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Google Responds to AdWords Accusations

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the sorry-should-have-thought-of-that dept.

Google 149

An anonymous reader writes "Google has issued a statement on the Inside AdWords Blog. Based on the thoroughness of the statement and the use of the word 'precedent' in the second sentence, it appears that the Google PR team huddled with the legal team to get their point across." From the post: "Being rather proud of AdWords as a means to effectively advertise one's products or services, it seems natural to use it ourselves. Since it's a common practice across the industry for companies to promote their own products and services through their own web presence, there is much precedent to do this. It's important to note, however, that our ads are created and managed under the exact same guidelines, principles, practices and algorithms as the ads of any other advertiser. Likewise, we use the very same tools and account interface."

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Oooh, "precedent"! (5, Funny)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 7 years ago | (#17165902)

Based on the thoroughness of the statement and the use of the word 'precedent' in the second sentence, it appears that the Google PR team huddled with the legal team to get their point across.

I use the word "precedent" all the time. Apparently I can go around telling people I'm a lawyer now. Sweet.

Re:Oooh, "precedent"! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17165968)

I always use the term "antecedent" myself, so I must be a historian.

Coincidence? Apparently that would be politics, or some other criminal activity.

Re:Oooh, "precedent"! (5, Funny)

aberson (461047) | more than 7 years ago | (#17165990)

Guess we won't need good ole "IANAL" anymore...

Re:Oooh, "precedent"! (3, Funny)

eric_brissette (778634) | more than 7 years ago | (#17166946)

You Anal?

Re:Oooh, "precedent"! (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 7 years ago | (#17167154)

IANAL, but I play one on Slashdot.

Re:Oooh, "precedent"! (1)

kajoob (62237) | more than 7 years ago | (#17166246)

A real lawyer would have thrown in "reasonable person" and "It depends" for good measure.

Re:Oooh, "precedent"! (1)

gunnk (463227) | more than 7 years ago | (#17167258)

Or at least would have ended with some latin phrase or two... maybe as a footnote. Perhaps even like a sig file.

Re:Oooh, "precedent"! (-1, Troll)

kaizenfury7 (322351) | more than 7 years ago | (#17166352)

Dat duz not make sense. Shudent u go around and telling people that u r the George Bush?

Re:Oooh, "precedent"! (4, Funny)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 7 years ago | (#17166356)

I use the word "precedent" all the time. Apparently I can go around telling people I'm a lawyer now. Sweet.

Well, Google did set the precedent.

Re:Oooh, "precedent"! (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 7 years ago | (#17166800)

I do not think it means, what you think it means.

Leaps of logic (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 7 years ago | (#17165920)

Based on the thoroughness of the statement and the use of the word 'precedent' in the second sentence, it appears that the Google PR team huddled with the legal team to get their point across.
To bad you can't mod the summary as "Funny".

Ubuntu? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17165950)

Is it made by savages?

Re:Ubuntu? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17166166)

Almost. It's made for savages on windows so they can start using a proper operating system.

Re:Ubuntu? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17166302)

Niggers are the savage ones. Low IQ primitive tribesmen is hardly a proper theme for an advanced operating system.

Re:Ubuntu? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17166618)

Yeah tell that to your ancestors who killed more people than those "Nigger Savages". Two World wars...yeah i'm going to believe a European asshole.

Nice (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Crowhead (577505) | more than 7 years ago | (#17165952)

They probably set the max per click they'll pay to $10000. It's not like they have to pay for it.

They do need to pay publishers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17166324)

What about AdSense publishers? They do need to be paid. Haven't you ever seen AdWords (Google's ad program for advertisers) being advertised on an AdSense (Google's ad program for publishers) ad before?

Re:Nice (5, Informative)

Joe Decker (3806) | more than 7 years ago | (#17166346)

Check your dictionary under "opportunity cost." I make photographs, I frame the photographs I sell. If I take one out of inventory and put it up on my wall instead of putting it into a gallery or cafe, I'm very much paying for it, even if I don't "have to pay for it."

Re:Nice (2, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#17167152)

Assuming you aren't heavily back-ordered, the opportunity cost is going to be relatively small. The same holds true for Google; unless I am horribly misunderstanding it, they are still charging the second and third place bidders quite a bit for spots 2 and 3, so they are missing out on whatever the bid is for spot 4(actually, it looks like they show ~8 ads for 'spreadsheet, so spot 8) and whatever amount the losing bidders would have paid to move up a spot.

I bet they manage the opportunity cost very aggressively, seeing as Adwords is their core business.

