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Google's PPC Program Part 2
Adwords Goes Pay per click

 8:39 pm on Feb 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

Continued from Part One [webmasterworld.com]

So, does anyone think google will be tempted to lower the quality of their search results to promote spending in their ppc system one day?

I don't know about intentionally lowering the quality of results, but it certainly opens the door for the introduction of more aggressive spam filter testing, or algos that intentionally rotate different sites to the top.

As GG pointend out, the general public doesn't usually notice problems like the zeroPR issue, because for every site that drops out, there are plenty of equally relevant sites to take their place.

Webmasters who enjoy constant top placement for quality terms in the free SERPS have absolutely zero incentive to become paid advertisers. That will change dramatically if the type of volatility of the past couple months becomes the norm.



 6:14 pm on Feb 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

Interesting to see how the other PPC companies react.

Here we have a model that (so far) seems to satisfy all parties. Its got to turn up the heat on the others to get relevant and get 'open'.

Hope so.


 6:15 pm on Feb 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

Anyone seen any new seo ads today? Something to the effect of:

Will work cheaper than Googles CPC prices - we don't produce - you don't pay!


 6:16 pm on Feb 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

we don't produce - you don't pay.

What are you trying to do to us!?!?!?!?

lol ;)


 7:59 pm on Feb 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

Sorry for those of you in love w/ this Ad words stuff..but IMHO it sucks. I've been a Goto/Overture customer for a year and a half- luckily my listings are all grandfather claused at .01 cents. I've enjoyed great traffic at low prices for months. I've also done Findwhat and Sprinks, although neither compares to the Overture traffic.

After reading this board today I signed up for the Google program-- and I'm sorely disappointed! First of all, they show your add for ALL kinds of related keywords-- not just the one you entered. If you enter "dolls" any impressions for a whole host of keywords like maybe "doll house" "doll dresses" etc will show your ad. Not such a big deal on the face of it, but Ad words has some weird system that takes your ad out of commission if you don't appear to be meeting the CTR ratio. If this happens, you have to go back in, change your description or keywords, blah blah blah-- at the risk that if they keep nullifying your campaign they are gonna try and charge you $5 to "reactivate" it.


Gimme a break. With high CPC's and all these weird rules, I don't see any reason to keep up w/ this campaign. Not only that, but I rank well on a lot of terms in Google anyway, and see this baloney and possibly taking away some of my nice free traffic anyway. Whoever set up this program should have realized who difficult they make it compared to the other big 3.


 9:25 pm on Feb 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

Not wishing to be negative - but wasn't this all obvious? Why does everyone still think that the Internet is a sort of 'hippie' freedom? Google may be great - but they were not born out of 1966 (although the founders may have been born about then). Google will be the ones (probably) to make the most money out of search yet and will be the rulers of the SE industry (tho' not the rulers of the search portals) - mainly 'cos you all love them (and consider them) to be the ones who are truly 'free'.

Jeez! I lived, loved and have forgotten (in a haze) most of those days. Much as I hate it though - they won't return :(
And Google is in all this for the money - not Peace, Love and an egalitarian society. Amazingly, despite my cynical attitude ( and my PR0) I still admire their style above all other SEs. One day though, they will talk to me about cash (just as all the others have) :)


 9:29 pm on Feb 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

I tend to agree MMT.

Seems USA Today does too [searchengineworld.com]. That is a rather ummm, poor piece of journalism and distorts the truth to make it sound like Google is setting up to be identicle to Overture.



 10:00 pm on Feb 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

>Why does everyone still think that the Internet is a sort of 'hippie' freedom?

hehe, because it is! Raise your eyes up a little from the day to day task of making money on the www, have a good look around it will be a rewarding experience, trust me.

>poor piece of journalism

That may be true but this hit home:

The system lets Web sites raise their bids to increase their chances for higher placement on the section of Google's site that's devoted to sponsored links.

So the difference between G! and the "pure" PPC engines is that on G! you can buy your way to the top but only on the right hand side, I don't see that as reinforcing their USP.

I haven't seen any PPC results yet, do they have the class to show the "cost to advertiser"?


