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Help WoW Insider fight gold and powerleveling ads

Mike Schramm

If you've been a longtime reader of the site, you know we've dealt with this issue before: We use Google Ads here on the site, and since those ads are keyed to words that show up in the site's content, we've been seeing gold selling and powerleveling ads for a long time.

We, of course, don't condone or endorse gold selling/buying or powerleveling at all, or any other actions against Blizzard's Terms of Service. And many of our readers, myself included, consider goldbuying and paying to get your characters leveled akin to cheating, and just as despicable. We do realize we're presenting a mixed message, however, when we champion fair gameplay, but also run ads that feature sites meant to sidestep that same fairness. Until now, it's been nothing more than a technical problem: there hasn't been a way for us to keep the Google Ads running while singling out the ones we don't want.

But now we've heard that it will be possible for us to create a blacklist of ads we don't want to see on the site. We have been told that we can single out sites by domain name, and inform Google of certain domain names we don't want to see popping up in the ads. All we have to do, then, is build a list of sites in our ads that advertise services against Blizzard's Terms of Service. And to do that, we need your help.

Here's what we're asking: if you see an ad on WoW Insider advertising a service or product that is against Blizzard's Terms of Service (you can read them here if you're not familiar with them). including gold buying and selling and powerleveling, please use the "Contact Us" link under Resources on the sidebar. Please include the full text of the ad: that's any text comprising the ad, along with the domain name of the site. We'll pass that info onto our developers, who have told us they will contact Google and do their best to get the ads removed from the site. We'll also be watching for sites, and regularly sending a list of our own to the developers. But if you see a site constantly showing up that we've missed, please let us know using the link.

Please remember that not all of our ads are for services against the WoW Terms of Service-- selling guides to WoW is legal, and using the information in those guides (as long as they don't describe exploits or cheats) is a standard part of gameplay. Ads for sites that are not against the Terms of Service should not be reported to us, and ads that we feel do not need to be removed won't be.

The reality of the situation, unfortunately, is that new sites pop up all the time. No matter how many sites we place on this blacklist, it's very likely that we'll continue to see some ads for WoW gold buying and powerleveling-- the only way to get rid of them completely would be to get rid of the ads completely, and considering they're what pay our bills and allow us to bring this content to you (for free!) every day, that's obviously not an option.

But thanks for reading, and for your help in trying to keep these ads off of the site. Like many of you, we believe that this game is most fun for everyone when played fairly. From an editorial position, we do not support these services, and we're working to do everything possible to remove them from the site.

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