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Mastering Google Adwords For Profit

By James O'Keefe
Posted Sunday, November 14, 2004

Mastering Google Adwords?

Lets be honest here, Google is certainly one of the biggest players as far as search engines go. The results returned by Google are fairly accurate, and while we take them for granted we cannot forget about all the days of work that must have gone into the algorithms that sort the wheat from the chaf. As this must have cost them some serious money, it would have been unfair to expect Google to keep paid advertisers from their site and it was only a matter of time before paid advertising became an option.

Getting the Balance Right

One of the problems associated with adding paid for listings to search results is that you can't simply hide the paid for links into the results of a search term. In the early days of cost per click searches it was often the companies with the deepest pockets that were guaranteed top spot for a term. The only thing such companies had to prove was that the keyword was relevant to the term, if of course the advert had to be reviewed before going live.

Search engines that offer paid for and free listings should really differentiate between the two types of link. I know that whenever I've used a traditional pay per click search engine the top few paid for terms aren't always relevant to what I was looking for, so I like to know before I click on a link if it was paid for or not.

Paid for results are fine, so long as visitors are aware they are paid for. Any pay per click engine that clearly makes the distinction between the two keeps some of its credibility by declaring its interest in a particular link.

Google Adwords Select

I'll admit I wasn't surprised when I heard that Google was offering a new cost per click program (Adwords Select); it was only a matter of time. However, having read through the way the program works, I was pleasantly surprised. Google's approach to their pay per click program is the way forward, not only does it filter out the obvious spammers in real time, but it can cut needless costs to the advertisers while maximizing their own revenue!

There is a $5 setup fee if you want to use the Adwords Select program, and the minimum charge for a click is 5 cents. While this can work out cheaper than the normal Adwords program that is based on the cost per number of impressions, it is still enough to keep some of the much smaller web site owners out of the game as it were.

Having said that the Select program offers features that can help out those that are on a pretty tight budget. To begin with there is no minimum monthly charge, so once you've paid your setup fee you will only be charged for what you use. Another handy feature that will save you any unexpected costs you can't afford is the ability to set yourself a daily budget. As soon as you've reached your daily limit, Google will temporarily remove your adverts from the keywords you're targeting.

To make your Adwords money stretch even further, you are able to set the demographics for each of your keywords. So if you are looking for visitors from a specific region or in a particular language you can tailor your adverts accordingly, which makes it easier to deal with those quirky problems normally related to cultural differences.

The most striking difference is that you don't have to pay the most per click to get the top advertising spot for a particular keyword! Your eyes are not deceiving you, a company will have to have more than deep pockets to be able to keep your site away from that top spot.

In theory, your position in the order for sponsored links will depend on the amount you are willing to pay as well as your click through rate. These figures are multiplied together to produce a rank, which is then used to determine your position in the sponsored listings. So anyone fortunate enough to have a very healthy click through rate will be able to stay near to the top.

Room for Improvement

While Google's Adwords Select program is likely to prove to be successful, I can see scope for improvement; that is, assuming they have overlooked one point that seems so glaringly obvious.

Anyone who is capable of writing a convincing advert for the program can easily achieve a high click through rate. If the positions are determined by click through and maximum price per click alone, then it could still be possible for a search engine spammer to come in and take the best position simply by writing the most convincing advert. If spammers can make the system work for them, this could potentially be harmful to the way that Google's visitors perceive them.

The fact that Google Adwords has immediate advertisement rotation removes a certain level of protection in that a human editor does not have the chance to review the advert and make sure that it is suitable. Perhaps what is needed is for each advert to be regularly monitored to make sure that the keyword they bid on is deemed to be important in the page that they link to.

Surely Google will have the technology to be able to cope with such checks whenever an advert is submitted or changed, as well as to check that it is still relevant whenever Googlebot pays its regular visits. If they haven't implemented it already, then I think such checks will benefit everyone; Google, site owners and searchers alike!

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About the Author
Jim O'Keefe is a serial entrepeneur and the owner/webmaster of, and


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