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I have a GREAT idea, but am not sure if it would be okay with Google...

Discussion in 'Guidelines / Compliance' started by inXorable, May 11, 2006.

  1. #1
    Let’s say theoretically I run a computer repair business. In this business most of my time is spent working on computers that are infested with spyware/virus. The users that are coming into my business are not people that are very computer savvy. Usually their homepage is hijacked by the spyware and would not notice, or complain at all about it being changed.

    So my idea is, make a webpage that is kind of like Google’s homepage. Have a Adsense Google search box in the middle and maybe a few adsense ads somewhere on the page. Have some live news pulled from some other webpage and volla, I have my webpage. Now since I work on so many computers all the time I could set this as the homepage of LOTS of computers that go through my business. The idea being that most people would not know that this isn’t the ‘official’ Google page and being it is the first thing they see pop up when they launch IE they would use it to search to potentially click on advertisements.

    My question is would this be legit with Google? Reading though the TOS I can see nothing that would make it not legit.

    Ideas?
     
    inXorable, May 11, 2006 IP
  2. swoop

    swoop Active Member

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    #2
    You might become one of the first persons to make any money on Google Search :)

    I'm not that familiar with the TOS, but it sounds compliant.
     
    swoop, May 11, 2006 IP
  3. iowadawg

    iowadawg Prominent Member

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    #3
    It may or may not be okay with google.
    But for sure, you would be doing your customers a big disservice!

    Someone who did this to my computer?
    I would first complain like hell, then tell everyone, do not use xxxx to fix or repair or clean your computers, because he is putting basically spyware on your computer as he puts his own homepage on your computer.

    Now be truthful, do you want to screw your customers for a few pennies here and there?
     
    iowadawg, May 11, 2006 IP
  4. sebastianrs

    sebastianrs Active Member

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    #4
    Google will ban you within weeks! It is against their TOS to disguise as if you were google or to misuse any trademarks. Also the relevancy of the ads would end up with PSAs...
     
    sebastianrs, May 11, 2006 IP
  5. inXorable

    inXorable Peon

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    #5
    I don't really run a computer repair business. I am however in a position that this would be 100% possible and upseting a customer is not going to bother me.

    But you have to keep in mind that is is almost for sure not going to upset a customer. Being that their homepage is already hijacked and proably going to some porn site they are just going to be estatic that 'YOU WON A FREE IPOD' is not poping up in their face but rather a nice clean site with a Google search box on it. Why in their mind would this be any different than setting the page to Yahoo.com?

    However, I have never use Googles search to make money. Does this not work well? Would it be beter to make a 'real' homepage with news and stock quotes on it and rely on Adsense ads to make the money?
     
    inXorable, May 11, 2006 IP
  6. inXorable

    inXorable Peon

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    #6
    I would not disguise myself as google. I would have Google nowhere in my URL and would simply be putting the Google search box with the Google logo THEY provide on the page. Just because someone sees it and it is easy for them to use to search does not mean I am trying to act like I am Google nor am I using any of their trademarks.
     
    inXorable, May 11, 2006 IP
  7. hex1848

    hex1848 Peon

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    #7
    Why not make a mini customer portal for your customers. Provide a simple real-time news feed (yahoo news rss), add a search box where they can select which search engine they want to use (google, msn, yahoo), and place your adsense on the page.

    That way it doesn’t look like you are trying to be shady, you are just providing a friendly service.

    ;-)
     
    hex1848, May 11, 2006 IP
  8. inXorable

    inXorable Peon

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    #8
    A very good idea. :)
     
    inXorable, May 11, 2006 IP
  9. donald

    donald Active Member

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    #9
    The idea above is a good idea. You do not have to make it secret. Make it as a friendly service, also you may find other people making your site their homepage.
     
    donald, May 11, 2006 IP
  10. dirtyc

    dirtyc Peon

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    #10
    I think its a fantastic idea. If you're having any "morality" qualms about it, build value in having them use your portal site. For instance, you could put one of those IM icons that lets people see if you're online and ask you technical questions. Surely everyone would be stoked about that. It's not a promise that you'll always be there, just that you'll help if you can.

    OH WAIT. I JUST THOUGHT OF SOMETHING.

