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This 396 message thread spans 14 pages: < < 396 ( 1 2 3 4 5 [6] 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 > >     
Google AdWords Pricing Change Goes Into Affect
8/15 1:00pm PT

 8:26 pm on Aug 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

I guess it just went through... refreshed and this appeared.


We've simplified our keyword status system.
Your keywords will now either be active (triggering ads) or inactive (not triggering ads). Quality remains the most important factor in your keywords' performance. Each keyword will now have a minimum bid that is based on the quality of your keyword and ad text. If your maximum CPC doesn't meet this minimum bid, your keyword will be listed as inactive.

What you should do differently:
If a keyword is listed as inactive, improve its quality through optimization, delete it, or raise that keyword's maximum CPC to the minimum bid indicated. (Raising the bid will re-activate the keyword.) If your keyword is active, you don't need to do anything.



 3:05 pm on Aug 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

What you will find is that the discounter will still kick in regardless of max bid price. You will see you will still be charged minimal amounts.

I'm assuming you mean the min bid price.

According to the AdWords presentation a few weeks ago, this should not be happening.

You'll be charged the greater of the minimum CPC for that keyword, or what you need for that position based on the other advertisers.

Thus, if the min CPC is $0.30, you will be charged $0.30 per click even if you're the only advertiser.

This info is based on a Google presentation, however, all those rules are subject to change ;)

Elric di Melnibone

 3:09 pm on Aug 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

For who is having problems that keys continue showing on SERP even if u see Inactive State, remember that AWA said that this is a test version and u just see the new UI, but under it your keys are stil acting as always, so if it was running yesterdam it's still showing, but asap the new system will be live, it will be inactive and u will not see any more clicks


 4:15 pm on Aug 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

I guess Ill wait for things to shake out before
coming to any conclusions.



 4:58 pm on Aug 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

If Google would fix these kooky minimum bids this system would be pretty good. I do like being able to re-enable all of my disabled keywords, and I like paying less than 5 cents on some words (though the logic behind which keywords Google decides go below 5 cents currently escapes me).

Remove the 10 cent increments. That is far too obtuse. My average cpc for my entire account isn't more than 25 cents, 10 cent swings are very dramatic. If it should be 12 cents then say 12 cents, not 20.

Also, remove the crazy minimum bid requirements that many of us our seeing. Some are logical enough, but many are just plain ridiculous. Having 5 cent keywords that have been getting good CTR and high positions having to be changed to $1+ is stupid. I mean no one is going to do that so Google just ends up losing money. 99% of the time, if someone is bidding on a keyword for an extended period of time, they are making profit. If they are making profit the user must find it relevant and useful correct? So let us bid what we want, if the user doesn't like it they won't pay for what we're selling and we'll lose money, causing us to delete the keyword.


 5:07 pm on Aug 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

I have six AdWords accounts, for six different clients, with a combined monthly spend of about $50,000 and haven't yet seen the new system on any of them. I see the message at the top of the entry screens saying the new system is in effect, but I don't see the minimum bids everyone is talking about. And none of my several hundred keywords has been disabled.

Does this mean I'm still on the old system, or is it possible I am unaffected by the change?


 6:11 pm on Aug 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

Some of my inactive keywords are still running and some others are not ...

Think i have to give few days for the system to settle down and hopefully the stratospheric minimum bids they are asking now will fall back to normal. You know asking $5 for a previously 5 cent keyword is pure madness :)


 6:24 pm on Aug 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

this system is simply counter-intuitive, whilst i LOVE the removal of the onhold etc system, the minimum bid PUNISHES intelligent advertisers who use long phrases. some of my phrases which are like
"a place to purchase red widgets in columbus ohio" has a minimum bid of 30 cents, whereas i was teh only advertiser there before at 5 cents.

if in fact (as someone mentioned) you are still charged the minimum, but have to be willing to pay 30 cents per click (ie you really pay 5 cents, but if someone else comes in at 30 cents, then you both pay 30 cents) then it is only marginally better.

im not too happy right now, i want to see what msn is doing.


