission there.

    Breaking: Google Rep Classing 3rd Party Shopping Cart As Bridge Page

    You need to watch the video

    secretppc.com was the destination URL

    generatorsoftware.com is Armand’s shopping cart

    Some of the threats in the response from Google are just insane and unprofessional.

    I have a lot of respect for Armand, I have met him in person – he wouldn’t be making this up and has enough experience to understand all the issues.

    It was an affiliate driving the traffic, but they were using the correct display URL, and it is the equivalent of being banned for using Google checkout

    My thoughts are that this isn’t Google’s intended policy and someone made a very bad decision.
    They aren’t making enough money these days to hire only A people.



    • Armand Morin on September 3, 2010 at 11:40 pm

      Andy, you’re right I’m sure this is NOT Google intention, but this happened not only ONCE, but TWICE to two different people promoting different products who didn’t even know each other.

      Yes, one was promoting my product, but the other was promoting a CAT TRAINING product. LOL

      Coincidence? Maybe. We’ll have to see.



  14. Eric Brown on September 3, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    From the note from Google that you have posted above it seems that the issue is not that the visitor is directed to pay on a different site. It seems that the issue is that the adwords ad does not reference secretppc.com. Correct me if I’m wrong.



    • Michel Fortin on September 3, 2010 at 8:32 pm

      Yes and no. I can’t speak for Armand, but my understanding is that the affiliate program is tied to the shopping cart, which is on a different domain (generatorsoftware.com). But, even if that were to be the case, this is going to affect affiliate marketers just as well.



  15. Chris Cree on September 3, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    I think Cheryl’s on to something. Tons of big companies separate their front facing website from their payment processing for security reasons. Seems to me the credit card companies will stir the pot to get Google to change this policy.

    Either that or folks will find other sources of traffic.

    Looks like Dennis is ahead of the curve here!



  16. Doc Campbell on September 3, 2010 at 8:25 pm

    Thanks for the heads-up on this. I share your concern on two fronts:
    First, that anyone at Google would even sign off on such a plan is disturbing.
    Second, that innocent bystanders are taking fire. Too wide a net, indeed!

    That said, I really doubt that this is anything more than just a case of sloppy planning, training and implementation. To be a deliberate intent on Google’s part makes no sense whatsoever.



    • Ryan Healy on September 3, 2010 at 8:32 pm

      @Doc Campbell – I’m a student of history, so I wouldn’t be surprised at all if what “GoogleInsider” says is true. See his/her comment above.



  17. Pamela Jacob on September 3, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    How does one know if we are banned by Google? You website just doesn’t show up one day on the search engine or what??



    • Michel Fortin on September 3, 2010 at 8:33 pm

      Pamela, this is not “Google” the search engine but “AdWords” the PPC service by Google. In other words, paid traffic.



    • Paul Schlegel on September 3, 2010 at 8:36 pm

      You’ll get a notification from Google that your account has been suspended. If you’re lucky they’ll send you a warning first.



      • Paul Schlegel on September 3, 2010 at 8:37 pm

        Sorry, should have said “Adwords” as Michael pointed out.



      • Ryan Healy on September 3, 2010 at 8:47 pm

        In my case, they said they had given me “repeated warnings” and that I had not complied… which was not true. A Google insider told me they do this sometimes — skip all the initial warnings and just ratchet you up to the highest warning level.



        • Jon on September 3, 2010 at 10:00 pm

          I had my account shut down in June after 4 years of history with Google. Promoting my own website reviewing many affiliate products in same niche. No warnings at all, every campaign stopped showing. I fought and fought for their reason of suspension. Never got the exact reason from their foreign support staff. (Just continuous violations they stated whatever that was)
          I had my wife’s account get suspended over landing pages they considered bridge pages. They said to fix them or else. It would have taken me months to fix them to where they wanted them to be so they suspended the account anyways. I was using this account for testing purposes.



  18. Ade Martin on September 3, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    Thanks for the heads up on this Armand. I arrived via an email from Michel.

    This is quite astounding news. So, as it stands, if I am using Adwords to sell my own product, either physical or digital, and use Paypal as a payment gateway, then my Adwords account gets banned!

    Unbelievable.

    I hear that Google is packed to the rafters with PhD eggheads… perhaps they should employ one dumba*s with common sense as a qualification?

    I look forward to the response from Google.

    Ade



    • Paul on September 3, 2010 at 8:38 pm

      “Michel”. 0 for 2 in this thread.



  19. Peter Fuller MBA on September 3, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    The concept of a “bridge” page has been around for years, so it sounds like google is now being more aggressive in enforcing it.

    One solution may be to put a page on your site between the shopping cart and the buy button.

    I realize that this will reduce sales making someone click twice to get to the shopping cart. but maybe add a unadvertised bonus if they do.

    Peter



  20. Mike Coday on September 3, 2010 at 8:38 pm

    I’m always suspicious of anyone with power greater than their paycheck. The ability to shut down an account that competes against a friends’, business partner or themselves for something like a ClickBank product is too strong a temptation for some.



  21. Buck on September 3, 2010 at 8:40 pm

    Google is too smart for their own good.

    However, there is a solution, that is to hide the button in a PHP link or use a script that creates ‘all internal links’ so it looks like

    liveofftheweb.com/referal.php/?=http://armandmorin.com/major-google-issue-affects/payme.html

    Well, i don’t know exactly how it looks, but I saw the script advertised.

    In WP there is a gocodes plugin that will make it look like:
    liveofftheweb.com/goto/ArmandMorinCheckout

    You gurus are smart, you can figure it out and will get around it quickly.

    BTW, the Google answers are just canned answers from what I hear, nothing you say will actually go to a human, just to an artificial intelligent program in some black hole.



  22. Justin Christianson on September 3, 2010 at 8:40 pm

    Yeah I was banned by google a couple weeks ago. I wasn’t trying to do anything shady or misleading, they just told me that I was performing unfair business practices and they dont like get rich quick…

    Which is BS because I wasn’t promoting get rich quick. Don’t make income claims, or anything.

    Had a large site like Ryan and they just one day decided to stop traffic.

    Same thing has gone for quite a few people I know. People spending 100K or more per month on there.

    Google is going to get their ass handed to them soon as they will lose a ton of revenue, from ads, including pissing the adsense folks off too because there ads will be crap.

    Facebook will soon be killing them IMO as they have 500MM people and now local and PPC and coming out with their own SE.

    Google is scared IMO. But it still sucks.

    Struggling to get advertising rolliing again because of those jack asses.

    and they never tell you WHY just some canned response.



    • Ryan Healy on September 3, 2010 at 8:51 pm

      Glad you brought up Facebook.

      Facebook has a MUCH better chance of competing with Google in the search arena than Apple does.



      • GoogleInsider on September 3, 2010 at 9:05 pm

        Facebook is social oriented and I am not trying imply that’s a inadequacy. That’s just the branding behind it.

        Apple is more internet, computers & electronic revolution oriented.

        The branding can make it or break it.

        Of course, Facebook is beating Google in terms of users thus it’s advertising network is growing…

        But understand that nobody goes to facebook to seek cheap education, answers, information & solutions all with a variety of different perspectives. (Neutrality.)

        Facebook = Social Entertainment



  23. Jack on September 3, 2010 at 8:55 pm

    You know the drill. Contact Simpson at http://www.insidegoogle.com Post your complaints there. If you think this move is anti-competitive make yourself heard there. The guy has some pull. He is waiting for you.



  24. Rob Metras on September 3, 2010 at 9:05 pm

    Thanks for the heads up Armand. I have been hearing about Google inconsistencies now for about three months.Gauher Chaudry, a large CPA and PPV network and advertiser/affiliate made a point about three months ago that it was time to diversify the place you use to advertise. He and Kim Dushinski are now teaching Mobile using a variety of adserving platforms and techniques.



  25. Mohamed on September 3, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    I have solution for this problem and i already test it i’m ready to trade my idea for all armond morin products awaiting your reply



  26. Daniel Perry on September 3, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    Armand:

    One approach to this absurd (and potentially devastating) approach would be to consider class-action litigation against Google under very broad state-based claims for violations of Unfair or Deceptive Trade Practices. Florida, like most other states, has such a statute.

    Florida Statute Section 501.204(1), a consumer protection statute (and representative of almost identical statutes in EVERY state of the US) prohibits as unlawful “… Unfair methods of competition, unconscionable acts or practices, and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of any trade or commerce …”

    Florida Statute Section 501.203(8) defines “Trade or commerce” to mean “… the advertising, soliciting, providing, offering, or distributing, whether by sale, rental, or otherwise, of any good or service, or any property, whether tangible or intangible, or any other article, commodity, or thing of value, wherever situated. ‘Trade or commerce’ shall include the conduct of any trade or commerce, however denominated, including any nonprofit or not-for-profit person or activity.”

    Finally, Florida Statute Section 501.203(7) defines a “Consumer” BROADLY to mean “… an individual; child, by and through its parent or legal guardian; business; firm; association; joint venture; partnership; estate; trust; business trust; syndicate; fiduciary; corporation; any commercial entity, however denominated; or any other group or combination.”

    Daniel Perry, Orlando Attorney and Former Judge
    Twitter: DanielPerry
    DanielPerry.tel



    • Toni on September 3, 2010 at 10:16 pm

      Hey Daniel,
      Google is based in California, so wouldn’t any class action need to be initiated in CA? Do you know any attorneys in Ca who might be up for such a class action? If so, I’d be in line to join up. Google seems to think that they have the power to dictate how we all do our business.



  27. Frank Bauer on September 3, 2010 at 9:25 pm

    Hi Armand, thanks for the heads up! 🙂

    I am actually glad now that I reply zero on Google Adwords… I get 99.9% of my traffic from affiliates, JV partners, emails marketing, my blogs, Twitter & other social media sites. I always sucked at the Adwords game. 😉

    In fact… Google would do me a favor by closing my Adwords account as I have been paying them $20 a month for years for hardly any results, simply because I setup my campaigns back then and never bothered to go back. 😛

    Best regards to all,

    Frank Bauer



    • Jeanette Cates on September 3, 2010 at 11:39 pm

      Frank –

      The only problem with relying on traffic from affiliates and JV partners – is that THEY are sending traffic with Adwords. Or they were until recently. LOL



  28. B Madison on September 3, 2010 at 10:01 pm

    Question:

    Does this only affect affiliate links?

    Example:

    My Adwords Ad sends you to:

    http://www.MyOwnDomain.com

    On there, a prospect clicks a “Buy Now” button which sends them to my 3rd party merchant/order taker:

    http://www.googlecheckout(or other 3rd party).com/MyOrderPage

    OR…

    Does it only work when an affiliate is involved?



    • Andy Beard on September 3, 2010 at 10:19 pm

      Technically it could affect both, because as seems to have happened here, the Google Rep was stupid.

      If I was an affiliate, but arranged with Armand to be able to direct link to his shopping cart, my landing page and links to his cart would be effectively the same.

      It is actually possible for an affiliate to be sending people direct to Paypal or any other processor, but you have to be a little careful on the legal stuff, and make it very clear who is selling the item etc.

      You would also need permission to do it, which I think should only be given under the strictest control between close partners.

      There are also all kinds of ways to make stats look like traffic is coming from somewhere else.



    • Armand Morin on September 3, 2010 at 10:20 pm

      Doesn’t matter if an affiliate is involved or not. If the product they are promoting goes to another page for payment, then it’s in violation as well.



