Wrong Number? – UPDATE

Lord Tyler

I thought readers would want to know that Google have been in touch with me to make clear that one cannot pay to get to the top of their standard rankings.  It is only possible to pay for a sponsored ad, which all of course appear above the standard list of results.

They also say in their letter “Our rules are clear:   those who advertise on Google cannot promote services that provide little or no additional value to the user beyond the original or official online or automated application process.”

What do readers think?  Go to Google now and search for “passport application”.  Three sponsored ads come up, above the top-ranking standard result (which is the government’s site).  Despite elaborate comparison charts which try to persuade the user to the contrary, a quick read of all three sites suggests to me that the service offered – for between £70 and £100 – does indeed offer “little or no additional value”.  But I am quite prepared to be corrected!

4 comments for “Wrong Number? – UPDATE

  1. 28/11/2013 at 3:00 pm

    Absolutely, those sites are a scam. The adverts use phrases such as “24/7” which makes it sound as if they are a faster way of obtaining a passport, but once you read the text on the site, it warns not to use them if you need to travel in the next four weeks. Either these sites should be banned, or else they at least need a compulsory notice on their front page that provides links to the official government site for people who don’t require their “service”.

    Given that Google are clearly concerned about what the noble Lords think about their advertising, perhaps you should use your influence to persuade them to drop adverts for these dodgy sites.

  2. maude elwes
    29/11/2013 at 12:46 pm

    For me, this list of blog threads has turned into a giant and ‘free’ advertisement for Google.

    Don’t want to participate.

    • Gareth Howell
      02/12/2013 at 7:15 pm

      “Don’t want to participate.”

      Nor I neither but does that not apply to facebook involvement or twitter tweeting too?

      My tweets of the last few days got instant results on air but why from a US based commercial enterprise????

      We ar all instantly surveilled wherever we are on the planet today; “let’s get more private!” as one recent German chancellor suggested with my own encouragement, and continued in German not English.

  3. Nazma FOURRE
    05/12/2013 at 11:42 am

    Dear Lord Tyler,
    I would like to point out that there is room for improvement in the advertisement of government notices for instance in respect to passport applications which should be on the government site as google does not respect the policy of high ranking standards for advertisement.

    It does happen sometimes that irrelevant information is found on the google web site results index and as a result a need for a sole British tool website engine would sort out this problem so that these samples of information could be passed from one site to another.

    God bless the United Kingdom. God save the beloved Lords and her Majesty.

    Nazma FOURRE

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