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Does Average Joe surfer know.

that someone pays every time they click...

     
11:32 pm on Jan 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

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...on the "sponsored links?

The reason I ask, is that when I mention this to people they are invariably surprised. Many assume that people are paying a flat fee to be listed, and are shocked that they are directly "costing" someone.

I would (very roughly) guestimate that the number of people who know that you just paid for their click is between 1 and 5 percent.

What do you think?

3:41 pm on Jan 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I've found that stating product prices in adwords brings much more qualified traffic. If you don't think they'd click if they knew the product price then they probably won't buy at that price either! And they do find out the price before they checkout...

That makes a lot of sense. In my sector (travel), a person who's read a review of a luxury cruise that mentions the $700-a-day cost will be a better lead for a travel agent selling luxury cruises than the person who doesn't know the difference between Carnival (low-end) and Seabourn (very, very high-end).

And it isn't just price: The person with shaky hands and a closetful of CompactFlash cards is going to be a better prospect for the WidgetCo WC-1 digital camera (which has image stabilization and uses CompactFlash memory) than the person who couldn't care less about IS and has a closetful of SD memory cards. The more a person knows before clicking, the more likely he or she is to be a qualified lead and not just a person looking for information.

11:12 pm on Jan 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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My guess is that as people learn that they are actively costing advertisers with every click on a sponsored link, a few things will happen.

1. People will click less on ads, decreasing ctr.
2. People that do click will be more likely to buy, increasing conversion rates.

Perhaps #1 is why SE's ads are formatted to be nearly identical to the organic serps?

12:00 am on Feb 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I've had people e-mail and ask about advertisers in AdSense before, thinking that I somehow had control over them.
1:09 am on Feb 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Computers and the internet are actually really complicated, compared to the average thing that a person has to do. We just take it for granted because we either have learned how to use computers and the Internet or been taught it. And of course, since programs and websites are written by computer-literate people like us, we don't appreciate that for most people, it's not very straightforward.

Until the Internet and using a computer becomes as easy as turning on your TV, it'll still be something that you need to learn or be taught how to use, and that's why a lot of people still don't use it. It either needs to be easier to use, or come with a better manual, or both.

I don't have a problem with clicking ads. Sure, it costs the advertiser money, but since they purchased the ad they're willing to accept the costs involved, and it's good to reward the advertiser for effort he put in to making his site and then making it freely available to you.

11:31 pm on Feb 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

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as people learn that they are actively costing advertisers with every click on a sponsored link (...) People will click less on ads, decreasing ctr.

in this regard, i'd rather predict the contrary. why should i bother about who's being charged if i click on an ad as long it's not my money? in fact, it's nice to create some kind of monetary stream through a simple click :)
advertisers demand my attention, so they have to pay for it.

i'm rather afraid, that joe surfer gets enlightened too much about the publisher earning money per click.
more and more users come to know that one can earn decent money with these ads. as envy is in the nature of many people and few people are capable in managing a succesful online business, i fear that they neglect to click because they grudge you the few cents.

11:56 pm on Feb 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

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malachite wrote
My visitors seem to assume I own every hotel featured on my site.

Probably a couple times a month we get messages from people along the lines of "I need a reservation for 2 people."

Duh! Which hotel? (How about even narrowing it down to which country/city!) What dates? What type of room? What price range? Sheesh!

I usually reply with a link to the hotel reservations page. But they all seem to be so clueless that I don't think any of them ever made a reservation.

Sometimes I feel so tempted to respond back with something like, "Your reservation is all set. Call John when you get to the airport."

1:28 am on Feb 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I don't think most surfers know anything about Adsense/Adwords and by most surfers I mean 99.999999% of those unrelated to the Adsense business - here is why (my two stories):

Story number 1:

I have an economics teacher who is, how to call him... not very SE-literate. During one class, the "How does Google make money" topic popped up. He told us that companies paid Google a flat fee por being in their current position in the SERPS (IMAGINE!). I turned over to see my classmates with that "WOOOW" look and then I told him that that was an utter lie and told him all about Adsense. Of course, he didn't understand and probably hates me. Whatever, he's the economics teacher, he should know. Needless to say, my classmates didn't understand either - I guess it's better if they don't know anyway.

Story number 2:

My sister loves to show me scary videos to supposedly "scare me" - one day, she called me and I went to her computer and she told me to watch a video from a link she had previously found. She then looked at some Adsense ADS In the website and clicked on them a couple of times - I was like "What the hell are you doing?!?!" she obviously didn't understand that she was costing someone money. Ultimately she realized that those links didn't have any "videos" and then shut down the browser and said "I am scared".

So no, people don't know.

2:07 am on Feb 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The average joe has no concept of PPC. Not only that, some are simply dumbfounded when I tell them how much I've paid for a single click (over $6.00, if you must know).
3:53 am on Feb 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The average joe has no concept of PPC.

now let's have a look at the demography of YOUR average joe. what's crucial for your website is how savvy your user is.

generally spoken, you get the best results out of your ppc ads, if your audience is dumb, old and technically uneducated. people that only just can read but have a sufficient budget to spend on web purchases.

accordingly, worst are web-savvy smart kiddies short of cash surfing for the fun of it.

;)

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