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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.



 9:01 pm on Feb 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

We Guerilla says...

"...Webmasters who enjoy constant top placement for quality terms in the free SERPS have absolutely zero incentive to become paid advertisers..."

Im not sure about that. Adwords provides..

1. ability to have own description

2. a nice box which is not too much but does have some attention advantages, especially as it does not have to compete against swirling flsh and animated banners.

3. Double you presence on a page is you are in the SERP

4. targeting on the search terms you want, rather than those the algo thinks.

5. Ability to be featured for popular keywords that you are buried in in normal results. Most can get good rankings for specific and unique terms. But competing for popular terms is another matter.

On another topic brought forward here, reducing the quality of the index would be suicidal for Google. They have one competitive advantage - and that is a killer - quick, relevant, non-commercial driven results. If they backslide on that, fewer people would use google, and fewer would see the AdWords..

That does not mean that i dont think minimum bids are a bit excy.. (just in case GoogleGuy is lurking!)


 9:30 pm on Feb 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

I think this is a good thing. I also don't think it is 'concidence' that the spam filters got 'turned up a few more notches' recently. Think about it. If the spam filters drive 'SERP spam sites' out of the index - and it forces them to give Google their money - for a well documented 'paid placement' with defined rules - instead of giving the same money to their 'spam consultants' - then who wins?
The spam consultants - well - they lose;
The honest webmasters (who adhere to the letter of the Google do/don't published guidelines)- win (as the spam around them dissipates);
The 'joe public' searchers - they win too (as they won't find casinos when they search for 'chocolate fudge'); and
Google - it gets more money (which - lets face it - it deserves for creating a great SE).
Looks like a sound business model to me!! Hey GoogleGuy - you should have called it 'Robin Hood' Adwords!!!! : )


 9:45 pm on Feb 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

Joined the herd and set up my account. Account set up is a breeze and Google should definitely deserve a praise for this. I think this program is a win-win for Google and Webmasters as it provides one more avenue for "targeted advertising" which is tied to performance (a.k.a clicks) and hopefully keeps the Google's coffers filling with $$$ that would have gone Overture's way!.

Although we are penalized by PR0, I do not think that the "spam" filters are introduced with this program in mind. The "spam" filters were introduced with a "good" intent but it has gone a little awry and we hope Google realized this and working towards lifting off some PR0 penalities as indicated by GoogleGuy starting with the upcoming index. Oh, well we are waiting for the Google dance now. Any one know when the music starts:)


 10:58 pm on Feb 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

Chris_R, any time you want to write free advice for Google, that's one of the great things about hanging out here--we're listening if you want to praise or complain.

I really like the leather jacket suggestion too. A Google leather jacket would be pretty cool, wouldn't it?

I'm happy to hear so many positive comments about Adwords Select. I'll have to make sure our ads team sees this thread..


 11:43 pm on Feb 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

I'm down on Google, having received the big boot, but I'll praise them for this brilliant entry into the PPC search world.

Hey GoogleGuy, how 'bout getting the AdWordsGuy to join this forum, so we can learn to play the Ad Words game without stepping out of bounds.


 12:18 am on Feb 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

Question. I'm going to set up a account with my own cash. Cash is low at the moment so until my boss gets back from London, and I can show him how good these things are, I'm only going to be able to use one $5. If that $5 runs down really quickly, does Google take more money from my account, or do I have to top up manually?


 10:21 am on Feb 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

I agree little, the temptation to mess with the algo will be great. I don't think they'll do it overtly, but I do think the algo will "adapt". Guys in the situation room will do it without even being asked - won't even realize they've done it. They'll adjust their thinking and it will happen. What's best for the algo won't be thought of entirely in terms of what's best for the users, but what's best for the bottom line. There's nothing sinister in that, but I think it will change Google.

Combine that with last falls IPO trial ballons and it makes yesterday a watershed date for Google - let's remember it.


 10:59 am on Feb 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

<If that $5 runs down really quickly, does Google take more money from my account, or do I have to top up manually?>

That's my question too, how does Google take money ? Directly from my credit card until I stop my campaign?
Or is there a way to put a tot of $ like Overture &co. do ?



 12:26 pm on Feb 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

Well wolfy, that's a question probably best answered by google (support@google.com). Let's try to take the q's only Google should answer to Google. We aren't the ppc program support room here - if so, then we need to move google to the PPC forum with Inktomi and Overture.