Re:Nice (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 7 years ago | (#17167176)

I imagine Google makes more from whatever they fictionally pay themselves than the opportunity cost.

Even if they didn't, it could still make sense, if for no other reason than to build Google Brand awareness.

Those are the kinds of things that marketing/advertising pros sit around and think about.

Re:Nice (4, Insightful)

E++99 (880734) | more than 7 years ago | (#17166940)

They probably set the max per click they'll pay to $10000. It's not like they have to pay for it.

Actually they would. The ads that show up on Google search are the same ads that show up through their Ad Sense program on other people's website. So if they bid $10000 per click, they'd end up paying that (half of it, IIRC, and keeping half) for clicks on other web sites.

And they still pay when it's on their own web site, though not as much. They force another ad out of the #1 spot, and they force the bottom ad out altogether. That's less click-through revenue for them.

And they get unlimited money to price clicks... (1, Insightful)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 7 years ago | (#17165960)

It's important to note, however, that our ads are created and managed under the exact same guidelines, principles, practices and algorithms as the ads of any other advertiser.


I think they forgot, "...only we have unlimited play money we can allocate toward each search phrase, so we can ensure Google ads always beat out the paid ads from the unwashed masses."

Re:And they get unlimited money to price clicks... (3, Informative)

damiangerous (218679) | more than 7 years ago | (#17166006)

No, they covered that aspect and denied it.

Think about it... (5, Insightful)

TheSHAD0W (258774) | more than 7 years ago | (#17166018)

When Google uses this "play money" they lose the opportunity to make money from outside. It *is* an advertising budget; without it, Google would beat out EVERYTHING, but its revenue would trickle to a crawl. The best way to play the game would be to allocate a budget just like it was using someone else's service; that keeps everything under control.

MOD PARENT UP (5, Insightful)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 7 years ago | (#17166108)

It's the exact same dillemma TV networks have. If they spend too much advertising time advertising their own shows, then they don't make enough money from REAL advertisers. But if they don't spend enough, no one knows about their new shows.

I don't see who Google's situation is any different AT ALL. They very likely do the same thing TV networks do, the station has its own "budget" of time they can allocate to promos, and they don't exceed it.

Re:MOD PARENT UP (1)

MDMurphy (208495) | more than 7 years ago | (#17166180)

That's the precedent I first thought of when I read their post.

Re:MOD PARENT UP (2)

rudy_wayne (414635) | more than 7 years ago | (#17167038)

"It's the exact same dillemma TV networks have. If they spend too much advertising time advertising their own shows, then they don't make enough money from REAL advertisers. But if they don't spend enough, no one knows about their new shows. I don't see who Google's situation is any different AT ALL."
The television analogy is wrong because the TV networks don't sell anything other than ad time. Google, on the other hand, sells lots of other products and services besides Internet search.

Suppose that NBC wasn't just a TV network. Suppose that they also manufactured automobiles, in direct competition with Ford, General Motors and all the other car companies. If the other car companies couldn't buy any prime commercial time because NBC was using it all to promote their own cars, they would be pissed.

Also, advertisers actually benefit from TV networks promoting their own shows. When a TV network advertises its own programs, it (hopefully) results in more viewers, which (hopefully) means that more people see the commercials, which benefits the companies who buy advertising time on those shows -- more people see the commercials and (hopefully) buy the advertised products.

When Google commandeers certain key search words for itself, it benefits only Google and no one else.


Re:MOD PARENT UP (2, Insightful)

Tim C (15259) | more than 7 years ago | (#17167214)

The television analogy is wrong because the TV networks don't sell anything other than ad time.

They don't see DVDs of their shows, and licence merchandising rights? The ones in the UK certainly do.

Re:Think about it... (-1, Troll)

therealking (223121) | more than 7 years ago | (#17166218)

If you understand how adwords works you know that isn't true. No one knows how much to bid, so all google has to do is bid $1m per to get top ranking. Then the competitors get to bid top dollars to play 2nd fiddle to thier top ranking.

Reguardless of all that, they are being hypocrites by obviously exploiting thier placement as the top advertising/search network to get preferential treatment within the adwords system. Others like to complain about MS including IE in windows, or making Live.com the default search engine in IE7. Well this is no differnt.

Do no evil, please. Thats not a company slogan, it's a marketing campain. The real google, sneaks past the PR every now and then and it's as ugly as everyone else.

Re:Think about it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17166240)

Yes, total and utter evil, just like when NBC runs an ad for their show.