 6:32 pm on Aug 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

I have a theory about what Google is trying to do with this pricing change. Here is what I'm seeing in my account:

Keyword A has lots of competition. Bidding at 5 cents/click I had an average position of 95.0 and of course few clicks and a low CTR. Now the minimum is 3 cents and they keyword is still active

Keyword B is less competitive and at 5 cents I had position 7.1. Now the minimum has doubled, to 10 cents, and the keyword is inactive.

When you think about this, it actually makes sense from Google's perspective - they are trying to extract value from the less popular keywords.

For popular keywords, competition ensures that advertisers are paying Google as much as they possibly can for each click. Advertisers' ROI is generally low, and Google gets most of the value of each click. In this situation it makes sense for Google to have very low minimum bids because it allows them to also make money on the "long tail" of advertisers who can only pay very little.

For less popular keywords, the situation is more tricky. Imagine a situation where an advertiser has a keyword that nobody else wants, so he pays the (previous) minimum of 5 cents, but manages to convert so well, that he makes 1 dollar from every click. In this case 95% of the click value goes to the advertiser, and only 5% to Google. Google of course doesn't like that, and would like to make the advertiser pay more. But because of the lack of competition the cost per click is low, so how can Google increase its take? Enter the mysterious "Quality Score". Thanks to the Conversion Tracking tool Google can guesstimate what keywords are worth, make advertisers pay prices closer to that number, and grab a larger share of the click's value. Google is trying to squeeze advertisers for all they can afford to pay.

It'd be interesting to know what others are seeing - do you see the more popular keywords having decreased minimums? Do you see less popular keywords with increased minimums?


 6:49 pm on Aug 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

See a lot of people making comments similar to this:

A contrived example would be a term like "star wars". By itself, it probably commands a high bid. However, if you advertise "star wars 1983 obscure vhs movie", they want that high bid. An earlier poster mentioned something similar when trying to use the names of musical artists in a targeted context. That part is a shame, because these are targeted phrases that traditionally would never be worth more than a 5-10 cent bid.

This is not a new problem associated with Google's latest active/inactive change -- This problem began (with no announcement and little fanfare) way back in late 2004.

Late 2004 is when being good at finding, picking and using great obscure keyword phrases became of little value!


 6:50 pm on Aug 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

based on this should be be buying GOOG or selling or shorting?


 6:55 pm on Aug 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hi all,

I've been running between meetings and other tasks so far today, and have just landed at my desk for a few minutes. I wanted to jump in with a couple of very quick comments. I haven't had a chance yet to read the most recent 25 or so posts yet, and will return later to take a closer look. ;)

For the moment, these brief comments:

* Since it seems that a few folks are unclear, this is no longer a 'test'. You are now seeing the real thing. Sorry for any confusion on this point.

* There is not a fixed Min. CPC of $0.10 for new keywords, as has been reported in this thread.

* There is not a connection between minimum bids and conversion data, which was expressed as a concern by a couple of folks.

By the way, thanks for the reports of things that seem not to be working as expected, such as 'inactive' keywords still showing ads in some cases, and so forth. I'm just now off to talk about these very things. ;)



 7:25 pm on Aug 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

Thanks AWA ,Also do you think the sky high minimum bids many people are seeing for their kws will return back to normal soon?


 7:36 pm on Aug 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

This is an early birthday & christmas present for Yahoo.


 7:37 pm on Aug 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

In general, I'm glad for the new system. One of my accounts is in an industry where clicks tend to START at $3/ea, and go up to around $25/ea. There are certain very key phrases that I've had a hard time keeping enabled, no matter what I did (and even though the CTR was higher than the minimum required) No matter how I complained and asked for explanations, I couldn't get one that makes sense. Now I have re-enabled those disabled words for a minimum click thru rate of 10 cents to 20 cents ea - way below what I was willing to pay to keep them active. So I'm a happy camper about THAT.

