The following is a Guest Post from Amber Benedict.
A client of mine emailed me in a panic, saying two of their affiliate PPC sites have been “tagged” by Google Adwords for violation of the Google double serving policy. “Tagged” meaning that Google is planning to take down my clients’ paid ads for violation of the policy. The Google double ad serving policy, according to my Google rep, states that, “Any client that offers the same products or services at similar price points as other advertisers without significant differentiation in terms of website content may run into this policy.”
Google also states that it’s important to note that they’re not shutting down an advertisers account per say, advertisers are simply entering a ‘pre-auction’ with other advertisers who are selling or offering the same products at the same selling price. The affiliate or re-seller who wins the pre-auction will show in the final auction and actually appear on the search engine results page. This way search results will provide more unique offers for users.
How do you win the pre-auction you may ask? You got it – bid higher! In order to win the pre-auction, Google chooses the advertiser with the best combined quality score and bid for the final auction.
Another interesting point is that if you don’t want to participate in this pre-auction and essentially compete with your own affiliate advertisers, you can simply add products that differentiate yourself from your affiliates. Note that just by adding content that Google can simply find elsewhere will not be sufficient.
If you are affected by this policy, you will be notified by Google or your account rep. Good luck!