Google Restricts Ads for Merchant Cash AdvancesOctober 8, 2017 | By: Sean Murray
Google’s quest to stamp out payday loan advertisements from its paid search results has caused collateral damage to merchant cash advances. That’s because the two-word term cash advance, often synonymous with payday loan, appears to now have a blanket restriction that blocks ads whenever that term is included in search, regardless of the words that come before it or after it.
Merchant cash advances, however, are commercial factoring transactions with no relation to payday or consumer finance.
A user on the deBanked forum first alerted me on October 5th and deBanked conducted tests from internet connections in two states to see if we could replicate the results. Below is a sample of our results:
|Keyword||Google Adwords Status|
|merchant cash advance||BLOCKED|
|business cash advance||BLOCKED|
|get a business loan||ACCEPTED|
|loan for my business||ACCEPTED|
|cash advance for my business||BLOCKED|
|business loan companies||ACCEPTED|
|merchant cash advance companies||BLOCKED|
|factoring or business loans or credit cards||ACCEPTED|
|factoring or business loans or merchant cash advances||BLOCKED|
|loan from ondeck||ACCEPTED|
|cash advance from ondeck||BLOCKED|
|consolidate cash advances||BLOCKED|
No such block exists on rival search engine Bing.
Though Google has not said this, the mass removal of payday lending ads, once a massive source of revenue for them, is likely the result of government pressure. Over the last two years, federal regulators have begun targeting lead generation sites that direct users to lenders in a misleading manner.
Unless Google fixes the glitch that caused merchant cash advances to get wrapped up with consumer cash advances, the organic search results will experience a huge boost in value. Last month we reported that companies like OnDeck, Fundera, and Nerdwallet were winning the search engine optimization battle for several keywords including merchant cash advance. Absent any ads, those companies and several others will now benefit from a stream of free traffic and applicants for which their cost of acquisition will be zero dollars.
Perhaps little has been mentioned about this ban within the industry because the end result is FREE leads for those that rank well organically. Long live SEO!Last modified: October 9, 2017
Sean Murray is the founder of deBanked, an 11-year veteran of the merchant cash advance industry, a casual Lending Club and Prosper note investor, the co-founder of Daily Funder, an alternative lending speaker, consultant, writer, and enthusiast. Connect with me on LinkedIn or follow me on twitter.