      • B Madison on September 3, 2010 at 10:28 pm

        “If the product they are promoting goes to another page for payment, then it’s in violation as well.”

        Even if it is your own product?

        That is absolutely insane!

        I’m in more of a brick and mortar business, so I don’t have affiliates, but I do sell my own products, on my business website, via PPC. Scary.



        • Armand Morin on September 3, 2010 at 10:37 pm

          YUP… even if it’s YOUR OWN product which was the case with person #2 who contacted me!!!



          • B Madison on September 3, 2010 at 10:53 pm

            Man, that totally sucks.

            This type of thing is like Jay Abraham 101 – Build A Parthenon Not A Diving Board.

            …because what happens IF your one source of your business goes away, and that’s all you had?

            Obviously we should play within the rules of Google as you (and Michel and all the rest) teach, but no one should be too reliant on any one source of business.

            I look forward to your insights and advice on this matter, Armand. Thanks for keeping us all informed. Really appreciate it.



        • Dr.Mani on September 4, 2010 at 12:11 am

          I was recalling Jay Abraham’s “Parthenon vs Diving Board” myself as I read this discussion.

          All success
          Dr.Mani



  29. Tony Rush on September 3, 2010 at 10:09 pm

    My take on it is this:

    If you think you need Google to make a ton of money online, then you will.

    If you decide that you don’t have to play their arbitrary games and can STILL make a ton of money online, then you can.

    My opinion? Screw Google.

    Google is basically like that snobby girl in highschool that everyone wants to go out with but you know if you ever get a date with her, she’ll be a pain in the butt and you’ll want to pull your hair out.

    Google is the same way.

    When people decide to stop thinking their business hinges on Google and whatever they’re screwing up again this week…..then they’ll begin to realize that there’s plenty of ways to make money online without having to fool around with Google.

    Use Google when you can.
    Forget ’em when you can’t.

    Tony Rush



    • Dr.Mani on September 4, 2010 at 12:12 am

      Tony, I *love* the analogy you use of a snobby girl in high school 😆



  30. Darryl Kraemer on September 3, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    Wow. Excellent info as always Armand. Let’s hope this is a one-off by a Google employee who truly doesn’t understand how 3rd party payment processors are integrated into the ordering process. If not, as you and others here have mentioned, this has major ramifications for all advertising on Google Adwords. As Jeanette said about, I understand their desire for providing relevant content for their search users, but sometimes the pendulum can swing too far in the wrong direction.



  31. Joe Richey on September 3, 2010 at 10:17 pm

    They are trying to shut down the hustles on the affiliate side of things. Google wants you to own the product you sell and not redirect to third parties for pay……. Not good for affiliates and times are changing fast. I have google free for 2 years there is other streams to make good revenue. Google is not the Gorilla!



    • Armand Morin on September 3, 2010 at 10:32 pm

      Joe…

      First congratulations on being Google Free.

      Second… this is NOT just about affiliate marketing. This has everything to do with selling your own products on your own domain and going “off domain” for payment processing.

      As I stated. I actually OWN the shopping cart I’m using. It’s my OWN system. YET, they deem this to be BRIDGE page by sending them to another domain for payment processing. See my point?



  32. Armand Morin on September 3, 2010 at 10:18 pm

    Peter has the proper idea. To put an in between page before the shopping cart. That would be one solution.

    The other solution is to map another URL to the shopping cart URL. But then again that would also mean you would need SSL on each of your domains or risk losing sales because it wouldn’t look secure even though it is.

    The first option is certainly much easier and the faster way to create a TEMPORARY solution of this.

    My point is simple…

    Google can consider any one of our sales letters or landing pages BRIDGE PAGES.

    Both people whom I talked to weren’t doing anything shady. They were doing standard Google Adword practices. I don’t condone and never would condone practices which Google would deem inappropriate.

    My philosophy is simple.. Play within Google’s rules. I’ve stated this publicly many times and that’s what I do personally.

    The problem lies in the fact that Google does NOT clearly state what their rules are. Yes, they give us some guidelines. But when you call linking to your shoppingcart or order page a BRIDGE page, that’s just plane out NOT RIGHT.

    Yes, we can all STOP advertising on Google. I seriously don’t think that’s what they want. Michel stated it’s because of untrained people at Google this is happening and I agree, but where does this end?

    I also think it’s important to point out PRIVATE REGISTRATION is NOT going to work. As far as I can tell, Google can see through that. In fact, I own BOTH domains above, so that wouldn’t matter.

    I am more than willing to play within the rules and I suggest we all do. If only I knew what they were and that they stay consistent.

    Google states guidelines, but as we all know we can find examples being advertised right now which don’t comply with their guidelines and best practices. I want to be compliant with Google and YES, I still want to advertise on it and right now I still am, but I also don’t want to keep looking over my shoulder in fear of getting banned.

    Do I have any solutions to this?

    Well… honestly I’ve come up with several ideas and a few would work. I’ll let you know.

    Oh yeah… for the guy trying to blackmail me for a solution in exchange all my products… UH… UH… UHH…. NO. LOL (people are funny)



    • Tom on September 4, 2010 at 12:53 am

      Hi Armand,

      Thanks for the heads up on the “alleged” bridge pages.

      Can’t believe that Google does not have a method to their madness.

      Their broad ambiguous policies lends to case by case decisions – as they will hide behind advertiser/customer privacy and their determination of who complies.

      They recently stopped advertising “more sponsored links” and now have all ads rotating on the first page, are getting into “local” real big, and are focusing primarily on mobile.

      All those PPC ads on page two to 50 … probably caused more of an accounting and operations problem than anything as nobody usually clicks on those anyhow.

      Imagine their PCI issues, with all those advertisers, not to mention the new Privacy Governance laws.

      Much more manageable to limit the prime real estate to 8 to 11 spots on page one and let the advertisers bid the prices up.

      Google’s famous Adwords pricing auction may be revised next.

      They are going through some changes as evidenced by the Great Firewall dispute and their shift w/Verizon on net neutrality.

      Bing and Yahoo may grab some market share.



  33. Josef Benjamin on September 3, 2010 at 10:26 pm

    Questions #1:

    Why..oh WHY are people STILL surprised stuff like this happens?! How many times
    did google “slap” you for breaking a rule
    that at one time didn’t exist?

    Question #2:

    What do you expect from google when
    they have a LEGAL MONOPOLY (no worthy adversary) to comepete against)?

    All of you have to sooner or later
    realize that you have no control
    over Google. There is NOTHING you
    can really do.

    Google KNOWS how much power it has
    and are using it to make up rules
    or create illogical idea’s. They
    KNOW they control alot of peoples
    livelihood…think about it:

    If you spent 8 months learning how
    to beat google, beat google, spend
    100k a month in advertising making
    $50k per month in profit…and think
    it’s going to last any period of
    time be4 a disgruntled employee
    decides to “shut you out of the
    system you spent months honing”?

    I think for most IM’ers who rely on
    google’s traffic (i.e. most) it’s a
    reality check.

    My solution? Direct Mail Marketing.

    It is by far, the most “stressless”,
    fun marketing solution for your biz.

    Look into it. Armand, you too. You’ll
    love me for it.



    • Armand Morin on September 3, 2010 at 10:39 pm

      Josef,

      You’re right it shouldn’t be surprise, but to go this far is absolutely crazy. This means that anyone who sells a product must have the cart or payment processor on their OWN domain. This also means that 99.9% of the internet is in violation.



    • Dr.Mani on September 4, 2010 at 12:16 am

      Or go MOBILE! It’s the future.



  34. Daniel Perry on September 3, 2010 at 10:35 pm

    Toni:

    While is based in California, they “do business” EVERYWHERE. And, every state has “long-arm” statutes (see below) which permit that state’s courts to have jurisdiction over most (if not all) Internet activities (“… where the cause of action accrues …”). So, you conceivably could sue them in any state.

    Daniel Perry

    ===========
    Florida Statute Section 47.051: “… Actions against foreign corporations doing business in this state shall be brought in a county where such corporation has an agent or other representative, where the cause of action accrue …”



    • Matthew Loop on September 7, 2010 at 10:30 am

      Does anyone know if class-action litigation has been threatened or set into motion yet? Google is NOT as transparent as they’d like the average consumer to believe and it would appear they are in violation of many statutes.

      It would make sense that marketers and small business owners get together and file suit. That may be the only way that the little guy may be able to get a fair shake again.



  35. Ronald Redito on September 3, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    Google is just trying to clean up its advertisements. I too have seen scammy sites from Adsense sites that I am serving. It will definitely impact their reputation if they don’t take actions about it.

    However, if they don’t have a review team that knows how to distinguish scams from legitimate sites, certainly many will be affected.

    I think you need to find alternative sources of traffic. Social media are great.



  36. John Gaydon on September 3, 2010 at 10:46 pm

    All of us are interested in this as it threatens our businesses. I was recently told one of my sites was a “bridge” site and that I had many sites failing the google quality test. I asked what the problem was and after promising a 24 hour response, I received an email 10 days later which said nothing! They won’t tell me what I did wrong. At the time I was using Secret ppc information for an image ad and it was getting good traffic. I stopped the ad and my account is stilll active. Maybe that is why I got attention from google?

    Maybe using your own shopping cart hosted on the same web site is a solution. The problem here is set up and maintenance time, but it at least removes the transition by one more click. Another idea is a pre-order page where you send them to an intermediary page where they register their interest before they go to the shopping cart.

    I just hope it is not the big end of town wiping us out as they have most small businesses. So much for personal freedom!



    • Armand Morin on September 3, 2010 at 11:04 pm

      John, I don’t think this is the end.

      I still believe in Google. Sounds strange especially after my rant.

      I think this is important for all of us to realize. I’ve talked about this a lot recently and that is this.

      Google doesn’t like the typical direct response websites. It’s true. They certainly don’t want a forced optin page. According to their own terms, the call them a “Data Collection Site”.

      The question is… what do we do?

      As a whole the IM industry must change with the times. I truly believe this.

      Let’s all face it. The days of a white box in the middle of page is gone. People want more from us and we are being compared to large corporations sites and our don’t match up with the expectation.

      So we have present our marketing information in a different way. Myself and my team has been working on this for a while developing prototypes of landing pages and sales processes.

      But calling what we’re doing a BRIDGE PAGE is completely INSANE. It’s not.

      If they just said, we DON’T LIKE YOUR PAGE, I could live with that. But don’t call it something that it’s not.



  37. Phillip Davis on September 3, 2010 at 10:57 pm

    THE PROBLEM:

    I have had an account banned also for silly nonsense. Ive also been sold to remove my long sales page and replace it with tons of free content.

    Here is the problem.

    Google is enforcing new heaver rules all the time and ALLOWING their employees to decide WHAT those rules mean.

    90% of their employees dont even know what a decent website LOOKS like, let alone how to interpret these silly google rules. Heck, half the time, us webmasters cant even make sense of them!

    So here we have it…google employees just randomly taking out whatever they can to make their “quota” for the day for cleaning house.

    Its the same reason cops give out so many tickets in a day (when in some cases a ticket is not even warranted.

    Adwords is ran by a bunch of monkeys with a keyboard and a big red DELETE button.

    You dont have to believe it but I have had enough dealings with these idiots to know. Its the truth!