 1:39 pm on Feb 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

Ok Brett!
I didn't want to qualify this topic as a "ppc program support room " but just to have an opinion from someone who encountered the same problem. I'll send an email to support@google.com and I'm sure they'll answer me hoping Google will not become a PPC!!! :)

I've found what I was looking for in adwords faq, really well organized as always for Google.

Sorry again.

(edited by: wolfy at 1:50 pm (utc) on Feb. 20, 2002)


 1:45 pm on Feb 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

Hi everyone,

Yes, ADWords Select is the best CPC anywhere. And it could get even better, now that it went public. Iīve sent many suggestions, on the beginning of the beta, to them ( for example, the original beta version didnīt show the number of impressions for each keyword ), and they always answered me very quickly.
In 2 days I sent maybe 4 suggestions, and they always gave me feedback. What a great team. Itīs a really good sensation, to feel that I gave my contribution. GoogleGuy, I want to thank you ( all Google team ), for the honnor of choosing this humble portuguese guy for your Beta Test.


Nuno Oliveira

jeremy goodrich

 3:14 pm on Feb 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

>>>>lower the quality of their search results

>>>>the temptation will be too great

>>>>the guys in the 'situation room won't even realize what they've done...

At this point, between the 'pr0 nightmare' and now taking money for clicks, with the amount of cloaked, IP delivered, out and out spider only doorway pages that I've seen for some keyword areas, it makes me wonder if the above quotes are not just the best thing in the thread, but the only thing worth talking about.

So we've got another choice for CPC - great.

What about search results - for myself, I don't really have a choice - it's google all the way - but as soon as I notice that algo slipping, I'm off to a new SE.

my .02 cents.


 3:22 pm on Feb 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

this is official introduction I guess - jsut recieved it from someone names Cindy at google.

Highly targeted text-based ads complement Google's objective search

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. - February 20, 2002 - Google Inc., developer of
the award-winning Google search engine, today announced the
availability of AdWords Select (TM), an updated version of the
AdWords self-service advertising system with a number of new
enhancements, including cost-per-click (CPC)-based pricing. This
dynamic pricing plan enables advertisers to pay only when their ads
are clicked on by users. Google's Premium ads will continue to be
priced on a CPM (cost-per-thousand impressions) basis.
# # #


 3:28 pm on Feb 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

I don't think they've posted the url to the press release yet. When they do we can. Yes, even press releases can be copyrighted, contain trade secrets. It was a closed release - therefore, copyrighted by default and not postable in a public forum.


 3:31 pm on Feb 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

Hmm... I just tried to access the information page and it's down for maintenance... that was fast!
<edit> Actually I think what it is is that the system is so slammed that they are showing that page sporadically when it's too busy to access.</edit>

(edited by: Jill at 4:18 pm (utc) on Feb. 20, 2002)


 3:36 pm on Feb 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

thanks Brett, i didnt know this.I am in yahoo subscirbers group or somethign.

Can ou move this thread to new post, it is very long? :)

BTW, i tried to test it and i was pretty amazed with minimum CPC . Both keywords were minimu at $0.45! One keyword returns 80.000 results at google so ok. But anotehr one returs ZERO since i misspelled the word(2 word phrase).

either way, all my keywords that i tried are around 50 cents. pretty high!

george w bush and osama bin laden are pretty cheap though :)


 4:43 pm on Feb 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

Looks like the AdwordsSelect program is experiencing some technical problems?. Too much demand as the word got out??


 5:07 pm on Feb 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

Amazing set-up! Call options Google - Put options Overture.

So when to use Adwords (CPM) and when Adwords select (CPC)?

Is there any reason for still using CPM impressions?

Some thoughts:

Assuming nobody clicks on your add:

With the old adwords CPM I get 1000 impressions for 5 dollars.

With CPC I get 3 x 1000 impressions for 5 dollars.

I guess it is interesting to use CPM - impressions if you have a high click per impression ratio on an expensive (CPC)keyphrase (you do turn up under the CPC adds though).

One point that is unclear (and that I cannot check now because google adds are down)is:

Ok, I have been advertising on the old CPM impression program, sometimes at high cost (0,5 % click-through-ratio) and I was the only advertiser on those keyphrases. Does converting to CPC mean I automatically inherit these high costs towards Cost per click, whereas if had not advertised CPM impressions beforehand I would have gotten the cheap 0.05 USD?

Brett, I guess it is time to put this (non-SEO subject)thread discussion into the PPC Overture/etc department!


 5:13 pm on Feb 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

CBS -> Google vs. Overture battle [marketwatch.com]


 5:15 pm on Feb 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

Seems to be hurting Overture some [finance.yahoo.com].


