Edelman Critiques Google AdWords
Spyware researcher Ben Edelman looked into pay-per-click scams and the lengthy AdWords Content Policy, and found plenty of advertisers pushing to and past the boundaries of “ethical and legal advertising” online.
|Edelman Critiques Google AdWords|
Edelman took particular notice of ads that appear to violate Federal Trade Commission rules on ad composition, as well as ads that make false claims. He discussed his findings in a story titled False and Deceptive Pay-Per-Click Ads.
“Read Google’s voluminous Adwords Content Policy, and you’d think Google is awfully tough on bad ads,” he wrote. “What kind of scam could get through rules like these?” Edelman then knocked down that straw man with a number of examples.
First there is the issue of advertisers selling “free” products. “These ads are particularly galling because, in each example, the specified program is available for free elsewhere on the web, e.g. directly from its developer’s web site,” Edelman said.
Ringtones have been another target of advertisers who bill them as “free,” yet victims end up paying a monthly subscription fee. True conditions of such “free” offers are buried in fine print, and violate FTC rules (emphasis added):
Faulting the advertisers for these ads showing up in AdWords does not get Google off the hook either, in Edelman’s opinion:
Google profits from the ads, as do those who bid for their placement. Edelman noted the profit pendulum swings heavily in Google’s direction based on one part of his research:
David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.