    • Armand Morin on September 3, 2010 at 11:05 pm

      Phillip, I totally agree. Inexpensive labor that is untrained controlling the lively hood of businesses is not good.



  38. Joe on September 3, 2010 at 10:59 pm

    Yes I understand the concept one domain, one payment system on same domain, with no redirects to third party providers, affiliates, or paypal clickbank payment systems. It certainly will make a huge impact on the landscape as we know it. No more sites pushing traffic to other others if your using Google Adwords.

    Really I have a friend who was using Google Adwords just 2 weeks ago. Clean honest guy nice simple site. Had a mandatory opt in on his front page and Google closed his adwords account as a result. He took down the opt in and then Google says well we see your pushing affiliate offers and biz opps and we dont want you back on our network. They banned him. He was devastated. Opened new domain and thank god he has large email list and he is also making the change to Google free….. Bing Yahoo Facebook So many different places to run ads. One person mentioned direct mail. Heck yea! Television…. We just a tv show for a product. Check it http://www.internetpaycheck.com So yes there is life outside Google. Just deal with the cards given and make the best. Google cant kill ya, just makes ya better marketer is all.. Multiple Sources of ads for your business is mandatory. If your on the Google Cruiseliner and get zapped and dont have other avenues open your out of the game… PEACE



    • Armand Morin on September 3, 2010 at 11:09 pm

      Joe, you’re right, we all should have multiple sources of traffic. I think I have most all of them. LOL

      If you put all your eggs into one basket you’re doomed for failure.

      I agree with offline and online ads as well.

      As for your friend. You can’t do a forced optin page on Google anymore. They are deemed “Data Collection Sites”, yes there are ways around it, but that’s what they call it.



      • Christof on September 7, 2010 at 9:45 am

        Hi Armand

        I have the same problem: one “main” website with all physical products and then little niche websites that “promote” products on the “central” website.

        Got a message from Google that these litte sites are “bridge pages” to the main site… Weird, because all sites state that they are property of our own company.

        Anyway, I’m curious about your ways around these “data collection sites”. How can we capture email addresses from Adwords traffic without a squeeze page (and without losing too much conversion?)

        Thanks and good luck to all who have to deal with these Google problems!



  39. Serena on September 3, 2010 at 10:59 pm

    In light of all this, it sure is timely that Texas has opened up an investigation into Google search rankings:

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Texas-opens-inquiry-into-apf-972401385.html?x=0



  40. Don on September 3, 2010 at 11:12 pm

    It seems like these things keep popping up. I will also be very interested in Google’s response. I agree with Ronald that alternative sources of traffic are essential these days.



  41. Daniel Perry on September 3, 2010 at 11:31 pm

    Serena:

    Read that notice re: Texas AG (Thanks!).

    Anti-trust is simply a feint (or distraction). The real meat of the Attorney Generals focus will come from THEIR Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. That statute has a provision which prohibits “… any unconscionable action or course of action …”

    The legal doctrine of unconscionability exits in all states but is not litigated frequently. It is a powerful remedy for a party with little bargaining power (sounds like a typical Adwords user!).

    Daniel Perry



  42. Janet on September 3, 2010 at 11:40 pm

    To follow up on Serena’s post, here is an article about the Texas Attorney General’s antitrust probe into Google’s behavior.

    http://techdailydose.nationaljournal.com/2010/09/texas-launches-antitrust-probe.php



  43. Scott on September 3, 2010 at 11:48 pm

    Google, like any other search engine, values content relevance and quality the most when it comes to determining the page rank of the website.

    Spamming:Submitting multiple URLs:Cloaking:Using Doorway pages:Using spoofing, redirects or Meta Refresh:Using hidden text on the website’s pages: Using hidden links in the pages:Generating links from Link Farms:Selling page rank:Having multiple identical sites:Excessive links:Multiple domains:

    Quality,Quality,Quality! There are many reasons Google is possibly implementing this and the excessive affiliate marketing scams,get rich quick and the many instances of “so-and-so” famous person died to attract high click rates has become ridiculous.

    If you want high, quality traffic, stop taking short-cuts and build a quality site that has true relevance to what people are looking for and in time,and that is the key phrase”Time” you will be successful.



    • Kevin on September 11, 2010 at 7:13 pm

      agree. Google doesn’t need 500 affiliates with slightly different landing pages filling up their right sidebar with the same product. It’s not good for consumers either.



  44. Ross Lambert on September 3, 2010 at 11:56 pm

    Correct me if I am wrong, but couldn’t you just wrap the checkout page in a borderless IFRAME? Wouldn’t the address bar stay put as the URL of the parent frame? (Hint: make sure the parent uses SSL or you’ll have other problems…)

    It wouldn’t be an ironclad fix because anyone who did a View Source could see what was really going on. But chances are you’d stand a better chance of getting past a casual inspection by a low-IQ Adwords rep (with apologies to those with average or better IQs).

    Or maybe that is risky because it could have the appearance of being deceptive?

    Regardless, my guess is that this is not a Google-wide change of policy. Whoever said the right hand doesn’t know what the left is doing probably nailed it. Believe me, I know about that sort of thing: I used to do contract work at Microsoft. 🙂

    == Ross ==

    Ross W. Lambert
    Digital Provisioners, LLC



    • IframeEr on September 4, 2010 at 1:07 am

      Their algorithm can easily read the source code to see if it’s iframed. You can encrypt the code…but then you’re stepping into the grey/black hat territory.



  45. KEYates on September 4, 2010 at 12:01 am

    from the start…this is NOT promising!

    the issue at hand involves a sales letter on domain1 -> passing a buyer to -> domain2 prior to sending them on to the payment processor.

    many marketers are moving to some manner of centralized system, and I am one of them. 95% of my sites all go to a single domain that runs the whole show. great! if this is the new ‘way’ with google? most of my business will be in google no-mans land!

    if this bothers them so much, they (google) should have some way to list sites/domains that are central shopping cart / affiliate systems.

    how will this affect paydotcom, 1shoppingcart, infusionsoft, etc. all of these companies offer a system that sits in-between the salespage and the payment processor?

    the solution may (or not) be something as simple as using an “add to cart” button and stating “your purchase will be finalized at my shopping shopping cart at xxxx.com” above/below the button.

    crazy that google is making things harder and not easier. they are appearing more and more to believe that google runs the internet, and if we do not like it then too bad…

    waiting with a great deal of anticipation for updates. thanks for letting us all in on the ride!



  46. George Arthur Burks on September 4, 2010 at 12:18 am

    What happened to do no evil? The Texas attorney general has opened an antitrust investigation into how Google ranks search results.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/04/technology/04google.html?_r=1

    The article mentions paid ads. Google’s response was …the company’s priority was to “provide the most useful, relevant search results and ads for users.” Is that what Google is doing? Are Google’s actions with regard to paid advertising discriminatory?



  47. A short history of Adwords shenanigans on September 4, 2010 at 12:26 am

    […] at one time, because someone used many of MY domains to do it. The thing that stinks is that while legitimate advertisers are getting shut off, these black hat Adwords shenanigans continue […]



  48. Joshua on September 4, 2010 at 12:39 am

    I heard talk about this for a few weeks now but I thought it was all hogwash…

    I dont get how Google can have policies like this, 90% of all websites use bridge pages for their online orders…



  49. Chris on September 4, 2010 at 1:27 am

    I’ve sometimes wondered whether Google was starting to suffer from megalomaniac insanity and this just about proves it.

    It even strikes at how the internet actually operates because hyperlinking is all about bridge pages. Bridge pages are what makes the internet work at all (and PageRank and SERPs and stuff like that).

    In one foul swoop Google is trying to ban all third party functions – Clickbank, Paypal, merchant processors using intermediate pages, CPA, affiliate networks, the lot.

    I can only assume that Google really doesn’t get real world commerce because that can be the only kind interpretation to this. Any other meaning involves a degree of malice and forethought that really does invite a class action.



  50. Jonathan on September 4, 2010 at 1:46 am

    Warning …

    The sales page of almost EVERY product on Clickbank sends buyers to a third party payment processor page. (Referred to as a ‘bridge’ page in your video Armand.)

    If this is real, it could destroy Clickbank overnight.



    • Armand Morin on September 4, 2010 at 2:43 am

      Jonathan… that’s my whole point!!! Almost every online marketer directs a user to a shopping cart or payment processor which is NOT hosted on the same domain.

      This means ALL Clickbank products, 2checkout, or any other 3rd party processor even PayPal for that matter.



  51. Bruce on September 4, 2010 at 2:11 am

    I have found entries on forums way back in 2006 through 2008 addressing this same “bridge page” problem with Google. Then some of the threads “died” after several months from each forum.

    It seems that Google brings this issue up every now and then, enforces it with a vengence, then focuses on something else and all of us who have the so called “bridge” pages aren’t bothered from Google.

    They have been running “hot” and “cold” on this issue for years….



  52. Jeffery on September 4, 2010 at 2:26 am

    Armin, here is an idea… Sales page > Google Ad > Payment Processor.

    Can your programmers do it: Code it > Box it > Sell it.

    Jeffery 100% 🙂



    • Jeffery on September 4, 2010 at 2:37 am

      Apologies, I misspelled your name.

      Jeffery



  53. George K on September 4, 2010 at 2:29 am

    If I am interpreting this correctly it isn’t the transaction from the sales page to the merchant account that is being considered a bridge page.. it is the affiliate page which may be sending traffic to the sales page which then sends traffic to the merchant account that involves a bridge page.

    Let me explain my reasoning here a bit.

    Google has no control over what merchant account I use, nor do they care in my view. My interpretation is this.

    If I put a ad on Adwords, and send the person to my sales page and then to a payment page I am assuming that this is not in Google’s eyes a bridge page and is fine.

    However if an affiliate of mine has an ad on Google Adwords and that ad sends someone to the affiliate’s page which then sends them to my sales page and then to the payment processor – then either my page or the affiliate pages site is considered a bridge page.

    The problem here is that neither the affiliate nor myself have done anything wrong. Morally or as a best business practice point of view. Additionally, I as the merchant have no true control over where the traffic from the affiliate page comes from, and yet both of us could lose our Google accounts.

    Google is a huge player, but the can not control anything that is not directly tied into the Adwords accounts. Meaning if my affiliate send someone through article marketing or email marketing to their page and then from their page to my page and then to the payment processor.. No harm, No foul, since no Adword account is involved anywhere in the process.

    It only seems to me to be a problem in Google’s eyes if the process starts with a Adwords ad.

    Now I am not trying to minimize this. Since to me there is no room for legitimate affiliate’s and business owners that are just trying to advertise their legitimate offers via a effective advertising medium – Adwords.

    But on the other hand Google has a right to do what they want with regard to their rules for placing and participating in their advertising program, and as a part of their advertising network(s).

    To me the greatest impact here is for affiliates. In effect Google is saying if you’re an affiliate, we don’t want your business. and the causalities will be the legitimate affiliates, and the business owners and vendors that have products which are contingent upon a large affiliate network (that uses Adwords) to remain profitable.



    • Armand Morin on September 4, 2010 at 11:20 am

      It’s NOT just for affiliate’s George. This is for owners as well.

      The second example I heard from WAS not an affiliate. They went to their OWN sales letter and then to Clickbank. They owned the product.

      See my point?



      • Robert Dorman on September 4, 2010 at 4:07 pm

        So what about using Yahoo? Do they have a similiar policy? Maybe every one should switch to them, and short Google stock, go long on Yahoo!!



