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 Killing Organic SEO By Eliminating Right Side Ads

Some may not have ever noticed, but now there is official word from Google that the Adwords ads that appear on the right hand side of Google are being removed with only a couple of exceptions.

Ads will now have two places to reside on that first page of Google, which will be four positions at the top and either two or three ads at the bottom of the search page. The sidebar will be reserved for what Google is referring to as “highly commercial” which consists of searches such as “hotels in New York City” and similar mass commercial searches. The other exception being ads in the Knowledge Panel.

While this is breaking news (thank you Search Engine Land), what has not been discussed is the impact this will have on the organic listings which now gets pushed down below the fold.

Many are sure to cry foul as Google’s pockets will get even deeper with this change as advertisers that previously felt that the “sweet spot” was position 4 through 7, will all begin shifting to the need to fight for position 1 through 4 to have even the slightest chance of their ad being seen. This will also undoubtedly drive up CPC and as a result the cost per lead, for all businesses using the Adwords platform.  But where are you going to go?

This is also a serious blow to organic SEO whose position 1, is pushed below the fold and in most cases directly to the middle of the page. SEO consultants will have to seriously begin analyzing paid advertising opportunities to keep their clients phones ringing.

The only exception to this format appears to be broad keywords (such as “dog”, “watch”), names (such as Kim Kardashian), and trademarked brand name searches. Even then, advertisers will begin to feel the need to create Adwords campaigns focusing on competitor names which typically have slim chances of converting into a valid lead.

The most interesting piece of this puzzle is how Google is slowly conforming its layout to become almost completely a paid platform for anything even remotely competitive. Even with this drastic change, it practically makes organic SEO worthless with so much of the SERP real estate being dedicated to their paid advertising platform.

This change is sure to get its fair share of backlash, but in the end, Google has seemingly decided to give its top results to the business with the deepest pockets and not necessarily with the most relevant content. Because even if you did supply the best content available anywhere in the world for a topic, the best you can now hope for without opening your wallet is the middle of the SERP.

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