The Australian Small Business Blog

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Google’s New Strategy: All our advertisers must be mediocre

by Dr. Greg Chapman

Have you produced great results for your customers? Perhaps you have saved them lots of money. Don’t tell Google. Perhaps you have made them lots of money. Don’t tell Google. Perhaps you solved a problem that no one else could. Don’t tell Google.

If you have produced extraordinary results for your clients, Google doesn’t want you to tell anyone about them. Google only wants to advertise mediocre businesses.


If your clients rave about you, and you place their testimonials on your website, even if they are not on your landing page, Google will demand you remove them, otherwise they will disapprove your site.

Now we have all seen ads promising weight loss in 7 days with a new miracle diet, or get rich quick schemes that only enrich the promoters and Google is right to clamp down on these claims, but if yours is a genuine business that produces great results for clients, you can’t let others know how good you are if you want to advertise on Google.

An example of an unacceptable testimonial for Google is:
Greg, What a year! I have done a profit analysis for the two calendar halves of the year. 100% increase in Gross Profit. Revenue in line with forecast. Hired two new staff. The big improvement has been the ability for me to know where my money is and how best to spend it! Thanks for all your help! John Smith – Widgets R Us.

An example of an acceptable testimonial for Google is:
Greg really helped our business and was great to work with* John Smith – Widgets R Us
*Results and experiences may vary




Any results deemed ‘unrealistic’ by Google will not be accepted, even with a disclaimer, and even if you properly identify the author of the testimonial.

However, you might be lucky, because Google does not apply such rules uniformly. In fact, when one of my websites was suspended, I sought examples from my competitors to see whether Google had applied these rules to others. I could not find a single example. When challenged on this, Google wouldn’t provide another example to demonstrate its even handedness, because they couldn’t.

Google has become an unaccountable behemoth where arbitrary decisions are made by anonymous bureaucrats that can have a big impact on businesses. Google has forgotten that it is providing a classifieds service to businesses of all sizes in countries across the world. It’s not an upmarket magazine such as Vogue or Forbes that that advertise only luxury brands. Most of Google’s advertisers are small businesses trying to compete against the big brands and whose only point of difference may be in the superior results they provide for their clients.


It’s fortunate that while Google is losing touch with their customers, there other online marketing channels are appearing and although there are no serious challengers to Google in websearch at the moment, if Google continues to treat its customers this way, someone will do to Google what it did to Yahoo. May You Business Be - As You Plan It!

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Dr Greg Chapman is the Director of Empower Business Solutions and is Australia's Leading Advisor on Emerging Businesses and provides Coaching and Consulting advice to Australian Small Business Owners in Marketing & Business Strategies Planning & Systems. He is also the author of The Five Pillars of Guaranteed Business Success and Price: How You Can Charge More Without Losing Sales.



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Dr. Greg Chapman is also the author of
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