I know Google has the "Don't Be Evil" mantra but I am starting to think that Steve Jobs might have a point about all that being a bunch of baloney! Don't get me wrong, I still like Google and most of the services it offers but my last experience with Google does not exactly translate to "not being evil".
On my previous blog I talked about a new affiliate web store I just created http://theperfectcup.tunblebid.com. Like everyone else on the internet, I am an amazon affiliate. I wanted to promote a niche product - single brew coffee maker. I used a software called Associate-O-Matic to create the links and the shopping cart for the site so I don't have to program it by hand. So I spend the time integrating it with Joomla so I can create a better landing page and recommend to users which brands of single coffee makers might be right for them. It took quite an effort but its a really slick landing page if I may say so myself! So I did the usual, submit my site, put google analytics and finally advertise the site in AdWords. Everything was going well when all of a sudden, I get an email that my ads are in violation of the Terms and Conditions of AdWords! WTF!!!! So I read the Terms and Conditions and since they really didnt't say what I violated, so I guessed. One of the items they frown upon in there was framing and mirroring sites. Well, I have that, so I emailed them about it and told them what I was trying to do. They did reply very promptly. They said that my ad was not flagged due to the frames on the site but because of the "bridging" whatever the heck that means. However, upon careful review, they no longer see the violation and would recommend to the "specialists" so they can approve my ad. First, I thought I contacted a specialist - now apparently there is a specialist to the specialist. Now I wonder how deep the rabbit hole of "specialists" go??
Anyway - I got an email the next day from adwords and according to the specialist of the specialist, my site is still in violation of the bridging policy because the checkout goes to amazon??? Really??? Cmon man!!!! That's what an affiliate store is. They did offer suggestions on how to "improve" my site by adding more references, comparisons, etc... so I can "offer" more to the end user.. Really??? well first of all, thats what I thought I did and second of all, and in the words of the dude, "who the fuck are you man?" Me, personally, I like the simple stuff when shopping for a product online. A brief description, some reviews and I buy it if I like it. Too much info and I end up not buying it.. That's just EVIL man!!! Now you want to tell people what they should and should not like!! Who died and made you gods? Oh I love this part - they put a clause in there "Google can disapprove your ads for any or no reason" wow so apparently they can disable ads because my eyes are brown. I guess if you're that big and have virtual monopoly on the search engine market, you can't help it..
From their point of view though, its their business and they can run it how they like it. If I happen to not like it, then I could fuck off.. and go somewhere else. Its not like their twisting my arm and advertise with them..
Well it sucks that I can't advertise in adwords and maybe I'm just sour graping but overall I still like to drink the Google Kool-Aid. However, I do believe that Steve Jobs has a point. Like he said in one of his speeches, the dots will connect somehow - well at least for them that is.