Adwords and other Pay per click ads make a promise that the landing page needs to keep. We all see the ads for spammy sites on a regular basis. We know how to skip them. Google’s system just raises their minimum bids until they go away. Others have found many more examples.
But the type you see here is worse than the usual “free ipod” listing. On those, the landing page usually gives you enough information that your spam-radar moves your left finger towards the back-button of your browser for a quick get-away. Bam you’re out… you may grumble a bit, but you take a sort of perverse satisfaction in knowing you just cost them PPC money on a no-sale.
Furthermore… the ‘rapid-back-button’ action will queue Google to raise minimum bids for this advertiser as a part of their quality index system, making it harder and harder for them to do business in adwords with such a lousy offer/landing page.
No this Amazon example is worse because:
- You don’t realize they are going to dupe you until much later in the process (check out)
- You’re unlikely to “back out” – so they don’t get the quality-index penalty.
- You shop the entire site (e.g. spent valuable time) with the promise in your head… I’m going to get free shipping and no tax… as you make mental comparisons with products you’ve seen on other sites… and the let-down when tax shows up is all-the-more damaging to the brand.
So, intentional or not, it ticked me off, and I will scrutinize future Amazon adwords ads with a new level of distrust from here on.