How Google are trying to kill independent websites using cold calls.

Last week one of my clients received a call from a Google rep who told them “there is a major issue with your ad account”. Of course this came as a shock. Firstly, because Google weren’t provided with my client’s details, so contacting them directly was very odd. Secondly, because as far as I was concerned the account was in good health.

So, what was this “major issue”?

According to the Google rep, our adverts were delivering a poor click-through-rate (CTR) on Google search partner websites, so they suggested I stopped advertising there. However, this isn’t a major issue, as having a poor CTR on Google search partners doesn’t affect the effectiveness of the adverts. Upon close inspection, despite the poor CTR, Google search partners were actually delivering cheaper leads and search traffic than Google themselves.

So why would Google encourage me to pull the plug on these Google search partners if they are delivering good results?

For every click my adverts get on a Google search partner’s website, Google have to share the ad revenue from this pay-per-click. By telling advertisers to turn off their adverts on these websites, Google will then receive 100% of the advertiser’s spend.

Overall, this is a sickening attempt at stealing revenue from small websites.

There’s something ironic about Google (one of the biggest technology brands in the world) relying on call centres for this marketing campaign.

The Google rep who phoned me openly admitted that she was making her way through a call list to deliver this information, meaning this is something that Google is proactively working on.

Does this seem like the work of a multi-billion pound technology brand? Not really. This is the actions of a company who has reached a revenue plateau and is desperately trying to find ways of squeezing any potential revenue out of customers in order to impress their board of directors.

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