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  1. #1
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    Adwords - Socking it to the little guy.
    I have used Adwords for years to promote offers. Recently it has become impossible to make any revenue with the high CPC requirements.

    Google is so secretive about everything they do. It drives me nutz. And this new minimum CPC they require makes no sense. I experimented... added a keyword and got a min. CPC requirement of 20 cents. Then just for the heck of it I deleted it and a few minutes later added it back. That time it came up as a min 5 cents CPC requirement. So then my curiosity is up so I delete it again and a few minutes later add it back and it gives me a min of 50 cents CPC requirement. Same ad... same webpage... same keyword.

    They say they have this wonderful algorithm. Thatís bull. Its totally random. Now that I have met the min CPC requirement on hundreds of words I get very few impressions... and some of these keywords only have 5 or so competing sites.

    Ever since Google went public they have been socking it to us. It was so good before it went public then everything went down the tube.

    And everyone wonders why the stock is doing so well??? Its because the little guy is paying outrageous prices for ads. Sorry for the rant but its not like you can just forget Google and take your biz elsewhere. They almost have a monopoly on online search.

    Google sucks. LOL

  2. #2
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    The opposite view...

    Google's ppc ranking algorithms allow the best, not the highest bid ads to be shown. As a little guy, this is a dream come true. I often run ppc campaigns that are well above major corporations advertising and I pay less than they do. Google is winning the search engine war because they focus on the consumer and try to provide relevant ads that point most directly to what people are looking for. If, as an advertiser, you adopt that same metality, and if you hone your skills, you have the opportunity to slaughter the big, slow-moving, deep-pocketed crowd.

    As an affiliate, you have another advantage. You can abandon ego and advertise only the products you choose - preferably those that convert well. A merchant needs to spend money on a broader scale, branding and focusing dollars on products that perform to a lesser degree. As an affiliate, without ego or stockholders to unfocus you, you get the chance to pick out only the best targets. And your day isn't filled with meetings and such to distract you - so you can spend more time aiming and refining your ad spend. The speed that Google's system operates at means you can test and try dozens of new campaigns each week, then rinse, lather, repeat until you have a quiver of money making campaigns.

    With your CPC dancing, I bet you need to look at your CTR, your keyword list, your ads, you match types, your negative keywords, your segmentation and your landing pages and focus them better with the consumer in mind. Try and show your ad only where it fits this mentality - give the people what they want.

    I do agree that G campaigns can be frustrating at times especially when G makes changes that are not announced, but overall, I'd say G rocks.

    MSN's adCenter ppc bidding engine and auction system is modeled after G. Yahoo has a revamped ppc bidding engine coming out this year and I expect it'll follow G as well regarding costs and position algorithms. It's a game of follow the leader. And for ppc affs, G's an opportunity for great gobs of lower cost, higher quality traffic than you can get at Yahoo or anywhere else.

  3. #3
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    What he said + don't forget "dayparting" to increase ROI.

  4. #4
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by valenkim

    They say they have this wonderful algorithm. Thatís bull. Its totally random. Now that I have met the min CPC requirement on hundreds of words I get very few impressions... and some of these keywords only have 5 or so competing sites.
    What is totally random about this?
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  5. #5
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    I totally agree with Donuts. The intelligent small guy can do far, far better with AdWords than the typical big company.
    Michael Coley
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  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador AddHandler's Avatar
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    Just my two cents...
    But if people spent as much time on their SEO as they do researching keywords to bid on.. They wouldn't have to pay Google a dime for any traffic.. it would just come to them FREE of CHARGE.....

  7. #7
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    LOL! All that stuff you said sounds like it came strait from a Google advertisement. You must own Google stock or work for them. Most of the affiliates I know are not happy with Google at all right now and trust me... I am a veteran when it comes to using Adwords. Been spending between 1-2K per month with them for years now. Probably not their biggest spender by far but I am experienced.

    Min cost per click has raised everyone's cost of advertising. As an affiliate that directly impacts your bottom line. You claim you pay less than the big guys & that your ad is above them on the listings? You have no way of knowing that. They could be paying 1 cent for all you know. But guess what... the big corporations can pay high prices and wont even feel it. Affiliates cant afford to pay a high CPC and stay in business.

