I just read quite a funny post over at the SERoundtable regarding Googles stance to adverts appearing in the same search results which are effectively part of the same domain yet have a different TLD.

“For example, if site A advertises domain.com in Google’s AdWords. And also, site B advertises domain.co.uk in Google’s AdWords. They both are bidding on the same keywords. In this case, only one of the two ads should be displayed according to Google’s affiliate policy.”

AdwordsAdvisor2 explains

“Under our affiliate policy, the .com and the .co.uk will be considered the same domain, so they should not both show ads at the same time. On a search where more than one ad with the same domain is available in the auction, we will show whichever one would have the highest position. There is no bidding competition between the same domain ads, so it should not effect what your actual CPC is on that search.”

Sounds great in theory right? But realistically its pretty much bullcrap. Lets take a quick look under a search for MacDonald Hotels

MacDonald Hotels Search

So what do we see? Oh, not 1 but in fact 3 adverts, all affiliates, advertising against effectively the same domain. Using the MacDonaldhotels.co.uk, MacDonaldhotels.com and even a nice hyphenated MacDonald-hotels.com. The funny thing is, where businesses purchase multi tld’s, it gives affiliates a chance to basically double (or triple in this case) serve adverts without generally getting spotted. Google cannot check every SERP there is to police this guideline and they certainly do not seem to get picked up in editorial.In fact, looking at the above example there is actually a chance that MORE adverts could be shown…Without spending to much time on this, the hotel chain seem to own;

MacDonaldhotels.co.uk
MacDonaldhotels.com
MacDonald-hotels.co.uk
MacDonald-hotels.com

Only one of the above domains might be stopped from serving in an advert editorial review, that is the MacDonald-hotels.com url. The advert will run to start with as shown in the above pic, but it forwards directly onto MacDonald-hotels.co.uk (where as the others do not). This is against Googles guidelines and would probably be picked up on when reviewed.

But the rest?. You are having a laugh.