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Mon Dec 10 2007 09:36:42

Deceptive Ads for eBay Take Visitors to Amazon.com

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

Conduct a search for the word "eBay" on Google.com, and you'll see a Sponsored Link at the top of search results advertising eBay - Official Site. However, clicking on the advertisement brings you not to eBay, but rather, to a page on Amazon.com featuring iPods for sale.

An alert bookseller noticed the strange results today and a fellow poster on the eBay discussion boards alerted AuctionBytes to the phenomenon.

Note that the same search on Yahoo brings a "Sponsor Results" ad on the right column that links to eBay. And a search for eBay on MSN.com shows a Sponsored Link for eBay that takes visitors to the eBay website.

Who's behind the Google ad? Does it violate Google's policies? I am hoping to find out. I have inquiries in to Google, Amazon.com and eBay.




Comments (16) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Deceptive Ads for eBay Take Visitors to Amazon.com   Deceptive Ads for eBay Take Visitors to Amazon.com

by: ccharned

Mon Dec 10 10:17:02 2007

That's hilarious; thanks for the laugh!

Deceptive Ads for eBay Take Visitors to Amazon.com   Deceptive Ads for eBay Take Visitors to Amazon.com

by: kelly

Mon Dec 10 10:28:05 2007

Very funny. This made my day!!

Deceptive Ads for eBay Take Visitors to Amazon.com   Deceptive Ads for eBay Take Visitors to Amazon.com

by: OMG

Mon Dec 10 11:40:07 2007

who paid for this advertisement?

Deceptive Ads for eBay Take Visitors to Amazon.com   Deceptive Ads for eBay Take Visitors to Amazon.com

by: Tom

Mon Dec 10 12:12:55 2007

It seems to be taken down. This article is sure gonna drive their 'click-cost' up today!

Deceptive Ads for eBay Take Visitors to Amazon.com   Deceptive Ads for eBay Take Visitors to Amazon.com

This user has validated their user name. by: Ina

Mon Dec 10 12:13:12 2007

I don't know if anyone will admit to what was happening, it's just 9am West coast time. But David just told me the link in the ad now takes you to eBay.

Deceptive Ads for eBay Take Visitors to Amazon.com   Deceptive Ads for eBay Take Visitors to Amazon.com

by: Lizard Wisdom

Mon Dec 10 17:46:01 2007

If we are not mistaken, it is definitely against Google's policy as the the URL in the ad (the display URL) must be the same as the ultimate destination. This must be why it was pulled.

Deceptive Ads for eBay Take Visitors to Amazon.com   Deceptive Ads for eBay Take Visitors to Amazon.com

by: bonni

Mon Dec 10 20:46:06 2007

Looks like it was just an error, but it was good for a laugh. :)

Deceptive Ads for eBay Take Visitors to Amazon.com   Deceptive Ads for eBay Take Visitors to Amazon.com

by: Dave

Tue Dec 11 04:32:45 2007

Still doing it at 9.00 am GMT in the UK

Deceptive Ads for eBay Take Visitors to Amazon.com   Deceptive Ads for eBay Take Visitors to Amazon.com

by: Ben

Tue Dec 11 04:36:06 2007

I noticed this at about 07:00 GMT and its still still going strong at 09:36 :)

Deceptive Ads for eBay Take Visitors to Amazon.com   Deceptive Ads for eBay Take Visitors to Amazon.com

by: Becki

Tue Dec 11 05:07:10 2007

Or if it's google.co.uk it goes to amazon.co.uk. :-)

Deceptive Ads for eBay Take Visitors to Amazon.com   Deceptive Ads for eBay Take Visitors to Amazon.com

by: Matt

Tue Dec 11 09:51:13 2007

Very very interesting, someone with some deep pockets in order to gain the top spot.

Deceptive Ads for eBay Take Visitors to Amazon.com   Deceptive Ads for eBay Take Visitors to Amazon.com

This user has validated their user name. by: David Steiner

Tue Dec 11 11:35:17 2007

Around 10:30am ET the link reverted back to eBay (http://hub.ebay.com/buy?keyword=ebay&crlp=464304391_3)

That's about the same time it linked back to eBay yesterday - so it could be someone's daily impression budget burning off. It's interesting that Amazon has told us that it's not them. However, the sponsored link that goes to Amazon - http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/browse/-/13660271/ref=bdst-ipod - does not appear to be an affiliate link. Both Google and eBay could not replicate the issue (try waking up earlier).

I seem to recall eBay banning the purchase of their name in Google keywords (http://www.auctionbytes.com/cab/abn/y03/m08/i07/s02) but perhaps that only pertains to Google Ads on the right.

Deceptive Ads for eBay Take Visitors to Amazon.com   Deceptive Ads for eBay Take Visitors to Amazon.com

by: terry6082

Thu Dec 13 18:53:14 2007

I saw it and messaged google. I clicked on it 3 times because I couldn't belive what I was seeing. Maybe an error? Maybe a google employee with a sense of humour?

Deceptive Ads for eBay Take Visitors to Amazon.com   Deceptive Ads for eBay Take Visitors to Amazon.com

by: momo4444

Sat Dec 15 04:11:11 2007

I had the same thing happen to me when I was on Google searching for a DVD. The first listing said eBay, but took me to Amazon.

Deceptive Ads for eBay Take Visitors to Amazon.com   Deceptive Ads for eBay Take Visitors to Amazon.com

by: J.M

Sun Dec 16 03:20:51 2007

it was a glitch in the AdWords system... I was able to use the keywords "MySpace" "yahoo" "eBay" "Craigslist" and "iphone" on my AdWords for about 4 hours @.05 cents per click opposed to the usual $10 USD per click. Google gave me a magnificent offer i could not resist.

Deceptive Ads for eBay Take Visitors to Amazon.com   Deceptive Ads for eBay Take Visitors to Amazon.com

This user has validated their user name. by: Ina

Wed Dec 19 15:51:16 2007

Lisa Raehsler of Online Marketing Mavens has a theory, which she published here:
http://onlinemarketingmavens.com/2007/12/18/i-know-who-hijack
ed-ebays-google-adwords-ad/



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