    Google will be able to see that the majority of your AdSense clicks are coming from the same IP addresses over and over again, day in and day out. This is not good. This might get you banned with no warning. Hmmmmm......sorry, don't know what to tell ya.
     
    dirtyc, May 11, 2006 IP
  11. jacksmith

    jacksmith Peon

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    #11
    nice idea. you can even tell your customers about that portal of yours. think of it as a free car sticker you get when you give your car for car wash/service. This way they all will know whats the new homepage and still won't complain, some might even keep it there if u do little bit more work with the design.

    and if u don't want to do that then go ahead and do what u think is right. we all get lot of "i am banned from adsense" threads every now and then, one more won't hurt.Changing homepages from porn sites to your page is not allowed unless you are doing all that cleaning for free, and even if you are doing it for free I think you have to inform your customers before hand about this. Any way even if its technically not against TOS its definately plain wrong and so don't expect any DP members to help you out.
     
    jacksmith, May 11, 2006 IP
  12. tytyguy

    tytyguy Peon

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    #12
    it doesnt really matter, you dont make squat with search anyway.
     
    tytyguy, May 11, 2006 IP
  13. NewToAllThis

    NewToAllThis Peon

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    #13
    I think it's a great idea. All he's doing is setting their home page to his website that happens to run his Google search code on it. MSN does it. So does Microsoft. If his customers do not like the homepage they can change it. How is it adware?
     
    NewToAllThis, May 11, 2006 IP
  14. coops

    coops Peon

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    #14
    Sounds like pretty cool idea. Only way to know is really to get in contact with google ;)

    Good luck with it though.
     
    coops, May 11, 2006 IP
  15. Winagain

    Winagain Active Member

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    #15
    This idea rocks.

    Instead of going for google search, use adsense.

    Spend some time with your client, ask him what newspaper he reads, what hobbies he has, the weather, etc. Add rss to all this to his own personalized home page.
    Be sure to add something like "This page is presented as a service to our clients from XXXXXX Company" and your logo
    "Click here for support"
    "Click here for instructions to remove this page" <---- very important!

    fill everything else with adsense which will be targered directly to the clients interests.

    I think this idea is worth exploring for almost any business.
     
    Winagain, May 12, 2006 IP
  16. dadasays

    dadasays Peon

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    #16
    I do fairly well with search -- almost 10% of my AdSense revenue.

    I've considering monetizing my customer homepage (we actually use a Google search box but not monetized) which shows our customers recent virus updates, Windows updates and recommended software update downloads.

    Not a bad idea to throw Firefox referral and AdSense Search on there. It _IS_ a news site. Great idea!
     
    dadasays, May 12, 2006 IP
  17. jimsmith

    jimsmith Peon

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    #17
    cool idea dude, good thinking.
     
    jimsmith, May 12, 2006 IP
  18. YMC

    YMC Well-Known Member

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    #18
    I think as far as the concept goes it is a new and interesting approach.

    What concerns me is that you will be removing spyware and unhikacking their home page and then hijacking it for yourself. Not sure if I would like that if I was a customer.

    However, if you customized the page for each person; maybe even created links to their favorite web spots this could be sold as an additional service rather than the spammy thing it sounded like on the first read.

    I'm not yet an Adsense publisher, but it would seem from what I've read here and elsewhere that they are opposed to using trickery to getting people to click on the ads. While not expressly forbidden, your technique sounds like one that violates the spirit of the ban on trickery.

    Also, it sounds like you are essentually creating a mini Google site. Not sure that would make them real happy either.

    It would be an intersting experiment, but not sure if Google would let you take it down before they banned you.
     
    YMC, May 12, 2006 IP
  19. TCR

    TCR Peon

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    #19
    The original idea of a Google spoof site is most likely to get you banned even if it is not explicitly specified in the ToS. Remember, it is Googles ball- if it doesn't want to play with you, it does not have to.


    Just create a home page! Whats the big deal? An hour a day of writing and you can put enough fresh info and excerpts with links to "read the full story" on it to be legitimate. Dont be such a lazy bastard. With that said, if you are in a position to change peoples home pages in a legal sort of manner, so be it. If they are not saavy enough to change it, it is a matter of time before someone does it for them.

    Unless you make it appealing, in which case they may want to keep it.

    Good luck, dude.
     
    TCR, May 12, 2006 IP
  20. Sara

    Sara Guest

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    #20
    Hmmmmm. Now I know why I never ever send my computer off to be repaired ...
     
    Sara, May 12, 2006 IP