Problems with Google approval

Google PPC

Yesterday, I decided to do a test on my latest affiliate site (http://www.nikon-reviews.info) that was based on a blue print from an affiliate training course that I have been attending. I wanted to see if it would work, in other words to see if anyone would buy anything. To do this I decided to send a few hundred visitors to the site via ppc (pay per click). However, I immediately ran into problems. Google didn’t approve!  The reason for the rejection was “site policy”.  Apparently, I have a bridge page. I wrote to Google and asked for more information, I was very surprised to get a personal email (computer aided personal email, I think because of the excessive use of David) detailing exactly what the problem was. Here it is:

Hello David,

I’m sorry to hear about your site’s disabling. David, I agree that the
product you are trying to promote is not counterfeit and can also
confirm that just by being an affiliate site, your site
http://www.nikon-review.info/‘ does not in any way violate our policies.

David, the actual reason behind the disabling is that, your site has been
flagged for not being complaint with our policy on Bridge pages. Below are
the details;

BRIDGE PAGES:

Per policy, Google does not permit sites (bridge pages) that are solely
intended to direct the user to another website with the same or similar
information. We’ve found that when a page has multiple ads/links that lead
to the same site, the results are less relevant and users have a
lower-quality experience.

Your site appears to be driving traffic to amazon.com. There are multiple
links to amazon.com to purchase products, but there is not much
information about these products on your main site.

David, in order to comply with this policy, kindly refine your website
so that it contains a substantial amount of original content. This content
should be related to your ad text and should stand independently of the
links on your page that redirect users to amazon.com.

For instance, if your link to amazon.com sells cameras, have unique and
informative reviews about each camera. You may also want to add a
provision for users to rate each product and submit reviews of each book
on your site. Make sure that your site has a unique purpose, and doesn’t
just serve as a ‘bridge’ to amazon.com.

David, you’ll have to fundamentally answer this question, ‘what is that
one extra thing/value add that users get from visiting other sites via
your site?,’ while putting any bridging links on your site. This is the
whole basis of our policy.

Also, try please incorporating more added features and functionality to
search-sort, compare, rank and filter the various products and services
that you have on your site itself.

If you are not able to do the above, to support the bridging links that
you have, then please remove all the bridging links from the site and link
the ads directly to the end-site.

For more information on our policy on Bridge pages, visit
http://adwords.google.com/support/aw/bin/static.py?hl=en&topic=30210&guide=28439&page=guide.cs&answer=190435

David, the above should help you comply with our policies. We encourage
you to make improvements to your site. Once you’ve updated your site per
our guidelines, please reply to this email and I’ll be happy to review the
site again for you. Have a nice week ahead!

Sincerely,

I wrote back to Google asking them for more information and I got this letter back:

Hello David,

I am glad my suggestions helped. David, the template you are using, may be
acceptable per other standards, but, like I mentioned in the previous
email, compliance to our policies is mandatory to make your site eligible
to run.

Regarding the response from your site ‘ http://www.nikon-reviews.info,’ David,
all I can say is that the spirit of the our ‘Bridge page’ policy aims to
offer a high quality user experience, dynamic and differentiated ad
results, and transparent businesses rather than ppc.

On Google, although both organic and paid results appear in response to
the same user query, the results are independent of each other. The
ranking of an organic search result has no bearing on the ranking of any
ads, and vice versa.

Like I mentioned in the previous email, you’ll have to fundamentally
answer this question, ‘what are those extra things/value adds that users get from visiting other sites via your site?,’ while putting any bridging links on your site. This is the whole basis of our policy.

 

David, regarding your question if you could use an additional website (and affiliate account) such as Jessops so that page visitors have the

choice of two websites rather one to buy the product, all I have to say is
that we do not have any thing against affiliate marketing sites as long as
they are able to justify bridging to the parent sites.

We’ve found that pages with multiple ads leading to the same site provide
less relevant results and a lower quality experience for our users. Over
time, multiple ads leading to the same source also reduce advertiser
performance and lower their return on investment.

To be considered compliant, the site must provide users with a
comprehensive online experience. This may include keeping their
experience, both on site and within the URL, on the same domain.

Read more about this specific policy at:
http://adwords.google.com/support/aw/bin/static.py?hl=en&topic=28441&guide=28439&hlrm=nl&page=guide.cs&answer=190435

If you still wish to go by the “single product” concept, David, you will
have to work a lot on improving the functionality of your site as
suggested in the previous email. I would suggest you to please have a look
at it again, make the necessary changes and write back to me. I shall be
happy to re-review the site for you.