 10:05 pm on Feb 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

>show the "cost to advertiser"?

I think we are all holding our breath on that one NFFC. I think thats way there is some strong trepidation among quite a few people.

If they do - what happens? What's your opinion of them then?
If they don't - what happens? What's your opinion of them then?


 10:24 pm on Feb 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

Notts, Brett,

That's an easy one to answer. I set up an Adwords Select for the one keyword that is cheaper than CPM Adwords, and forgot to delete the old one. When I looked, they were both there, with the Adwords Select one on the top. Both ads looked identical (wording was slightly different), absolutely no way to identify CPC ad from the CPM one....and no cost to advertiser showing.


 10:38 pm on Feb 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

>If you enter "dolls" any impressions for a whole host of keywords like maybe "doll house" "doll dresses" etc will show your ad.

Yes, and that has been a problem in the old CPM adwords as well. I know of one financial firm that is bidding on "banks" and probably wouldn't be happy to know that they are appearing (and paying the CPM) for banks of the Nile, Grand Banks, etc.


 10:50 pm on Feb 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

If you enter "dolls" any impressions for a whole host of keywords like maybe "doll house" "doll dresses" etc will show your ad.

Use "[dolls]", and it will be shown with searches for exactly and only "dolls". They offer solid documentation of all the features, especially in the FAQ. It pays to read all of it very carefully.


 10:50 pm on Feb 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

sonny wrote:

"If you wanted to increase brand awareness but not clicks, couldn't you target very general keywords that really have nothing to with your product, but will receive many impressions. Therefore you could increase brand awareness at little cost, so when they do want your product, they might think of you. For ex. sell candles, but target keyword love or something. Many impressions but few clicks= high brand awareness at little cost."

The general point is a good one, but you cannot do this ad nauseam because Google disables any ad whose CTR rate falls below 0.5%.

Still, if you have the time to put in, it seems to me it would be worth bidding on a wider variety of key phrases, as opposed to fewer, in the hopes that you just make it over 0.5% and get that free branding benefit on a wider variety of phrases.

Oh, I just love make-work projects. :)

Incidentally, what have people experienced as CTR's for their AdWords campaigns in the past? I have one that has been between 0.3% and 0.4% (I guess that means I'd be paying close to $1 per click - horrible).

I have another that consistently gets a 3.3% CTR.

There is a lot of math to ponder here. But the bottom line is a huge amount of flexibility in advertising options, and of course the opportunity to place ads beside the world's most important search engine.

If I were a betting man I'd say that Yahoo will announce their intention to drop Overture for Google AdWords sometime in June.

Not only does this mean a lot of revenues for Google, but a really healthy take for Yahoo. Maybe, in fact, Yahoo will be able to annoy users less as a result of raking it in through less obtrusive sponsored ad results. Some of Yahoo's current banner ads are huge, outrageous embarrassments, and if they keep up, they will kill the company.


 10:55 pm on Feb 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

My spam mail has gone curiously up since I started the campaign last night. Most of the spam e-mails are "advertise with us" promos. It wouldn't surprise me greatly if Google is being exploited by some type of sponsored website harvester.


 11:33 pm on Feb 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

Google guy,

i sent an email to google AWS with the following comment (slightly edited):

"you are preventing advertisers from buying keywords on adwords campaigns that failed in the past because the mincpc required is using irrelevant numbers from the inactive campaigns. let's say "xxxx" had a 1% ctr in a previous campaign from any advertiser and the advertiser stopped the campaign. since that is the last data point you have, the min cpc required for that keyword is $1.5 (based on a 15cpm). google is shooting itself in the foot by not making the minimum 5 cents across the board (and perhaps letting AWS start below the current AW as opposed to above it) and letting the clickthrough rate work its own magic;
the perversity is that highly popular keywords have been optimized more and the ctr are higher and hence the mincpc lower. you are also opening the door to people manipulating ctr rates to get lower cpcs."

here is the response i got:
"As you are well aware, in order to ensure fairness for AdWords CPM
advertisers, minimum CPC's have been set for AdWords Select keywords based
on how well those keywords sold in the original AdWords program. Thus,
AdWords Select advertisers will no be able to purchase keywords unless
their CPC rate is comparable to or higher than the amount being paid for
those same keywords through the original AdWords program."

the response does not address the issue of setting mincpc based on current ACTIVE AW campaigns.

am i missing something?



