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The word "free" - a bad idea?

     

theitboy

11:37 pm on Dec 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I run a respectable niche site, and have just started with AdSense. I was doing some research over at the AdWords forum, and discovered a thread about negative keywords. One big keyword that was reccomended for blocking was "free".

Well. My site doesn't really give away free stuff, except a fairly popular newsletter. The thing is, it is promoted at the top of every page with the words "Sign up for our free newsletter".

Do people think having the word "Free" on every page is likely to result in a significant reduction of ads served, and average CPC? Should I change it? Every other way I can think of phrasing it seems really awkward - "sign up for our no-cost email newsletter" is about the best, but it's not so great.

I'm thinking that maybe the best answer is to change that line to a gif file without the word "free" in the alt text. Any suggestions? Should I be concerned by any of this?

Thanks.

hurlimann

11:48 pm on Dec 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I dont run adsense but it is well known offline that using words like "free" increase marketing response %'s.

Blue_Fin

11:56 pm on Dec 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I rather doubt there will be any negative effect, but if you are not getting a full complement of ads in whichever ad format you are using and/or you are getting a very low EPC, then that could play a factor, but it's more likely something else. That said, I don't think it's necessary to have the words "free" or "no cost" anyway. It's generally known that email newsletters are free anyway.

We published a newsletter and had a signup link on our site until last month when we discontinued our newsletter. We didn't have the word free, but we had plenty of signups and it had no impact on our AdSense ads.

loanuniverse

12:09 am on Dec 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



The word free is within my {title} and in the first few sentences of my site. Now that you mention it, some of the advertisers might be using it as a negative keyword.... It had not ocurred to me. Not that I am going to start rewriting copy, but something to think about for the next update.

simonuk

3:51 am on Dec 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I have the word free plastered all over my site because I give away desktop wallpapers.

Because the wallpapers are from the area I live in all my ads are local hotels etc so it doesn't actually affect me at all. My ads are always full of local businesses.

Simon.

markus007

8:19 am on Dec 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I have the word free, in title, in the description, in the body text in H1 tags and pretty much every single page on the site... I am doing just fine.

bignet

12:17 am on Dec 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



[footnote]
Free is a bad word, for adwords publishers, if they do not offer free stuff imo

Blue_Fin

12:58 am on Dec 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Free is a bad word, for adwords publishers, if they do not offer free stuff imo

Well, this is about AdSense, not AdWords. :)

I think I recall reading on the AdWords forum that in order to have "free" in the ad, the click must land on a page offering that free service or product.

bignet

8:50 pm on Dec 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



hence the [footnote]

well ive seen many advertisers violatin that condition

there is alawys room when it comes to free promises

eWhisper

9:25 pm on Dec 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator ewhisper is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I think I recall reading on the AdWords forum that in order to have "free" in the ad, the click must land on a page offering that free service or product.

G generally rejects ads where the landing page does not contain info about the 'free' product. There are times when this is stretched a bit (free phone consultations comes to mind), and G allows the ad.