Re:Think about it... (2, Informative)

synx (29979) | more than 7 years ago | (#17166468)

you also don't understand how the ranking of ads in pages works either. You cannot pay for the top position, end of story. An critical aspect is the click thru rate, without a good CTR no matter how much you bid you will be forced lower and lower and eventually off the sponsored links altogether.

The brilliance of the adwords system is the dependency of CTR - essentally relevance. Ads which have high CTR have high relevancy and thus are positioned better and those advertisers pay _less_. Don't believe me? Open an adwords account and play with it. About $10-20 total should give you enough time to figure out how it works.

Re:Think about it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17166258)

Not quite. Google auctions those ad positions to the highest bidder. The second place bidder (behind Google) may be paying the same amount. They may in fact be paying more.

"I'm not a crook!" (1)

MollyB (162595) | more than 7 years ago | (#17166094)

said the crook. (Nixon, for you youngsters)

Re:And they get unlimited money to price clicks... (2, Funny)

7macaw (933316) | more than 7 years ago | (#17166168)

And just whom do they pay for that click? ;)

Re:And they get unlimited money to price clicks... (5, Informative)

shark72 (702619) | more than 7 years ago | (#17166326)

"I think they forgot, "...only we have unlimited play money we can allocate toward each search phrase, so we can ensure Google ads always beat out the paid ads from the unwashed masses.""

This is referred to as "opportunity cost." In this case, if they take an ad spot, they lose the opportunity to sell that ad spot to somebody else. If they, for example, get a discounted price of $20 for internal accounting purposes, and it would have sold at $100 on the open market, that's an $80 opportunity cost.

All companies, big and small, in all industries, deal with opportunity costs like these. I help run a company that makes computer peripherals, and we sell our products to our employees and channel partners at 50% off. We can only build so many of them (assembly lines are a resource that must be allocated), and each product that we sell to our employees is a product for which we could have made more money selling at retail.

If anybody reading this thinks for a bit, I'm sure it will be trivial how the concept of the "opportunity cost" affects you, either at your job, or in your personal life.

Re:And they get unlimited money to price clicks... (1)

silentounce (1004459) | more than 7 years ago | (#17166970)

Didn't we already have this discussion here? [slashdot.org]

Re:And they get unlimited money to price clicks... (1)

Java Pimp (98454) | more than 7 years ago | (#17167286)

In this case, if they take an ad spot, they lose the opportunity to sell that ad spot to somebody else.


I think the original argument from yesterday's article was that they actually DID sell that ad spot to somebody else... Then, that somebody else got bumped to the number two spot and Google took the top spot for themselves.

Re:And they get unlimited money to price clicks... (1)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 7 years ago | (#17167316)

This is a bit different if you sell an actual product though. For google, the cost of delivering their own ad, and delivering somebody else's ad is effectively the same, and there are no intermediaries.

Now, you make periperhals. Let's say you make a keyboard that costs $5 to produce, which you sell to a store for $10 and which the user gets for $20. Also, if the $10 price is: $5 production + $3 profit + $2 transport costs, you could sell it to your own employees for $8 and earn exactly the same amount of money as before, while charging much below what it costs in a shop.

Except that it's internal "funny money" (1, Insightful)

sdo1 (213835) | more than 7 years ago | (#17165980)

It's internal book keeping money. Funny money. No real cash changes hands like it does with between other advertisers and Google.

-S

Re:Except that it's internal "funny money" (2, Informative)

mspohr (589790) | more than 7 years ago | (#17166104)

Basic economics... consider the term "opportunity cost".

This does cost Google money. If they sell the words to themselves, then they are not receiving money from someone else for the words. Hence, it costs them money and they do not have an unlimited budget.

Re:Except that it's internal "funny money" (3, Informative)

Myopic (18616) | more than 7 years ago | (#17166304)

Yes. And furthermore the opportunity cost is equal to the price paid by the otherwise highest bidder for that search term. So, if google wants to own a term, they lose out not only on some amount of money, but the maximum amount of money the market would bear.

Re:Except that it's internal "funny money" (1)

Jherek Carnelian (831679) | more than 7 years ago | (#17166856)

And furthermore the opportunity cost is equal to the price paid by the otherwise highest bidder for that search term. So, if google wants to own a term, they lose out not only on some amount of money, but the maximum amount of money the market would bear.

Don't adwords work by ordering the ad results by highest bidder?

If so, then Google has no opportunity cost here. The highest, non google bidder just gets the 2nd slot instead of the 1st slot.

