Inexplicably, Google is indexing it’s own ads on sites in their content network, leading to a whole bevy of related problems, inaccuracies, and heartburn.

“Hi, Jim.”

That may be a slight overstatement, but I gotta tell you, at this point I’m dealing with a fairly serious love-hate relationship. The company and their eggheads do so many things so well, that it an be difficult to find fault with them for any reason. So I’m even more surprised that I’m so ticked of about their core business: search.

First, a little background. We recently finished a site for a new product called JoMo Joint Mobility Liquid Glucosamine. (Well, that’s the long name, anyway.) Since the liquid glucosamine market is notoriously competitive, we decided to run a small Google AdWords campaign to help gain a little traction. As part of this campaign, we included ads on the “content” network, refers to all of those non-Google sites where you see AdWords appear. (I generally steer pretty clear of these, because I’ve seen very little indication that they work. In this case, the results were even more negative than “not working.”)

What happened next surprised me. Google began indexing sites and including their own ads in their own index. So, now when someone does a search for “The Cartilage Company” (the company making the product, whose name appears in the ads), all of their competitors sites show up, since they were indexed while this ad was active. And this wouldn’t even be considered a black hat technique, since it was Google indexing their own ads that caused the problem.

I’ll let that sink in while I go kick something.

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