Google Bans AdWords Help For Cloaking, Making It Hard To Help Advertisers

Jul 9, 2010 • 8:32 am | comments (3) by | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

On July 1st Vanessa Fox and the team at Search Engine Land broke a story that Google was cloaking AdWords help page and ultimately had to ban the AdWords Help area from coming up in Google's search results. It turned out to be all the help pages cloaking, so Danny Sullivan asked why didn't Google ban all the Google help areas.

I won't get into why Google didn't, Google commented on Danny's post. Personally, I think Google should have let the cloaking mishap slide.

Why? Two reasons: (1) Google had no intent to abuse their own search engine. (2) This is making it hard for people to find answers in the search results, specifically for their own popular AdWords product. Let me share an example with you.

A Google AdWords Help thread has top level forum helpers in the AdWords Help forum complaining it is harder for them to help people asking questions. In this specific complaint, when AdWords experts reply to thread, they often like to use the "Reference" feature, which let's them cite other help articles in the Google help area. The thing is, it is virtually impossible for them to search for help content.

Here is a picture showing "no results" for a simple search via the "Add references" section:

AdWords Help Center Failure

As you can see, it is hard to find help content to add as references when helping people with questions in the forum. Plus more and more people have questions, because Google banned the AdWords help documents from ranking in the Google search results. Who really wins here?

One of the top helpers said:

I never realized how much I used the feature and now that it's gone, I feel helpful-less :)

AdWordsPro, an official AdWords representative said he hopes it is "fixed" soon. But does that mean Google will remove the ban from AdWords?

Forum discussion at Google AdWords Help.

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