That said, however, there are still some problems. For one thing, is it just me or has the whole Adwords Admin been slower than molasses in January the past couple of days? I have tried it via cable modem from home AND from work, and thru our backup DSL connection at work, and through different computers, and it can take up to five minutes to go from one page to another. Since my clients pay me by the hour, they're not going to be happy if this continues.

Also, while the docs say that there will be no more slowed words or accounts, I notice that one of my campaigns, despite the fact that it lists status as "active", definitely seems to be slowed - the number of impressions is FAR below what it should be for such a common word, and when I search on the word and some of the variants I've taken out, I don't see any of my ads for about half an hour. Only sporadic traffic shows in the reports. This is not true of all my campaigns, just two out of 11, but they are the two where I re-enabled previously disabled words, so it's hard to think this isn't a coincidence. Possibly they are still working some bugs out.


 7:56 pm on Aug 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

Adwords Advisor - you are not entirely honest about minimum bids.
I stand by my claims that ALL NEW KEYWORDS are 10 cents minimum.
I've added three keywords that I am 100% sure were not EVER used by other fellow advertisers.
The keywords are


All three keywords require a 10 cent minimum to active.
Yes, it is possible to add a keyword and have a minimum of less then 10 cents but ONLY IF OTHER ADVERTISERS have used it before. Therefore my conclusion is that if a keyword was never used by any Google advertiser the effective minimum bid is 10 cents. That's no BS, you can replicate my results by bidding on any junk, like "fkdjfdfh" or GoHoPoFoMoSo.
Hope it makes it clear


 8:13 pm on Aug 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'd just love a button that sets all keywords in an ad group to minimum required cpc!

I just entered 100 keywords into a new ad, with a min cpc of 0.10, and half of them needed to be raised to 0.20 or 0.30 or 0.40 for them to run. The only way to do so is manually...

Such a button would be in Google's best interest.

The need for such a button is obvious to me after 1 hour of testing the new system. So how much real user testing did Google do?

There is a way...Drill down to the Adgroup view, select all the keywords, click the "Edit CPCs/URLs" button, from the drop-down list field select the last option to set all keywords to the min CPC.


 8:17 pm on Aug 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

An observation:

I just deleted keyword "green widgets" from a campaign and ad group that advertise 'generic green stuff' and added it to a campaign and ad-group that advertise 'all sorts of widgets' (both under the same account). As a result the minimal cpc for "green widgets" dropped from $0.40 to $0.04 .

My speculation is that the minimal ctc is evaluated based on the ad text copy or performance of other keywords in the ad-group and their correlation to the evaluated keyword, or a combination of both.

[edited by: begood at 8:34 pm (utc) on Aug. 17, 2005]


 8:25 pm on Aug 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

By the way, thanks for the reports of things that seem not to be working as expected, such as 'inactive' keywords still showing ads in some cases, and so forth. I'm just now off to talk about these very things.

Some keywords insist to remain 'disabled' (yes 'disabled' with no minimal cpc) even after deleted and reentered (while other will be reactivated).


 8:37 pm on Aug 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

DavidDeprice same here. i notice that too. all keywords in my new campaigns require me to bid $.10 cents.


 8:39 pm on Aug 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

Broader matched terms taking off?

I'm seeing many examples of this:

[blue widget] min CPC 0.20 - current CPC $0.12
"blue widget" min CPC 0.20 - Current CPC $0.13
"widget" min CPC 0.03 - Current CPC $0.15
widget min CPC 0.02 - Current CPC $0.16

(These keywords really are broadmatched/phrase matched and not showing as the other varieties)

Seems cheaper to use lots of negatives with broader keywords in many cases.

The next thing is we're seeing different min CPCs by campaign. The same keyword (new or old) can have different min CPCs depending on what campaign and ad group it's being added to.


 8:39 pm on Aug 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

FYI - I'm seeing $0.02 and $0.03 as examples for brand new keywords that have never once been in an account before.


 8:50 pm on Aug 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

Well, the extrotion begins. Keywords in position 1 to 3 with .05 to .10 bids and CTR's in the 1% to 5% range for this month are going "inactive" and saying I need to either increase the "quality" of the ad, or bid .20+ to make the active again.

