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Adwords Policy, Impress Google And Polish Your SEO
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Your site is up. You've found your keywords, put them in all the right headers, titles and meta tags. You've written articles, started an Adwords campaign, made a painful number of backlinks. Everything's all right, right?

But does Google take you seriously? Google has learned to detect a quality site. Ok they're big enough that they are defining a quality site. What does Google look for? Fortunately they tell you exactly what they want. Are you paying attention?

AdWords guidelines publishes a number of requirements for Google's "Transparent" landing page. By transparent they mean everything about your site should clearly spelled out in detail with no ambiguities. Taken from Google's AdWords policy (Google "Landing page and site quality guidelines") page it should:

  • Openly share your business info and clearly define what your business
  • is about. [Needs a Contact and About Us page]
  • Honor the offers and deals that you promote in your ad.
  • Deliver services and products as promised.
  • Only charge users for the services and products that they order and successfully receive. Make clear sponsored links from the rest of your site content. [Needs an Earnings Disclaimer]
  • Ensure billing methods or prices or are easily located on the website and are obvious to users.
  • In cases of a recurrent subscription or billing situation, the price and billing interval must be present in a obvious and clear location on the page where the user gives their information, and a mandatory opt-in option must be present. [Needs an Anti-Spam policy statement]
  • Unless necessary for the service and product that you’re offering, don’t request personal information. [Needs a Privacy Policy.]
  • If you do ask for personal information, provide a privacy policy that discloses how the information will be used. [Told you they wanted a Privacy Policy]
  • Give options to restrict the use of a user’s personal information, such as the ability to opt out of receiving newsletters. [Needs an Email policy statement. Make sure you're Optin form is a proper double optin with an optout link in every email.]
  • Allow users to view your site’s content without requiring them to register. Or, provide a preview of what users will get by registering. [Needs a Terms of Use page]

Adsense policy has similar guides. It's pretty clear they want a number of documents before they consider you a quality content provider.

Enter the FTC

The Federal Trade Commission also has requirements and their requirements have the force if law. The FTC recently revised their guidelines concerning advertising using Testimonials and Endorsements. (Google "ftc testimonial notice")

"Under the revised Guides, advertisements that feature a consumer and convey his or her experience with a service or product as typical when that is not the case will be required to disclose clearly the results that consumers can expect generally. In contrast to the 1980 version of the Guides – which allows advertisers to describe unusual results in a testimonial when they included a disclaimer like “results not typical” – the revised Guides no longer contain this safe harbor."

If you use customer's testimony or other endorsements, a proper testimonial disclaimer is a must.

Real World Test Case

They are telling us clearly that they want all these documents. But are they all really necessary? you've added a Contact and About Us page. WordPress' Privacy plugin gives you a Privacy page. Surely that's enough?

Not according to Andrew Hansen (Google "does google hate your site"). He did the experiment.

He created three Landing pages for an Adwords campaign. All were adequately SEOd and optimized. . He used Google's Adwords Quality score to judge how Google felt about sending Adwords clicks to his landing pages.

The first site had no links to any of the above mentioned documents. Google's Quality score, a 1. Worse yet they wouldn't send ads to the site.

The second site had basic Contact, About us and Privacy pages. Initially the Quality score was good. But after a week or so the Quality score dropped to 1 and it stopped receiving ads as well.

Get the hint yet? The third site had all the various documents and disclaimers. It's Quality score was an 8 and remained so. Judged by Google to be a legitimate, quality landing page.

Clear enough? Those extra boilerplate pages were the polish that Google was looking for that indicated a professional website worthy of Google's business.

You can provide this extra polish with commercially available privacy policy templates. A Wordpress policy pack plugin can provide all of the templates necessary to put the finishing touches on your SEO.


Street Talk

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