The Google Police...good news or bad news for the copywriter?

I should be, I know, but I'm not as up on Google AdWords and search as the experts. It's all so technical and my place in the marketing universe is in conversion, not traffic.

Get people to your site and I will help you get your visitors to get their credit card out or opt in to your email database.

Increasingly I'm being contracted to write, or revise, copy for landing pages Google has blacklisted. I was looking at one today and the page is pretty straightforward. I've seen a LOT worse.

I'm going through Google's guidelines now. You can see the page here. It's all new to me. It seems Google has robots who do the 'triage' then actual human beings take over. But getting specific feedback is well-nigh impossible, I'm told.

For copywriters, it's both good news and bad news. The last thing I want to happen is to write copy that Google rejects. But how do I tell? The art and science of direct response copywriting is to state benefits that will be attractive to a buyer while making sure they don't sound crazy or unbelievable. Readers are intelligent. They understand this key concept...if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. I think Google should let the reader decide and Google should not be the judge and jury. Plus the guarantee is ALWAYS vital.

eBay is full of fraud...I've seen tons of fake golf clubs there. Is Google blacklisting all that? What about content that passes Google's guidelines but is a total fraud?

Plus...Google is starting to cross the line between 'editorial' and 'advertising' especially with Google Places. And what about all those comments...user-generated content is ALWAYS open to abuse. Who is policing that?

On the other hand, being "Google slapped" provides opportunities for copywriters who can "fix" pages. Which is what I'll be trying to do over the next few days. Will I get Google off this client's back?


As an aside, I'm one of those writers who believes that a split infinitive is shoddy writing. Look at this howler on the AdWords page...

"As part of our commitment to making AdWords as effective an advertising program as possible, we've outlined some site design guidelines to better serve our users, advertisers, and publishers."

My italics.


I'm a direct response copywriter based in Charlotte, N.C. USA. My site is here.