Some observations: 1. The min bid for an inactive keywords seems unrelated to anything at all... 2. The first min bid after inactive seems to be something like 5 to 10 times what the current highest bid is? 3. If one leaves this stuff alone, it generally puts the inactive bids back as active after a couple of days.. Is the min bid just a way to con people into pushing up the minimium bids. 4. Any lawyers know about weather this practice falls within the "anti price fixing" laws for ads displayed within Aus?
Not sure about lawywers, but I have a campaign that I used to bid at .06 and get a decent amount of clicks. The minimum now is .20 and I have bid that since they started this on a keyword. The price has not dropped. I think that is because anyone wanting to be in on this word must bid .20 so its a self fulfilling event. It will always be high, so yes google has found a way to jack up prices without officially saying so. No more .05 minimums in all campaigns. Only super high CTR will get you cheap prices again. And even then you have these bigger bidder underneath you with their minimums pushing on you.
Depending on compeititiveness of keyword... ive had the opposite happen... If there is no one bidding on keywords and Google says the min bid is .10 cents they are often discounting each click to .01-.04 cents for me... The new system requires you to be very creative and it rewards you for the time you invest in making your ads relevant and targeted as possible... The more relevant your keywords are the more money you save... the less relevant well you have to spend a little more but its better than not have your keyword run at all (such as the old system)....
I also believe that the minimum bid is also set according to the wording in your ad. Example:
I have a beer related ad and website, so beer related keywords are more expensive. Now if I used website coding keywords (html, php ,css) they would cost me $0.05 for my beer related ad and website. But that would be a waste of money because someone how wants to learn HTML gets my beer website.