AWA, we've been advertising with Adwords for over 4 years now (since August 02). I've been running our Adwords campaign for all of that time, during which time we've spent a six-figure sum in US dollars (I know that doesn't make us a big Adwords advertiser, but we're not one of the smallest either). We've had no specific problem with our account. (I'm just making clear that I don't have an axe to grind here).
When we first joined Adwords it was a refreshing change from Overture - easier to use, better pricing, position based on bid x CTR. Fine.
Unfortunately things have got worse in the intervening years, and my first reaction to reading your statement quoted above was to wonder whether it was true. I'm not saying that I don't believe you - just letting you know that Adwords's reputation among advertisers has slipped to the point where my automatic reaction to any communication from G is to doubt whether I should take it at face value.
The key problems that we've had with communications from Adwords are that:
- The way that Adwords works has got more and more obscure over the years. It's now very hard for us to tell which changes on our account will bring more visitors to our site, and which changes will just put more money in Google's pocket.
- Google as a company is obscure and secretive in its relationship with us. Every change is presented as being for our benefit; in the long term it usually turns out that it hurts us.
- Because the workings of the system are kept so obscure, it's easy to suspect foul play where there may in fact be none. For example, having used the Adwords online interface for a few years now, I get the distinct impression that it's assessing my willingness to pay and pricing ads on the basis of that. It's certainly the case that different customers get different prices for the same 'product', and it seems that higher-spending customers get charged higher prices. Of course this could be completely false, but since the basis of Adwords pricing is now entirely obscure to me, how would I know?
Just wanted to let you know that, as a long time customer, my trust in Google has really slipped away, from a high starting point to the situation now where I feel I can't trust you guys.
In the long term it's up to Google to win back that trust; right now we advertise with you because you have us over a barrel (one of only a few games in town), but that won't always be the case.
Best wishes, a.
edited: grammar corrected