google ad word abuse.
April 17, 2002 10:37 PM   Subscribe

google ad word abuse. who sits at home thinking up these "creative" ways of getting more hits to their sites?
posted by Kafei (20 comments total)
I saw this on /. I think, and while I thought it was a clever idea, it violates the purpose of Ad Words.

I find her worry about this being a free speech issue to be pretty tenuous, as well. Freedom of speech is not the right to have private companies promote your message. Google is perfectly justified to deny her service. They probably would have been more lenient if she had just offered some sort of product for sale, like a t-shirt with relevant words on it through CafePress, or something. It would have made the experiment last a little longer, at least.
posted by insomnyuk at 10:45 PM on April 17, 2002

[I]magine the day when a search engine will rule the whole textual content of the web, in which the memory of mankind will be stored.

Seems like Google shares the author's concept, oddly enough. Google seems mainly interested in preserving the associative link between the ads and the keywords with which they're associated. As a "brain," it's simply trying to filter out nonsensical associations. This makes it function better.

Put it another way: here's the author's idea of cool:

I like imagining that somebody looking for something is suddenly projected into a completely different area. You look for "virgin Mary" and you end up on a site about symptoms and net art!

If your brain did this all the time, you would punish it.
posted by coelecanth at 11:04 PM on April 17, 2002

Did you even read the page? It has nothing to do with " Getting more hits on his site". Not AT ALL. I mean, not even close.
posted by benh57 at 11:13 PM on April 17, 2002

Yeah, I think you're missing out on some fun, Kafei. ;)

Hmm. I also think brains actually work like that all the time, coelecanth. "July - sweat - cigarette - oral sex - [forced superego interruption] - weird words - effluvia - Portland" is a pretty logical chain in my brain's associative process.

That is why Jacques Lacan's advice to a young psychoanalyst was "Do crossword puzzles." Words bubble from our mouths in shortened self-made code as a signal of a desire or a memory.
Christophe expresses disappointment that an interesting opportunity for play is being subjugated to the rigid order of commerce. Don't get me wrong: I want order from links returned by my search engines, too. But it seems like such a dull structure to insist on this coherence in advertising. (Particularly if every time I search google for, in yesterday's instance, a place to purchase polyvinyl soundproof curtains in New York City, I get an adword for Broadway theatre tickets? Tiresome.)

It's nice to have anarchy intrude. I depend on the internet for some disruption, some surprise. If I didn't get that surprise sometimes, I'd probably stop browsing. Particularly with the advent of text ads like MeFi's, internet advertising has already become abstracted poetry, with a nearly unguessable click-through destination.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 11:29 PM on April 17, 2002

benh57 - sure it was. whether or not the author stated it explicitly, the ads were taken out with the intent of driving traffic to their website.

from the site:
My first satisfaction occured when somebody who had typed "hemorroid symptom" on Google arrived on my website, after having clicked on my ad.

sounds like someone's satisfied to have drawn traffic to their site, doesn't it?

anyway, it's sad to see someone take a clever idea, run with it, and then throw a tantrum when google doesn't play along. google doesn't have any obligation, legal or ethical, to allow someone to damage the functionality of their service.
posted by chrisege at 11:38 PM on April 17, 2002

RJ Reynolds:
It's nice to have anarchy intrude.

It may be nice to have anarchy intrude, but google wouldn't be so great if anarchy ruled. this isn't a case of the rigid rules of commerce, it's a case of the rigid rules of order required to keep an effective index of the entire world wide web.

compare this to graffiti artists or "culture jammers" cleverly defacing billboards. both are widely regarded as valid artforms. but neither the graffiti artists nor the billboard defacers expect their art to be permanent. they also don't cry "censorship" when the owner of the property paints over whatever they've done.

part of the beauty of fucking with the system is knowing that whatever you've done can't possibly last, and waiting and watching to see how long it is before somebody notices and takes it down.

crying censorship does absolutely no good, and in this case it may have stopped a potentially very interesting artform dead in its tracks.
posted by chrisege at 11:50 PM on April 17, 2002

*busts out paypal account, launches stealthy e-commerce anti-campaign, shakes idealistic and silly fist at uncaring heavens...*
posted by RJ Reynolds at 12:05 AM on April 18, 2002

This is symtomatic of all that is wrong with contemporary art. What's fun about 'play' (though I hate this kind of academic buzzword) is that it is random. I want to randomly make associations between 'Einstein' and 'Wisconsin butter'. I don't want some post-art-school grad directing my freedom of association. If you want to be a good artist, make something, a poem, a word, a painting, a carving, whatever, and put it out there and let me do the 'play'. This is the same argument I use against 'pre-sexualizing' everything by the media and advertisers. It takes the fun out of polymorphous perversion. We are all sentient beings. We can all make associations that are far more abstract and compelling than any 'intervention' artist ever could.

