As a PPC specialist here at DragonSearch, I know certain words and phrases wont be displayed (or tolerated?) by Google.  These are your typical R-rated words and phrases, but includes some other keywords as well.  The complete list of Google’s content guidelines for Adwords is here if you are curious.  I recently ran into a problem that highlighted this necessary policy.  The Magic Foundation is a not-for-profit client who specializes in helping people with disorders associated with the lack of human growth hormone (HGH).  Examples of such disorders are Russell-Silver Syndrome or Turner’s syndrome.  I maintain their account and many of their keywords include the phrase “human growth hormone” like “human growth hormone replacement therapy.”  The ads were instantly flagged due to their relation to steroids, which Google doesn’t allow to be advertised.  Every ad I had “HGH” or “human growth hormone” in was disapproved.  After I applied for an exception, Google gladly warranted the exception and my ads are now running. This got me thinking about the advertisements in general, so I thought I’d take a closer look at how both Google and Facebook manage their ad policies.

Google Adwords Policies

It is good to know that Google doesn’t mess around.  Their rules are there to make their ad platform legit.  Who wants to advertise where there are no guidelines?  One of my favorite rules that Google has is with its superlatives.  A company cannot claim to be the best or claim to give the greatest value or lowest prices.  I think this is what sets it apart from others.  Google’s rules make all ads seem equivalent.  It is the kind of market one would want to advertise in, especially if one owns a small company selling the same product as Wal-Mart.  It’s comforting to know one’s ad will receive the same audience and platform as the multibillion dollar global conglomerate.

Facebook is the Wild, Wild West of PPC Advertising

I thought I would see if Facebook had the same legitimacy and equivalency.  It didn’t take long to figure out that Facebook  has a long way to go to catch up to Google.  One of the first ads I saw was this:

Example of a terrible ad on Facebook

Even though the ad is for a fictional book, this picture obviously is a fake.  I am not sure that Google would allow this, but I have never seen anything this preposterous-looking on Google’s network.  The images I have seen in their ads are always legit looking.  Here is another example of an ad on Facebook that Google wouldn’t run:

Example of a terrible ad on facebook

If you click on this ad you go to an audio of a man talking endlessly about how unique his exercise secret is and why you should pay him for his secrets and guarantees success. He uses the same phrases and keywords used by the celebrity trainers and diet gurus that he claims are “lying through their teeth in order to milk as much money out of you as possible.”  This is just another ad that is really nonsensical and is a waste of your time and money.  Google would never allow this to be a landing page.  It feels more like a terrible infomercial than an honest website that wants to help out potential clients.  Let’s look at another ad:

An example of a terrible ad on Facebook

This ad is the worst offender yet.  It tries to lure a user in by offering a free video.  The free video is a 10 minute video on the landing page that offers no recommendations, no guidance, and no helpful advice, and it rambles on and on.  The guy who talks into the camera has a messy desk behind him and there is a fireplace in the background.  Obviously this is this guy’s house and he is recording himself at his work desk.  Quite frankly the video comes across as stupid.  I wouldn’t listen to this guy even if he did give  me advice.  The free video leads of course to the video that really tells you how to get your lover back and it isn’t free. In fact it is $39:

add to cart image

I feel like I could go on and on with this, but I think the point proved itself already.  Facebook’s ad platform is childish compared to the maturity of Google’s.  Did I forget anything in my comparison?  What are your thoughts?

Facebook’s Ads Attributes

Facebook ads do have some positives.  They often look a little better, have more characters, and all of them come with an image.  Google’s text ads are all uniform but don’t have an image and only allow 95 total characters compared to Facebook’s 135 character limit.  Until Facebook comes up with some new guidelines for everyone to follow, I will continue to suggest that people put their money into advertising on Google before they go to Facebook.

This entry was posted on Friday, October 1, 2010 and is filed under Pay-Per-Click.

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