“Pursue a certificate in terrorism 100% online.”

A recently published Ad Age article highlights some glitches in Google AdWords’ crawling methods and pointed out the ludicrous ads that were then associated with the article. The ads were similar in terminology to the actual content, but looking at the bigger picture were offensive and completely inappropriate. It reminded us that even though minor details are “small” (ex: a picture caption), they’re still large enough to take away from our intended focal point, render the important information useless and cause us to lose credibility all at the same time. 

The piece pointed out a couple instances where the article was crawled for keywords and related ads were associated with that content which were obviously not supposed to be there. A headline that ran in Mumbai not too long ago read: Terrorist kill the man who gave them water. The article was about a terrorist attack. It was accompanied by an ad titled: Terrorism: Pursue a certificate in terrorism 100% online. Enroll today.” Oops.

While it would be nice to have more control of ad placement in Adwords and other ad placement engines, the systems are getting better. Check out these cool examples from Google:

  • “Learn more about adjusting your placements here”: https://adwords.google.com/support/aw/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=106539
  • “Exclude specific IP addresses from your placements”: https://adwords.google.com/support/aw/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=61492
  • “Learn about specific placement vs. contextual targeting”: https://adwords.google.com/support/aw/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=112267

Read the full Ad Age article here: http://adage.com/digital/article?article_id=138567.


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