    Well, anyway, you are entitled to your opinion as am I. I strongly differ on this matter obviously so I guess we will just have to agree to disagree.

  8. #8
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by valenkim
    LOL! All that stuff you said sounds like it came strait from a Google advertisement. You must own Google stock or work for them. Most of the affiliates I know are not happy with Google at all right now and trust me... I am a veteran when it comes to using Adwords. Been spending between 1-2K per month with them for years now. Probably not their biggest spender by far but I am experienced.
    Motivations aside for a second... do you disagree that Google's auction priced bidding system and position ranking algorithms give you and other experienced ppc affiliates an advantage over most other people?

    Quote Originally Posted by valenkim
    Min cost per click has raised everyone's cost of advertising. As an affiliate that directly impacts your bottom line.
    Raised everyones? This is simply not true. With Min CPC, G is trying to weed out the crud (misguided, too wide of a net, irrelevant, poor ads, poor landing pages, ads that would have been driven way off the page before min cpc, etc). Taking bidders out of an auction lowers prices. Even if they all responded by raising their bids to the min or above, with the way G's system works for position and for actual CPC versus max bid, it might raise the bottom few positions a few cents but it hardly affects the upper positions (positions above #8).

    After G layered in Min CPC's, they beefed up their algorithm to tie landing page quality and relevancy into the ppc quality scoring mechanisms. This again gave affiliates an advantage. Ever try to get a large company to make changes to their website?

    Quote Originally Posted by valenkim
    You claim you pay less than the big guys & that your ad is above them on the listings? You have no way of knowing that. They could be paying 1 cent for all you know. But guess what... the big corporations can pay high prices and wont even feel it. Affiliates cant afford to pay a high CPC and stay in business.
    I can know what they are paying... I do ppc consulting and at times am invited to stop being their affiliate and instead, to run their in-house ppc program. And the merchants I work with, I do so closely and they have often had frank and open discussions with me about my bids and theirs. There are other ethical ways to know as well.

    And big corps do feel the cost of ppc - recent studies have shown that CFO's and CEO's are "very involved" (47%) or "moderately involved" (37%) [Source: SEMPO] in the processes concerning their pay-per-click marketing - honcho's don't get involved with things they can't feel. And overall, big companies have a tougher job - they have to cover a lot of ppc area (the larger a campaign gets, the harder it is to focus it well).

    Quote Originally Posted by valenkim
    Well, anyway, you are entitled to your opinion as am I. I strongly differ on this matter obviously so I guess we will just have to agree to disagree.
    Yep, we do agree here.

  9. #9
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    What Donuts said above, I think Google is far ahead of the others, they're great.

    "But if people spent as much time on their SEO as they do researching keywords to bid on.. They wouldn't have to pay Google a dime for any traffic.. it would just come to them FREE of CHARGE....."

    No shortage of people being completely wiped being solely dependent on Google free traffic. I do both and much more as far as traffic. It's good to learn how to do PPC and make money from it, good skill to have. And it's nice to know SEO to get that free traffic.

  10. #10
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    LOL! All that stuff you said sounds like it came strait from a Google advertisement. You must own Google stock or work for them
    Yep Donuts is busted. Move your action to Kanoodle and teach the wicked G a lesson.


  11. #11
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    I am finding that the minimum CPC is now about 4-5 times what it was a year ago.

    Now what is causing is another matter.

    One could say it is a Google trying to make more money with a deliberate strategy to raise CPC, or it could be a lot of people who didn't use much CPC because they had well positioned sites in Google search results now find themselves mainly in the Google supplemental dumping ground, and are resorting to CPC thus creating a radical change is supply and demand cause CPC prices to rise.

    What it really needs to some of the other CPC Google competitors to do something to make their interfaces less complex as AdWords is so easy to use when compared with the others.

    Les

  12. #12
    Influencer Marketing GravityFed's Avatar
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    The big players that have the tools or staff to create a large number of more 'generic' PPC campaigns to 'cover all the bases' are suffering.. the little guy who can focus on compelling, detailed PPC campaigns (ie, many times the Affiliates or the smaller niche merchants) have an advantage.

    It's easier to earn a higher ad rank when you're measuring and tweaking just a few ads (because those ads will get the attention) as compared to 10s of thousands of generic ads.