The only opportunity cost would come from potential advertisers who decide that if they can't have the top slot, they will not buy any ad at all. My guess is that such people are fairly rare and of those, most probably just look for a new keyword for which they are not in competition with google for top slot.

Re:Except that it's internal "funny money" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17166966)

I'm not going to ask the question of whether you know how adwords work, because it's clear that you don't. What I am going to ask, though, is whether you knew you didn't know how they worked, and just assumed, or whether you didn't even know your own ignorance. Neither speaks well of you.

Re:Except that it's internal "funny money" (2, Informative)

Dominic_Mazzoni (125164) | more than 7 years ago | (#17167156)

Don't adwords work by ordering the ad results by highest bidder?

No. [google.com]

Re:Except that it's internal "funny money" (1)

xenocide2 (231786) | more than 7 years ago | (#17166614)

Sure, it costs them money. There's evidence that they do decide how much money each spot they take is worth rather than simply take the first slot- gmail is the second sponsored link for "email" currently. And I see no reason why they shouldn't do it. But it is a bit unfair -- I imagine that unlike their competitors, they can know all the bids out there and their competitor's effectiveness.

Although I do wonder, what's the marginal cost of an ad on a google search result? How much does it cost google to serve up one more advert? For websense clients (or whatever they call it when they pay you to put their ads on your website), I can imagine that the cost would be primarily enrollment rates. The more invasive your system the less people want to submit their readers to that. So they err on the side of little, I imagine. But currently, their search results page seems to cut off the Sponsored Links sidebar before the "page" is over. For searches like Windows, there's more campaigns than there is space to list them all as currently laid out. Would they really lose search results for something as unobtrusive as extending the side bar one more entry? I don't even want to think about the complexities involved with deciding how many results per page should be served.

The scarcity of space they control can lead to a strong competitive advantage. They know what bid it takes to make the front page, they know what bid it takes to make the top 3 links, etc. If I were for some reason trying to compete with Google and advertising using Google (which itself seems counter-productive), I do think I'd call it somewhat unfair. But that's life.

Re:Except that it's internal "funny money" (1)

silentounce (1004459) | more than 7 years ago | (#17167010)

It's described better here. [slashdot.org]

"And when I **** my wife, I'm denying myself the revenue of a third-party john who might have rented her for that slot. Thus, in a very real sense, I pay the same rate as everyone else."

Hmmm (0, Redundant)

ubrgeek (679399) | more than 7 years ago | (#17166004)

Likewise, we use the very same tools and account interface.
So what's good for the goose is good for the gander? How does this mean that the system might still not work?

Weasel words (2, Interesting)

Captain Kirk (148843) | more than 7 years ago | (#17166020)

From TFA "As does any advertiser, we aim to give our campaigns a budget"

Come on, what you are doing is bidding whatever it takes to get the sport you want.

That pushes up the price for everyone else. Good for you but bad for your customers.

There is never a case where you lie awake at night worrying if you have bid too much.

"Do no evil" is a great motto and Google is a great company. I feel that they have not considered this from the point of view of Adwords buyers. I'd be surprised if they are still doing it in 12 months. Google would no longer be the Google we love if they are.

Re:Weasel words (5, Funny)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 7 years ago | (#17166090)

I'd be surprised if they are still doing it in 12 months.

And in a year we'll see Fox advertising NBC shows? The New York Times with a full page ad for the Washington Post? Maybe I'll buy a new car from Honda and the license plate frame will read "Have you driven a Ford lately?" Let's go all out: preachers extolling the virtues of Zen Buddhism!

A brave new world indeed.

Re:Weasel words (5, Interesting)

MDMurphy (208495) | more than 7 years ago | (#17166248)

It's not ads, but I've always been impressed by what you get if you search Google and and are offered maps as options.

Search Google for "map san francisco" at almost the top of the page you'll see links for :

          Map of San Francisco, CA
                    Google Maps - Yahoo! Maps - MapQuest

You could argue about them being first, but they give you links to two other popular mapping sites right up top.

Do the same search on Yahoo! Lower than the Yahoo map you'll find a link to MapQuest, but nowhere on the page is Google.

So is that Google advertising Yahoo for free?

Re:Weasel words (1)

poticlin (1034042) | more than 7 years ago | (#17167030)

You could argue about them being first, but they give you links to two other popular mapping sites right up top.

There is no arguing here, or advertisement either... it is basic search engine algorithm. Yahoo, MSN, and Google don't use the same Algorithm, that is why Google was very popular very fast they were arguably much more efficient then the others and IMHO still are.

