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Google AdWords Forum

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Google Selling AdWords positions now?
Is Google Playing Fair?

 4:36 pm on Feb 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

One of our clients pointed out something that might be very interesting.

A couple of days ago, one company moved to number 1 in the AdWords for all of their keywords. Although this company had advertised in AdWords for a long time, they had always been near the bottom (with the same ad). The sudden change was also suspicious because that company also advertised in the premium sponsored links at the top of the SERPS.

Well, today they are number 2 across the board. A new player is number 1 everywhere! The new player is the largest company in their industry!
It's possible they are number 1 because they are getting the most clicks since they are the biggest, but in this marketplace that is highly unlikely!

Is Google selling the top spots in AdWords?

My client called Google advertising but they are all out for a week or more.




 4:42 pm on Feb 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

If you want to move your adwords position to the top, just keep clicking on it til it gets there. The rank is determined by "popularity"; more clicks = more popular.

Of course, this also drives up page views ($).


 4:43 pm on Feb 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

>the largest company in their industry!
Is Google selling the top spots in AdWords?


And the big accounts were told first.

Hope to find out more at the Bar Conference [barconference.com]


 4:51 pm on Feb 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

>Is Google Playing Fair?

>Is Google selling the top spots in AdWords?

There is a rumor... I don't know if it'll be formally announced at BarConference or not.


 5:05 pm on Feb 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the fast response.

Is Google playing fair? Yes if the announce the change so you can make a decision knowing all the facts. No if they don't announce the change and continue to take your money.


 5:12 pm on Feb 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

Let say for the sake of just saying it that IF adwords were to put a new and very robust program together - they might wish to beta test it before bringing it public. They might wish to allow their big spenders in on the beta. If they announced it and it was thought to be the best program of its kind on earth, the relevancy editors might become overwhelmed and service would suffer. Therefore rolling it out slowly might be a good idea.



 5:19 pm on Feb 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

Beta testing does make a lot of sense.

It is still wrong, however, to solicit advertisers and say rank is determined by click popularity.

A simple disclosure would not injure a beta program and still maintain fairness.


 5:26 pm on Feb 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

>say rank is determined by click popularity.

Click-pop is still a factor, however don't jump to the conclusion that it's the SOLE factor.


 6:23 pm on Feb 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

"Say it ain't so Joe!"

I can't see google breaking its own rules about disclosure, I've always perceived them as a pretty clean operator.

Anyway, that is why I like this place, where else could you get the "inside scoop".


 6:32 pm on Feb 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

>inside scoop

Yep, I'd guess that the chance of this being found out by "live" example is pretty low -but it's obviously happened.

BTW, welcome to WmW seodaddy99 -that's a nice way to open your membership here. Good work.


 6:45 pm on Feb 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

I see this as a step away from user-centered role that google has played. As long as the top spots are determined by users, then there is at least some type of relevancy mechanism going on. As soon as the top spots are determined by the webmaster's money, then the users are getting a raw deal. Of course, its not terribly serious, but I'd still be concerned.


 6:53 pm on Feb 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

>top spots determined by users

As I understand it, this is to effect Adword positions only, not the SERPs.


 8:27 pm on Feb 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

Thats what I mean. Previously, adword order was decided by the users by their click preferences.

jeremy goodrich

 9:08 pm on Feb 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

I agree with ggrot...a small step more towards money based ads and a small step away from user focused ads.

Interesting twist. I just hope that they don't start pushing the envelope, eg, some 'mega corp' asks "can we run flash...just a small one?" and they only look at the money, instead of the user experience.

Not saying that'll happen, but it's a slippery slope...and I for one don't care to see them slip :) I enjoy my free rankings too much, lol.


 9:14 pm on Feb 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

>Previously, adword order was decided by the users by their click preferences.

They rotate within their CPM $-rate level, right?


 12:42 am on Feb 10, 2002 (gmt 0)

AdWord positions are currently determined by clickpop. All advertisers pay the same CPM. It is setup so that the ads that seem to appeal the most to users are shown at the top.

I wouldn't panic just yet about Google abandoning that core concept. They may indeed move to a PPC model, but Im quite sure it will look and work a little different than Overture.


 2:21 pm on Feb 10, 2002 (gmt 0)

Ok listen up guys. I am a big adwords advertiser. The google adwords ads are NOT all the same cost.

The top spot is $15 cpi
second spot is $12 cpi
3rd spot is .. $8 cpi
4th .......... $8 cpi
5th .......... $8 cpi

Your spot is decided by click pop NOT by how much you pay, it is the other way around. How much you pay is based on your click pop.

about beta testing a new program......hmmmm
I can't say.

Just wanted to set the record straight about adwords.


 2:48 pm on Feb 10, 2002 (gmt 0)

I don't use adwords, but I did recall their rate card ranging from $8-15

Google adwords FAQ [adwords.google.com]


 3:06 pm on Feb 10, 2002 (gmt 0)

I look at it this way - it is $15 per thousand, but if you have competition - you get a possible discount for how low on the page you are listed - assuming they beat you out.

