Bing Adopts Payday Loan Ad Ban

A year ago almost to the day, Google announced that it would begin eliminating all payday loan ads and title loan ads from Adwords. Now a year later and Bing has followed suit as payday and title loan companies begin to see a substantial drop in impressions and an uptick in disapproved ads.

Bing pushed out the page and buried it in their resources area at https://advertise.bingads.microsoft.com/en-us/resources/policies/financial-products-and-services-policies, but without any notice to their loan company customers.

The ban, which is in full effect on Google was defined as;

Payday loans – “Personal loans which require repayment in full in 60 days or less from the date the loan is issued (we refer to these as ‘Short-term personal loans’). This policy applies to advertisers who offer loans directly, lead generators, and those who connect consumers with third-party lenders.”

High interest loans – “In the United States, we do not allow ads for personal loans where the Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is 36% or higher. Advertisers for personal loans in the United States must display their maximum APR, calculated consistently with the Truth in Lending Act (TILA).”

Now, Bing has fully adopted the same model and without warning. A Bing representative confirmed the rumor and that they are essentially drawing the line in the sand for what many people deem as predatory lending.

Many of the high interest loan companies don’t see the error of their ways since loaning money to those in need (but to individuals that typically default on their loans) is a high risk business and the high APR’s offset that balance.

This leaves loan companies only one major search engine option (for now) which is Yahoo! and that doesn’t seem like much of an option considering the very small audience that Yahoo! attracts to its search engine when compared to its rivals. However, Yahoo! does bring a lot more to the table than people expect as you can see from our previous post, so all is not lost.

But the question remains how long before Yahoo! also follows the tracks of their peers. In the interim, loan companies should clearly begin to move a bulk of their ad business over to Yahoo! before the onslaught begins. Even though Bing has made the announcement (albeit quietly and stealthily), many ads are still serving, but it’s simply a matter of time, just as Google‘s rollout was before.

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Google Chrome To Cloud Keyword Research


Chrome Hides Keywords

As the browser wars continue, Google Chrome begins to take more of a share away from Internet Explorer, but the latest announcement that Google searches done via Chrome would utilize SSL layers has many SEO pundits up in arms.

According to the Chromium Blog, this change will hit with Chrome 25 which is currently in development and it will occur with both users who are signed in to Google and now with users who are not signed in to Google. To be fair, all browsers have implemented this action and most have been utilizing it for over a year now. The change protects users from information being seen by anyone malicious who might be trying to intercept their queries and use them accordingly. Once the newest version of Chrome hits the market, it’s affect on keyword research could take a nasty hit.

The problem that this creates is that it hides the keyword the person used from analytics programs, so instead of being able to see what the person is searching for, the keyword is shown as simply “not set” or “keyword not provided” since the data is hidden and not passed on after the click. Since a majority of searches are done via Google, this will make it increasingly difficult to analyze what keywords are working and which aren’t.

Keyword Research

It’s said that Google Analytics shouldn’t take too much of a hit, but we found completely otherwise in our research with “not provided” showing up more than any others and increasing every month.  Some report double digit increases every quarter.  As for external programs such as IBPWebtrendsSAS and others will become less dominant in that field making any keyword research data culled from Google searches useless. And what choice do the other search providers like Yahoo! and Bing have but to also follow the same trend or be seen as “not secure” and for the most part, they have already followed suit.

It’s hard to argue against user security, but it will make the task of keyword research even more difficult to pinpoint when trying to assess what works and what doesn’t.  How are you planning to accommodate for this change in your keyword research strategy or will this even affect you at all?

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