 1:59 am on Feb 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

I'm getting around a 5% click through on the google CPM model which makes a little $$ and comes to an average of around .21 per click.
However with the new system the minimum bids are over .80 per click. No thanks...


 2:22 am on Feb 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

I have found some clients in some categories can use AWS quite profitably. Others, better off going the CPM route. Its a case by case thing.

I like the interface, and I think I can live with the idea that they will soon be exporting the results, ala Oversure. I mean, why wouldn't they?

I'm just a little concerned about prices creeping up, when they are starting too high already. I have no qualm about spending some money at Google, as long as they don't go OverBoard. The max bid and word group features are nice, I am not sure I like the billing procedure.


 2:31 am on Feb 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

The general point is a good one, but you cannot do this ad nauseam because Google disables any ad whose CTR rate falls below 0.5%.

Wow, it would have been days before I had discovered that if I hadn't just read it here. My trial ad didn't seem to be getting many clickthroughs, and I kept looking at the "Campaign Summary" page and nothing seemed to be changing. (I'm new at this kind of advertising, so had no idea what to expect.) I just figured maybe no one was doing this (Spanish-language) keyword search, and not many who did were clicking through. The above message made me poke around and I see the ad has been automatically deactivated.

I'd strongly encourage Google to either place a red flag on the "Campaign Summary" page indicating that an ad has been deactivated, or default to sending email to the sponsor when that happens (with option to turn such notification off). I do now see that if you select "View/Edit Campaigns" there is a red flag, but I had no reason to visit that page; I didn't need to view or edit, I was just monitoring the summary.


 3:04 am on Feb 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

i just got an email from the "google adwords robot" saying my select account had been suspended as it hadnt acheived a .05% click through.

The "friendly robot" suggested ways to further target keywords (using "-", [] etc.) This is precisely the problem i referred to earlier in the thread. Adding keywords for one keyword grouping reduces the estimated average clicks to almost nothing, but does nothing to reduce pay per click cost.

Will fiddle around and see what we can do, but as a very modest advertiser Overture is starting to look better again! That may be unfair but will see what we can do with some fiddling around. At the moment it seems that advertising web sites targeted to a very specific group may well be impossible, or at best cost-ineffective on AdWords Select. For s site with a broader appeal, I dont think there is this problem.


 3:26 am on Feb 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

I think one of the flaws in the program is the method they use to determine the minimum CPC. With the CPM model, your position is determined by clikthrus, and your clickthrus are determined by your position. Positions below 4 get terrible CTR's, so all the advertisers click on their own listings on a regular basis, so they can increase their "AdRank" and spend more time at the top.

That generated average CTR's that weren't real. Now that it it costs you money to click on your own ads, Webmasters will stop doing it, which means no one will come close to the Average CTR's that the minimmum bids are based on.

That means that for many advertisers, CPC will be much more expensive.


 4:40 am on Feb 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

The FAQ is pretty good. I was at first thrown by the general results of a term showing up many more times than desired. It took a little digging but it's there in the FAQ, use "term" for exact matching and no quotes for generic anything goes results. And [term] for negative matching to avoid those words.

I do think it is starting off too costly for CPC. Many terms seem to be double what adwords was costing me. And then it looks as if it may be .05 a click and it turns out to be .11 a click later on. It would be nice to be able to figure out what rate is what position so we have a clue.

I also have a couple terms that are getting impressions and no clicks, but I can't get any ad to even show at all for me. I have no idea where these impressions are taking place.


 8:11 am on Feb 21, 2002 (gmt 0)


To keep the Adwords robot quiet I added some keywords to each string, hopefully to increase CTR to ).05. We have a product that is sold from a country, but is bought by all other countries.

