Are Google Ads Deceiving Users?

By this point practically everyone has become rather familiar with how pressure tactics can be used to create sales. In spite of the fact that this is the case, many might not be aware of the deceptive methods that are utilized by seemingly beneficial platforms such as the interface controlling Google Ads. It turns out that deceptive patterns are a core component of Google ads which make them a lot harder for users to be able to trust than might have been the case otherwise.

With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that default configurations have a role to play in the matter at hand. For example, you might inadvertently accept to participate in Google’s Search Campaign, thinking that this would only connect you with other users that are using the same search engine at that point.

However, taking a closer look at the settings that you are agreeing to will reveal that the Display Network is also incorporated into this. It is quite clear that this has no place in the Search Campaign settings, but that hasn’t stopped Google from getting users to sign up for it without clarifying the full extent of what they are agreeing to.

Another common tactic that is deployed by Google to similarly deceive the users that rely on it to traverse the internet is the creation of an obstacle course of sorts. This is when Google puts roadblocks in place to make it a lot harder for you to make any changes to the settings that you are working with. If a user wants to toggle off certain assets, such as the automated assets described above, they will have to experience a rollercoaster ride of misdirection.

A long series of steps will need to be followed in order to get rid of the settings and gain access to more reliable ads that users are actually interested in. Some tasks that should ideally be manageable through the platform itself are only toggled off if you directly contact Google. Such a restriction can be frustrating because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up making users jump through hoops just to gain some semblance of control over Google Ads.

This is by no means the only form of deception that Google is operating with. Google Ads have made it downright impossible to remove mobile apps from your basket of advertisements, starting in 2018 when the option was eliminated from all of the advertisements that you are putting out into the world even if mobile apps are not pertinent to your marketing campaign.

It is imperative that advertisers be given more options to control their ad campaigns, rather than to limit these options for Google’s own ends. It will be interesting to see if Google takes any steps to make things simpler on advertisers and users alike. Failing to do so could contribute to Google’s growing status as a company that does not put the needs of its users first. This could also have a detrimental impact on the state of the digital advertising industry in general given Google’s central place in the entirety of the ecosystem.

Of course, users can also take matters into their own hands by reading up on all of the settings and obtaining adequate knowledge regarding the platform. Additionally, a few cheat codes and hotkeys can facilitate users navigating the Google Ads platform without having to follow too many steps.

For example, you can remove mobile apps from your basket by using “mobileappcategory::69500”, which Google itself has rarely if ever told its users about. This and other cheat codes like it can finally give advertisers the control they need on ad campaigns which they usually depend on Google for.


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