Re:Weasel words (1)

modeless (978411) | more than 7 years ago | (#17167300)

They only do that because they used to before Google Maps was around. I'd be willing to bet that if they added this feature today, Google Maps would be the only option.

just thought of something (1)

modeless (978411) | more than 7 years ago | (#17167360)

They only do that because they used to before Google Maps was around. I'd be willing to bet that if they added this feature today, Google Maps would be the only option.
And here's the proof: after Google Maps was created, they added a feature to GMail to map addresses that appear in your emails. Google Maps is the only option there.

Re:Weasel words (1)

gt_mattex (1016103) | more than 7 years ago | (#17166152)

Google would no longer be the Google we love if they are.

I almost see this as the start of Google's path to Microsoft villainy.

For those who don't like the MS comparative how about Sony?

Re:Weasel words (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17166178)

"Do no evil" is a great motto and Google is a great company.

I think "Do the maximum amount of good" is a better motto, plus you wouldn't have to defend against every nitpicky argument over a tiny bit of evil in a whole bunch of good.

Re:Weasel words (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17166216)

I think a better motto is "Do Better". No matter what, even if you screw up, you can always trot out the motto that "You'll Do Better" next time.

Re:Weasel words (2, Interesting)

synx (29979) | more than 7 years ago | (#17166520)

I think it's important to realize that the adwords system is not just a straightforward action model. The overture model is straight auction, which is why adwords is superior to overture - the highest bidder does NOT always win.

A critical piece of any adwords auction is the click thru rate, aks CTR. Any experienced adwords advertiser knows that their CTR is the most valuable aspect of their ad. A higher CTR ensures you pay _LESS_ per click (even if your bid is higher), and the ranking algorithm uses relevancy, as measured by CTR as a major indicator of what should be first.

Simply put, even Google can't bid their ads to #1 position. If Google's own ads are doing well and are in the #1 position, then it is because they are more relevant than the other ads.

So to characterize it as google using unlimited "funny money" to permanently secure #1 advertiser spot is just simply wrong.

Classic Obfuscation (1)

mpapet (761907) | more than 7 years ago | (#17166054)

At the end of the day they pay themselves the highest rate for those adwords? I think the accountants/SEC would have something to say about that.

Sure, some admin uses the same interface but the statement ends there for obvious reasons.

It will be interesting to see if there is bottom-line quarter-reporting implications to this practice.

Re:Classic Obfuscation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17166256)

How so?

One Google department has an expense of $X. Another has revenue of $X. Total profit/loss of the transactions: zero.

Re:Classic Obfuscation (2, Insightful)

leoc (4746) | more than 7 years ago | (#17166306)

Out of curiosity, I wonder if the accountants at the SEC ever investigate the ads TV stations play for their own shows during prime time?

Re:Classic Obfuscation (2, Insightful)

Myopic (18616) | more than 7 years ago | (#17166350)

In fact yes they pay themselves *exactly* the highest rate for those adwords, because "paying themselves" is the same as saying "not getting paid by someone else". I mean, when google takes an adword, they are no longer paid for that adword by the person who otherwise would have paid the most for it. It is possible that google literally pays itself, but even if it doesn't, it still costs them in lost revenue, and this point is surely not lost on their accountants.

Common Sense (5, Insightful)

X43B (577258) | more than 7 years ago | (#17166082)

I don't get what all the furor was about it in the first place. Has anyone watched any television channel out there?

NBC does a crap-ton of promos for their other shows as does every other station.

I don't get why a company can't use their own products to promote themselves.

Also I don't get the monopoly argument. Google--Yahoo--MSN Search is no where near the dominance that Windows--EveryoneElse is.

Also part of a monopoly is barriers to entrance. It is so incredibly brain-dead easy to stop typing google.com and start typing yahoo.com or newsearch.com if one day I don't like to use Google. There is no OS creator that can make it that easy to switch OS's.

1) Google doesn't have a monopoly, there are real viable competitors with real market share and it is incredibly easy for new compeitors to enter the market

2) Every company in the world uses their own products to promote themselves

Re:Common Sense (1)

gt_mattex (1016103) | more than 7 years ago | (#17166206)

NBC does a crap-ton of promos for their other shows as does every other station.

NBC has competition. While you could argue that so does Google...well you really can't.

Re:Common Sense (1)

businessnerd (1009815) | more than 7 years ago | (#17166492)

NBC has competition. While you could argue that so does Google...well you really can't.
Um, the OP did argue that point, and very accurately at that.
Also I don't get the monopoly argument. Google--Yahoo--MSN Search is no where near the dominance that Windows--EveryoneElse is.
I'm not really sure where the confusion is here. GOOGLE IS NOT A FUCKING MONOPOLY!

