Docket #051118: Google vs. Bail Bond Industry
Google is the king of the internet. This is an undisputed fact. Over 65% of the world’s internet searches are performed on Google with its closest competitor, Bing, trailing at 33%. In a single day, Google is used for 3.5 billion searches, averaging at 40,000 searches per second and over 1.2 trillion searches per year.
When it comes to digital marketing, the word of Google becomes so important. Businesses that are seeking maximum levels of exposure naturally want to place their product before the largest audience possible. For both search engine optimization and pay-per-click advertising that is Google by leaps and bounds. As such, the rules that Google puts in place become standard bearers for the entire digital marketing industry.
Recent rulings by the tech supergiant have left many in the business world calling foul. Google’s recent ban on all digital advertising pertaining to the bail bonds industry has left many wondering if one of the largest companies in the world has too much power over autonomous businesses.
Google vs. The Bail Bonds Industry
It was announced recently that, effective July 2018, Google will ban all advertisements pertaining to the bail bonds industry throughout its AdWords pay-per-click platform. Google released a statement along with this announcement, citing studies which show that the bail bonds industry exploits certain vulnerable demographics, burying them in long-term debt.
Their statement reads:
“At Google, we take seriously our responsibility to help create and sustain an advertising ecosystem that works for everyone… We made this decision based on our commitment to protect our users from deceptive or harmful products.”
While this is the largest stance any major corporation has taken against the for-profit bail industry, it is not the only voice sounding off against what many decry as deceptive and damaging business tactics. This year, various civil rights groups have attempted to take a stance, calling for nation-wide bail reform. Some states are already on board, with New Jersey switching to an algorithm based system instead of bail to determine whether or not someone is likely to return to court for trial or get arrested again. Earlier this year, Alaska adopted a system to forego bail as well.
This appears to be a trend sweeping through some of the more influential states in the US, with New York City’s comptroller recently calling for a ban on all commercial bonds throughout the five boroughs. Clearly this is not just a Google issue, but Google’s stance might be the most effective yet, proving more powerful than even state governments.
By banning bail bonds ads, Google is blinding a huge segment of the American population to information on these for-profit businesses. While organic results will still prove effective, companies will no longer be able to fall back upon paid search advertising to reach their audience. As a result, SEO for the bail bonds industry will get fiercely competitive throughout the entire nation.
This is not the first time that Google has banished an entire industry from its AdWords platform. One of the more infamous clashes between Google and a growing market came in 2014.
Google vs. The Marijuana Industry
While not legal in all 50 states, medical marijuana has been a “budding” industry throughout the United States for years. Furthermore, some states have legalized recreational marijuana use. Among them Colorado, Oregon, and Washington State. As recreational use began to pop up throughout the country, it created a new industry almost overnight.
New dispensaries were beginning to appear, and they wanted to advertise. In 2014, Google hit the breaks on the entire legal marijuana world when it banned all cannabis related advertising from both AdWords and their display network. Joining Google in this stance against legal marijuana advertisement were social media titans Facebook and Twitter.
Many saw this move as harsh, given that in many areas throughout the United States this product was perfectly legal. Many in the Cannabis industry decried Google, Facebook, and Twitter.
“It’s pretty ridiculous and short sighted – not to mention hypocritical – for them to leave those legitimate ad dollars on the table,” said Taylor West of the National Cannabis Industry Association when the news dropped in 2014.
Google countered, stating that the ban on marijuana advertising maintained its existing ad rules which bans any advertisements for “substances that can alter the function of the brain to induce unnatural euphoria, or alter reality, such as marijuana [and] cocaine.”
Many cited Google’s supposed hypocrisy in this ruling, given that they do allow ads to run for the sale of alcohol.
“If Google and Facebook can target alcohol ads to adults, they should be able to target ads to adults about a less harmful substance like marijuana in states where it is legal,” said Mason Tvert, the communications director for the Marijuana Policy Project in a statement to the Huffington Post. “Such an arbitrary and hypocritical decision is not going to sit well with a lot of people who utilize these websites.”
Looking into the more recent past, Google has banned ads from another up and coming industry that many believe will change the course of currency as we know it.
Google vs. Cryptocurrency
Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are believed by many to be the currency of the future. This digital money is not based on the gold standard and exists solely in a virtual environment. Bitcoin miners ply their trade by using advanced supercomputers to “mine” infinitesimal fractions of Bitcoin, which can then be traded online between users.
This industry has seen many ups and downs in recent years. Over the last 12 months, Bitcoin has seen something of a renaissance, with prices soaring into the stratosphere in December 2017. At that time, the value of one Bitcoin reached nearly $20,000.
The overwhelming excitement around this booming industry made many large companies wary of potential scammers. Among the business entities that were concerned enough to take action were Facebook followed shortly thereafter by Google. Both believed that cyber criminals were using online advertisements to recruit potential marks into cryptocurrency scams.
Google’s ad ban had an immediate averse effect upon the crypto industry, which saw Bitcoin prices immediately fall by 9%.
The Power of Google
Love it or hate it, Google has a strong grip on global industries. When you’re the world’s single largest and most successful digital advertising platform, that comes with increased influence. If you’re looking to advertise on Google, whether it’s through organic search engine optimization or pay-per-click services like AdWords, you want to make sure that you are working with a company that knows Google’s preferences.
9Sail is composed of a team of experts who are well versed in Google’s likes, dislikes, and algorithms. For more information on how you can utilize this incredibly influential platform to benefit your business, call 9Sail at 201-632-1185, or visit us online.