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Are Google Ads Losing Their Value?

Too much spam...

     
5:48 am on Jun 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

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The recent eBay boycott prompted me to do some checking, and I am starting to wonder how useful Adwords is any more.

Aside from all the (temporarily gone) eBay spam ads, it seems like the vast majority are for such things as price comparison sites and similar.

I just did a couple of search for battery terms, and out of 6 ads per page, there was not one single ad for a place that actually SOLD or MADE batteries.

6:43 am on June 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I've never really clicked on ads much since I got on the web in the mid '90s, they never seemed that relevant to me. (But obviously millions do).
I guess the logic is you go thru one middleman (google), to get to another, (MFA, affiliate, content site that funnels you to the merchant, etc.), eventually the surfer gets what he is looking for. Best case scenario at least.

Put another way, if the 'natural' serps are great, leading to the source, why click on the ads that lead to middlemen...

12:53 pm on June 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I guess what I am kind of getting at is that so many of the ads now have no relation to the product searched for in many cases.

Aside from all the ridiculous eBay ads, everyone seems to be not from a seller or producer of that product, but some middleman site that tells you where the cheapest one is.

3:33 pm on June 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Put another way, if the 'natural' serps are great, leading to the source, why click on the ads that lead to middlemen...

That argument would make sense only if Google were an e-commerce search engine, or if shopping results were served up first. In practice, somebody searching on "elbonian river cruises" or "widgetco wc-1 digital camera" is likely to find a lot of informational articles, reviews, etc. in Google's organic search results, so the ads offer a more direct way for buyers to find sellers. In addition, ads can be written to elicit responses.

As for the question of whether Google ads are losing value, the answer is going to vary from advertiser to advertiser. Google may have reason to worry about the overall effectiveness of AdWords/AdSense ads, but for the individual advertiser, ROI means more than generalizations do.

5:02 pm on June 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

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That is because some has the weird idea that a product comparison/price comparison side is a valued experience, as opposed to directing someone to the actual vendor, even if it is through an intermediary page.

The logic is not good, especially for specific searches.

5:36 pm on June 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

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You will probably find that many manufacturers have taken the reasonable step on focussing on what they do best,

Manufacture,,, batteries, cutlery, dvds, electronics

and leave the wholesalers and retailers to bear the risk of retailing :)

Retailers include price comparison sites, independent webmasters,

Retailing is very risky business, not all manufacturers would prosper if they added retail risk to their business

8:03 pm on June 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Retailers include price comparison sites, independent webmasters

Um, no they don't.

Retailers actually sell you something. They take an order, ship it to you, and take care of any problems related to the sale.

These sites point you to somebody else who may sell you something.

I say MAY, because as often as not, they point you to another site that points you to another site....

If I want price comparisons, I will put "price comparison" in the search, plain and simple. Otherwise, I don't want those sites.

8:16 pm on June 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Quite frankly it doesn't matter what we want, or don't want to see, because at the end of the day if these ads are making Google huge money then they'll keep them (maybe get rid of the accounts that are labelled "spam" by numerous users)....One user's experience and idea of what is useful, is not the same as another's...You can't broad brush this. Clearly people click on ads...and clearly some of those folks who click on the ads buy/sign up for things, otherwise all of the advertisers would fold and they would no longer be there...unless of course they like losing money in perpetuity?
9:19 pm on June 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Price comparison sites, and independent webmaster essentially act as sales forces for the retailers, this surely benefits the retailers because they don't have to bear the risk of adwords advertising,

The risk of advertising going wrong cannot be underestimated.

As stated above, the structure must work or else, something else would take its place.

If the folk you imagine you want to deal with directly are not able to place themselves in front of you, what else do you expect,

Do you think a firm of battery makers should leave off designing an researching, machining their batteries an spend more time doing SEO or learning Adwords an possibly pile up stacks of debt on useless keywords,

off course they could hire an seo firm to deal with it, then again, why not just join CJ an let the wonderful members of www market their stuff,

keeps me happy, hey :)

11:14 pm on June 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

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What brought this up for was that I was looking for a particular type of heavy duty battery connector for huge batteries.

But when I search, the organic searches are useful, the adwords are useless.

But I guess that you could blame the advertisers also for having their keywords as too generic and/or too broad match.

Which makes me wonder how many of these advertisers really watch their ROI?

12:07 am on June 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

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i second the observation that price comparison sites with broad match generic keywords rule the market.

you can't blame them for being successful. they are obviously clicked like crazy, thereby being able to pay minimum amount per click because ctr-wise they outperfom advertisers that actually sell goods by far.

why is this so? i think it's an issue with targeting. as most publishers don't have a very specific topic that actually covers a certain product in-depth, you will get generic ebay and price comparison ads.
plus, targeting technology seems to be not perfect enough as in case of doubt it rather regards a general site topic rather than focusing on a certain article that could benefit a specific manufacturer in a precise case.

by typing in some simple keywords into google, users obviously don't concrete their needs enough for the algo to present them something that exactly fulfils their wishes. it's a guessing game - and the solution will always be generic.

imo the user's surfing intention would have to be detected profoundly and in addition he would have to be prepared intensely to buy a certain product so that manufacturer ads would stand a chance against the price comparison armada.

so we get these junk ads. that's very sad.

[edited by: moTi at 12:21 am (utc) on June 25, 2007]

1:18 am on June 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Maybe the question should be how often are people who type in generic terms actually ready to make a purchase?

From experience and testing in my market they aren't. They are looking for information of some kind and for many markets comparison sites give a very quick overview of the choices available.

With this information people are now armed with tons of other possible search terms such as brand names, specific models, features, definitions of industry jargon, etc.Also I have noticed that for a lot of generic search terms, the search results are much more informational in nature, while the ads are of a commercial/comparison nature.

Combined together this provides two types of information for searchers to explore.

Bottom line, if the comparison sites didn't work they would not be there.

 

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