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Google Cracking Down on AdWords Scams




You’ve probably seen the “Make Money on Google” ads floating around the Internet these days. (Or maybe not. . . .) The banner ads are one thing (I think most of us know to take them with a grain of salt). But when you see the same scam advertised on Google, even intelligent users might begin to wonder if there’s an association between the two—maybe it’s true.

(Don’t worry, you didn’t miss out. It is a scam.)


Screencap by Barry Schwartz

Though these ads have been appearing for months, Google has finally started to crack down on them. According to Search Engine Roundtable, Google is banning ads with keywords that look related to these AdWords scams. They’re also taking action against the account owners, according to an email to an advertiser posted Google AdWords Help thread:

It’s come to our attention that you have submitted ads that promote Google Money Tree or ads that promote a misrepresented affiliation with Google. Due to multiple complaints from our users and publishers, we’ve made the decision not to accept these ads.

This is a notification that your account has been suspended due to the submission of these ads and your ads will no longer run on Google. Please note that future accounts you open will also be suspended.

Apparently Google started the strict enforcement of this part of the guidelines on July 1.

What do you think? Is this crack down going to help protect more victims of the scams, or is it just Google covering itself?

  • http://www.jaankanellis.com Jaan Kanellis

    It is about damn time! Seriously what took them so long?

    Jaan Kanellis’s last blog post..Hey Dennis Kneale, Bloggers Do Not Equal Anonymity, Duh

  • http://www.business-opportunities-reviewed.com/ Business Opportunities Reviewed

    This is great news. I was an unfortunate victim of this marketing scam. Fortunately I was able to get a refund, others weren’t so lucky.

    However, Google may be cracking down on the “Google Kit” and anything with the Google name, however the very same scam is happening in different packages. ie I saw the same scam for an “eBay Kit” and even an anti-aging pill that was supposed to be a “free trial”

    It appears this scam is on a rampage. Offering people something for free or for just the “shipping and handling” cost, and then in tiny writing somewhere at the bottom of the page is the info about the monthly subscription you are unknowingly signing up for.

    You can see a few examples of these links here (just scroll to the bottom of the page)

    http://www.business-opportunities-reviewed.com/the-google-kit-and-other-kits-marketing-scam

    Business Opportunities Reviewed’s last blog post..Which Ones Are Scams ? Which Aren’t ? I’ve Spent the Time and Money – So You Don’t Waste Yours

  • http://life-coach-pushpa.blogspot.com/ Pushpa

    Well and truly overdue. There’s enough genuinely desperate people out there seeking other options and they don’t need to be kicked yet again by E-Thugs. False advertising or E-pickpocketing?!

  • http://amazooo.com Quang Nguyen

    Well, in my opinion, I thing it’s just google covering itself.
    Who dare those ads don’t appear somewhere, some how?

    Quang Nguyen’s last blog post..Daily Horoscopes for July 7, 2009

  • http://desktopserver.com Nick Bentley

    There’s been a lot of marketing programs as well that use Google (assasin, black book, etc.) and they don’t allow the use of a trademark name, but many have used Google in it. I don’t blame them for putting the hammer down, they’re probably getting blamed because their name is attached to these “products”.
    I speak to people all day long who have fallen for these things, and the worst off don’t have credit cards with chargeback protection, they use debit cards linked to their bank accounts and don’t have the same level of protection in most cases. I know some offer 30 days but most it’s a shorter time limit, not like seven to twelve months like with American Express (or the two to six months with Visa/MC, it’s up to the underwriting bank).
    There’s a lot of desperate people out there today, and that’s the reason why these crooks are making money at stuff like this. The worst are the ones offering a “job” when it’s really a business opportunity, and often a flimsy one at that. One of my friends who’s a former Detroit auto exec’s daughter in college was looking for a summer job, and they all said they were just hiring people supporting a family and not students. Yikes..

    Nick Bentley’s last blog post..Zer01 Mobile and Buzzirk Mobile Review

  • Dean

    At the bottom of this post and throughout Marketing Pilgrim there are ads for “Google Pays Me Posting Links Online” that looks eerily like the ads in this post. Is this advertiser legit?

  • http://www.marketingpilgrim.com Andy Beal

    @Dean – the ad has been removed.

  • http://www.abundantace.com/ ace

    What a joke. I still see the scam ads of white teeth, weight loss and face cream products running through google ads.

  • http://texasseo.com Kevin Lam

    It’s about time! I’m tired of seeing these ads. I hope they catch every single one of them and do to them what they do in Singapore – spank their asses! That was a fun place to visit, btw.

    Kevin Lam’s last blog post..What A Lot of Businesses & Corporations Are Missing

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  • http://www.kent-website-designer.co.uk/ Web Site Design Kent

    Just a PR excercise from Google. I and many others believe that Adwords is a major click fraud system and Google is always in a win win situation because Adwords perpetuates it but they still get paid from unaware sucker advertisers. Google is like M$ now, Untouchable, with no accountability. Hell, they dont even have a telephone support line like bona fida companies do provide. Hoping to find an answer to a problem on Support website IS NOT customer service!
    They wont admit the truth behind the extra billion pages appearing last year through some eastern bloc Adsense scam last year that the poor old advertisers paid for. Did Google offer refunds? Huh.
    Just a PR excercise as I said.

  • http://www.kent-website-designer.co.uk/ Web Site Design Kent

    Just to add that I think a lot of people suckered into these scams are lazy and looking for an easy way of earning money. Just typing in links to earn a $1000 a month? They must be really stupid.
    Rule 1. If it seems to good to be true then it is.
    Rule 2. Success is 99% perspiration, 1% Inspiration.
    When your working off someone elses ideas to make YOU money i.e. Being led, then you are always at risk. Thats how the Marketing Guru`s make a living from unsuspecting simpletons.
    Best to work things out for yourself, accepting your limitations ang go from there, especially on the Internet where its damn hard to make a living!!