April 30, 2008
About a week ago news broke that Google was being sued over displaying ads on the content network when the advertisers left their content network bids blank. Apparently this was happening because these advertisers’ content network bids weren’t specifically set at $.0.00. This advertiser was under the impression that if you leave the content bid box blank you are opting out of the content network all together – but that’s not how it works.
Elinor Mills from Cnet News.com reports that the lawsuit stated, “When customers do not bid for ads on third-party sites, Google places ads there anyway and automatically charges customers the amount they specified for ads on Google.com.”
The article also mentioned that “sophisticated search engine marketers know to put a “0” in the box for the content network AdSense sites if they don’t want ads there. If you’re a ‘sophisticated search engine marketer’ then you would know that one, in order to not have your ads shown on the content network you must simply uncheck the content network box within your campaign settings. (see image below) And two, you literally can’t set your content network bids to zero, as the minimum bid is $.01.
If you have the content network box checked, meaning you do want to advertise on the content network, but then leave the bid box blank, that will default to your sponsored bid settings.
The complaint says there is no way to opt out of the content network when setting up your campaign bids…“Google does not inform its advertisers that if they leave the box next to the content bid blank, Google will use the advertiser’s bid for clicks occurring on the content network, the lawsuit says. There is no option to opt out of content ads during the process, according to the document, “ says Mills.
Obviously this advertiser needs to do a little research before slamming Google with a silly lawsuit like this one. The point of the story for new advertisers is, if you don’t want your ads to show on the content network, simply go into your campaign settings, and uncheck the box that says, ‘content network’. Don’t leave your content network bids blank, they will default to your sponsored search bids!