Just a few months ago I reported on my blog, Gonzo SEO, that Google had opened up bidding on beer related terms. This was a major revision to their Adwords policy, and many believed it was a direct result of the economic hardships that even Google is facing.
Yesterday, Google revised their policy once more to open up bidding on hard alcohol and liquers. There is one important disclaimer in their new policy: ads cannot be used for direct sales, they must only be used for branding purposes. This is different then the beer policy, where you can target ads for direct selling.
Again, the question has to be asked: is Google revising these policies in an effort to boost revenue during the current economic crisis? It seems like an obvious answer. Google, however, is denying the claim. When Barry Schwartz asked Google about it, Google responded:
The AdWords program policies are developed based on a combination of factors – and in this case, those included user experience, legal requirements and the fact that many hard alcohol manufacturers have been asking for the ability to promote the alcohol-related information on their sites and reach people who seek that information online.
What’s your opinion? Do you think the policy changes are a direct result of the recession?