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Is paying first page price worth it? Will they abuse it?

 9:29 pm on Jun 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

New member here. I have already read the various threads and related links/pages regarding "below first page bid".

I just discovered that for some unknown period of time my ads are no longer showing on the first page due to "below first page bid". My sales to new "found you on google" customers has dropped off heavily in the last couple of months, but I did not know why.

Google never notified me that I was no longer on the first page.

However, for most of my keywords, NOBODY is on the first page! Thus it appears to me that Google is simply preventing me from showing on the first page because they are greedy and are trying to blackmail me -- but they should have at least sent me a blackmail letter. ;-)

My quality score is 4/10 for my keywords. However, the subject matter involved is extremely esoteric -- there are really only a couple major sellers in the country for the type of collectible I sell. Based on Google's way of thinking, esoteric seems also to mean low quality -- but that is far from the truth! People searching exactly for those keywords, in that context, get Google results without ANY adwords on the first page.

So, it would seem that my only choice, if I want to appear on the first page, is to pay the price -- which means TRIPLING MY COST.

In other threads regarding adwords costs, members have generally commented "figure out how much you can afford to pay". Well, that is very difficult to answer. How much would you pay to save the life of your child? Anything & everything, of course! How much can you afford to pay to keep obtaining new customers that otherwise would never find you? It is not an easy calculation.

? What would you do?

? Also, because I consider what Google has done to be blackmail, if I bid what they claim it will take to be on the first page, will they just take 100% of that bid, even though there is NO competition for the first page? And then, what happens next? Will they figure that if I am willing to TRIPLE my cost, I might be willing to QUADRUPLE it and then they will raise the price further? Where does it stop?




 9:36 pm on Jun 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

"NOBODY is on the first page!"
0*3=0 (impressions don't even cost)

? I'm confused - you're not getting impressions - yet, you think your costs would triple?

and 'blackmail? wtf?


 9:57 pm on Jun 23, 2013 (gmt 0)


My current/previous bid price is 20 cents. At that level I was previously on the first page and I was receiving a constant but modest stream of impressions and click throughs (but "modest" is good in my esoteric area).

Google now demands between 45 cent and 80 cents to appear on the first page. (Note that in most cases NOBODY is currently appearing on the first page for these keywords.)

Thus, to achieve approximately the same results as I was a couple/few months ago, I would have to pay an average of three times as much as I was previously paying.

Does that information make it more clear?



 9:59 pm on Jun 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

Further to highdell,

Regarding "blackmail"... I was under the impression that the pricing was a legitimate auction, with the high bidder winning the best position. However, when Google apparently won't let ANYBODY appear on the first page without paying a certain minimum price, that is no longer a legitimate auction.

What would you call that?


 10:31 pm on Jun 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

My quality score is 4/10 for my keywords

Improving the quality score is the first thing I'd advise you to work on. Test some new ad copy, tighten up your targeting, test different match types, strengthen your negative keyword lists, etc etc.

Based on Google's way of thinking, esoteric seems also to mean low quality

Nope. The problem is that users aren't responding to your ads as well as the algo expects. Either your ads or your targeting need some work.

A better clickthrough rate is the biggest factor in improving your quality score. Even for something obscure you should be able to achieve 6 or 7. That will make your ads more competitive even if you don't raise your bids.

Have you tested to see what happens if you do boost your bid to the amount that's being suggested?


 10:45 pm on Jun 23, 2013 (gmt 0)


Thanks for the interpretation and ideas. I will work on that.

I have not "tested" the keywords because I really don't know how you can test something so simple. For example, if you sell german stamps for collectors, one would think that "german stamps" and/or "germany stamps" would be about as well targeted as one can get. I believe that my keywords are what those few people looking are using to look for it.

However, adding negatives could perhaps help.

I can certainly work on and test my ad copy. Frankly, I had not thought about that in terms of something that would affect ad position. (I really wish that they would simply rank on how much you are willing to pay.) I guess that because they are relying on their own concept of "quality", increasing click-through by improving ad copy would improve "quality" for them (and make more money for me).

However, there is a catch-22 in all of this. Unless and until I am on the first page, any testing/improvement work is likely to have almost no result. Thus in order to effectively test ad text, etc., I have to pay an average of three times what I used to pay to get onto the first page. Once on the first page where people can see the ad text tests, the testing will be more relevant.

Any and all ideas are needed and welcomed.


 1:44 am on Jun 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

Rare german stamps

bismarck 1899 defective stamp

german peace stamps

blockade breaking stamps


 4:45 am on Jun 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

Spend some time exploring with a keyword suggestion tool, watching for terms that would be good to block.

Example: I know of more than one sports team called the Stampeders, sometimes "Stamps" for short. If the keyword tool turned up things such as city names, player names, sports terminology etc. in "stamps" searches, those words would be prime candidates for your negative keywords lists.

I've never yet come across a sector that didn't have some targeting weirdness caused by vocabulary overlap with something completely different.

have to pay an average of three times what I used to pay to get onto the first page.

You might have to bid more for a while, but that doesn't necessarily mean you'd actually have to pay more. That's why I asked if you had tried raising your bids.


 5:17 am on Jun 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

you might be interested in bidding on german philately.
you might not be so interested in getting clicks for german rubber stamps.

prussian stamps
bavarian stamps

Thus in order to effectively test ad text, etc., I have to pay an average of three times what I used to pay to get onto the first page. Once on the first page where people can see the ad text tests, the testing will be more relevant.

think of this as a cost of doing testing and research.
then improve your campaigns, ad copy and landing pages based on what you learn to get your quality scores up and your bid prices and CPC down.


 11:26 am on Jun 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

If there is no competitor for your ad you will pay much less than the max. cost per click. It's worth trying for a short period.


 11:43 pm on Jun 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

Worth it is relative. Take your cost per click * your conversion rate to figure out what you are paying per acquisition vs what your average profit per new customer lifespan is.

We do fine on the 4th page for our words

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