More than a year ago, I wrote about the high level (as much as 50%) of deceptive advertising in Google’s sponsored search results (AdWords) for the search keyword ‘jobs’. I hoped Google would clean up the spam…
And why should I care about this?
- First, Google is slowly teaching everyone that uses the Internet not to click on sponsored results. As an advertiser, that means I should expect that over time, only morons will click on my ads.
- Second, dishonest advertising competes with my advertising – significantly raising the price I pay.
A year later, the AdWords pollution is all the more remarkable considering the deep suffering of today’s jobless. It’s a little bit like selling healing water or zeolite as a cure for cancer. Sounds ridiculous? People who are suffering want to believe – they do buy this stuff.
Google CEO Eric Schmidt’s recent message strikes a chord for me – he says:
"Brands are the solution, not the problem. Brands are how you sort out the cesspool"
And I say — just look at these AdWords results – here’s what you’ll find if you click the second one pictured above:
I say the Internet will remain a cesspool until Google stops supporting and enabling blatantly deceptive advertising. Here is a fascinating blog post that goes into more depth on deceptive Internet advertising.
I have never ridden in a private jet like the Google plane (pictured) and I don’t have a multibillion-dollar margin for error. If Google can’t afford to review and reject deceptive advertising, I don’t know who can. And, as Google goes, so goes the market.
The suffering in the recruiting industry is intense – we have let go a significant proportion of our staff as has most everyone involved in the employment business. We have taken significant salary cuts and we are fighting the crisis with sustained high intensity. And through all this, we continue protecting the user experience and job seekers from predators.
Now, I still love you Google and never leave the house without one of my Google caps. So, consider this a hopeful message. I’ve seen your responsiveness. So, follow some of these ads and if your sense of decency isn’t offended, I’ll eat my hat.