back to article Oz court to test AdWords' WHOLE BUSINESS MODEL

Australia's High Court, from which no appeal is possible, will this week hear a case in which Google stands accused of intentionally deceiving and misleading consumers by automatically placing ads according to advertisers' requested keywords. The case is being pursued by Australia's Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC), …

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"Regulator insists ad placements can misled and deceive"

Especially if they're not in English....

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Devil

"Google inserted the keywords from the user’s queries into the headlines of the advertisements."

Interesting if true.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "Google inserted the keywords from the user’s queries into the headlines of the advertisements."

Oh, yeah! I'm getting really fed up of adverts for eBay/Amazon/price comparison sites that say "Special Deals on Furry Wingnuts" or whatever you were searching for. I wondered if the search terms were available to the advertiser.....

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Holmes

Re: "Google inserted the keywords from the user’s queries into the headlines of the advertisements."

I believe it is the advertiser than can insert some code to re-use the search term which brought you to the site in titles etc. I think there are a few variations on this approach. If I understand it correctly it is more that Google passes on this information to websites than that they themselves insert it. I think, and we all know how dangerous that is, thinking I mean!

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Advertising misleads & deceives? Colo(u)r me surprised! Not.

Any idiot who believes advertising is ... well, an idiot.

The irony is the legislature (anywhere) is even worse when it come to spin.

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Re: Advertising misleads & deceives? Colo(u)r me surprised! Not.

"Any idiot who believes advertising is ... well, an idiot."

That's true, and that's also why Google invests a certain amount of effort into disguising their ads so that they are not necessarily or always easily recognizable as such.

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Re: Advertising misleads & deceives? Colo(u)r me surprised! Not.

I dunno about in Australia, but around these parts most of Google's sponsored adverts are in a pink box. Besides, what's the big deal with getting a Ford from a non-Ford dealer? We got a Renault from a Citroen dealer - it happens...

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@heyrick

"I dunno about in Australia, but around these parts most of Google's sponsored adverts are in a pink box. "

Here too, but on my screen, the shade of pink is so light that you can only actually see it if you look at the screen off-angle. (I understand that in my case this could easily be a consequence of my monitor settings, though.) Whenever I use Google, and there is more than one advert at the top of the results, it takes actual effort to see which of the top results are real results and which are Googlespam.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @heyrick

This is more of a scam by Google against the advertisers. The top results are coloured so that on many LCD screens they are hard to spot so that they blend into the search results.

However, if you own a brand such as "Joe's Jeans" you have to bid on search words such as "Joe's Jeans", "www.joesjeans.com" etc as your competitor might bid on these keywords if you don't.

You may well find, for those keywords, you are then placed at the very top of the results in the 'hard to see sponsored ad' box.

However for the user who was looking for Joe's Jeans and typed it onto the search bar (or accidentally typed Joe's URL into the search bar rather than the address bar) and would've clicked the first result in the list which would've bean your site anyway, they now click the top result which is paid for.

This creates a click through for Google and a cost to Joe's Jeans -whereas without have that top search bar the user would've gone to the same site for free.

Joe can't ask to only have his ads by the side of the results and not have a top line sponsored ad. If they don't take the brand name then their competitor will and they will appear to be the top search result.

When Google made the search box at the top blue and more obvious they lost a lot of clicks - now it is (in the UK) yellow the click count rises. However a massive of those clicks that the advertiser has to pay for may be ones where the user was searching for them anyway and would've clicked the first result.

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@AC 13:54 GMT

"This is more of a scam by Google against the advertisers. The top results are coloured so that on many LCD screens they are hard to spot so that they blend into the search results."

Ah, so it is not the specific settings on my monitor. That's worth knowing.

"However, if you own a brand such as "Joe's Jeans" you have to bid on search words such as "Joe's Jeans", "www.joesjeans.com" etc as your competitor might bid on these keywords if you don't."

It is not unlike an extortion racket: you need to buy the rights to your own name/brand/trademark or your competitor will get the use of it. This practice really needs to be outlawed.

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Joke

And all this time...

I thought search engines were impartial arbiters of God's truth.

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Trollface

Huh The ACCC doing it's damn job for a change? What a turn up for the books!

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"Google inserted the keywords from the user’s queries into the headlines of the advertisements."

Do they mean "inserted" or "highlighted"

Because unlike the organic results, the wording on the adverts does not change once approved by Google. (though you can have multiple adverts for the same thing, with each varient bieng displayed dependant on a search term/key word etc)

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