Re:Common Sense (1)

gt_mattex (1016103) | more than 7 years ago | (#17166698)

OP argued without links, but so did I.

Google may not technically be a monopoly however it's market share is rising [webpronews.com] and Google is plenty on it's way to becoming a monopoly. [searchenginewatch.com]

Lastly, as the person who decides where my companies online advertising budget gets spent I have to tell you that Google overwhelmingly provides much of my traffic. Far more than those charts are showing. Many of my constituents have confessed similar circumstances.

P.S. This is a discussion, not a shouting match.

Re:Common Sense (2, Informative)

missing000 (602285) | more than 7 years ago | (#17166576)

NBC has competition. While you could argue that so does Google...well you really can't.
Sure They Do [google.com]

Re:Common Sense (1)

TheBigBezona (787044) | more than 7 years ago | (#17166914)

And, amusingly, they aren't even the first result in that search.

Re:Common Sense (2, Insightful)

FunkeyMonk (1034108) | more than 7 years ago | (#17166294)

To take this comment a bit further -- not only does NBC do a "crap-ton" of promos for their own shows, but they do it alongside ads that they're selling to other companies.

If I buy a Nike shirt, it has a Nike logo on it.

What surprises me most about this whole thing is that Google even feels a need to respond at all!

Money spent elsewhere. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17166486)

If say, I had a viable Document and/or Spreadsheet application, I would not use Google to promote it.

Even if I have to spend ALOT$ of money, as it'd require ALOT$ of cash to push Google off the result list, I'd go with another promotion medium (thus spending $ALOT) that would enable me to reach my potential client base. Also, I couldn't trust that Google wouldn't raise the price for AdWords/AdSense

Proof (1)

franksands (938435) | more than 7 years ago | (#17166098)

So far I call shenanigans. I've seen a lot of these articles here and on other sites. Anyone has real proof of google products appearing always in first place in its searches and/or ads?

Re:Proof (1)

syzler (748241) | more than 7 years ago | (#17166466)

funny quote (1)

dakrin9 (891909) | more than 7 years ago | (#17166114)

"In fact, we generally aim for a more 'conservative' position."

objection: unresponsive. Move to strike (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17166130)

I believe this is a "response" to the article headlined "How much does Google pay for adwords?"

Same "guidelines", same "algorithms", same "policies", but notice how they never say "same price".

Really? Strange that 'spreadsheet' would give... (1, Interesting)

Assmasher (456699) | more than 7 years ago | (#17166146)

...'Google' as #1 then, don't you think?

Re:Really? Strange that 'spreadsheet' would give.. (1)

db32 (862117) | more than 7 years ago | (#17166362)

So...if I run a search engine company, and I make spreadsheet software and you make spreadsheet software and pay me to advertise I shouldn't be allowed to advertise above you for my own product? I should give you an unfair advantage just because? Lets face it, YOU didn't make a giant search engine that basically became the top dog in internet searches, so me giving you preferental treatment over my own products is just stupid. If you are really that upset about me advertising my product on my search engine above where I am advertising your product on my search engine why don't you just go call up Yahoo and advertise with them instead? Oh...you mean being #2 on the results of the most used search engine is still a valuable thing you are willing to pay for?

I mean that is almost as goofy as being upset that AOL and others get charged to advertise their crap on the default Windows desktop, but MS doesn't get charged for the MSN link on there too. I mean while we are at it, we should force Ford to stop putting Ford emblems on their products! We must allow Chevy to pay a fair price to replace every Mustang's Ford emblem with a Chevy emblem too! (I love the slashdot computers = car analogies).

Re:Really? Strange that 'spreadsheet' would give.. (1)

Assmasher (456699) | more than 7 years ago | (#17166518)

Perhaps you're confused by the fact that Google is claiming to use the exact same criteria for their pages as for pages outside of Google. Now, considering that, tell me how Google should come up #1 for the word 'spreadsheet'? ;)

I haven't seen anybody say Google should discriminate against itself, people are saying Google should give Google priority over others just because they're 'Google' products.

Re:Really? Strange that 'spreadsheet' would give.. (1)

db32 (862117) | more than 7 years ago | (#17166738)

Given that they are pretty tight lipped about their criteria who knows. I mean if one of their criteria is response time and the servers are near each other that could do it. There are still a multitude of ways it could come up first without them changing the rules to favor themselves over others.

