Too spammy for organic, but we'll take your adwords dollar

There is something about this search result that bothers me. Here we have a Google search for "text link ads" and oddly enough doesn't show up first, or even in the first 3 pages of results I checked.

Oh, but they have the top position in the sponsored results.

text link ads search results

Please forgive me for another Google whinge post, I know I'm guilty of a few of these lately. Google, sorry if I have the wrong impression here, but someone has to keep you on your toes.


I would say the site has had a penalty applied to it. It's a large and popular site which doesn't show up for it's own domain name, so clearly it has an algorithmic or (more likely in this case) a hand penalty applied. This lowers the relevance of Google's organic index, because users specifically looking for this website can't find it in the results.

Naughty, naughty, naughty

So the site has been naughty (If I had to guess I would say it was paid link related). The site is so naughty that Google is prepared to lower their relevance to protect searchers from seeing a spammy site such as this. Fine.

So why then is it allowed into Adwords? Surely if this was about the user, then the user doesn't want to see the "spam" site in the organic or the paid results?

Getting paid to link to spam

Yeah, I'm pretty sure anyone will lower their quality threshold if the price is right. I'm pretty sure for a million dollars you could get Wikipedia to list "The top 10 cheesiest mesothelioma websites" on their homepage, and I'd do it for considerably less than that (open to offers above $100 - hehe).

And so does Google. The above example is a website which they themselves have classified as "too spammy for our index", yet they will link to the site for a couple of dollars a click.

Where am I going with this?

In summary, Google is a profit making company (shock!). What I'm saying is that Google will do things they don't want to do in exchange for a few extra bucks, which makes them exactly the same as every other profit making company on the planet.

I guess this post is hardly world-changing, nor indeed reveals anything we didn't already know.
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Tags: spamAdwordssponsored linksgoogle adwordsAdwords spam "sponsored links" "Google Adwords"