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AdWords inflating the bids artificially?

Only one competitor bidding on the same keyword but high bid needed.

10:31 am on Mar 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I am really wondering if AdWords is not pushing the bids artificially higher.

I am bidding on some keywords which cost, according to the first page bid, between $5.75 and $0.05, however, we are only two competitors bidding on them. My guess was that I would need to bid $0.05 only to guaranty position 2. Apparently it is not the case.

I am seeing two statuses at keyword level: “Low search volume” and “Below first page bid”. I understand why I might not be showing on the keywords with low search volume as my competitor is not showing either, but why am I not showing on the keywords with “Below first page bid”? We are only 2 bidding on it so if AdWords was really a bidding system and prices were not inflated artificially, then if I bid $0.05 I have to see my ad, too. The keyword triggered my competitor's ads but not mine! Or am I missing something? I never heard about a minimum bid for AdWords (or I remember in old days that it was $0.05).
6:51 pm on Apr 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I have seen my bids on a term without competition go from 5c to 40c!

I have 10/10QS and 30% CTR!

There are absolutely no competitors so Google is definitely playing with their bid floors.
4:27 pm on Apr 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

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When you first ad new campaigns, adgroups or new keywords, those google messages are irrelevent. I find it take anywhere from 10 minutes to a day for those messages to go away. The more long tail the keyword, the longer it will take.

Bid what you plan on bidding, and wait a couple of days. If there is little or no competition, you will find that google will start showing your ad; provided you have relevent content.