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Google AdWords Forum

Adwords going premium easier?
low bids going north

 5:43 am on Mar 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

Ok, just tonight I have noticed my competitors adwords are going up to the premium spot, even though their bids are VERY low. They haven't changed their bids any higher than normal, and never would show up on the premium spot before. I have the #1 spot in the normal serps, but this could force me to also bid the #1 spot on adwords. I don't mind them going north if they have to pay out the nose for it, but this is ridiculous. I hope it's just a glitch.

I used to have to bid around .50 cents or higher on this adword to go north. My competitor is getting there for under .10 cents.

It is only happening on one of my keywords. The others all appear to be normal.



 8:03 am on Mar 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>> My competitor is getting there for under .10 cents.

You seem to be very confident that your competitor is paying only 10 cents. How did you figure that out? Do you have a few spies planted there? Your spies seem to be doing a very good job! ;)

Remember that CTR of the ad is also taken into account for the positioning of the ad. Your competitor probably has a better CTR than yours.


 8:31 am on Mar 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

yes, you are correct, I am only guessing. However, I've played the Adwords game since day one, and am a pretty good guesser. I am fairly confident they are somwhere between .05 & .10 cents. I am just trying to say that it is different than it has been. Their CTR didn't change drastically overnight, unless they changed their ad, which it does not appear they have.

Also, I know for a fact that my CTR hasn't changed. I just went and outbid them, and my ad went up North for a fraction of what it took me to get there last time.

This is only happening on this one keyword. My other keywords seem to be as they have been.

Also, when this was happening, the top 3 adwords ads were rotating in the premium spot. It was usually the top ad, but if I kept refreshing the page, about every tenth click or so, the 2nd or 3rd ad would appear up north. This has definitely never happened on this keyword before.


 4:36 am on Mar 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

Ok, the deal here is this:

Ebay has a premium ad for my keyword. Ebay has always shown up on top in the premium spot. Yesterday, Ebay started to disappear for about ever 10th time I refresh. In Ebay's place, Google is rotating each regular adword on the right up into the premium spot. There are 3 of them, and their bids are all very low I am GUESSING under .10 cents based on what I have to bid to beat them. The bid amount is really not important. What is really strange is how Google is rotating the normal adwords up in the premium spot. I have never seen that before.

First of all, these adwords would have had to bid much higher in the past to get up there. Secondly, I have never seen them rotated. The only thing I can guess is maybe they all have bid exactly the same bid, or possibly Google is doing something different.

Whatever the case, there is something different going on here for sure. I just haven't quite figured it out.


 4:47 am on Mar 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

started to disappear for about every 10th time I refresh.

Whoa... Maybe you should step back from the adwords for awhile. Creating all those impressions without clicks isn't going to help you, but hurt you. This could make your CTR go down (of course, this is dependent upon how Google filters a refresh from the same ip - but to stay on the safe side, I ASSUME THE WORST, and refrain from creating unnecessary impressions).

Although I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised to see a keyword bid of mine go north with a very low bid.

Wait a minute...

:) Y


 4:52 am on Mar 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

Yes, you are correct, it can make your CTR go down, and I really NEVER do this. I only did it as a test to see what was happening. I am not clicking on anyones ad, just hitting refresh to see what is coming up.. Sometimes this is necessary to test how things are working.

Sometimes, I can't even see some of my competitors ads unless I hit refresh a few times. This is because their daily budget is restricting them from showing up every time. I'm sure you realize the value of seeing what your competitors ads look like.

And, while on the subject of reducing CTR, it really doesn't matter, because you are reducing your competitors CTR at the same time. I really see nothing wrong with this. But, I am open to criticism. If anyone can show me why I shouldn't refresh to be able to view my competitors ads, I will listen. I would never knowingly do anything to spam a competitor or hurt my CTR.


 4:56 am on Mar 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

No Martini, I don't think we are competitors. Hey wait a minute, did you edit your post?


 6:23 am on Mar 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

One scenario I keep in my mind is, if your competitor has a higher CTR (think 20%) versus yours (let's say... .8%), who is going to suffer more from the extra impressions?

But I have to agree with your observation about a low bid going north.

But if nobody else is seeing this, I'd classify it as a fluke and not a trend.

What does anybody else think of this?


 6:56 am on Mar 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

Sometimes a few extra impressions are necessary for research. I feel a few extra impressions out of the thousands I get aren't going to skew the CTR much, and it's worth it to me to see what my competitors are doing.

Yeah, I think it's a fluke also. It isn't happening on any of my other keywords. I just found it interesting.


 7:33 am on Mar 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

Ok, I think I'm starting to get this figured out. It is happening mostly on ads that have an EBAY ad in the premium spot. The Ebay premium ads used to stay up there click after click (on my keyword) But, now the Ebay ads are only showing about 8 out of ever 10 clicks or so. When the Ebay ad isn't shown, Google is rotating in the top one or two adwords, regardless of bid amount or CTR (it seems).

It makes me wonder if EBAY decided to spend a little less and cut their Premium ad exposure, or something like that, and Google needs something to throw into the open slot. It varies depending on the keyword, and I still haven't put my finger on it, but something is different with Adwords.

It is a little odd. So, if you happen to have a keyword that also has an Ebay premium ad, you might find yourself going north cheaper than you ever have before! (I think).

To make matters worse trying to figure it out, it's also happening on some non-ebay slots that I just looked at. I hate it when something changes, and I can't figure it out.

[edited by: 4crests at 7:42 am (utc) on Mar. 15, 2003]


 7:40 am on Mar 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hi 4Crests, thanks for being a pitbull about this. I noticed something similar today too. I noticed there was a comparison-shopping site that was in the top spot and my client or competitor kept moving up north depending on how much or little I was bidding.

I was experimenting on bid amounts and noticed my competitor bouncing up and down up north.

So what I was thinking was that ir Google has one premium buyer, and an empty spot that needs filling, this equals a cheap way of going north (for around thirty seven cents per click).

[edited by: martinibuster at 7:50 am (utc) on Mar. 15, 2003]


 7:44 am on Mar 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

Yeah, it's driving me crazy. I just can't figure out what they have changed, but I do know something is different. I'm glad you are seeing a change too, so I know I'm not crazy.


 7:51 am on Mar 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

Here's a good example of how it's changed:

Do a Google search for ANTIQUES

Ebay had previously stayed in the #1 Premium ad spot. But, now if you keep hitting the refresh button, you will see Eron Johnson Antiques replacing Ebay here and there. Previously, if one of the regular adwords got moved up north, they would have been moved into a spot underneath Ebay, and they wouldn't have popped in and out.

My keyword is similar. If I bid HIGH, My site comes up in the #2 premium ad spot under Ebay, and STAYS there. But, if I keep the bid low, I rotate in and out on the #1 ebay spot.

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