      • George on September 7, 2010 at 4:51 pm

        Hi,

        I never said it was only affiliates did I?

        I said it effects mostly affiliates.

        Did the owner used the same process, He used adwords to redirect to a site that had a second page involved, which is the bridge page?

        Or was it a direct from adwords to his sales page/site and then to a payment processor?

        The process the site owner used is a big difference in what is happening.

        IF there was a second page other than the sales page or his site pages and payment processor involved than his process was the same, whether He owns the site(s) or not.



  54. GoogleInsider on September 4, 2010 at 2:43 am

    OMG… I think I found a solution & a loophole around this.

    What you can do is CLOAK the link to the third party & then host the html file on your server.

    Here’s what this will do – the link for payment processing will be on your own domain!!!!!!!!!!!!

    So technically you no longer have a bridge page!

    I’m not sure if this can work but technically you no longer have a bridge page at all since the link for payment processing is now on your domain.

    Hope this may work.



    • GoogleInsider on September 4, 2010 at 3:51 am

      Also if the order page is branded according to your website design theme as well it would VERY easy to fool google.

      FastSpring payment processor offers branded pages according to your site’s web design. Combine this with link cloaking & you can fool Google while also TECHNICALLY following their TOS since the order page link is on YOUR OWN DOMAIN!!!!



      • Armand Morin on September 4, 2010 at 11:23 am

        You’re right you could CLOAK it, and depending on how savvy the reviewer is, it COULD work. I would probably do a domain pointer or something to that effect.

        In the example above BOTH domains are mine and the order page IS branded and looks exactly like the sales page.



  55. j on September 4, 2010 at 2:49 am

    I don’t understand you.
    Isn’t the same in the real world ?
    Google is just building an option to sell or not to sell us THEIR space.
    I believe this is a part of a very long run policy we still don’t see.
    The only weapon we have against Google is content and we can not force Google to sell us its products. We are, even together, too small to fight them.
    We don’t have to suppose that Adwords is a main stream income for them.
    They think big, TV, Mobile Phones, Movies and maybe some advertising (that was good at its times but now there are better things).
    I believe the only weapon will always be content, it works slow but cheaper and forever.



  56. Craig on September 4, 2010 at 3:02 am

    Paypal, clickbank, ebay etc are hardly small local family businesses and I cant see how even Google can monopolise this area to leave their own checkout as the only option.

    Whilst this is of obvious concern to many people, it seems, as other commentators have noted, that this goes back to the fake blog and CPA offers that were targeted a while back. Google then gets twitchy and bans anything that may resemble scam, whether it is or it isn’t.

    Highly ludicrous though, they are going too far.

    I think the main take home point of all this is dont rely on one source of traffic for your business. If everyone switches to say facebook as their one, or main traffic source, how long before facebook do their own facebook slaps?



  57. GoogleInsider on September 4, 2010 at 4:10 am

    Use the software “Affiliate Covert Commission” for the link cloaking.

    That would keep the order page links on your domain.



  58. Peter Knight on September 4, 2010 at 4:19 am

    Not all paypal users will be bummed if all this proves to be a consistent change of policing adwords sies. Paypal users can use webpayments pro to put their shopping cart right on their site instead of having to go to paypal. That should help conversions too.

    Online marketers need to be flexible and make the changes work to their benefit. All the big players, whether it’s google, facebook, apple or otherwise have no interest in individual merchants, its about the aggregrate. Online marketing is a darwinian game, no need to rationalize the changes in the landscape, they aren’t required to make sense.



  59. Jonathan on September 4, 2010 at 5:18 am

    You mean Google is saying you cannot use Adwords to drive traffic to your sales site if you use Paypal to accept payments.

    That can’t be real.

    They’ll be buying a huge fight with Paypal if it’s true.

    So who’s going to tell Paypal?



  60. Chris Dubai on September 4, 2010 at 7:40 am

    Hi guys, it’s unbelievable what’s really happening.
    90% of google revenues comes from adwords and mostly are affiliates. A friend of mine was spending from 200 to 500 thousands dollar a month in adwords! Yes, 200 to 500k$, no jokes! Now he’s studying with me a way to come back into the market, as right now, every account is suspended for similar reasons.
    this is the mail i’ve received few days ago:

    *********************************
    Dear advertiser,

    We are writing to let you know that your Google AdWords account is at risk of being suspended due to multiple violations related to our Advertising Policies, including the Landing Page and Site Quality Guidelines. Below is a list of example display URLs of the sites in violation of these policies. Please check the existing ads in your account to ensure that they comply with these policies. Please be aware that this is your final warning, and any additional violations of our Landing Page and Site Quality Guidelines will lead to immediate account suspension.

    Customer ID: xxx-xxx-xxx

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.com (real site)
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.net (my site)

    As part of our commitment to making the AdWords experience safe and effective for our users and our advertisers, we routinely review the landing pages that our advertisers promote through our search and content networks. If we find that an advertiser has submitted poor quality landing pages that do not comply with our Advertising Policies, including the Landing Page and Site Quality Guidelines, we reserve the right to take account-level action.

    Landing pages advertised via AdWords must have relevant, original content, and must be transparent about the nature of the business being promoted. Further, advertisers are prohibited from promoting certain types of sites, which include, but are not limited to:
    * Data collection sites that imply delivery of free items, etc., in order to collect private information
    * Arbitrage sites without relevant and original content that are designed for the purpose of showing ads
    * Affiliate sites without relevant and original content that are designed to drive traffic to another site with a different domain
    * “Get-rich quick” sites that make unrealistic promises
    * Sites that are deceptive
    * Sites that distribute malware or spyware
    * Extremely misleading/unverifiable or inaccurate claims

    Please note that this action is related to sites that have recently been advertised through your account. In a review of your account history, we found that your account had submitted multiple sites that merited poor landing page quality evaluations. Advertisers that have a history of promoting poor quality landing pages are subject to account-level disabling.

    Pausing or deleting an ad or ad group that advertises a site will not affect or improve the site’s landing page quality. The only way to improve poor landing page quality is to correct the site according to our Landing Page and Site Quality Guidelines; after you have done this, please contact Google AdWords support by replying to this email so that we can re-evaluate your site’s landing page quality. Once a site’s landing page quality has markedly improved based on these guidelines, ads associated with the site should also see an improvement in Quality Score as it relates to landing page quality.

    You can review our Advertising Policies, including our Landing Page and Site Quality Guidelines, by visiting: http://adwords.google.com/support/aw/bin/static.py?hl=en&page=guidelines.cs and http://adwords.google.com/support/aw/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=46675.

    In addition, our FAQ about Disabled Accounts can be found here: https://adwords.google.com/support/aw/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=164786.

    If you have additional questions or concerns not addressed by our policies or help center, you can contact support by replying to this email.

    Sincerely,

    The Google AdWords team

    Google Ireland Ltd.
    Gordon House, Barrow Street
    Dublin 4, Ireland

    Registered in Dublin, Ireland | Registration Number: 368047
    ********************************

    From a google representative in Dublin, my site is flagged and considered SCAM!!!
    I’ve no idea how to react but I’m happy to join the forces with all the internet marketing community and find a great solution for everyone.

    Keep pushing always guys
    Chris



    • Armand Morin on September 4, 2010 at 11:31 am

      Chris this is exactly my point.



  61. Nikita on September 4, 2010 at 8:13 am

    Hi,

    In reality, what you’re saying is this: You have 3 cars to choose from, you choose one, then you say that it has problems, of which you were warned before you were buying it by the manufacturer. And you say that it’s bad.

    AdWords is a system, you either agree to use it, as Google states you to use it, or choose another system, what is the problem? Why Google is on the top? Because their system is the best, simple as that, and works for millions of companies. BTW, who sell real products.



  62. Sandra Lee on September 4, 2010 at 8:59 am

    Armand … I’m wondering if you contacted some from your “little black book,” like the owners of Clickbank, 1ShoppingCart, etc. re: their feedback or what they know on any of this. It seems this would automatically force them out of business – if I’m understanding all this correctly. Aside from the effects on thousands of small business owners – these all smacks of some things illegal. I’m not an attorney, but I’m sure yours could shed some additional light on Google’s right to “dictate” this way. Or, maybe they can and just drive their mainstay advertisers away. It all seems very bizarre! And, as always, I appreciate you keeping us up on the “latest” online happenings.



  63. Lonnie on September 4, 2010 at 9:37 am

    What a bunch of crapola! Google must have hired some ignorant administrative staff. This is pretty much like taking down an Internet Empire of Jobs.

    What if someone invented a battery that never dies?

    What if someone invented rubber that never wares down?

    What is someone invented a pill so you would never go hungry again?

    What do you think would happen to our economy? Total Depression!

    Come on Google get real and get off the pot!



  64. Derek Thornton on September 4, 2010 at 9:38 am

    Hi
    I am just starting out in IM and am totally ignorant to a lot of marketing rules (google or not). It goes without saying I am more than interested to see how this finally develops.

    Derek Thornton



  65. Chris Dubai on September 4, 2010 at 10:42 am

    I guess a solution is behind the corner!
    alone we are tiny little ants trying to fight a u.s.enterprise carrier.
    Let’s force every side of Big Guys fight for us!
    Let’s send emails to all of our merchant (paypal, commission junction, etc.) and let them focus to realize that our problem become now their problem!
    No adwords for us=No sales for them. (easy and simple)
    I’m sure they have big legal department, ready to go against who is stopping their business, in order to protect their shareholders.

    This can also a way fro google to dominate the market, as google is pushing his merchant google checkout and his shop http://www.google.com/products.

    Controlling Adwords, which is the main gate to any sales, he control the whole market!

    The only thing able to stop this is called Antitrust, and it worked properly against Microsoft and several biggest giants.
    I’m totally pro the biggest corporation, I worked several years in one of them and I fully understand that big fish will eat small fish, but Google this time need to consider that checkout is available only in US, evanishing any possibility for online advertising to most of the companies in the rest of the world.

    I hope you guys started already sending emails like I did, to your merchants and affiliate merchants explaining easily the situation: No Adwords=No money for them. SO please act and react ASAP!

    Keep Pushing Always!!!
    Chris



  66. dave on September 4, 2010 at 10:46 am

    Armand, this is so ridiculous…

    We all need to get together and STOP using google. There’s more than enough traffic out there….

    I mean, what kind of business treats their customers like this??



  67. […] CLICK HERE to WATCH ‘AdWords Bridge Page Issue’ Video Share and Enjoy: […]



  68. Thomas on September 4, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    I looked up Google’s definition of a bridge page: “Pages that act as an intermediary, whose sole purpose is to link or redirect traffic to the parent company”

    It’s no secret that Google doesn’t want affiliates advertising on their network. I think the problem is that some [Adwords] employees believe they’re crusaders and will suspend anything that looks like an affiliate campaign.

    The checkout/payment processing issue sounds like a case where a (silly) google employee confused your payment processing page as a main parent page that the affiliate wanted to send their traffic to.

    Google gets silly a lot(actually all the time) but they’re not stupid. It just doesn’t make sense that all ads/pages leading to 1shoppingcart, paypal, or even google checkout sites would no longer be allowed.

    I think they just don’t want affiliate websites anymore and only want “content style” sites instead.



    • Armand Morin on September 4, 2010 at 2:28 pm

      Thomas, you’re right, but I think it’s more that just affiliate webpages.

