NYT On Google Ad Copy Policies – Overture Barely Gets A Mention

Advertisers on Google Are Told to
Keep It Proper
from the New York Times looks at how it’s not anything goes with ads on Google, in terms of language, spelling and grammar.

Yahoo-owned Overture has policies like this too — and has had them longer than Google since it was Overture, not Google, that created that paid search revolution that both
companies are now harvesting.

You might not realize this from the article. The fact that Overture has policies warrants an “also” mention way, way, way down at the bottom of the page. That’s it. Despite
having a nearly even split of the search ad world, the good/poor folks over at Overture didn’t apparently warrant a quote or any extended look.

To put this in perspective, it’s like the New York Times just did a big article about how NBC — a major television network in the US — has editorial policies on its ads
but didn’t bother to examine or talk to those from ABC or CBS — equally large networks.

The article focus isn’t on some of Google’s controversial ad policies that have come up in the past. Instead, it’s more about language and creative issues. “Check em out”
wasn’t allowed in an ad the story’s author had placed, but “check them out” was. That sort of thing.

Hey, nice to see the Denver News Agency so knowledgeable about Google’s ad system. It chimes in to the story with: “Google’s ads are just placed online without any human

Um, no. First of all, some human interaction placed the ad in the first place. It IS true that ads are allowed to go online at Google before review (unlike the case with
Overture, kudos to them) which has made for some embarrassment with Google in the past. But all ads, Google says, are supposed to be reviewed by humans at some point, usually
within 24 hours.

The time may be longer with some ads that hit terms that aren’t very frequent or which generate little revenue, but it may only be hours before an ad for popular terms or
which generates much revenue is reviewed, said Salar Kamangar, director of product management at Google, told me last week when I talked with him about Google’s new
one ad per merchant policy. But all ads are supposed to be eventually reviewed.

Having said this, there’s still the case where ads tapping into automated creation of titles and description aren’t really going before humans at both Google and Overture.
Gary’s post last month points out some issues this raises: Poor Relevancy and Automated Search Ads.

For some related information on this topic see:

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