It has been reported that Google is now blacklisting keywords mentioning Ethereum on its Google Ads advertising platform. The first indication of this would-be policy buster by the internet search giant appeared in a Tweet by smart contract auditing startup Decenter before the weekend.
We are seeing a hard stop on Google Ads containing “Ethereum” as the keyword in the last two days. Is anyone else noticing the same change? Where there any new policy changes introduced @GoogleAds? #ethereum pic.twitter.com/P5XMGphdiV
— Decenter (@DecenterTeam) January 10, 2019
The current situation following Google’s initial ban on all cryptocurrency-related advertising last June was revised and updated in September 2018, allowing some businesses to advertise on its platform providing that any ads for cryptocurrency exchanges must be limited to targeting the US and Japan.
Google’s response to Decenter’s Tweet was that clearly, the ad must have been targeting countries other than the US and Japan, thereby resulting in the rejection of the Ethereum Google Ads keywords. When the startup pointed out that they were simply doing smart contract security audits and seeing errors when keying in “Ethereum development services” and “Ethereum security audits”, Google responded:
“Although we wouldn’t be able to preemptively confirm if your keyword is eligible to trigger ads, we’d recommend that you refer to the ‘Cryptocurrencies’ section of our policy on Financial products and services.”
Decenter’s Reddit post explained that the team had tested keywords such as “ethereum smart contract audits” and “eos smart contract audits” and only the EOS keyword yielded advertising as a result of the keyword search.
Reddit’s Ethereum community team came back with their response: “Any of the keywords that contain “ethereum” in our campaigns are no longer showing ads as of January 9th…”.
A Reddit user put his own case, clearly bemused by Google’s double standards: “Google has various political and economic agendas, and they are quite willing to use their various services to promote their preferences. AdSense and Youtube are notorious for this, but there have been some incidents regarding the play store as well.”
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