I know it exists somewhere. That small, yet butterfly effect straw, placed on the unsuspecting camel’s back inviting closer scrutiny, congressional hearings, government intervention or a huge class action into the affairs of the mothership Google, is out there. All the little flags keep popping up, one more business ruined, many more cases of click fraud, one more tweak in the algorithm that damages commerce, one last utter absurdity that drives someone important to the brink of insanity.
Or maybe it will be the one hack or mistake that releases too much personal data or one sensitive government database indexed and opened to the public in an attempt to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” and the tool we use every day to find information in this vast library known as the internet will get the colonoscopy they deserve.
If I weren’t so anti-government, and the US government weren’t so inept at what they do, I’d be championing the cause. Why? Because Google is an unyielding monolith that exists only to organize that which has already been created and is working as diligently as possible to mold the world’s information and our access to it as they see fit.
If you think the notion of a Supreme Star Chamber of 9 black robed men and women deciding law for an entire nation seems absurd, what must you think of a single company that controls nearly 50% of what the entire world searches for online and the order in which they are able to find it? And what must you think of that same company who takes in 25% of all advertising revenue spent online, yet doesn’t have to clearly define what they actually expect of their advertisers? What must your average legislation writing bureaucrat think of it?
If you haven’t guessed it by now, I’m on a rant. Another run in with the absurdity that is Google Adwords is the cause. I often wonder why I continue to even try to to business with a lifeless algorithm and equally lifeless canned responses to email inquiries once I actually make contact with a real human. Oh, that’s right, I do business with them because they’re virtually the only business in town.
The latest judgment by the almighty algorithm came as I was attempting to set up a PPC campaign in two different Ad Groups, bidding on nearly identical keywords, sending traffic to the exact same landing page in both Ad Groups. Not similar pages, the same page, with the same url. The only difference was the tracking sub-id so I can tell which keyword is converting. Both groups ran for 5 minutes and I get an email alert from Adwords telling me my landing page url is wrong in the second Ad Group. No, it’s not wrong, how could it be, it’s the same url? Please, I’m losing my mind, can I get a human being to look at this.
So in an attempt to humor the lifeless entity disapproving of my advertising, I switched the .us ending of the url to a .com and get another 5 minutes to run my ads until they’re again switched off for the same reason. I then switch back the url to the correct .us suffix thinking that maybe a human will take a look at it this time and only end up getting another 5 minutes of ad time before the email once again lets me know of the supposed url error. At this point I’m livid enough to start swearing, drinking and writing bad checks and have to walk away from my desk before I end up on YouTube in the next computer and office destroying video frenzy.
I find it beyond amazing that it takes only 10 minutes to disapprove my ads twice with the effect of shutting down half of my advertising, but it takes 3 days to answer an email inquiring into what is an obvious error. Of course there will be no easy resolution as the first email I see hopefully from Adwords tomorrow will be the usual nonsense response that won’t even deal with the issue and instead will be a rehash of some policy found buried deep in the bowels of Google’s Adwords help files.
After 3 or 4 emails traded between myself and the helpmeister from somewhere near the molten core of our planet I’ll probably just decide that’s it’s better to do my own landing page and be done with the whole thing. Or maybe I’ll just spend my money at Yahoo instead.
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