The Wild, Wild West of Search

Forgive the rant, but people need to know what can happen out there.

I recently visited a potential client to discuss managing their AdWords account. What started off as a typical story of cowboy AdWords management not giving access or any reporting to the client, evolved into a much more intricate web of deceit…

In a nutshell, the business owner employed a manager (who now no longer is works for the company) who then cancelled the existing AdWords agency and “strategically decided” to give the account to a mate of his, who actually outsourced to a team outside of Australia.

The client had been using AdWords from the same account for nearly 7 years, with substantial good will and quality score history working on its side. The new “agency” stopped all that and set up the campaign under its own account withholding any access to it by the client.

Instead of focussing on search, it directed a majority of the funds to display with a nearly doubling in acquisition costs.

After analysing their analytics, because that’s all they had access to, it was also discovered that their ads were set up in US dollars even though they focus on the Melbourne market. Given the current exchange rate, it’s a huge spike in costs that could have been avoided.

Does it sound bad enough? No longer was the traffic being directed to the clients’ very well designed and structured website. All ads were going to landing pages on the new agency’s domain BUT to specific landing pages for the client and again, the client doesn’t have access to this page.

Fortunately I was able to guide them how to access their 7 year-old account, which could be re-ignited and rebuilt to get back to where it should be, but obviously first thing first is to terminate access to any non-company users and ensure access to the AdWords asset is fully retained by the company.

There’s going to be a need for some serious auditing of this account, but first regain control or never give it a way in the first place. To see more of what we stand for, check out some of our guiding principles.

Is there a way to rid the industry of this kind of behaviour?

About the Author

Digital Advocates was founded by Raph Sebbag, with over 15 years’ experience in sales, marketing and training, mainly within the digital arena. After being immersed in the Online Marketing space for much of this time working with the likes of Allied Pickfords & RACV, and hundreds other small to medium business across Australia, Raph started his own accredited Premier Google Partner AdWords agency in Melbourne. His motivating philosophy is aimed at injecting integrity back into the Online Marketing space providing businesses with transparent, practical and measurable AdWords services with a profit-driven approach to client results.

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