Re:Really? Strange that 'spreadsheet' would give.. (2, Insightful)

Assmasher (456699) | more than 7 years ago | (#17167052)

Their not tight lipped about their criteria, they're tight lipped about the exact algorithm involved (understandably so), but it still doesn't explain how they rank #1 for spreadsheet. Seriously.

Remember when Google released 'Scholar'? The very next day (this is something other people critical of Google adwords like to mention) somehow, with very few links to this new product, the word 'scholar' had Google showing up as #1.

Yeah, sure they play fair ;)... It's a fair coincidence that ALL of these words show Google as #1?

intranet, spreadsheet, documents, calendar, word processor, email, video, instant messenger, blog, photo sharing, online groups, maps, start page, restaurants, dining, and books

Some? Yes, all? No way. Not spreadsheet, not documents, certainly shouldn't be for e-mail or instant messenger.

Re:Really? Strange that 'spreadsheet' would give.. (1)

AchiIIe (974900) | more than 7 years ago | (#17167310)

I was about to dismiss your comment, but then I tried it
> Spreadsheet - google #1
> Spreadsheet program - openoffice calc & wikipedia, google sneak peak later
> Spreadsheet software - others
> Spreadsheet application - others, wikipedia, excel, google sneak peak

That google sneak peak is interesting, when it was announced that page was linked everywhere on all blogs. That would make sense to come up as the google-related page on a spreadsheet search. And that's not the case, I would say there's definitely something fishy there.

Shill bids (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17166150)

So they are bidding internally on their adwords, driving the price up, and causing their customer to pay more?

That is called shill bidding. It is generally considered unethical for an auction house to do that.

Some might even call it...

<pinky finger to corner of mouth>
...Evil.
</pinky finger to corner of mouth>

Still competing against their customers (1)

slofstra (905666) | more than 7 years ago | (#17166164)

Selling a service to customers who compete with you in other areas is always a dicey strategy. It's also known as vertical integration - controlling multiple levels in the supply chain. The risk with that strategy is that lower levels in the supply chain which you control may have difficulty selling their product to your competitors. If I was a spreadsheet or mapping software company (Microsoft), would I use Google to advertise? If I had currency handling (Paypal) software would I use Google to advertise? Not if I could help it - why help the competition. Unless the competition has a monopoly, then you have to deal with them. If Google becomes a major software player they may have to divest the search business and set it up as a wholly owned subsidiary working at arm's length.

Re:Still competing against their customers (1)

iamacat (583406) | more than 7 years ago | (#17166414)

If I was a word processing company, would I port my product to Windows?
If I wanted to process online payments, would I accept Visa?
If my co-worker is a competitor for the same promotion, would I come to him/her for work issues?

When you make a decision to get involved with a 3rd party, 99% percent of the time you should just try to get a better deal in that particular transaction rather than considering potential competition through several layers of indirection. Otherwise, you will end up not getting a good deal for anything. A while ago, Slashdot covered popularity of iPod among Microsoft employees and their extensive use of google to search MSDN. Good for them!

Re:Still competing against their customers (1)

slofstra (905666) | more than 7 years ago | (#17167128)

Whether you should or should not work with a competitor depends on how much harm extends from doing so. The examples you cite aren't very good ones. Years ago in our town you had to drive an American car to do business with auto suppliers - which was nonsense. Similarly with Microsoft employees using iPods. It does no harm to Microsoft for them to do so.

But your example of the "word processing company" is a quite different matter. There's no question that Wordperfect for Windows could not compete against Word and that was the end of WordPerfect. Unfortunately, there was no operating system alternative for WordPerfect to work with so they were done for dinner at the moment Microsoft decided to develop a word processor.

The whole business of alliances and who works with who is complicated and interesting and does not come down to the best deal or the best alternative winning out in any given situation.

Companies tend to work within one layer in an industry in order to avoid competing with their customers. It happens all the time. I once worked for a software company that was bought by a hardware vendor. They had to withdraw some of their software offerings to avoid competing with the hardware vendor's dealers (who wrote and sold competing software).

The companies that go 'vertical', do so when they think they can knock out everyone else in the layer. Take Microsoft going into Accounting software. They make enemies (okay, competitors) out of Accounting software vendors that used to support them. So if Microsoft is going to move into another layer - they better do it in a big way.

So what! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17166190)

That's my reply to all this AdSense hysteria. Google doesn't pay crap for ads and costs more than it's worth to display ads. As soon as the customers learn just how much of a rip-off AdSense is, they'll move to better ad services.