 5:24 pm on Feb 20, 2002 (gmt 0)


Before we get totally swept away in a sea of euphoria about how our favourite search engine, and sworn enemy of PPC, has come up with the best thing since Mr Sunblest got a knife for his 7th birthday, I would ask any existing Adwords users (especially UK ones) to check their stats.

In the new Adwords Select program there is a minimum bid, Google say that this is to protect existing Adwords advertisers. That's fine, except that the figures don't seem to add up. Take a look at the following :

Keyword 1 - Adwords has cost me $0.38 per click on 18,000 clicks - Adwords Select minimum allowed bid = $0.58 / click - A 65% increase

Keyword 2 - Adwords has cost me $0.20 per click on 19,882 clicks - Adwords Select minimum allowed bid = $0.46 / click - A 130% Increase

Keyword 3 - Adwords has cost me $0.22 per click on 12,462 clicks - Adwords Select minimum allowed bid = $0.64 / click - A 190% Increase

A 190% increase is a huge increase just to be able to maintain existing positions in the Adwords listings.

I have a suspicion that the minimum allowed bid is being calculated on ads shown to US visitors. I'm in the UK, my clients are in the UK, I do not want US surfers to see the ads. Here's the clincher - Keyword 4 (A UK household name, not known in the US), Google estimates that I will receive 1.8 clicks a day on the keyword whereas I've had over 5,000 Adwords clicks on it, at an average of over 40 per day.

So, my advice would be to do your sums very carefully before plunging in to Adwords Select if you are targeting anyone outside the U.S. You might well find it cheaper to use the old Adwords system whilst it's still there !!.

Incidentally, before someone suggests to me that these points should be taken up directly with Google, I was invited to take part in the Beta test on 24th January (NDA etc). I have emailed, and used the form on the Google site to ask questions about the above, plus some others, and have not received a single reply !!. It's a strange Beta test that totally ignores user feedback, but I guess that they just don't like to give unpalatable answers. I hoped for and expected more from Google.

Just in case GG can find time between doing laps of honour round the Google offices to answer a couple more questions, I'd quite like an answer to the following :

1) Does Google country specific targeting work on partner sites i.e. are my Adwords ads, that are restricted to UK users, being shown on US partner sites ??

2) What happens to existing Adwords ads when Google have too many PPC ads to show....will they simply get bumped or will there always be a proportion of original Adwords ads shown ??



 5:29 pm on Feb 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

Just tried and got this error three times today : are they still in BETA ?

Thank you for your interest in advertising with Google. We apologize for any inconvenience, but the AdWords system is temporarily down for maintenance.
Please try again in a few minutes.

The Google AdWords Team


 5:33 pm on Feb 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

Will this enable Google to prolong the Y! deal?


 5:34 pm on Feb 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

I know what you mean, Ross. I checked the new Google AdWords vs. our Overture costs...all of Google's CPC's were higher by about 10+% plus they weren't showing a 10th of the clicks we're getting through Overture.

Of course, this is a new program and I'm sure things will even out in the long run. For now, for those words we're using Overture for, we're staying put.

Besides, I'm starting to see results with regards to Google SERP's on those words, so I don't want to ruin all my hard work. I'm beginning to enjoy the challenge.

Overall, my opinion is this is a good thing, but I will hold off final judgement for a couple of months.


 5:52 pm on Feb 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

I have two campaigns running at the moment. Both of them are priced lower than Overture. I am also seeing about the same CTR as I did when using the old AdWords program but it is costing me less per visitor. Of course one day isn't long enough of a time period to make a final decision but overall it is looking good.


 6:02 pm on Feb 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

Way to go Google.

Let me enter all my details then crash telling me the site is down for maintenance. Thanks very much.

I suppose I should blame you lot for for signing up en masse and crashing the site.

Could you all log off for 15 minutes and let me have a go:)


 6:05 pm on Feb 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

>Will this enable Google to prolong the Y! deal?

Good question Heini. I don't think it will affect it one way or another. Yahoo needs Google now as much if not more than Google needs Yahoo. If the numbers being thrown around by competitors trying to oust Google are accurate, it may not be worth Googles time to continue to pay Yahoo.


 6:11 pm on Feb 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

So, when will yahoo dump goto for google to manage it's ppc? I imagine it is just a matter of google hitting a critical mass -- that is why yahoo is keeping their contracts with goto so short.


 6:11 pm on Feb 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

Overnight results...

Google had a maximim cpc for my keyword set at .48. Overnight, I received 8 clicks at .05 for a total of 40 cents.


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