Has anyone ever said how much the "Premium Sponsorships" go for. I know they don't list this info publicly - as I assume it varies depending on several factors - anyone care to give me an idea? Feel free to sticky me - I will not reveal your secrets - even if google comes to my house and beats me. I am just curious.

Also, has anyone did a bargraph to CTR comparison. I mean what is the click through rate for the "interest" green bar. If not - I might have to do one to add it to my outdated PR graphic.


 7:12 pm on Feb 10, 2002 (gmt 0)

The Premium spots have a 10k minimum. (over three months). The CPM you pay is determined by the average cost-per-click at Overture. Basically, they take the Ocverture price and use it along with their reported average clickthru rate to determine a cpm cost.

So, if the top Overture rate for your desired term was 1.00 per click, and Google's average clickthru rate was 6% you would get approximately 60 clicks per 1000 impresions, so your CPM would be $60.00

Now, try doing the math on a Overture term that runs around $10.00 per click.... :)


 9:31 am on Feb 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

hmmm yes I have just seen the same thing relating to car insurance in the uk, one of our campaigns has been in the top two for ages, is now three on all search terms, with two new & big players 1 and 2 (same order each time), oh well at least we're top in the search results :)


 9:43 am on Feb 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

I think it's good that adwords not only works for the people with the most money. I think it's good you pay a certain price, but you also have to a "popular" website to gain the topspot.
Again applaus to Google.


 12:32 pm on Feb 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

>> so your CPM would be 60.00

And yet they won't even respond to my requests to be an advertiser (even though I've done Adwords for over a year).

Apparently they have more advertisers than they need for the "top of the page" ads. And they have filled up all 8 Adwords slots for a lot of terms. So, the next step is to start charging more.

As long as it is done openly, I have no problem with it. I do have a problem if a select few get to lock in the top spots without even a chance for the little guy to bid.


 6:50 pm on Feb 16, 2002 (gmt 0)


I´ve seen all the rumors posted, and I just want to add something...
It´s obvious that if Google would plan to launch something new, it would have to beta test it. This isn´t no kids play.
It obvious too, that the people invited to test something would have to agree not to tell anyone about it.
So, just wait and see.


Nuno Oliveira


 8:42 am on Feb 18, 2002 (gmt 0)

You have 'hit the nail on the head' there Bluelook


 11:37 am on Feb 18, 2002 (gmt 0)

Not really... It´s pretty obvious that beta programs always occur. Don´t you remember the famous Win95 Beta Program? We are talking on lots of money, and everything must be 100% when they are released to the public... Alpha and Beta versions exist on everything we know!
So stop with the rumors, and trust those guys, LOL!


Nuno Oliveira


 12:52 pm on Feb 18, 2002 (gmt 0)

Hi everyone,

Let´s clear some things…

I forgot that some of you are eager to see some confirmation of the rumors, and that because of that, you could misinterpret what I´ve written. I didn´t say that there is a Beta Program. I was talking in case the rumors are true, that something will be launched, that it must be tested before. And that the people who test it, must keep it confidential. This is pure logic, and happens every time. I have a medium SE on my country ( Portugal, but it reaches Brazil too ), and 3 days ago I setup a quality “Top Sites”, because some of my partners asked me. Before releasing it to the public, I asked some of my partners to test it, to find errors, and give me opinions so I could make it better. I wouldn´t want to release something buggy. This is common practice. Doing this, I´m not harming other webmasters. I´m preventing that they´ll find errors, and that they´ll get a better service.
Sorry to disappoint some of you, but I was talking for myself, not confirming anything.
So you´ll just have to wait, and if the rumors are true, something will come out, sooner or later.
You just have to trust Google. They have proved that they don´t care just with money, or they would sell top results, not ads on the right side, and they would banners all over, like all other SE´s


Nuno Oliveira


 11:23 pm on Feb 20, 2002 (gmt 0)


I take it you have seen this


We were involved on the beta testing but I couldn't really say anything, but you had hit the nail on the head


 1:07 pm on Feb 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

>eager to see some confirmation of the rumors

Umm, passing around the beta url for three weeks? I'd say that is pretty good confirmation.

Water under the bridge now that it's out...


 1:35 pm on Feb 20, 2002 (gmt 0)


That´s a pretty odd sentence... hit the nail on the head, LOL. Yes I was one of the beta testers, but my first post didn´t confirm anything. It´s a simple referrer to any Beta Program. Take my post and change “Google” to the “Elixir of eternal life” ( :p If there was something like that, it would have to be tested before, and all participants would have to agree not to tell anyone. This applies to every experiment, to every beta test).
To post something like that, implies that I know if such thing exists?
I´ve been testing/using ADWords Select for some weeks, and I could say that I gave some suggestions like showing the number of impressions. The original beta didn´t have that. But they asked for confidentiality, to let the program mature, and I always keep my word.


Nuno Oliveira

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