Feds Shut Down Online Real Estate Ads

Last week the federal government moved in to shut down hundreds of online ads, will your real estate investing business be the next target?

The Deputy Inspector General of TARP announced that it has shut down 85 Google advertisers and 125 advertisers on Bing and Yahoo. Following this lead Google and Yahoo announced that they have since suspended accounts for 900 other advertisers in the last week. This crackdown on suspected scam companies who are using PPC advertising includes those offering loan modification companies as well as those promoting short sales, enticing homeowners to quit claim them their properties and those who hold them out to represent the government in some way. Clearly this likely also effects many real estate investing companies who are using PPC advertising to promote their services online.

Exactly how the search engines and TARP’s investigative team are separating those firms and ads which they believe are scams from those who are providing real help is unclear, though it is likely to effect many legitimate real estate investing businesses as well if the past is anything to go by.

What is certain is that this sets a new precedent for the government control of online advertising. A level of control that could be used to continually promote their own interests, not necessarily the best interests of the consumer and homeowners in need of help.

There is no doubt that your real estate investing company’s ads could make you a target and going based on Google’s track record they often shut advertisers down first, then ask questions later. This means that you may want to take a second look at the ads you are running for your real estate investing business and how you portray your services on your website to preempt any negative action on behalf of the search engines. Though you should definitely fight back if you are targeted. Perhaps now is the perfect time to spin off that new site or direct your ads to a new landing page to ensure that you do not become a victim and suffer any down time.