Google, What the Hell!

Google, What The Hell!

Update (04062011):

Called Google AdWords Support (866.246.6453). Was connected to a customer service rep almost immediately. Faster than I had anticipated. “Andrea E.” confirmed that my particular issue was atypical. Words to the effect that she hadn’t come across this particular issue before. She also addressed the perpetual “Under Review” issue. She mentioned the 1-3 day promise, but when she accessed my account she saw that these ads had been “Under Review” for weeks.

email response:

Hello David,

Thank you for calling regarding ad scheduling and your ad reviews.  I do
have an update on both issues for you.

Ad Scheduling:

I talked to a specialist on our team and they have reset your time zone to
Pacific Time as it was before.  If you could please try using the Ad
Scheduler again and let us know if it works.  

If you continue to have issues we can investigate this further but we
would need your permission to try to recreate this problem in your
account.  This would require making some changes to the Ad Scheduler in
your account. If this is the case and you would like to give us
permission, simply respond to this email stating so.

Ad Review:

I have submitted a request to the Ad Review team to let me know the status
of your review process. As soon as I have an answer from them I will let
you know.

Sincerely,
Andrea E.
Google AdWords Team

Let’s see

 

 

Is Google Too Big To Care?

I’d been a Google fan for years. I had set it as my homepage, tried all the apps, talked it up to my friends and when I began transitioning into SEO work, I gobbled up as much of the voluminous free info that my pea brain could hold.

There are a multitude of reasons why Google has become the financial behemoth it is today, not the least of which is AdWords. AdWords, of course, is the Pay-per-Click web advertising tool Google offers.

Earlier this month I started a new ad campaign. I’d been working with AdWords for years. It took maybe an hour to create the campaign and come up with approximately 15 text ads.

Is It A Bump In The Road, Or A Rod In My Spokes?

Six of the Ads are “Under Review”, no problem I think, so I head over to the help page and read that Ads typically take 1-3 days to get approved. I can live with that I think…

1 WEEK LATER…

I wasn’t rushed to get this campaign online, so I figured before I spent anymore time on it, I’d let the ads get approved. Still “Under Review”? Okay, a little disappointing, but I’ll tweak the campaign a little and get started anyway.

First thing is to schedule when I want the ads to run.

No go..

The message says I can’t schedule ad placement until I set my time zone in billing preferences.

Google Ad Scheduling - What the Hell!

So I figure, “damn, how’d I miss that”, scratching my head…

Google Ad Scheduling - What the Hell!

I DIDN’T MISS IT!!

Over the course of the next several hours I begin the arduous and ultimately unsatisfying task of trying to get an obvious Google screw up fixed.

Typically you’d expect a “Contact” page would provide you, the paying customer, an opportunity to actually CONTACT the business. Especially if it’s a technical issue in which the customer has no control.

Not so…

Google’s “Contact” (in the loosest possible sense) page does not have email addresses, phone numbers, instant chats nor even a stupid form to that goes directly to Google.

No, instead they have a “Forum”. Now granted, I acknowledge that most of the time this method to solve simple problems is sufficient.

BUT NOT IN MY CASE!

 

2 WEEKS LATER….

Still “Under Review”?!? What? Really?

Now I’m getting angry. The putrid answers I received to my “Forum” queries directed me back to the beginning of the Help gauntlet. Huh?! Are You Not Listening? Did you not read what I asked? It was fricking Rod Serling-esque.

With a little digging, you can find a number to call, check out this post:

http://www.semreportcard.com/how-to-contact-google-customer-service/

And I’ll update this post after I attempt to contact this horrible example of American business customer service.

PROGNOSIS

Google WILL DIE if it continues to treat it’s customers in this manner. I have begun using BING and YAHOO, although heretofore I’d abhorred using anything Microsoft-related because of the inherent frustration due to their forced proprietary strategy.

But at least they run my ads.

 

 

 

 

  
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SEO – The New Frontier – (Don’t get conned) part 1

“There’s a sucker born every minute” - unattributable

So, the guy said my site would get page one google results in one month. I said “AWESOME”, I need that kind of exposure. I sat back and started fantasizing about the millions I was going to rake in.

I mean C’mon, there are nearly 7 Billion potential customers at my fingertips. I don’t need all of them, even half of one percent will make me rich, and surely I can attract that with page one results!!

Yeah, that’s it, that’s the ticket, one-half of one percent of internet users. All I need is page one search results….

Three months, six months, a year – Why isn’t the money rolling in?

So the truth is a geek can spout off a litany of technological terms, and you’ll smile and nod, and have no idea what the f**k he/she just said.

Don’t feel bad, you’re in the majority.

This new type of marketing your business, which becomes more important everyday, is still completely foreign to most.

The funny thing is, that even though it’s a new language (and it is global), the principles that drive the success are the same basic, good practices business approach that people have been using for centuries. There really isn’t anything new under the sun.

The Problem

The Problem is (and typically is) that scammers have identified yet another way to separate you from your money with very little effort. At this juncture in the evolution of internet marketing, John Q. Public is clueless. That will change, eventually, but what do you do in the meantime?

Stay tuned.

  
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Internet Scams – How Do You Know?

Oh The Sweet Seduction Of EASY MONEY.

Internet Marketing ScamsThe adage, “if it’s too good to be true…, it probably is”, applies 10-fold in the internet scam arena. Internet marketing scams, multi-level marketing, email scams, investment scams, retail scams, ebay scams, craigslist scams… the list goes on.

How do you protect yourself?

A modicum of common sense is your greatest defense. After that, google can help immensely.

How?

A little research never hurt anyone.

