Google Stealing Clients from their SEM Partners?

Source Title:
Top PPC Names Say No to Google AdWords Professionals
Story Text:

Google have been accused of not poaching, but dictating which clients SEM firms may work with, namely only the clients Google doesn't want to work with...

Mikkel DeMib Svendsen tells this story, about how one of the newly annointed Google Adwords Professionals, a scheme Google initiated in November last year, whereby SEM firms could be "certified" to work with Adwords.

However, some days ago he signed a new very large corporate client, so he contacted his partner rep at Google to set it up but was basically told: “No, that client we want! It is too big for you and we don’t think you can handle it.” Natural to say, he was shocked! How can they say he cannot handle the account after he just passed the test? (Not to talk about the fact that he, like many SEMs I know of, optimize AdWords campaigns much better than any Google editor will ever learn!)

Furthermore the rep made it very clear that Google consider his client to be theirs – not his! So, Google think they know better than the client that chose the media agency and the media agency that picked my friend to manage the campaign. In fact, Google did not even ask the client in question about this. Google just knows better, right?. Or maybe, they are just greedy…?

So, it would seem, at least judging from what Mikkel recounts in that post, that a shiny Google Adwords Professional qualification is only good if you're working with small clients that Google itself does not want. And that despite the client choosing the agency, the agency choosing the SEM vendor, Google knows best...




No that it matters, was the client already with Google?


Good thing this is in "rumours" section. Regardless of whether or not it is "true" it does raise discussions.

Google has inside access to your client performance data and activity/strategy via the adwords system. They always have. Does the TOS/agreement prohibit them from poaching your clients? Even better, they can mine the overall activity for opportunities, and this is what others have cautioned about for a long time. Don't use the conversion tools, because you are giving Google your client's trade secrets. When they see opportunity they can introduce a new program and pitch it to the low hanging fruit clients.


Andrew, there are laws that could prohibit them from abusing their position in that way - at least, I am pretty sure we have such law here (Denmark).

> Good thing this is in "rumours" section.

Most stuff in this business is rumours but we don't put it all in that section, right :) My example is as close to the truth as possible

> No that it matters, was the client already with Google?

No, it was a new client not already with Google.

I have heard of this too...

Yes. It happens.

Let them run the campaign for a month...

And then get them to let you run it for a month... See who comes out on top.


And then get them to let you run it for a month... See who comes out on top

What? No! Assuming the rumour isn't missing any pertinant facts (:p) thats like rolling over and accepting unfair business practice.
If a client chooses to go with a certain Agency or individual, its their choice. If they thought the client was theirs, or wanted it, they should've pitched. They cannot just wade in and explain to you -- or the client -- that they're in the driving seat.

(yay, mixed metaphors)

I know that wibblewobble

But Google can do whatever the heck they want, they've billions in cash. :)

I'm not commenting on the truth of this story btw - I've never heard anything about this kind of thing.


> But Google can do whatever the heck they want, they've billions in cash. :)

They also have a bunch of fools employed that seems to be getting more and more of a liability to them ...

> I'm not commenting on the truth of this story btw

This is not the first story of it's kind. I've seen other similar cases described from trusted friends in the US. This is just one more - and a blatant one, I must say.

Illthough I have no reason not to trust my firned in this case I don't think the details of who said what, when and where are so important. The important thing is that these things DO happen in various forms. That, is to me, proven without a doubt. The question is: What do we do about it? One thing for sure I am NOT going to do about it is join the program :)

Google definately also have many very good people. No doubt. But we all know how a few bad seeds can ruin the entire harwest. I am just not sure if this is the result of a corporate strategy or the sole actions of individual stupid sales people?

Its happened before

This is not a pretty side of Google but from time to time they pull this stunt. I've never heard of anyone winning over them. Good luck trying to fight it.

Why risk losing the hands that feed?

It is astonishing and almost hard to believe. Surely Mikkel and others who land an account such as this spend truck loads on Adwords with multiple clients and that relationship should be protected not compromised.

Why risk it? This is a case where disintermediation will only hurt not help Google's cause and it makes me as a SEM nervous to use them.

For now, I have to use them cause of the returns my clients get. But in time, SE's that make concerted efforts to prevent clickfraud and steer clear of tactics like this will gain prominence. I've got a close relationship with my clients and it wont be difficult to persuade them to spend their money elsewhere!

It must be true...why?

..well because if it wasn't true, the heavy in the Google PR/legal department that trolls Threadwatch would have pounced on it and demanded a retraction.

We know he reads it, he has not responded with a demand for retraction, therefore one can only assume therefore that it is true



I bet you play poker, cornwall? ;-)


So much for don't be evil. What nasty chaps Google can be.

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