Hope this clarifies. Have a happy weekend!

Sincerely,

Summary so far:

So what can be concluded from Google’s advice? Clearly this is the central question:

What are those extra things/value adds that users get from visiting other sites via your site?,’ while putting any bridging links on your site.

Your site appears to be driving traffic to amazon.com. There are multiple
links to amazon.com to purchase products, but there is not much
information about these products on your main site.

David, in order to comply with this policy, kindly refine your website
so that it contains a substantial amount of original content. This content
should be related to your ad text and should stand independently of the
links on your page that redirect users to amazon.com.

For instance, if your link to amazon.com sells cameras, have unique and
informative reviews about each camera. You may also want to add a
provision for users to rate each product and submit reviews of each book
on your site. Make sure that your site has a unique purpose, and doesn’t
just serve as a ‘bridge’ to amazon.com.

and this is important too:

On Google, although both organic and paid results appear in response to
the same user query, the results are independent of each other. The
ranking of an organic search result has no bearing on the ranking of any
ads, and vice versa.

I really don’t know what to do to put this right at the moment and it is getting me down. I think there needs to be a whole new approach to use Adwords. Frankly, I will probably just leave it for the organic searches and see what happens. I am going to try once more, here is my letter:

Dear Google,

Can you please have a look at the site again for approval. I have removed some of the “bridging links” and checked my content which is 100% original and I have added some rotating quotations from other users. I have also added some links where people can get help and advice once they have bought their camera.

I hope this is sufficient to be accepted.

Regards David

Response:

Hello David,

Hope you are doing good.

David, I went through your site ‘http://www.nikon-reviews.info/’ again,
and found that you have made a lot of changes. I really appreciate the
efforts you are making to comply with our policies.

I agree that your site contains original content. But, David, this is not
enough to make your site compliant. Please make sure that your site has
enough and more content that is not available elsewhere on the web.

I’ve observed that you have added links like

http://www.d3100forum.com/accessories-gear,

http://www.nikonians.org/forums/ etc

These links, no doubt, help the users to gain more information about the
product, but they actually take them to a different domain. There is a
shift in focus from your site to other sites like
‘http://www.nikonians.org/forums/.’

The whole spirit of our Bridge page policy lies in ensuring that the user
is receiving a comprehensive online experience. This may include keeping
their experience, both on site and within the URL, on the same domain.

David, as I mentioned in the previous email, you need to provide content
and information that justifies bridging to other sites like amazon.com

Please make efforts to justify the reason why users should visit your site
before going to amazon.com. I would like to re-iterate here that, you need
to fundamentally ask yourself ‘what are those extra things/value adds that
users get from visiting other sites via your site?,’ while putting any
bridging links on your site.

Answering this question will help you create value for your site. The
previous emails focused on increasing your sites functionality. Please
make efforts to add discussion forum, review rating, sorting features in
your site itself rather than bridging to other sites that provide these
functionalities. This will enhance the overall credibility of your site.

David, I encourage you to make changes to your site and write back to me.
Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

Sincerely,

Analysis – Does it matter

Probably not. I can do the organic searches but it is bugging me because will Google suddenly slap all the “bridge pages” in the organic results? If I have spent money building ranking, that will be a waste so it would be better to get their approval. But for now I am going to leave it and try another idea that I’ve had. See: http://www.play4gain.com/ways_to_make_money/7-experiment-2/

(28/08/2011) Well it seems like I am not the only one with the same problem, this guy has made a business out of it! http://www.ppcrenegade.com They are saying what I am thinking so I am going to give them a try. I had a chat to Jerry Ellefson today who kindly called me on Skype (29/08/2011). He told me that I need to get my problem sorted with Google within 17 days or have my account fully suspended. So I am going to get it sorted asap.

Conclusion

(08/09/2011) I got my Adwords account back on-line again but not before stripping every link from the page including my affiliate links. However, one possible useful idea that did come from my encounter with Google was the addition of a live help facility. I am going to rebuild my affiliate site as I want it and keep the personal sales facility. See (image) below:

When I have rebuilt the website, I am going to give MSN a try. They are not bad but you don’t get as many clicks but, from what I understand, they don’t give you a hard time about “Bridging pages”. However, this will still be just a test, my main long term strategy will be to build links and raise the profile of the site in the organic listings.

To see how I am getting on visit www.play4gain.com

 

 

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