      It’s a matter of DIRECT RESPONSE PAGES.

      The IM response community has utilized a very straight forward sales letter model for a long time. Mainstream companies have been using a multiple page site for quite sometime.

      I can understand a company or an individual not LIKING a direct response style approach, but to tell us a individual companies which is right or wrong is not right.

      Yes, I understand if I don’t like it I can go elsewhere, but I’ve always been a big proponent of playing by the rules not matter what they may have been.

      Their definition of a BRIDGE page is NOT consistent with what low level reviewers are pushing onto business owners.

      That’s the issue.



      • Paul Schlegel on September 7, 2010 at 12:26 pm

        “but to tell us a individual companies which is right or wrong is not right.”

        OK. I’m going to disagree with you on this one.

        If they are truly trying to control the user experience, then they certainly have the right to say what can be in their environment.

        I think people are confusing “relevancy” with “user experience”.

        It isn’t a one-to-one correspondence.



        • Michel Fortin on September 7, 2010 at 12:40 pm

          Paul, I understand your point.

          It’s Google’s home. They can do whatever they want in their own home. And they can dictate who they let into their home.

          And I agree with this: “I think people are confusing ‘relevancy’ with ‘user experience’.”

          But I don’t think this is what Armand was referring to. Remember, in the message Armand reprinted, directly from Google, Google is literally saying to…

          “REMOVE (the offending page) FROM THE INTERNET.”

          I think it’s pretty clear what they’re doing, here. They are dictating what should be on the Internet — not just on Google or AdWords.

          There’s a fine line between discretion and discrimination. And some might argue that Google jumped it on occasion.

          Just my opinion.



  69. Steve Ranger on September 4, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    I’ve chatted with someone about this that works at Google and they said the ‘bridge’ from a sales page to a payment processor is totally fine and will remain fine.

    The problem is, for example, a sales page that then links to a Clickbank sales page.



    • Armand Morin on September 4, 2010 at 3:05 pm

      Thanks for the info Steve. I am sure that is their official policy as well. The problem is low level reviewers marking these sites as Bridge Pages.

      The problem is people are right now getting suspended doing this. I’ve been researching this a lot over the past 24 hours.

      One of the people I mentioned is someone who used Clickbank as a processor, used their own sales page and then linked to the Clickbank ORDER PAGE which is the correct thing to do because they handle the transactions.

      Yet, was told by Google in writing that it is a BRIDGE PAGE.

      I just posted this question on the Google Adwords Help Center. Let’s see what they say officially.



  70. Elsa on September 4, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    Wow! That is my first response. I am just getting to “productize”, and so was looking around for the best option – 1shoppingcart, etc. This is nuts, is my first response.

    At least as nutty is something else. My site – poetry and ideas – has been getting over 40,000 pages views a month.

    A few days ago, Google DROPPED IT UTTERLY!!! Pages that have been on the first page for a couple of years are NOWHERE AT ALL. Why? I have no idea. No bridge pages. (So far, just content, no money.) No shopping carts.

    What is going on!!??



    • George Arthur Burks on September 4, 2010 at 4:17 pm

      You are not the only one this has happened to. Google explains it away by changes in their algorithm. The Texas AG and the European Anittrust commission are looking for answers too.



  71. Don on September 4, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    It’s always been my observation that fortune 500 companies only want to do business with other companies their size.

    A couple of dozen billion dollar accounts and you can blow off a million nickle and dime (yes, $200k accounts are nickle and dime size) accounts.

    Also, I doubt they’ve taken this step without their legal and risk teams involved every step of the way.

    But really, on the level we are talking about here, isn’t Google just a large, glorified, bridge page themselves?



    • Jason Dinner on September 9, 2010 at 11:05 am

      Seriously Don,

      The phrase “the pot calling the kettle black” comes to mind when I read your post about Google being a glorified bridge page themselves.

      I too was banned by them back in April because of the use of what they considered bridge pages.

      I was doing affiliate marketing…sending traffic to a landing page (it was thin though) reviewing the product I was promoting then linking to the product sales page.

      I was averaging between 600-700% ROI for every campaign I ran and then they cut me off. Fortunately for me it wasn’t my only or biggest stream of income but I was excited that I finally “cracked the code” to Adwords.

      Boy was I mistaken. I got banned right when I hit my stride and was gearing up to jack up my ad-spend by 5 fold.

      They really are a bunch of ignorant hypocrites.

      Isn’t a landing page in it purest sense a bridge page too?

      And good luck trying to get any meaningful legal action to be taken against them.

      They are in bed with big government and also are our “big brother.”

      So they won’t go away. They don’t need our money. Like someone else mentioned above, one fortune 500 company’s daily ad budget can dwarf all of ours combined.

      I’ll just use them to get ranked organically without having to give them any of my money.

      Armand, can you post a link to that question you submitted to the google adwords help center please?

      I would like to be able to follow that discussion as well.

      Thanks,
      Jason Dinner
      http://JasonDinner.com



  72. Brian on September 4, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    Well, this just puts the icing on the cake. All this tech. stuff is a very hard learning curve as it is. I just got a very simple and not monetized web site up. Yesterday I try to get google to do a site map and they wanted me to verify the site. I’m still trying to figure out how to do that. NOW THIS COMES UP! I’m probably not even going to consider affiliate marketing anymore. It is getting to be just plain too hard and a big pain in the #$%@.



    • Ryan Healy on September 4, 2010 at 5:38 pm

      @Brian – If you run your site with WordPress, it’s very easy to create a Google-friendly site map. Just go to Plugins > Add New and search for Google XML Sitemap. Install and activate. Done.



  73. Lee on September 4, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    you are worrying over nothing. If this were true then ebay would be banned too for bridging to paypal. Do you think they would let that happen. Calm down… the big boys will demand google change it if it shut them down.



    • Michel Fortin on September 4, 2010 at 5:47 pm

      Lee, I know you didn’t mean it this way, but when I first read your comment it sounded condescending. My answer is, that’s easy for you to say when it didn’t happen to you. I can understand saying “calm down” when you hear rumors and people worry. But this has actually happened to small businesses. People are getting their accounts banned/suspended because of this. So, until we hear official word from Google, I think those who worry a bit are justified.



      • Lee on September 4, 2010 at 6:01 pm

        I was banned from Google for a year so know how it feels to suffer. I was in the wrong. I deliberately bought loads of domains that used my keywords. I promoted the domains as if they were website in their own right… but they merely linked back to one site. That site good removed until I had satified all the criteria of the webmasters programme… but that still took a year.
        What you have pointed out should be fixed by google because you are not trying to deceive anyone.
        I see a thread has been raised with Google. I’m sure they will realise their error and sort it pretty quickly.
        http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/AdWords/thread?tid=5986a8d90451e5e5&hl=en
        Lee



        • Armand Morin on September 4, 2010 at 6:33 pm

          Yup I posted the question directly to Google today. Let’s see what happens.



    • Paul Schlegel on September 4, 2010 at 5:57 pm

      It’s not “nothing”. The MAIN point in my opinion doesn’t really have to do with THIS particular example that Armand has explained.

      It has to do with how arbitrary Google is in enforcing their rules, how poorly the reviewers are trained (as one of the earlier posters commented), and just how generally disorganized Google seems to be.



  74. Marty Dickinson on September 4, 2010 at 6:19 pm

    I already ditched google completely last January after its first wave of account canellations. I get all the new ppc leads and sales I need from Bing now, complete with direct linking for affiliate products too. Y’know how we in the biz do or did coordinated book and product launches? We should put our army forces together and do a coordinated mass exodus of Google! That oughta get their attention.



    • Armand Morin on September 4, 2010 at 6:38 pm

      Marty, we’ve been using Bing for a while. It’s looking like a more viable choice especially once the Yahoo is merged on the PPC side in October. Definitely more attention should be paid to them.



  75. Business Growth Strategies on September 4, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    Google’s Big Mistake…

    I love Google. I really do. They’re true Internet pioneers. But lately, I’m becoming a bit disillusioned with Google. They’re becoming more difficult to work with, more heavy-handed in their application of rules, less responsive to cu…



  76. Tom Justin on September 4, 2010 at 7:48 pm

    Google can also be slapped, but it will take a big “hand.” If enough people complain, then get little or no satisfactory answers, then pull their accounts, maybe. . .however, going somewhere else might not be a bad idea no matter what.

    Google needs to be humbled.

    Tom Justin



  77. Steve Jackman on September 4, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    I don’t think Google’s intent is to put people out of business. Their users are seeking accurate, high quality information, and right now there is a plethora of junk sites from ‘re-spun’ content to redirects that derail even the most ardent searches. For example if you try finding a legitimate review of a product you will be hard pressed to come up with anything that is not a thinly disguised poorly written sales page. How many links have you clicked on that have just taken you to another page of ads?

    You can’t blame Google for taking action to give its users a better experience. The problem is that in tightening the reins a number of legitimate internet business were thrown out with the bathwater.

    The solution is not to go elsewhere, Yahoo and Bing combined are just blips on the radar compared to Google. Trying to trick or fool Google is just going deeper in the wrong direction. Google has the best IT people in the world, knows what’s going on, and has a clear long term plan in place as to where they want to take it.

    A better approach would be to form a small representative committee of Internet Marketers, contact Click Bank, PayPal, eBay and CJ and together request an official meeting with Google to discuss the fallout, and its repercussions, and GET THEM INVOLVED in the solution.

    Threats of pullouts and lawsuits and anti-trust suits at this meeting will be useless, and counter productive, and will only create a more rigid barrier. The approach to take is to show that people WANT and are searching for what you have to offer, and that a link to a ‘payment processor’ facilitates them getting it.

    Google wants people who use their site to have a good experience! Show how your solution will add value to that experience.

    If approached this way with carefully chosen representatives I am confident it will be a win-win situation for all involved and will open up a line of communication with Google for the inevitable changes that are bound to happen as the Internet evolves.

    Wishing you every success,

    Steve Jackman



  78. Ian Brodie on September 4, 2010 at 8:25 pm

    Re: Google’s prohibition of “Data collection sites that imply delivery of free items, etc., in order to collect private information”

    When I google “local customers” I get an ad for this thing called Google Places.

    It offers me a free local listing in exchange for me giving my private imformation (email address, etc.) to create an account.

    So I take it google are going to ban themselves?

    Ian



  79. Cameron on September 4, 2010 at 9:05 pm

    The ONLY way to deal with big companies arrogance is to get the authorities involved in my experience.

    They get their act together once they get a phone call/letter from the authorities, forget about “polite debate” with arrogant people.

    If enough noise is made to the authorities, they WILL eventually take action.

    I’ve even done it my own, had my merchant account from a BIG COMPANY frozen for no legitimate reason, and after a lot of e-mails etc I realized they were game playing and I couldn’t process payments for almost a MONTH.

    I decided ENOUGH IS ENOUGH, and contacted the authorities in the UK – one called the DTI which prevents abuse of power by big companies here in England.

    I mysteriously received an e-mail the next day (after my complaints to the authorities) saying my merchant account was back to normal – would this have happened if I had continued with “polite debate”?

    The same thing with this BS, stop being toothless – everyone who has been banned/suspended needs to start making noise to the authorities. A BIG NOISE.

    The authorities in most countries have plenty of free time on their hands, and it is up to us to bring stuff to their attention.