And Google is not, as pointed out, necessarily a medium for free speech. If you impede my ability to get the correct ad when I type in 'suntan lotion' or 'deep vein thrombosis', you should be forced to sit in a 5 hour seminar on British imperial history and its effect on feudal stonecutting guilds, rather than your usual cushy little "Lacan, the Frankfurt school, and the new millenium: critical issues in art practice" wank session.

Why, yes, I'm in a bad mood. Grr.
posted by evanizer at 12:30 AM on April 18, 2002

I like that term 'pre-sexualizing'. I've never quite thought of advertising, though wholly sexual, in that term before.

It's interesting also evanizer, that you pull out of your magic hat, the abstract 'Wisconsin butter'. I happen to be affiliated with its production.
posted by crasspastor at 1:21 AM on April 18, 2002

evaniser: That's downright conservative of you. Let me know when I should stop donating to PBS.

I can see the danger of one company controling the processes of information and cross-referencing, but since this is Google, and not the Library of Congress, I don't see much of a problem with it. Besides, Google makes the distinctions of their "AdWords" and the actual results of the search very clear. This is why "Googlewhacking" is a more rational "art" exercise than the AdWords — it tips the scales of referencing towards a particular term through word-of-mouth and meme-based support, rather than just paying for an artificial boost by buying an AdWord.

I noticed there was no conclusion reached. Why should there be? The Internet changes by the nanosecond, and the definition of any one term can change instantly.
posted by Down10 at 2:39 AM on April 18, 2002

Communism is more expensive per click than capitalism. Proof, if proof were needed, that the right people won the Cold War.
posted by vbfg at 4:59 AM on April 18, 2002

it's sad to see someone take a clever idea, run with it, and then throw a tantrum when google doesn't play along.

Where are you seeing a tantrum? It seems to me that the guy is taking the death of his new art form pretty well.
posted by rcade at 5:37 AM on April 18, 2002

this reminds me of poems on the underground - using advertising space for something non commercial.

i think the poet's problem here was that they used the adwords select system rather than the original adwords program.

the select version only charges for clickthroughs and does suspend ads when their clickthrough rate is too low, you aren't paying google anything so they ask you to make your ad more relevant if you want them to continue showing it. the poet here wasn't "censored" as he says, i've had the exact same emails for low success rate campaigns.

if the poet had used the original system he would have been paying each time the ad was displayed which would be a closer analogy to the poems on the underground system (apart from potu have the agreement of the advertising space owner i guess), i don't know if google pull those ads for low success rates too though but i doubt that they do it so soon.
posted by kirsty at 6:26 AM on April 18, 2002

I was very surprised to see that someone had purchased a Google adword on B1FF.

Man, talk about narrowcasting.
posted by NortonDC at 6:36 AM on April 18, 2002

I was with him right up until he started busting out the CritSpeaktm:

From a more general point of view, it seems to me that we are faced with the emergence of a new era in which censorship totally unveils its economic side, as was first noticed by Karl Marx about history and by Sigmund Freud about the unconscious.

Has anybody written a Random Conceptual Art Generator yet?
posted by ook at 6:56 AM on April 18, 2002

Hey, get employed writing better Google text ads, as a Creative Maximizer.
posted by Mo Nickels at 7:09 AM on April 18, 2002

And Google is not, as pointed out, necessarily a medium for free speech.

There are no grounds for free speech complaints here whatsoever -- commercial speech is not protected under the First Amendment. Bruno's Adword Art (may or) may not have been commercially driven, but they were paid placements, putting them in the realm of commerce and out of the realm of free speech.

I thought the idea was pretty cool, but he'd have much better luck (as would anyone else interested in the concept) buying text ads on MeFi, K5, etc., where the art would have a more receptive audience, even if the original connection to specific search terms was lost.
posted by me3dia at 9:11 AM on April 18, 2002

but he'd have much better luck (as would anyone else interested in the concept) buying text ads on MeFi, K5, etc.

I'm not so sure. The google crowd is a superset of the other ones you mentioned and I think that since so many more people use Google it would still be a better bet. It would be an interesting experiment if someone were to try it with text ads on MeFi, to see if it really is a more receptive audience.
posted by jaden at 2:51 PM on April 18, 2002

I think the Haiku Brigade would be a good test team.
posted by me3dia at 3:14 PM on April 18, 2002

discussed here.
posted by nedrichards at 3:29 AM on May 30, 2002

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