Even Google Makes Mistakes

Technically, we all know that Google makes mistakes sometimes. It’s pretty much an extremely complicated piece of software, that they make changes to every day. (In the last year, Google made over 550 changes to their search algorithm.) So it’s not surprising that it breaks sometimes. In fact, we should be impressed that it works so well.

But with all the changes they’ve been making and adding, it seems that things are going wrong a little more frequently all of a sudden. We’ll be speculating on that in another article though. This piece is just about something strange we happened to notice while doing a little research.

Studying Google Localisation

We were doing a little research into how Google Localisation is affecting some of our clients top organic rankings in Google, when we noticed this little oddity.

We’d just done a search for electricians in Johannesburg, and we moved on to our next query. As you can see in the image below, we searched for land rovers in Johannesburg.

Incorrect Adwords Data

We got results for our search query, but take a look at the Adwords ads that were served to us on that search…

…They’re almost all for electricians. The top three ads are all for electricians, as is the first one on the right. That’s followed by an ad for gate motors, one for job searches, and then another for an electrician. Only the 8th ad is for cars, and only the 10th is actually for a land rover.

Is Google pulling the wrong Adwords data to serve their ads? And what happens when a user, not paying attention, clicks on the first result, assuming it’ll be for land rovers? The electrician has to pay for the click. His quality score will go down, and his whole campaign will be affected.

What’s happening Google?