On the heels of the Google Grants Adsense Violation Notices going out, the Google has also made changes to the URL policy and has begun sending notices to nonprofits in the Google Grants program that are promoting more than one website via their Google Grant.
The notice reads in part:
We are writing to inform you of a change we are making to our URL policy.
Google Grantees may only promote the one website domain name associated with the registered nonprofit that approved for Google Grants. We realize that some nonprofits may have separate domain names for events or fundraisers. However, to maintain the integrity of our program, we now require that Google Grantees only promote the one domain name associated with the nonprofit that was approved for Google Grants.
For more on the URL policy, please visit the Help Center article:
The new policy, now prohibits promoting more than one URL. Moving forward grantees will only be able to promote the website URL that was approved for use with the Google Grant.
Previously, nonprofits were allowed to promote different URLs for events and fundraisers via the Google Grant. However, the new policy only allows organizations to promote the ONE URL for the registered nonprofit approved in the Google Grants application. The new URL policy does continue to allow the promotion of subdomains and sub-folders.
Google Grantees must remove any extra domain names from their account by July 2013. After a short grace period, the Grants team will begin enforcing the new policy and any Grantees that continue to promote multiple domain names or a domain name not associated with the registered nonprofit will be subject to removal from the Google Grants program.
One of the issues that we are seeing from the various message boards is that some Grantees do not remember the original URL they applied for the Google Grant under. In my talks with the Grants team they have shared that, ”As long as the website reflects the mission of the organization approved for Grants, they are fine. They simply must only advertise the one website domain name in their account and should delete all other ads and campaigns that are running different domain names.”
So if your organization has received notice and you are not sure of which URL you should promote, you will need to choose the website that either they remember was the one approved for Grants or matched the true nature of the IRS-approved nonprofit.
If you need assistance in updating your Google Grants AdWords account before the July 2013 deadline, please feel free to reach out to us.
The Google Grants team sent out violation notices today to Google Grants participants that had been identified by the system to have Google AdSense ads or affiliate advertising links on their website – a violation of the Google Grants policies and guidelines.
There have been some false positives where the system detected ads when there were not any and those grantees affected by these false positives have posted concerns on the Google Grants Help Forum that they may be loosing their $10,000 per month AdWords grant.
I spoke with the Google Grants team earlier today and they informed me that for now they were just giving a warning if the system detected AdSense on the grantees site and that they are not taking action yet.
Here is a copy of the notice:
Dear Google Grantee,
Per Google Grants policies and guidelines, nonprofits enrolled in the Google Grants program cannot display Google AdSense ads or affiliate advertising links on their website while participating in the Google Grants program:
Your organization’s website was found to be in violation of this policy. We kindly ask that you remove the Adsense ads from your website by July 2013. Google Grantees who continue to be in violation of the Google Adsense policy after July 2013 will be subject to removal from the Google Grants program.
As noted in the Google Grants guidelines, Google reserves the right to grant or deny an organization’s participation at any time, for any reason, and to supplement or amend these eligibility guidelines at any time. Selections are made at Google’s sole discretion, and decisions regarding Google Grants violations are final.
For information on Google Grants guidelines, please visit:
The Google Grants Team
And while the Grants team is not taking action yet, this should serve as a warning to those grantees that are not following the guidelines to become compliant or face loosing participation from the program.
For those affected by a false positive, keep in mind, this is just a warning and the Google Grants team is not taking down accounts at this time. This warning just gives grantees a chance to address any issues that may exist before a further review takes place.
Congratulations Google Grants team! What a great 10 years it’s been!
If you are a nonprofit and you have not looked into Google Grants yet I strongly encourage you to do so today.
To celebrate the 10th birthday of Google Grants, Kinsey Street will waive set up fees for any nonprofit that signs up for our Google Grants management service during the month of April 2013.
Contact us today and let’s get your nonprofit set up with $10,000 per month in free AdWords advertising via Google Grants.
Big news from Google Grants today as they sent out emails to grantees notifying them that major changes to the program would go into effect this January.
From the email:
First, as of January 28, 2013, Google Grantees may bid up to $2.00 USD on keywords. This is an increase from the previous CPC bid cap of $1.00 USD and may allow your ads to enter auctions previously unavailable at the $1.00 bid cap. Second, to balance the interests of businesses who pay to advertise on Google search, your ads will now appear below the ads of traditional AdWords advertisers.
If anyone needs help getting their Google Grant accounts prepared for the upcoming changes, (or applying for the Google grant) feel free to reach out to me for Google Grants help.
For those that are not familiar with Google grants, it provides up to $10,000 per month in free AdWords advertising to qualified nonprofits. You can learn more about the program at the official Google grants website or on our Google Grants overview page.
Also, feel free to contact me with any questions about the program and I will be glad to answer them for you.
1/28 – Many grantees are reporting that they are unable to increase their bids to the new $2 bid cap – I just spoke with the Google Grants team and they said that the changes are rolling throughout the day so grantees should be able to make the CPC increase to $2 fully by tomorrow.
1/28 – Most Grantee ad positions remained unchanged for now, as well. Several of my nonprofit clients have ads appearing in the top positions for competitive terms.