    No need to sugar coat things, they have been MISTREATING and ABUSING small businesses.

    In most countries there are laws to protect small businesses, and no doubt it is the case in the US as well as over here in the UK.

    Even if this issue is resolved, what makes you think they won’t come up with some new BS a few months down the road?

    There are THOUSANDS of small businesses who have been banned over the last few months, are we going to keep playing this silly game for the next few years or are we going to take REAL ACTION?



  80. Scam Directory on September 4, 2010 at 9:11 pm

    did any body got message like this ?
    ==============================

    ———- Forwarded message ———-
    From:
    Date: Sun, Sep 5, 2010 at 3:16 AM
    Subject: Malware notification regarding friendsgroup-eg.com
    To: abuse@friendsgroup-eg.com, admin@friendsgroup-eg.com, administrator@friendsgroup-eg.com, contact@friendsgroup-eg.com, info@friendsgroup-eg.com, postmaster@friendsgroup-eg.com, support@friendsgroup-eg.com, webmaster@friendsgroup-eg.com

    Dear site owner or webmaster of friendsgroup-eg.com,

    We recently discovered that some of your pages can cause users to be infected with malicious software. We have begun showing a warning page to users who visit these pages by clicking a search result on Google.com.

    Below are some example URLs on your site which can cause users to be infected (space inserted to prevent accidental clicking in case your mail client auto-links URLs):

    http://friendsgroup-eg .com/
    http://friendsgroup-eg .com/2010/
    http://friendsgroup-eg .com/2010/04/

    Here is a link to a sample warning page:
    http://www.google.com/interstitial?url=http%3A//friendsgroup-eg.com/

    We strongly encourage you to investigate this immediately to protect your visitors. Although some sites intentionally distribute malicious software, in many cases the webmaster is unaware because:

    1) the site was compromised
    2) the site doesn’t monitor for malicious user-contributed content
    3) the site displays content from an ad network that has a malicious advertiser

    If your site was compromised, it’s important to not only remove the malicious (and usually hidden) content from your pages, but to also identify and fix the vulnerability. We suggest contacting your hosting provider if you are unsure of how to proceed. StopBadware also has a resource page for securing compromised sites:
    http://www.stopbadware.org/home/security

    Once you’ve secured your site, you can request that the warning be removed by visiting
    http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=45432
    and requesting a review. If your site is no longer harmful to users, we will remove the warning.

    Sincerely,
    Google Search Quality Team

    Note: if you have an account in Google’s Webmaster Tools, you can verify the authenticity of this message by logging into https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/siteoverview and going to the Message Center, where a warning will appear shortly.
    ===================================



    • Andy Beard on September 5, 2010 at 8:37 am

      That is a warning from the webmaster system, and you probably don’t have it set up so they tried all possible email addresses.

      Your site has been hacked and has malware (or there is a possibility that is caused by some advertising, though rare)

      Here is 100% proof
      http://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Afriendsgroup-eg.com

      It will kill your search traffic until it is fixed – once it is fixed file a reinclusion request in Google Webmaster tools, though they normally detect it is fixed within 24 hours on their own.

      Fix it fast – you can end up on Twitter’s blacklist for weeks, the same with other virus sites if you don’t take prompt action.

      It is in many ways a good thing that Google do this – they don’t make mistakes on this normally.



      • Suez on September 5, 2010 at 7:02 pm

        Please fix your contact form in your site
        I was trying to send you the following message
        Many thanks for your reply to my comment about malware problem on my site http://friendsgroup-eg.com/
        And I’m wondering do you have high selling products for me to market for you
        Hopping to have mutual cooperation soon



  81. Victor on September 4, 2010 at 10:05 pm

    You know, Google is digging its own grave. The government is going to come down so hard on them with regulations and anti-trust lawsuits they won’t know what hit them. They have nobody but themselves to blame.



  82. buyersandinvestors.com on September 5, 2010 at 2:27 am

    Goodle is known for this.

    Not only did they shut down our adwords ads, they killed our blog without warning.

    I explained to them that they have gotten so big that they now DO NOT care about the customer.

    The following correspondence was after one of our ads sat for over a week with out being approved and no word from google:

    http://thepublicnotice.com/10002/index.php?/topic/4-google-shuts-down-our-legitimate-ads-with-no-explanation/



  83. GoogleInsider on September 5, 2010 at 4:15 am


  84. Lee Duncan on September 5, 2010 at 4:47 am

    I think that Google are taking a shrewd long-term strategic stance here. I’ve been directly affected by this too (had my email from them about 3 weeks ago) and I’m not happy about it.

    But I think there’s a long term strategy that is playing out here.

    Google are an advertising firm, pure and simple – PPC is where the vast majority of their revenues come from. They wouldn’t do anything that would harm the long term viability of this business. They’re not stupid.

    The more people that click on the ads, the better. But lots of people simply don’t click on ads at all, while many others only do so as a last resort.

    I’ve heard it said that as many as 70% of searchers don’t click on adverts at all. So wouldn’t it be reasonable for Google to try and encourage more people to click ads?

    How might they do this? By making the landing pages more friendly to the searcher, I reckon, getting rid of dead-end pages and less information-rich ones so that gradually the advertisers offer an experience that’s at least equal to the organic results.

    Ultimately it increases the number of available advertising clicks and drives up sales. That’s what I’d do if I wanted to increase revenues from Adwords, anyway…

    Lee



    • Andy Beard on September 5, 2010 at 8:32 am

      Lee did they specify bridge page to you?

      Was that for one of your sales pages using infusionsoft?



      • Lee Duncan on September 5, 2010 at 11:37 am

        Andy,

        The email I got was horribly non-specific, a standard email with something about “multiple violations” and to fix the site in line with their landing page standards etc. It does not mention bridge pages.

        My site has very little affiliate stuff on it (a couple of Amazon links that I’d not clearly identified as such), so I think it was the squeeze pages and a lightbox popup for email subs that appears on your first visit.

        I also have a long-form sales letter that is a proper squeeze page with privacy and home page links etc at the bottom. There’s nothing much apart from this going on. A bit of over-zealous policing and some slight non-compliance on my part got me a final warning though. Really unpleasant behaviour from them.

        I am still largely in the dark as to exactly what they don’t like. From what I can gather, it comes down to:

        No squeeze pages that make the site look “thin” – so menus, site maps, etc need to be visible from your PPC squeeze pages.

        No popups of any kind – whether done with thickbox or separate windows.

        Comprehensive disclaimers/terms of service/privacy policy/earnings disclaimer etc.

        Not to be appear to be an offer to get rich quick.

        I’m going to try fixing it up this week and ask them to take another look.

        Lee



      • Lee Duncan on September 5, 2010 at 11:39 am

        Andy,

        I forgot to say – the page they named was my home page – which I don’t use as a landing page anyway.

        Hmm, makes me wonder – that probably means it was the lightbox email form and/or terms of service/privacy/sitemap etc.

        Lee



  85. King on September 5, 2010 at 5:34 am

    Google right now is like a crazy man in a crowded place slashing throats left and right. I’d be surprised if Google is still number 1 search engine within the next 5 years the way they are going. The government will be forced to stop them. Go to Inside Google site and post your complaints there.



  86. Ron Thomas on September 5, 2010 at 8:09 am

    This is so transparent: it is nothing but an attempt by Google to eliminate their competition. And, there are laws against that.

    There is nothing illegal about who one uses to process their orders — I think the term that applies is “The American Way”. The “bridge page” is just an artificial contrivance by Google to get rid of competitive processors. This has absolutely nothing to do with “quality”, as some Google apologists (employees?) have implied above.

    No doubt the “big boys” like Armand and Alex will be able to “work something out” with Google — they’re just arrogant, not stupid — but where will that leave the average marketer??

    It is time to stop this stupid crap from Google, once and for all.

    You, Armand and Alex, and many others can lead the way, and really give something back to ALL marketers, present and future: get an injunction through the Justice Department.

    There are several “gurus” who are lawyers. Two that immediately come to mind are Shawn Casey and Bob Silber.

    Get together with these and other IM lawyers and several other of your “big-time guru” friends and reps from PayPal, 1ShoppingCart, etc, in a mastermind and plan out your attack. I bet there will be some in the group that will have some lawyer contacts within the Anti-Trust section of the Justice Dept.

    And don’t even BEGIN to think it won’t work! My partner and I did it alone, WITHOUT lawyer assistance, about 10 years ago in another industry. We made about 4 or 5 calls to Justice until we found the right person, then sent 2 letters with supporting documentation (which you have in the emails from Google). They asked us some questions, verified what we said, and the entire issue was solved when they send a letter to the offending company!

    I’m sure Google will fight back. So? Didn’t do Microsoft any good.

    In the meantime, getting the injunction will keep them from arbitrarily destroying more businesses.

    Only you “gurus” and your circles of other guru friends can stop this quickly. My question is: will you? Do you have the courage?

    Many of you talk about your altruism, and “helping others”, which I have seen is true with many of you — Alex and Armand included.

    Now is the time for all gurus who are willing to step up and prove it beyond a shadow of a doubt.

    If the gurus won’t work together and do this, then it is up to each individual, regardless of what country you’re in, to complain to the US Dept of Justice, Antitrust Division. It will take longer this way, but it will be heard.

    I would think that both approaches together will work extremely fast, so don’t just sit on your *** if you’re affected, crying “the sky is falling”.

    The 900-lb idiot can be brought to bay — don’t insult gorillas by comparing them to Google. Gorillas are not arrogant bullies.



  87. LW on September 5, 2010 at 9:36 am

    This is Google’s attempt at controlling the web again.

    They are wanting everyone to use google checkout, which does not work for electronic products! With checkout, a majority of the fee imposed goes to google (yup that 1.9% or whatever is charged, while the $0.35 goes to visa/MC/AMEX…) So when you sell a $100 product with google shopping cart, google is making $1.90 for the transaction, not to mention all the revenue for adwords…

    Having done work for google, they have an attitude that their %&)$ does not stink and that they know better than anyone (inlcluding their hourly staff!) You see, big brains with PhD’s are much smarter about all things. The arrogance is enough to choke anyone! It was laughable as I was hired at $150/hr to fix their problems, which they could not believe they were happening – ugh!

    Also, this is about control over advertising on the ‘net. You see, google wants to control the way searches happen, how all money is spent, and ensure that they can steward the web. Their fight with China on the outside was about access, but in truth, it was about revenue generated – they have a funky metric on cost per search, etc.

    Sorry if this is disjointed, but I feel better now.



  88. Bart Murray on September 5, 2010 at 10:17 am

    This is just incredible. What are they thinking? I can only imagine…

    This is just another sign that Google is in bed with the progressive socialists that are currently running the country.

    We need to abandon Google as much as it hurts us to do so and quit allowing the dog to bite the hand that feeds it. Check this out as proof that what I talk about is the truth: http://www.prisonplanet.com/texas-probing-google-over-search-results.html



    • Joe on September 5, 2010 at 12:03 pm

      Bart, this has absolutely nothing to do with “progressive socialists.” Leave the extremist politics out of this conversation.



  89. Rob Metras on September 5, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    The video above was on a blog post by AM Khan who is a regular high volume Adwords guy.



  90. Michel Fortin on September 5, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    I have been reading from AM Khan, and this piece just posted today…

    http://www.adwordsbuzz.com/2010/09/googles-final-slap.html

    Based on that and the video AM links to, this tell me EXACTLY what Google is looking for.

