I work for a marketing agency full time and lead SEO efforts for a good number of clients, and some of them spending a large amount of money on services related to Google. As a result, members of my team and I spend a lot of time on the phone with Google staff members troubleshooting issues and working to make campaigns better. Most of the time, these experiences are great. I had a call yesterday with someone who was incredibly helpful, fun to talk with, and took a great amount of initiative to solve an issue with an ad approval. In fact, almost every time I have called support for Pay Per Click (PPC), the results have been exceptional.
Not so much with their other support. The following are actual examples of what Google staff have said to me and my staff this month. Seriously.
“I’m going to send you the algorithm”
If you’re familiar with SEO, you’re currently thinking, “You must have misunderstood them.” Nope, that’s exactly what she said. If you’re not familiar with SEO, the Google algorithm is the holy grail of the company. It’s the 200+ factor algorithm that gets hundreds of changes every year and decides who ranks where for what keywords. Nobody has access to this outside the company, and internal access is limited. There are crazy non-disclosure agreements that have to be signed by staff. But, she said she was going to send it to us.
Obviously, she was wrong. But it is confounding that a company like this would allow someone that understands so little of what they do to be on the front lines of talking to customers.
“Use Chrome because it updates Google search results faster than Firefox”
You guessed it, same girl. And no, it doesn’t.
Although Chrome is a superior browser IMO (many will disagree), all a browser does is display the information on the website. Browsers don’t hold the content. Not much else needs to be said, but it escalates the level of incompetency and brings greater suspicion of the company.
Hey, at least she didn’t suggest Internet Explorer.
“Firefox, Safari, and Chrome are search engines”
That’s right, these are no longer browsers according to Google. They are now search engines. And the more people use these things, I guess the less people would use Google. Because hey, why would you need another search engine.
So now, I need a search engine to get to a…a Google I guess. I used to call Google a search engine, but I just don’t know anymore.
“Remove These Slides”
This wasn’t so much what a rep said, but how he tried to explain away something and presented garbage.
Because of the level of money we spend every month with Google (again, it’s a lot), we have a dedicated specialist to help us set up new accounts for no cost. There’s a reason they are no cost. We had a conference call where our representative sent the PowerPoint presentation ahead of time (rookie mistake – NEVER send a presentation ahead of time. Share a screen. Otherwise nobody will listen to you.). In the notes section of the PowerPoint were notes such as “remove this slide – this service is no longer offered.” When the rep was called out on it, he explained it away by saying, “Well, you don’t have to use that slide.” It was very unprofessional. Guess who won’t be helping us with many AdWords accounts.
So, these were all seriously things that I heard from Google in the past month. I get that people make mistakes, but these are really basic. It’s like going to your doctor and the PA telling you “That’s really not your hand, it’s a part of your elbow. Maybe wrongly, but I assumed more of a company of that magnitude. Am I crazy?