Where we had just


with an ad emphasisizing to click here for "gizmos in Singapore"

now we changed that to

gizmo slovania
gizmo australia
gizmo japan

Imagine my surprise when the click cost moved from 0.5c for just "gizmo", to .35c or more for "gizmo plus extra term"

The click cost actually seems to increase the more specific the term. Anybody else notice this?

I dont think this will work for us. So its back to good ol'd Overture. Never thought iid say this!

But my concern here is the Google Ad words may hit the same trouble of Overture if my experience above is general and not just a specific furphy. Adwords would become less specific and more general. Big companies with big budgets will be able to dominate. So while Google's main listings are generally good at finding specific trageted information, Ad Words Select will not be, leading to people ignoring these listings after a few disappointments.

Just musing on the future, and our expereince may not be general, but worth tossing into the discussion anyway.

You only get 2 chances to shange your listings to meet Googles 0.5% minimum click per view ration. Then you have to start all over again, and pay your registration again. How many advertisers would be more likely to just give up?


 10:44 am on Feb 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

chyio: i never heard for "slovania". did you mean slovenia or slovakia?

i guess the only way maerican people will finally learn about us will be if we win your baseball or footbal league or championship. ;)


 11:02 am on Feb 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

> The click cost actually seems to increase the more specific the term. Anybody else notice this?

Yes, I had the same impression, but I think that prices increase when you add a geographical term to your keyword.

More important the geographical location, higher the price, no matter how popular is the phrase itself.


 11:34 am on Feb 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

I agree with sm26 when he say “letting the clickthrough rate work its own magic”. Even during the beta, when I tried to use some good keywords, that didnīt have any kind of ads on it ( but there could have been sometime ago ), the CPC was too high ( almost $1 ). I sent them an email, asking if they prefer to earn $1 x 0 or $0.05 x 10000. I think that they should only use that formula to calc min CPC, when the ad space is filled, not when itīs empty. Itīs bad for us, and for them.
Another thing that would be splendid, but I donīt know if itīs possible, is when we are targeting for a specific country, for a keyword that we write the same way, ( for example, in Portugal, “cinema” ), that they calculate min CPC cost according to ADWords campaigns targeting “cinema” only on a specific Country, not everywhere.
If there are several campaigns targeting US only, and I want to target only my country, why should I have to pay like I was competing with them? My ads donīt interfere with their ads.
Iīll send this question to Google.

Chyo, try [gizmo plus extra term], the problem may come from the fact that to have the effect of “ “ you must use []. So when you are using “gizmo japan”, maybe itīs calculating your cpc for everything that includes japan, so if there were ( or are ) campaigns using the keyword japan ( Iīm sure there are ), youīll be affected.
But I donīt know if this works. I havenīt read the FAQ …

Sm26, Iīve said the same thing to them during the Beta Test, and received the same answer.

Rjhoara, Iīve been using Portuguese ads targeting only Portugal and Brazil, on Adwords Select for some weeks, and I have a CTR of 1%. Maybe you didnīt select that you only want your ads to show up only on country x and x, and not everywhere.

WebGuerrilla, you have an excellent point there… maybe Google should read it.


Nuno Oliveira


 1:12 pm on Feb 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

I am in agreement with bluelook, sm26, chiyo, WebGuerrilla, and anyone else who takes issue with Google's current implementation of minimum bids. Not that I have a problem with the general concept of minimum bids, as you have to draw the line somewhere to cover administrative costs, but the current setup does not take full advantage of the flexible pricing model. Ideally, flexible pricing would have two advantages for Google:

(1) Generate high bids on popular terms (an effective CPM of > $15)
- Google seems to be placing all of their emphasis on this aspect.

(2) Generate any bids on semi-popular terms (effective CPM < $15)
- Google seems to be ignoring this aspect for the most part.

The argument against lower minimum bids would be cannibalization of the higher bids, but what is there to cannibalize when the vast majority of terms have no bids and the most popular terms have eight aggressive advertisers battling for position? I am no Nobel-prize winning economist, but I stayed awake long enough in macro to see the graph where supply meets demand at a glorious point of equilibrium to maximize total revenue. I suspect the minimum bids will be tweaked when Google realizes they are leaving too much money on the table.