    I agree with what Donuts and Michael say above...

    -

    With that said, though.. I'd take AddHandler's approach any day over PPC spending - can't beat FREE. And I'd bet on that organic traffic converting better, too.

    GBM

  13. #13
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by websmith
    I am finding that the minimum CPC is now about 4-5 times what it was a year ago.
    Might be from the landing page quality scoring mechanism now integrated into AdWords. The timing fits and I've seen many people's cpc go up from it in this range.

    Good news though, if you decide to work on improving the relevancy of your ppc landings, you'll simultaneously being improving your seo appeal for those important keywords as well. The line between ppc and seo is not as black and white as some here infer - working on seo OR ppc is not completely separate stuff... finding keywords, minimizing clicks to find / buy, optimizing pages, providing clear relevant descriptive text and many other on-page seo elements are now an important part of ppc. With M and (I predict) Y heading the same direction for ppc relevancy scoring, that line's just going to get fuzzier.

  14. #14
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    What do you pro-Google-CPC people have to say about this? I notice it was mysteriously skipped over in the responses:

    Quote Originally Posted by valenkim
    I experimented... added a keyword and got a min. CPC requirement of 20 cents. Then just for the heck of it I deleted it and a few minutes later added it back. That time it came up as a min 5 cents CPC requirement. So then my curiosity is up so I delete it again and a few minutes later add it back and it gives me a min of 50 cents CPC requirement. Same ad... same webpage... same keyword.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  15. #15
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Google has algorithms that try to predict how well an ad-keyword combo will do. Before you have any track record, it's guessing ability is known widely to suck. The way to work around it is to ignore it (like I did the post about it). As you build a campaign, adding keywords and ads and tweaking and tuning, G constantly revamps it's predictions. In the beginning, new things are hard to predict. Once the campaign has momentum and a track history, the algorithm bases it's decision more on your track record than guessing based on other similar setups (by other users of adwords).

    So the flakiness of their initial guesses is expected and it steadies out with performance as a natural course of the normal things you do to build a campaign.

    It would be nice if G skipped the predicting, but what that would do is create people who constantly deleted and recreated bad performing stuff to get imps, knowing they had a free period at the start where clicking on your own ad once would get you top rankings for an hour or two - which is how it used to be.

  16. #16
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    If you're not a ppc person and you want to see what some of the things inside Google AdWords look and feel like, go here:
    https://adwords.google.com/select/Tr...timatorSandbox

    This is Google's traffic estimator and you don't need to have an AdWords account to use it.

    For specific keywords you enter, it'll show you the across-the-board average Cost Per Click (CPC) that people are paying for certain keyword terms.

    This is fun for AdSense people to review. And it's a cool place to learn what it's costing other people, on average, to get traffic. Some ppc folks look here to figure out a good starting point to bid as well.

    Reminder - it's called "estimator" not "precise forecaster".

  17. #17
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    Today I noticed that Google had completely changed an ad. I have a few broad match terms and this was one of them. I still have my ad showing in the admin area, but this was done dynamically from the target page on my site. It didn't look all that bad.
    This must be something in the extended broad match that I have missed in the documentation. I believe Donuts in his recommendation above, but wanted to leave a few since I'm still learning.


  18. #18
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bumpaw
    Today I noticed that Google had completely changed an ad. I have a few broad match terms and this was one of them. I still have my ad showing in the admin area, but this was done dynamically from the target page on my site. It didn't look all that bad.
    Huh?

    Your ad appears on your site and it's dynamically been changed by who?

    Quote Originally Posted by bumpaw
    This must be something in the extended broad match that I have missed in the documentation. I believe Donuts in his recommendation above, but wanted to leave a few since I'm still learning.
    My recommendation isn't a ban on broad match, but suggestions on avoiding it unless it's necessary and where it is required, using negative keywords -and- continuing to segment your keywords / ads deeper than others -and- minding you landing page aspects, all towards increasing relevance and specificity that leads to higher CTR and quality score.

    We all have to have a few broads in our lives... :-)

  19. #19
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    Your ad appears on your site and it's dynamically been changed by who?
    My mistake. I mistakenly had the same keyword in two ad groups, so it appeared to change the ad but was really just showing the ad from another ad group. Maybe the 12 hours on the road today cleared the cobwebs.


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