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Google Combats Ads for Counterfeit Goods

As long as there are desirable goods in the marketplace there will be people willing to imitate them and try to market and sell them as the real thing. Counterfeit goods have been a problem not only for those victimized but for the overall market.

Google AdWords presents one avenue sellers of fakes have used to try and reach customers. Google’s dominance of online search and of search advertising means an unscrupulous ad could reach a significant audience. It’s one group of advertisers Google doesn’t want for their services.

Their Inside AdWords blog recently noted some of the successes Google enjoyed in combating various bad advertising practices in 2013. Among them, the fight against counterfeit goods.

“Attempts to market counterfeit goods on AdWords decreased by 47% in 2012 and 82% in 2013. In parallel, the volume of complaints about these ads dropped by 85% in 2012 and by another 78% in 2013,” Google Mike Hochberg wrote.

The further impact of their efforts also seems to have drained some of the bad actors from the murky pool of illicit advertisers. Hochberg also detailed a few other ways in which Google has worked to diminish the impact of bad ads, and content backed by bad ads.

Sites who hope to turn to other avenues to game Google, such as in search optimization, will find similar roadblocks in their way. Well-known Google anti-spam engineer Matt Cutts recently declared the end of guest blogging as a way to improve one’s PageRank.

“So stick a fork in it: guest blogging is done; it’s just gotten too spammy. In general I wouldn’t recommend accepting a guest blog post unless you are willing to vouch for someone personally or know them well,” Cutts wrote.

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David A Utter
David A Utter
David A. Utter is a freelance writer based in Lexington, KY. He has covered technology topics from search to security to online business and has been quoted in places like ZDNet and BusinessWeek. He considers his appearance on NPR's "All Things Considered" with long-time host Robert Siegel a delightful highlight. You can find him on Twitter @davidautter and on LinkedIn.