 5:20 pm on Feb 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

Trying to give AdWord Select an honest try:

Trouble is, this is my first experience with any ad method, so I don't really know what I'm doing.

No outright dumb mistakes, as the Google tutorial and FAQ are good.

The site is ecommerce, in a niche market, so I got the robot warning yesterday. I got rid of a few keys and filtered others with " " or [ ], as appropriate.

This morning, things are better, with the filtered keys getting fewer impressions and a couple of click-throughs - but not good enough yet to get over Googles hurdle. I expect another email from the robot any time.

So here is my question:
I'm no doubt using too many key phrases (22) and want to eliminate the worst performers. But which are they?

Have done extensive reseach on my keys on WordTracker, so I know that many of the zero click keys are probably good in the "long run" (I mean with so few clicks, how can I tell). If I use impressions to cull the keys, where do I draw the line? Don't want too many impressions (with no clicks), that's why I filtered. Yet the very lowest impressions should probably go.

Can anyone unconfuse me? Too bad Google won't let things run for a few days as is, so I can gather more data points.

Thanks all...


 5:39 pm on Feb 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

Pretty annoying,

whilst adding adds to the select program, I want to stop some old ones on the old impression program. The Classic Adwords site is down however..
So I advertise and pay double..
Back to Add select and deselect..


 6:30 pm on Feb 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

i was invited to participate in the PPC beta in january. while the clickthrough (and conversion) rates were excellent, i spent more in 17 days on adwords PPC than i have spent altogether on adwords CPM - i have been using adwords constantly since it first launched.

i've disabled the ads for now. will watch and wait while other companies play around and force the rates up. when things start to settle down a bit, i'll sneak in on the lower priced keywords / phrases.

Robert Scott

 11:40 pm on Feb 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

After 12 hours of using AdWords Select I'm finding it's costing me 2 - 3 times more per click than the old AdWords and I'm only getting half the clicks I was. Clickthru rates are much the same, it's just that impressions are down.

That's after reading the FAQ's in detail and optimizing my listing.


 12:21 am on Feb 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

I am seeing good results so far.

Keyword group 1: Adwords $0.66 Adwords Select $0.51
Keyword group 2: Adwords $0.40 Adwords Select $0.08
Keyword group 3: Adwords $1.00 Adwords Select $0.12

The CTR is somewhat similar between both programs so far also. I have been tweaking ads quite a bit to get that higher but so far the program is working great for me.

I guess for some it is better but others like the old program. Hopefully Google will find a good way to integrate the two without them harming each other.


 2:09 pm on Feb 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

Google's CPC is an eye opener
How much is SEO worth?

With the arrival of Google's CPC program I lost myself in checking the opportunities, reading the 12 pages FAQ, fooling arround with keywords, even neglecting the latest index upate results, only to awaken to the reality of costs.

SEO in general has been difficult to qualify and quantify.
As of lately things are clearer. As it stands for the moment, Google is statistcally the important search engine to qualify for. And now finally we know what its

With CPC and a good statistics program, Google has put a value to high ranking and referrals. You can face your client or yourself and say: 'by taking care of these
under-optimised pages of your site, I will get you referrals for these search phrases'. You can offer him the SEO alternative of advertising CPC and not only tell him exactly what each refferal will cost, but also how many referrals (click throughs) he can expect (Google's CPC guestimate).

Not that PPC did not exist previously, but Overture delivers for search engines that are incomplete, unupdated, unpopular and inconclusive in results. There is near to no SEO work to do for the Overture feed search engines (AV, Yahoo, MSN etc) other than PPC.

Right now I can make a simple table after every update, compare post-update Google search phrase referrals with pre-update referrals and multiply the number with the actual Google quoted CPC.

Say the new Google update gives you 20 extra daily referals on the search phrase: 'search engine optimization', multiply that by Google's quoted CPC for that search phrase (e.g.USD 1.00) and you have delivered your client 20 x 1.00 = 20.- USD of added value a day only for that search phrase.

Googles CPC has put a quantifiable $ value to everyones hours lurking and contributing here...

This 66 message thread spans 3 pages: < < 66 ( 1 [2] 3 > >
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