    If you had an ad leading to a website with 3rd-party processors, you’re still fine — as long as it’s not directly after the page you sent them to from an AdWords ad.

    For instance, if you send people to a blog or a content site, and two or more clicks later you buy a product, which sends you to separate domain, you’re safe.

    What they’re basically doing is trying to get people to buy ads for content sites only. Period.

    This video from a Google exec says it all…

    http://www.adwordsbuzz.com/2010/04/advice-from-google-on-how-to-create-content.html



    • Paul Schlegel on September 5, 2010 at 5:00 pm

      Great find. Yep. No question there about what they want.

      Thanks.



    • Lee Duncan on September 5, 2010 at 5:09 pm

      Michael,

      Thanks for that link, the video is very educational and suggests they are indeed trying to get all the search content up to a similar standard.

      That’ll help me to rethink my site a little.

      Lee



    • Antone Roundy on September 5, 2010 at 5:20 pm

      Okay, that’s just dumb. Basically, it sounds like they want the ads to fill exactly the same role as the organic search results — to link to EXACTLY what the searcher was looking for.

      If so, then you could probably still link directly to sales materials if you’re bidding on obvious buyer keywords like “buy iphone”, “iphone discount”, or “iphone coupon” (assuming their staff isn’t so keyed in on the exclusion of sales materials that they don’t bother to notice the obvious buyer keywords).

      But when bidding on content-seeking keywords (which is most keywords), they want the ads to be for content. Never mind that advertisers want to advertise products — it’s all about making the searcher happy.

      Perhaps the theory is that if the links in the ads column lead to content of similar (or even better) quality than what comes up in the organic results, searchers might eventually be trained to click on ads more often, leading to more revenue for Google.

      On the other hand, if people can’t advertise products directly anymore (except in response to buyer keywords), then demand for ad space in non-buyer search results in going to drop, and bid prices will (or at least should!) fall with it. Will the one offset the other? Who knows.

      There is logic to the idea, but it’s so stacked against what advertisers want — I have to wonder whether Google will be better off operating this way.



      • Michel Fortin on September 5, 2010 at 5:28 pm

        Exactly, Antone. Their end-game is becoming more and more clear. As AM Khan pointed out, with every “nudge” (i.e., slap), we’re starting to see what they are looking for all along.



  91. Jon on September 5, 2010 at 5:23 pm

    Well… maybe this will be another opportunity to grab premium ad-space while other marketers pants are down with these issues. Just trying to keep positive!



  92. Ron Herman on September 5, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    @Jon, only if you have a merchant account and your shopping cart order page is at http://www.TheSameDomainAsYourSalesLetter.com

    I just got this same sort of jazz, but without any explanation at all. It just came across as an Adwords quality score denial. They didn’t boot me but they stopped showing my ads.



  93. Jon on September 5, 2010 at 9:29 pm

    I copied this from the Google Checkout product page:

    Find new customers with Google AdWords
    Advertise with AdWords and connect with potential customers right when they’re searching for your products and services on Google. When you use AdWords with Google Checkout, you can add the Checkout badge to your AdWords ads to highlight your store in search results. Learn more

    http://checkout.google.com/sell/?promo=sha2&gsessionid=eMcymp3KSdM#utm_campaign=en&utm_source=en-ha-na-us-bk&utm_medium=ha&utm_term=ecommerce

    Hope they clarify why it is ok to use Google checkout, but not Clickbank, etc. (I know, fat chance, they don’t tell anybody anything)

    Feels like they are just going to wipe out anything that feels like an affiliate offer, and use the “bridge page” as an excuse.



  94. […] This is crazy stuff, and you can join the 170+ commenters in expressing your outrage. […]



  95. WMI 3: The Ultimate Niche | Where the Money Is on September 6, 2010 at 6:20 am

    […] 14:24 Google’s affiliate offer page problem […]



  96. Ethan on September 6, 2010 at 7:25 am

    Google’s customer support answers, many times, does not address the actual problem.

    Can this have happened because it is an affiliate linking directly to the secretppc.com page?

    If many different adwords accounts are advertising for the same domain, in this case, secretppc.com this may have raised a red flag.

    Obviously this ban or remvoal of ads hasn’t happened to all adwords advertisers. I can find ads that advertise websites where the payment system is on a different domain very quickly.



  97. Jose Nunes on September 6, 2010 at 8:30 am

    Ha ha, there it goes some new kid who learned from unexperienced teachers,
    got lucky enough to get a job with google, thinks he can control the world,
    not another! This recession can only get worse and I bet the agent is not
    even an English native speaker, if you send the same question to google 10
    times you get 10 different answers and solutions, this is ridiculous.



  98. Jose Nunes on September 6, 2010 at 9:03 am

    Plus Google Adwords guidelines state that to send the customer to a
    different page advertised would be misleading, unless the two people
    mentioned on the video are sending people to the order pages by mistake
    instead of the landing pages advertised, this has to be completely
    wrong, it doesn’t make sense.

    The big gorilla needs to get a different tribe of monkeys.



  99. John on September 6, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    Just a thought!

    Do you think google wants to create a site just like clickbank and take over that market as well as Advertising. I mean if this happens all the way, where will it leave CB and others like them.

    If they did this it would force everyone to go with them if they want to sell digital products or such.

    I know they have their own checkout now but they don’t have anything like CB and if you think about how much CB makes in just a day with fee’s and such google just may want that as well.

    Hey ebay bought paypal and one of the reasons was money I’m sure.

    This just seems to be a deal where google wants Total Control over the Internet and people in general.

    Armand, would it be possible for you and others like you to create a BETTER search engine like google but Better.

    I know that seems far out but think about the end results for users and affiliates and product owners.

    Maybe even Advertise on TV and use other media and let people know they will have a better time and experience on The New Search Engine that is being offered. Even offer an incentive to them for using the New Search Engine.

    If this was to happen Google’s stock could be hurt with the right concept in place, stock holders and board members wouldn’t care to much for the loses either.

    Armand, I personally know you are someone who does care about this and it’s not just because it affects your wallet but because it’s Not Right for them to have this much control over the net.

    If you and others where to create something like this I would love a J.O.B. with you all. I would fetch coffee if I had too. lol, Heck I’ll even relocate if I have to.

    Just a country boy’s way of looking at this mess.

    John



  100. Harlan Kilstein on September 6, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    Armand, I’m in shock. This shocking news is at least 18 months old.

    You are missing a lot of information here.

    Show us the original sites.

    Show us the content on the original sites.

    I can not believe your information is so old.



    • Armand Morin on September 6, 2010 at 5:20 pm

      Harlan,

      If this information is old about Google banning sites for using a payment processor on a different domain or using a 3rd party payment processor, then I guess I missed something pretty major. If you watched the video above ONE person was promoting my product. The SECOND affiliate was promoting their OWN product and using CLICKBANK as their payment processor.

      The original sites are listed above.

      The point of this is NOT needing content while advertising a site on Google. I teach you need to send traffic to a site with a minimum of 10 articles on a landing page because of Google wanting content on the site.

      This particular affiliate used standard Googgle adwords and if you look at Google’s response, it is NOT because of content that they suspended the account. It is because the “Click To Order” button goes to a different domain and they deemed the videos sales letter a BRIDGE PAGE.

      As far as more information. There is no other information regarding this particular incident. This happened literally on September 3rd.



  101. Ethan on September 6, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    I see a lot of possibilities here.

    It is possible that the reason google gives for the problem of a “bridge page”, even if it is the reason given in an email is not the correct reason.

    If the secretpcc.com salespage is a bridge page in their eyes, shouldn’t all adgroups or adwords accounts for that matter, that link to that page be banned? Including yours Armand if you are using any ppc advertisements yourself to drive people to this page?

    If secretppc.com is truly in violation of google’s terms, couldn’t they just perform a search of all adwords accounts promoting this page and ban them all?

    It seems to be account specific and not page specific.

    You mentioned in the video that a second person wrote to you with details of how they were just promoting their own page which uses clickbank for taking orders. But without knowing details I can’t help but wonder if they were banned for another reason than the “bridge page” violation?

    Of course nobody really knows how this process of review by google really works. If what you are saying is indeed the case, doesn’t this prove how fallible google really is. That they are not the all knowing entity that they have been made out to be.

    Another possibility is that there are no standards or solid definitions inside google for the violations of their policies and It is left up to the opinion of the worker who reviews your account, landing page or website. In this case depending on the person doing the manual review you may or may not get banned.

    I would hope that my last possibility is wrong and a company as big as google would be better than that.

    Google has never been very easy to get customer support from or get descriptive answers about problems from. I think this is a deliberate decision on their part.



  102. Live Vessl tracking on September 6, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    Is Google Really As Evil As This Video Suggests?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7U1e4B_iI8



  103. Ell on September 6, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    This is an isolated incident. One moron messed up-everyone just needs to relax. If anyone things that this is now a real policy you are nuts.



    • Mckarkquey on September 7, 2010 at 11:19 am

      Exactly Ell – if this page had any validity, the vast majority of ecommerce sites would be deranked. I’m amazed this has so many comments.



  104. Armand Morin on September 7, 2010 at 10:51 am

    You maybe right in one aspect. I agree that this maybe in part due to reviewer at Google just not knowing what is right. I’ve stated that a few times here on my response. The problem is that it happened.

    Also several other responses here state they have had similar responses as well.

    As for the two people one is an affiliate who I don’t have permission to use their name, so I’ll respect that, but another is well versed marketer WHO DID use Adwords correctly with the proper display and landing page, WHO also used CLICKBANK as her processor and that was Heather Seitz.

    What proof do I have? I’ve personally read Google’s response for one.

    Secondly… I ACTUALLY POSTED THE RESPONSE to one in the screenshot above. That is the message DIRECTLY FROM GOOGLE.

    There is NOTHING in this for me to try to cause a mass panic regarding Google. I have no courses or training I am selling.

    This is NOT part of some product launch strategy or anything like that.

    This is purely to notify people of what I have been hearing.

    After a bit of research on Google, you can easily find similar stories as well.

    Also, if you research the TOP selling products on Clickbank, like I did over the weekend, you’ll notice a few things.

    The TOP product DO NOT link DIRECTLY to an ORDER PAGE from the landing page advertised on Google. Most all use a page in between.

    But there’s more… I’ve talked with a few people over the weekend such as AM Kahn who’s whole business is based around Adwords. We’ve come up with several conclusions.

    He was informed from his own Google rep that Google is monitoring activity beyond the initial click on a landing page/optin page or sales letter. Essentially looking for more activity via more pages.

    As for the SecretPPC site. Hey, I’ll be the first person to tell you it’s NOT optimized NOR DESIGNED for Google Adwords. There are NO other links to additional pages or information. It was designed as a direct response sales letter. NOT to be advertised via Google Adwords.

    I’ll be posting a video I did last night of the proper way to do Google Adwords. Yes, it will be free and there’s nothing I’m selling in it.



    • Jose Nunes on September 7, 2010 at 2:47 pm

      Hi Armand,
      I do appreciate the time you’re taking to let us know about this issue and I’m not doubting your words at all.

      The fact is most of the people are agreed that their adwords accounts have been banned for this reason, but 90% of their websites don’t even meet the mimimum search engine guidelines, let alone Google adwords.