The Internet Is A Lot Like The “Wild West”

Untamed, uncontrollable and still very young. Anybody can come up with an idea, set up an online store or service, and start a business with little or no money up front. No need for qualifications, licenses or degrees. It’s capitalism at it’s best, and worst.

The bad news is that there are tens of thousands of scammers out there who are out to get you. The good news is that there are relatively simple ways to discover whether or not they’re for real.

Case In Point:

The example below shows a well designed “sales page”. A sales page is a one page website that entices and/or convinces you into some kind of action. Sometimes buying some kind of product or service, subscribing to a newsletter or simply to extract information from you that they can repackage into something else. Here’s what to look out for:

Internet Marketing Scam

  • They use “trusted” logos to make you think they’re legit
  • The 100% “trusted” graphic, top-right, which also says “satisfaction guaranteed”
  • Bait – $200 – $943 per day
  • Sense of urgency – “Limited Supply”
  • Call to Action – “Fast/Easy/Cash”, with arrows
  • The Big Red Button – Marketing pros have used this for decades

What Happens Next?

You’re led to believe that for only $2.49 you’ll be sent the “Google Business Kit” and all you need to do is spend a few minutes online every day and all your financial worries will be over. HA!

What really happens is if you don’t read the lengthy, hard to find, fine print, than you’ve just signed up for $60 – $100 worth of charges per month. Check this thread – Why Google not stopping “Google Business Kit” if that is a scam? .

Did you grow up in Mayberry or the Bronx?

Even though a multitude of reputable sites with incredible deals exist on the internet, you just can’t trust anyone. Saying that, understand that I bank online and make 90% of my electronics purchases online. I’ve bought and sold items on ebay, and I haven’t once gotten scammed. Why?.. because I use common sense and do my homework. Example:

On the case above, I read the sales page, it sounded intriguing, but before I filled anything out (or in this case did not), I did a google search for “google business kit”. As you can see the first result took me to the link above, which is a forum of people talking about their experiences with this particular product. Further searching resulted in these links:

http://www.greentipster.com/

http://www.mikesmoneysite.com/

When you look at them, you’ll notice striking similarities. Both of these guys copied and pasted the sales copy (writing) into a website template, bought a domain name and started promoting their sites. The green tipster takes you to the example above, mike’s money site takes you to a landing page where you only have minutes to decide!! Oh My!!

It’s all a pitch.

AND…

Some of you may be able to make something like this work. There is money to be made on the internet. All I’m saying is go in with your eyes open. Do a few google searches with the title of the website or product advertised. Read more than one of the results to educate yourself. Here are a couple sites I refer to for different things that are a great resource:

http://www.scams.org/

http://www.snopes.com

http://www.bbb.org/

Look at the url of the site. Make sure it is what it said it was going to be. READ THE FINE PRINT AND TERMS OF SERVICE (TOS). A little bit of digging can save you time and money.

Have fun.

  
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Microsoft – The End is Nigh

Microsoft, long the King of the Hill, is steadily losing market share.

Microsoft Peaked

The problem with being King of the Hill is that somebody is always trying to take you down. Slashdot reports that Internet Explorer (IE) market share has dropped below 70% for the first time in eight years. IE represents the single greatest marketing tool in the Microsoft arsenal. They are seriously concerned, but what can they do?

In an industry as vast and diverse as personal computing has become, how does a company retain such a lopsided advantage? As humans collectively gain a greater technological understanding, we are discovering that there are options out there that perform better, are more customizable and totally FREE!

Also, when a company reaches the unfathomable enormity of Microsoft, things are bound to fall through the cracks, which doesn’t help. Consider the recent Zune debacle. On Dec. 31st, 2008, the Original Zune froze. The Seattle Times reported that starting at 12:01 AM reports of frozen Zunes started flooding the blogs and user forums, affecting possibly over a million people. A bug in the internal clock was thought to be the culprit, Zune didn’t know what to do with the 366th day. They reportedly fired back up on Jan. 1st, 2009.

The internet began as a way for scientists, engineers and scholars to freely share information. These intellectual superiors did not consider the newly found form of hyper communication as a revenue source, and thankfully that hippie-like flag has been carried through the current revolution and there are thousands of FREE applications available just for the asking.

LAMP is a perfect example of how all you need is a computer and the virtual world is yours. LAMP is an acronym that stands for:

L – Linux

An Open Source Operating System (OS), developed by Linus Torvalds offers a multitude of distributions, or versions if you prefer, including Ubuntu which represents a direct challenge to the Microsoft empire. Ubuntu, founded by Mark Shuttleworth, designed for ease of use has been gaining acceptance worldwide as a desktop application. Linux is already the Server OS of choice worldwide.

A – Apache

Apache is the most popular web server software on the internet and was founded by Brian Behlendorf.

M – MySQL

MySQL, authored by Michael Widenius, is a relational database management system which has more than 11 million installations. The program runs as a server providing multi-user access to a number of databases.

P – PHP

PHP is a scripting language originally designed for producing dynamic web pages. It was created by Rasmus Lerdorf, and the acronym originally stood for Personal Home Page.

While Microsoft continues to force computer hardware upgrades with each new release, Ubuntu, on the other hand, works perfectly well on your old machines. Ubuntu also includes a bundle of FREE software programs with each installation that competes with MS Office, Adobe and other popular and relevant software programs.

If you have an old machine in the garage that still works, but can’t keep up with the new MS releases, try downloading and installing Ubuntu just for fun. As the world continues to embrace the true spirit of the information age by accepting open source more and more, the closing line of this post is directed at the King of the Hill:

“The End is Nigh”

  
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