Following on from our previous post on horrifying display ad placements, I've been looking for examples of when Google Ads go wrong. 

So here's a list of 15 Google Ads (PPC and AdSense) which are either badly written, completely irrelevant, poorly placed, or just plain funny... 

Worst PPC ad ever?

(via bbcarter

The Worst PPC Ad in the History of the Universe

Want to become a police officer?

(thanks to searchenginepeople)


Ford clearly forgot to check this ad


World of Warcraft


Flights to hell

adsense 12

Mating with animals


Leg amputees


Certificate in terrorism?

(via elistmania)

adsense 11




(via eBads)

Thanks to a scattergun approach to PPC in the past, there are plenty of examples of eBay bidding on bizarre and inappropriate terms. 

Skin cancer

adsense 1

Used toilet paper


Kick in the balls


Nuclear weapon


Crack baby

adsense 16

Great deals on fascists... 


Graham Charlton

Published 3 December, 2010 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is the former Editor-in-Chief at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin or Google+

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Comments (17)

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Joe Friedlein

Joe Friedlein, Director at Browser Media

Ebay ads have always amused us.

Have seen quite a few babies for sale on there, but never gone searching for crack babies...

over 7 years ago


Pop Up Stands

Just want to say thanks for giving me something to laugh at on this cold Monday morning :-)

over 7 years ago



Some people are just having fun - and there is a Google ad-checking bot that needs its code checking. Or there are some Google employees that are not oogling at Ads enough before okaying them.

over 7 years ago

Paul Booth

Paul Booth, Founding Partner at The ATO Co Ltd

Whilst amusing, as more and more of these poor ads appear they deliver a result to the user which will only serve to frustrate them, and potentially these users will become disenchanted with the medium. The advertisers who are taking the time and effort to produce professional-standard PPC copywriting suffer too.

over 7 years ago


Bob Maddams

A search page is like an arena in ancient Rome.  The PPC ads are the gladiators, pitched in against one another in a deperate fight to the death.  The last man standing is the one that gets the click.  And the only weapons they have to fight with are words, so their prowess at using them is what they live or die by.  Or in other words, copy in PPC ads matters.       

over 7 years ago


Clark Mackey

Thanks for posting this.  Someday the bots will know better, but, until then, I get to cry laughing at my desk.

I especially love the World of Warcraft one.  A real person had to set that one in motion.  I can see that person in my mind right now, rushing online too their doom after attending a PPC webinar, something like, "23 under-targeted PPC niches. Target them TODAY and profit!" 

over 7 years ago


Nicky Jurd

Thanks for the belly laugh, these are excellent! I particularly like the certificate in terrorism. I wonder what sorts of jobs require that qualification?

over 7 years ago


Gareth Owen

The World of Warcraft one is deliberate, I bet it has the best CTR as well.

over 7 years ago

Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton, Editor in Chief at ClickZ Global

Yes, I think the WOW ad doesn't really deserve the lame label, but it is funny...

over 7 years ago



These are indeed some pretty random ads, but I guess that is what you get when your operate off of keywords.

over 7 years ago

Antoine Becaglia

Antoine Becaglia, Digital Strategist at WebPropaganda Ltd

+ no brains

over 7 years ago


PPC expert

Some companies definitely need to hire better online marketing per they care? no...

{use your brains}

over 7 years ago



used toilet paper??? seriously??

over 7 years ago



I'm loving ebay's approach to PPC.  Who knew the range of products available on there......!

over 7 years ago



The World of Warcraft one is clever marketing.. the remainders are lazy algorithms

over 7 years ago

Mike Groves

Mike Groves, Online Marketing Specialist at Mike Groves | Online Marketing

I'm sure there are loads more of these! I'd love to know which were client errors and which were agency mistakes - and expect automation gets the blame in each case. Makes you think there must be another way...

Mike Groves

over 7 years ago


Alex Moran, Business Development Manager at Jellyfish Online Marketing

I still get these kind of ads all the time by Amazon on my Windows Phone (using Bing). Please see this tweet for examples:

This is really the tip of the iceberg though, it happens on pretty much every search!

over 4 years ago

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