1/28 Noon PST – Changes to the max bid cap are now going through for many accounts.
1/29 – Most grantees not only survive the first day of changes but thrived with increased impressions and clicks.
1/29 10am PST – The Google Grants team shares a message about the recent program changes on the Google Grants Help Forum .
New changes in the Google Grants Account Creation Guide.
The Google Grants team has recently made a dramatic change to the Google Grants Account Creation Guide and how grantees launch their AdWords campaigns.
Previously, the account creation process was a 9-step process – now it is essentially a 2-step process although there are “steps within the steps”.
Step 1: Create an AdWords account — with no campaigns — and submit it for review. Do not create an ad or campaign until step 2.
Step 2: Once Google activates your account, the Google Grants team will notify you and you can begin creating your first ad campaign.
The really big change in the whole process is that you are now creating a “shell” AdWords account and getting it approved for use in the Grants program and then building out the campaigns. As mentioned above, there are still “steps within the steps” and the Google Grants Account Creation Guide still contains important requirements for properly setting up your campaigns so that they meet the guidelines of the Google Grants program. Failure to set your campaigns up properly will result in errors and your ads not launching.
Interestingly, the new process also states that it can take up to six weeks for the Google Grants team to review your account – this is up from the previous 30 days and is likely due to the large number of nonprofit organizations that are discovering the benefits of the Google Grants program and signing up.
While this new process will certainly make it easier for getting new grantees launched, it is still no substitute to the benefits of having your Google Grant managed by someone who is experienced in AdWords and Google Grants management set up the account the right way to begin with so that you can get the most out of your Google AdWords Grant.
If you are a nonprofit and need help in setting up your Google Grants account or ongoing campaign management to maximize your Google Grant, let us know – we can help.
Set up your ad before December 31, 2012 and you’ll get $100 of free advertising from Google, when you spend your first $25*.
Make 2013 the best year ever for your business. As a Google AdWords Partner, Google has authorized Kinsey Street to provide you with a $100 AdWords voucher for you to experience the benefits of advertising your business through Google AdWords.
Simply fill out the form below and we will send you an AdWords promotional code good for $100 in AdWords credit.
*AdWords Terms and conditions apply.
A recent blog article on NYTimes.com asked the question; “Has Google AdWords Stopped Working for Small Businesses?”
It is certainly a fair question as many small business owners struggle trying to find success managing their Google AdWords accounts themselves and it prompted me to jump in on the conversation.
Here was what I had to say:
The issue that many small businesses run into with AdWords is in its ease of use to get set up and launch a keyword campaign quickly. Simply enter your credit card, select a few keywords and write a couple of ads. 1-2-3 easy and done. It is in that deceptively easy set up process that many small business owners feel that they can “set it and forget” and let it run on its own. As a result, many business owners end up being extremely dissatisfied and claim that “AdWords didn’t work for me” or “AdWords was a waste of money” when the real issue is that their AdWords campaigns were not managed for success.
It is because AdWords is so easy to “do” that most do not realize the intricacies involved in doing it right, much less, doing it in manner that it generates a positive return on advertising spend and is revenue generating.
Cutting your own hair is easy. But if you want to look good, you hire a professional to do it for you. AdWords is no different. If you want the best results, go with an agency that is a Certified Google Partner, you will be glad you did. Certified Google Partners are agencies that have been vetted by Google to show proficiency in managing AdWords campaigns. Simply put, they have the experience and know how to do it right. Many of them work with small business and they are not nearly as expensive as you might think. My agency is one of them.
Effective AdWords management takes time and that is something that most small business owners simply do not have. It also takes a level of experience and proficiency that, like-wise, many small business owners do not have the time to obtain.
If you are a small business owner and if Google AdWords has stopped working for your business, give me a call today and let me turn your AdWords account around to be revenue generating instead of a money pit. You will be glad you did.
This post is a little different from the usual online marketing or pay per click management posts we typically have here at Kinsey Street but it is an important one for our readers and clients none-the-less.
As reported on Mashable, about 6.5 million LinkedIn passwords have been hacked and leaked online. Mashable also has an article about how you can check LinkedIn your password to see if it is on the list of the 6.5 million that were hacked. The password checking tool is provided by LastPass and can be accessed here: https://lastpass.com/linkedin/
This is important stuff so be sure to go check on the security of your LinkedIn password now before reading the rest of the post. Keep in mind that the tool merely checks what you type in against the list of hacked passwords that has been posted. It does not store your password nor does it ask you for your login. However, you can never be too safe so I do recommend being logged out of LinkedIn and using Chromes Incognito feature when accessing the tool.
OK, did you check? Are you secure? No? Then change your password immediately and then read the rest of the post. Also, any other account (Gmail, Yahoo mail, Twitter, Facebook, AdWords, etc) where you use the same login and password needs to be changed as well.
All secure now? Good.
Now for a little fun with some enlightening and rather concerning results. Type in the most common words you can think of into the tool and see if the password checking tool returns a match. Keep in mind that the password must contain 6 or more characters, so the word you typed in will need to be as well.