      Regards,
      Jose Nunes.
      P.S. I am interested to see how this turns out.



      • Armand Morin on September 7, 2010 at 5:12 pm

        Jose,

        I totally agree. Most people banned simply did NOT setup landing page properly with enough content or structure or were confused with “display url” and “destination url”.

        I just created a new video explaining the correct process which I normally do at my seminars. You can see it on the past after this one.

        It’s a bit long, but it’s very details. Around 40 minutes or so.

        As for my question I submitted on the Google forums. Still no answer on this. Hmm.

        We’ll just have to wait.



        • Matt on September 13, 2010 at 3:39 pm

          I was banned as well with no warning, BUT I did NOT use squeeze pages, pop-ups, duplicate content, weak landing pages, cloaking or any redirects. I am a direct business owner, with only original content, privacy policies, contact pages, etc. However, I did use clickbank as the merchant!

          Also a heads up, if you have EVER done ANY advertising in Adwords that they don’t like, no matter how long ago, it could likely be banned (Google keeps all ads in your account, even deleted ones, indefinitely). I had an associate that 2 weeks later had an account banned that he hadn’t even been used in over a year, but they listed an old site that they said was a problem “in recent advertising”. Even after REMOVING THE SITE FROM THE INTERNET they still banned it with only generic email template responses. From what I’ve seen, once you get any email, warning or not, its too late.

          Apparently when Google said, “Don’t be evil” that (like their policies) applies to everyone but them.



  105. Sylvie Fortin on September 7, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    The problem as I see it is that Google is mistaking what they “want” to do with what they have the “right” to do. What they “want” to do is only allow “appropriate” advertisers to use their Adwords program. They believe that because they own Google, they should have the right to decide who can and cannot advertise with them.

    The problem is that they are confusing discretion with discrimination.

    Let’s compare Google with a local clothing store owner. As a private business, the clothing store owner is allowed to put up a sign that says “No shirt, No shoes, No service”. If you want to shop at that store, you’d better be wearing a shirt and shoes (and hopefully pants), or the owner can rightfully boot you out the door and refuse to take your money.

    However, let’s say that the owner puts up a sign that says “Must be dressed appropriately to shop here”, but doesn’t say what that means. When asked, the owner just shrugs and says “you should know, and I don’t have to tell you”.

    Now, if the owner doesn’t like the color of your skin, he/she can simply claim “you aren’t dressed appropriately, and we don’t want your kind in here anymore”. Apparently, Google thinks it is acceptable to be vague about their rules, refuse to answer when you ask “why am I being kicked out”, and generally, discriminate against all kinds of websites, simply by using the “you should have known better” excuse.

    There are laws against refusing to serve customers without explanation.

    Aren’t there?

    Or am I wrong and common sense and decency have taken a back seat to fear mongering and “business profiling”?



  106. King on September 7, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    That’s why I oppose anything Google these days. I really hate monopolies. Google needs some fierce competition to adjust their behavior, to end their abuse. Thanks to pressure from Consumer Watchdog (insidegoogle dot com)they now revised their privacy policies on their properties to make it less lawyerish and dummy proof. Not much but proves that they are not immune to pressure. Start leaving your complaints there.



    • Armand Morin on September 7, 2010 at 5:14 pm

      I just want to be clear. It is us as marketers who CHOOSE to advertise on Google. We have other options. Yes, we want the traffic which they can provide. We also need to play by their rules, this is something I truly believe in and have no problem with it.

      It’s when as Sylvie said above that their policies are vague which is the issue.



      • Ed Canape on September 8, 2010 at 1:49 am

        Hi Armand,

        Thank you for this post and this actually helps me a lot regarding this issue.

        re:It is us as marketers who CHOOSE to advertise

        100% agree on you on this. but the bad thing about google is they have POOR costumer support , vague policies and their email are not specific enough to tell the publishers what went wrong.

        lesson learned for all…

        so charged to experience.



  107. Mckarkquey on September 7, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    Google is actually helping the end-user by removing worthless MLM sites from the web. This makes the real ads more valuable to the end users, and enables ads and webpages that sell real products to rank well.

    This has nothing to do with linking to external payment platforms, and everything to do with stopping Get Rich Quick schemes from misleading visitors.



  108. Quick House Sale on September 8, 2010 at 11:25 pm

    Armand,

    This is really disturbing and I am glad to learn about this in your post. I need to caution my peers and business partners on this ridiculous policy by Google. Great argument on Google Checkout. Please keep up posted on how this unfolds.

    Cheers!



  109. David Frey on September 9, 2010 at 11:03 am

    Here’s my personal observation and thoughts…

    1. The FTC has come down on Google for allowing advertisers to promote “make money” stuff.

    2. Google wants it’s searchers to find very high content sites whose main purpose is to educate and NOT immediately sell

    3. This makes for a happy customer. In Google’s eyes, their primary customer is the searcher, NOT the advertiser.

    3. Google creates a bot that does an initial review and flags any obvious violations of it’s new rules and sends a nasty initial email to the advertiser.

    4. An email is also sent to a Google reviewer that prompts the reviewer to physically eyeball the site for specific violations.

    5. Then Google flags that account as a “bad” account and it becomes next to impossible to recapture that traffic with that account.

    6. The solution…create very attractive sites with excellent content with NO optin offer on the main page. Guide your visitors to deeper links in your site that contain your calls to action.

    7. The second part of the solution if you’re going to pay for Google traffic is to have a very very very good sales funnel with a high lifetime value backend products to offset your front end lead generation costs. (this means either high ticket products or high retention continuity programs).

    David Frey



  110. Keri Eagan on September 10, 2010 at 8:41 pm

    Fascinating responses lol blackmail! Lawsuits! Crikey.

    Obviously there are ways to adapt the easiest of which is to use a sandwich page as you would with FB.

    Clicking on an ad = something is for sale. Well I guess that was 2008?

    I watched what I think is the AM Khan video spoken about earlier with the G rep talking about providing content that the clicker of ads wants to see.

    I thought content was my job?!

    I’m a publisher of sites primariy monetised using adsense. After reading the thread my conclusion is that I’m pretty safe for now. Hmmm, that sounded smug…but really I want you guys to keep advertising (read make $$$) on my sites so I make $ too.

    I would be happier with Google if they could payed me a higher percentage of ad revenue. Basically I feel stuck with them because I get traffic via organic search, majority of which is the G.



  111. Wayne Blair on September 13, 2010 at 7:10 pm

    A 900lb Gorilla will fall very hard, I am new and have never been a ‘supporter’ of any corporate giants, and I wont be useing adwords, ever. If something or someone does something then chances are it will only be a matter of time till they do it again, that said, remember poogle left China because poogle could not get their own way, basically.
    Are you seeing the pattern here?, like a fat spoiled kid that thinks ‘life evolves around them’!.
    Google is currently stearing down the barrel of ‘collapse’, I will have to resist helping them do so, solely for the reason that so many ‘fellow. I.M’s will be a casualty.
    So, a thought, If or should that be ‘when’ google bans affiliate marketing/marketers and lets say (for arguments sake) 50% of googles market is I.M and we all go to some other search provider, then the gorilla is not a gorilla anymore, there will simply be a new gorilla, hopefully with a IQ level higher than the last and a remote chance it might even have ethics, current gorilla lacks ethics as far as I can tell.

    Well that’s my thoughts for now,
    Wayne B.



    • Wayne Blair on September 13, 2010 at 9:35 pm

      Just a foot note,
      Shouldn’t google be adapting to the way the Internet users use the Internet? rather than make us adapt to google?

      Wayne B



  112. Tim on September 14, 2010 at 1:09 am

    Does this mean “An Obvious Truth” isn’t so obvious anymore?

    LOL, I just had to say it.

    Nothing in this world is easy, I’m afraid.

    Anyway, I appreciate Armand Morin for giving his honest opinion on this matter.

    It seems that if the little guy can’t get Google to change its mind, then ClickBank, PayPal, 1ShoppingCart and the other big players who might be affected certainly can.



  113. […] their Adwords accounts banned for even what seems innocent reasons – a poor interpretation of bridge pages by Google adwords reps (and terrible communication […]



  114. […] Checkout… then you are using a BRIDGE page which Google will suspend you … [ Source : http://www.armandmorin.com/major-google-issue-affects/ ] Post Rating : 5 of […]



  115. Rich on October 8, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    This is nothing new. Google has not allowed “bridge” pages since late 2009. Im not condoning it, I think its flat out retarded, but thats what they said. Bottom line is 90% of the traffic on the web does not go through google. Advertise somewhere else.



    • Doc Sheldon on October 12, 2010 at 8:02 pm

      Just curious, Rich, where do you get this impression?
      “Bottom line is 90% of the traffic on the web does not go through google.”
      Given that Google processes about one billion search queries per day, I find that statement a little tough to accept.



      • Rich on October 21, 2010 at 1:50 pm

        Well lets think about this for a second. Why do people go to google? To search for something right? When you search for something, do you stay on google, or do you click on the links in the results?

        My point is, google is a gateway to the billions of websites that are out there. Its sole purpose is to direct you away from its website, right?

        So what im saying is, 90% of the traffic on the web right now is not actually on googles website.

        Does that make sense?



  116. Brian on October 12, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    bye google



  117. JustSomeGuy on October 18, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    It’s not a bridge if you are linking from your domain to a credit card processing agent. In this case you are linking to an affiliate software site (generatorsoftware.com). This wouldnt happen if you sold through paypal, mcssl, etc…

    Verbage from Google below on what is acceptable. The last part is important here “and is not a shop itself” because if you go to generatorsoftware.com, it is a shop.

    “Websites that lead to e-commerce platforms on another domain (e.g. A shop that leads to a third-party site that purely acts as a secure server to process payments and is not a shop itself)”

    http://adwords.google.com/support/aw/bin/static.py?hl=en&guide=28439&topic=28441&page=guide.cs&answer=190435



  118. andy on January 7, 2011 at 10:12 am

    i agree with Michael Fortin – something is definetely not right here – although i am not a lawyeri do think there are definite legal issues with regards to google using anti-competitive behaviour tactics. I personally believe that many of the “big fish” in many of the popular markets are ‘bribing’ google to discriminate against the little guy.
    Or am i just being paranoid?



  119. […] of certain tactics that could get their Adwords account banned, some are trying to figure out what the Adwords rules actually are, and others are taking a more pragmatic approach to the Adwords ban, the shadier sites are […]



  120. Dave on February 22, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    This thread has taken my over 25 minutes or more to read and has been the most interesting thread I have ever read online…and for good reason.

    My only concern, and a serious one, how does this affect Google’s approach when considering how it will rank organic results in the future?

    Will affiliate websites and/or merchant sites with these “bridge page” violations be dropped from the free organic SERPS?

    Of if they simply have affiliate links.

    Then what? I mean organic results are sort of like Adwords only you’re not paying for them. Will they only rank the big fish at the top and put affiliate sites, and other content rich (with original content) small business sites selling their own products on deeper pages that have no chance of getting traffic?

    Of course there is no answer but just to wait, but is this the next step? They has been a huge dance that dropped a lot of duplicate pages last month, a good thing, but are affiliate sites next?

    If Google does not like affiliate sites (small business), are all of us small affiliate marketers doomed/banned from Google altogether whether it be organic or paid search?

    That would certainly be a bad thing! Hope not. I hope Bing and Yahoo become more attractive to the masses soon if so!!!