Here's an example where AdSense paid less than $3 for over 400,000 impressions over a week:

http://users.upstate.net/zoom/adsense_fraud2.gif [upstate.net]

AdSense isn't worth even bother with.

Re:So what! (1)

synx (29979) | more than 7 years ago | (#17166572)

You are aware that the original post is about AdWords?

As for not making money on AdSense - are you not paid for the CLICKS? That you only got 5 clicks in 400,000 impressions is not necessairly google's fault. Now if you had some comment re: the quality of placed ads, then there might be something to talk about.

Enron-like crash looming? (1)

bigattichouse (527527) | more than 7 years ago | (#17166288)

Ok.. so google pays itself for clicks.. say 10000 clicks a day at some arbitrarily high number like $10000/click. So, will Google then report that as SALES? .. ooh today we earned $100,000,000! See Wall street, push our stock value up - we just made a boatload of cash! ... makes me wonder if the emperor is feeling the draft yet.

Re:Enron-like crash looming? (2, Insightful)

krbvroc1 (725200) | more than 7 years ago | (#17166508)

Perhaps, but they will also list the same amount as an expense--thus the amounts would cancel out. That is why when you due your due diligence you look beyond the press releases.

Re:Enron-like crash looming? (1)

xoyoboxoyobo (945657) | more than 7 years ago | (#17167076)

It's not fake money. Companies do interdepartment financial transactions all the time. Just because it's Google doesn't make it fishy. If Marketing department has budget of 100 dollars, and AdWords charges Marketing 30 dollars, and Google made 300 dollars total profit ... Marketing has 70 dollars left to spend over the year. Those 30 dollars get added to total expenses. Net profit = 300 - 30 = 270 dollars. Of course this is a highly simplified example, and I'm sure Google shareholders are hoping a net profit something more than 270 bucks...

Blame the Lawyers (1)

fotbr (855184) | more than 7 years ago | (#17166354)

Since there's no precedent for any other group using large words included in the english language.

I don't particularly like lawyers in general, but that really was a cheap shot. I expect better out of the lawyer-bashing slashdot crowd.

and the top google add for this post is ... (2, Funny)

lderezinski (720899) | more than 7 years ago | (#17166368)

It struck me pretty funny that that the top google add for this post was .... (drum roll please) Google AdWords go figure ...

IANAL can go back to its original definition... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17166566)

_I_ am just _ANAL_ retentive :)

One huge differnce... (2, Insightful)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 7 years ago | (#17166694)

"It's important to note, however, that our ads are created and managed under the exact same guidelines, principles, practices and algorithms as the ads of any other advertiser. Likewise, we use the very same tools and account interface."

But Google knows their own search algorithms. I'll bet if I were privvy to the same knowledge, I could make AdWords ads that rival Google's. They play by the same rules but only they know the rules.

to be expected (2)

ritzel (763492) | more than 7 years ago | (#17166746)

Google hires away MS's top talent, and people are shocked when they start to act like MS?

Must disclose list of words they are using (1)

spectro (80839) | more than 7 years ago | (#17166804)

That way any potential customer knows beforehand these words are not available for a first place ad, otherwise the word fraud comes to mind.

It's important that this is an auction (2, Insightful)

jtappan (168418) | more than 7 years ago | (#17166996)

There is an important difference between what Google is doing and what television stations do when they run ads for their own shows: the TV stations don't sell their ads in an auction market (at least not usually).

If Google bids for AdWords (either with funny money or somehow with real money) then it is bidding against its own customers in an auction for its own products. Bidding in your own auction ("shill bidding") has long been considered a fraudulent practice.

Re:It's important that this is an auction (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17167228)

Shilling is used to raise the bid. This, on the other hand, is to outbid everyone. That's not really shilling. In a normal auction, who wants to win their own item?

Tax Liability? (3, Interesting)

Christopher_Edwardz (1036954) | more than 7 years ago | (#17167340)

If google:

  • gives itself free advertising for other products in its portfolio
  • and derives monetary or other substantial benefit
  • and values this service for money

Do they, then, have to mark as "income" the money they create in this manner? I mean, the point would be moot if they "paid themselves" and then marked that as income. (And also created a business expense I guess.)

Do they have to bid, like the others, or do they simply bid[0] = bid.highest() + 1 where bid[0] is google's "bid"? If so, does this violate their own bidding rules? It appears by the article that they do bid fairly.

However, if they do not use "real money" to do so, or record any "created money" as income (as it is value, as it is valuable, since they sell it as a service), isn't this a problem legally?

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