Here is a few I typed in:
password – yes (Really? Someone uses ‘password’ as their password?)
password123 – yes (Well, at least this person added numbers.)
abc123 – yes
abcdef – yes
123456 – yes
qwerty – yes (A top of the keyboard favorite.)
linkedin – yes
google – yes
facebook – yes
monkey – yes
chicken – yes
pickles – yes
seattle – yes
houston – yes
seahawks – yes (Seattle’s football team.)
sounders – yes (Seattle’s soccer team.)
texans – yes (Houston’s football team.)
cheaptrick – yes (One of my favorite bands – and no, not my password.)
barackobama – yes (The 44th POTUS)
mittromney – no (hmmm, not sure if not used or if it wasn’t hacked.)
ronpaul – yes
democrat – yes
republican – yes
robert – yes
bubbles – yes
yahtzee – yes
Of all the entries I tried, all but two (mittromney and my own personal LinkedIn password) came back as being compromised. When you look at the passphrases above, they have something in common, they are all simple words. Simple words DO NOT make effective passwords. Nor due simple number combinations.
What is really scary is that many people will use the same password and login information for their bank account as they do with their LinkedIn account.
If your own passwords fall into the above category but you were lucky enough not to be hacked, I encourage you to take the steps to change your passwords now.
Seattle-based Kinsey Street Online Marketing is recognized by Google for their work helping nonprofits with Google AdWords™ grants
SEATTLE, WA – Kinsey Street Online Marketing, a leading provider of pay per click campaign management services, is honored to announce that it has been selected by Google as a Google for Nonprofits Featured Provider in the AdWords category.
Although hundreds of agencies have applied for the status, Kinsey Street Online Marketing is one of only a handful of agencies in the United States to be featured in the AdWords product category. According to Google, “Certified Partners are carefully vetted by Google and meet rigorous qualification standards.”
“We are incredibly honored about Kinsey Street being recognized by Google for the work that we do with nonprofits that need assistance with their Google AdWords grant and that they have chosen to feature the agency in the Google for Nonprofits Marketplace,” said Robert Coats, principal owner of Kinsey Street Online Marketing.
Google Grants, a major component of the Google for Nonprofits suite of products, is a unique in-kind donation program awarding qualified nonprofits up to $10,000 per month of free AdWords advertising. Kinsey Street works with nonprofits to ensure that their AdWords account is set up properly so that it is approved for use with Google Grants. Once approved, Kinsey Street then provides complete management services of the AdWords account for the nonprofit. This ongoing management, optimization and reporting ensures that the nonprofit is able to get the most benefit out of the grant provided by Google.
“Many organizations, both businesses and nonprofits alike, struggle to effectively manage their AdWords account themselves,” Coats said. “This is often due to a lack of experience with AdWords, having the time to actively managing the campaigns or a combination of both.”
With Google grant recipients, the challenges to success with AdWords are compounded due to the restriction of only being able to bid $1 per click.
With these challenges, Google has acknowledged that the average grantee only spends about $300 of their $10,000 per month grant. This is in stark contrast to the AdWords accounts professionally managed by Kinsey Street, where grantee accounts have an average monthly spend over ten times that amount.
As Kinsey Street client Dr. Richard Glassberg said, “Kinsey Street allowed us to truly benefit from the generous AdWords grant that Google provided the Animal Health Foundation and was able to successfully grow our account, which was spending less than $100 a month, to an account that spends the full $10,000 per month.”
About Kinsey Street Online Marketing
Kinsey Street Online Marketing is a Seattle-based Google AdWords Partner that provides full service pay per click campaign management, detailed reporting, one-on-one customer support and broad marketing guidance to help businesses and nonprofit organizations around the world make the most of their online advertising campaigns.
Since the start of the original Google Grants program and also with the newer Google For Nonprofit program there have been a series of eligibility restrictions that have kept many nonprofits from participating and enjoying the many benefits Google provides other nonprofits.
Five of the biggest eligibility restrictions are now no more. As posted today on the Google for Nonprofits Discussion group by Google teammate Carolyn (AKA: LadyBugz), organizations under the following categories may now be eligible for the Google for Nonprofits Program:
- Places or institutions of worship
- Programs requiring membership and/or providing benefit solely to members
- Websites with a primary focus on selling goods, products or services
- Car, boat, and real estate donation websites
- Consumer credit counseling
The removing of these restrictions now opens the Google for Nonprofits program up for a multitude of nonprofits to take advantage of the benefits that these programs offer such as Google apps and a $10,000 per month advertising grant through AdWords.
You can read more about the updates in Carolyn’s original post, here. And be sure to read over the updated Google for Nonprofits Eligibility Guidelines while you are at it. After all, they are much shorter now.
In a time when some organizations are being criticized for cutting grants Google should be applauded for opening their program up to include even more nonprofit organizations.
If you are a nonprofit and you would like assistance in applying for the Google for Nonprofits program or with the set up and management of a Google AdWords grant, feel free to contact us here at Kinsey Street. We are a Google for Nonprofits Featured Provider and we offer our services at reduced rates for 501(c)(3) organizations.