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I was in the process of discussing with a client using adwords for their next step of promotion and no-one at the company was aware of the system, and certainly hadn't created any adwords campaigns, however in the midst of the discussion and trying a few relevant search queries out, one of the ads in the ad block on the right hand pane was for their website.

Is there any way of determining if the ad was somehow generated of is it definitely the case that someone had to consciously take the ad out and if so who might have placed it? They have no referral system so someone outside of the company would get no benefit from running the ad

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Someone would have to consciously place the ad. Where did the ad lead and was the ad copy promotional?

I would take this up with Google as they are pretty good at sorting out people who violate their TOS.

There is no direct way I know of for finding out who has placed an ad.

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the ad led to the homepage and the ad copy was minimal. just the URL, homepage title and not much else (I can't remember exactly what else) –  geocoin Nov 23 '11 at 15:45
    
That sounds wierd. I would contact Google to get it sorted and you will look good with the client too. Good luck =) –  Sandy Lee Nov 23 '11 at 15:51
    
I managed to see the ad again and there's more copy this time... a different title and a couple of lines of not too great copy. (this however may be my client experimenting) can traffic from these ads be tracked in GA? so far I haven't seen any traffic from anything other than organic via GA even though links have been clicked ;) –  geocoin Nov 23 '11 at 16:26
    
You have to link your Adwords account to your GA account to get data. There is no strategic advantage to a competitor sending traffic to your client's site...only bidding on your brand terms and then sending them to your own site. Maybe your client is experimenting? Adwords can be a steep learning curve and does take practice =) –  Sandy Lee Nov 24 '11 at 11:21

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