I hate to praise Overture, but at least they had the guts to call a min bid increase a min bid increase, not a great new feature.


 8:58 pm on Aug 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

I restarted my campaign today to see how it would go. I thougth I could get less than 5c CPC for a number of keyfrases as I am the only one bidding on them and have an historical CTR of 10, 20 30 or even more %. But no way, still making me pay 5c. Well just have to stop the campaign again....


 9:00 pm on Aug 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

well, i don't know if this is a bug or what; however...

every keyword i've seen where the min cpc is higher than the current average, i've been able to delete the keyword and readd it immediately to the adgroup for a min bid of $0.05 or $0.10.

seems quite silly that keywords with position 1.1 and $0.12 average cpcs are having new mins at $0.40-$1.25+ when a simple copy, delete, and paste makes it look like the old system.


 9:02 pm on Aug 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

"every keyword i've seen where the min cpc is higher than the current average, i've been able to delete the keyword and readd it immediately to the adgroup for a min bid of $0.05 or $0.10."

this happens but not for all my keywords. some stay inactive and require me $.30 to activate.


 9:08 pm on Aug 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

WHY are some words still 'disabled' after deleting and re-adding them? ( only some )

its driving me nuts :-)


 9:18 pm on Aug 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

Quality remains the most important factor in your keywords' performance. Each keyword will now have a minimum bid that is based on the quality of your keyword and ad text.

Hello? Anybody out there? As an Adsense publisher, I run a niche site that currently has very few Adwords advertisers. I'm tired of people bidding on my key phrase just because it's cheap and noone else is bidding on it. My visitors are willing to pay money for supplies they need to participate in my niche. If only the Google ads showed adverts for such advertisers, we could all make a few bucks.

Adwords users who are bidding on keywords just because they are cheap, but those keywords have nothing to do with their site... are the only ones who have to worry about this change?

[edited by: spaceylacie at 9:25 pm (utc) on Aug. 17, 2005]


 9:25 pm on Aug 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

thanks eWhisper, the delete and readd trick seems to work.


 9:39 pm on Aug 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

eWhisper, are you talking about keywords NEW TO YOUR ACCOUNT or keyword NEW TO GOOGLE ADWORDS SYSTEM?
My interpretation is that if keywords are new to you but not google, you may get a below 10 cent, but if the keyword is new to your account AND google's system, it's a 10 cent minimum.
For instance, I tried bidding on "used green reaganites" because I am 100% sure no one bids on this phrase and it's a 10 cent minimum. So far everybody who says "I am bidding on something nobody would ever bid on" gets a 10 cent minimum


 10:46 pm on Aug 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

As I suspected...the prices are going up already. Minimum bids to activate for a keyword was .04 cents yesterday. Notice it was not showing today and yes of course it's now .40 to reactivate when there are only 3 ads showing and 2 of those are not even related to the keyword (except they put it in the title) (40 cents) for a product that sells between 1.75 & $3.95 effectively stealing all the profit. Yah like that's worth it.

Fine...I'll live without it. The only people here that are happy are the BIG players because now the rest of us are no longer in competition. Way to go Google. Yah you really fooled us into thinking this was a good thing. NOT

The only way we will get their attention is for all the smaller companies that are hurt (one thing we have is numbers) to reduce our campaigns as far as we can. Once a few hundred million is not showing on the books on the quarterly reports....then they might get the message that we are not happy. I have reduced our campaign by 50% to start and now looking at other ways of spending the ad money.



 10:57 pm on Aug 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

I Just had this great idea for a boycott.

What if all the people who are not happy with this pause their campaign for a day. That's what I just did. If enough of us did that even for an hour or so we'd hit them in the pocket book which is all they understand.

I'm going to keep mine off all evening and do it again tomorrow night as well.

It's all we have to use in this fight... or we can just roll over and die because I bet you the ads will keep going offline and the minimums will keep increasing

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