Google AdWords: The Web reality show

Over the past week, John Battelle has been blogging at battellemedia.com about his first direct experience with the product of the company he wrote about in his book, “THE SEARCH How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture".

Over the past week, John Battelle has been blogging at battellemedia.com about his first direct experience with the product of the company he wrote about in his book, “THE SEARCH How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture”:

Post 1, May 8, 2006: MY FIRST DAY AS AN ADWORDS ADVERTISER

Introductory paragraph: I've played around with AdWords before, just to learn about how it works so I could write about it with some first hand knowledge. But I was never a "real" AdWords advertiser…

Concluding paragraph: I'm really looking forward to discovering more, and quite impressed - one day in - with the power of the service. It makes me wonder if the analysts covering GOOG from Wall Street are actually Google customers. Here I was, yapping about the company, but not actually interacting with this side of their equation. Fascinating.

Post 2, May 9, 2006: OK, BUT HOW DO I MAKE A WORD BOLD?

Introductory paragraph: Day Two, and I'm sort of hooked on learning this AdWords thing. Thanks to you all, I've changed my mix of keywords, separated my content bids from my search bids, been on the alert for Chinese based clickfraud…

Concluding paragraph: How do I make my ad text bold? Your ad text will appear bold whenever it exactly matches a user's search terms. This includes your ad title, body, or Display URL. Ahhhh....indeed. Shoulda figured it was something like that. Time to go change my creative to match the keywords.... And keep those tips coming, folks. I'm learning a lot!

Post 3, May 16, 2006:: ADWORDS UPDATE #3: INACTIVE KEYWORDS PUZZLE

Introductory paragraph: I logged in today to find that a bunch of my keywords were "inactive" due to low bids. Google helpfully suggested new bid levels at 30- to 3,000-percent higher bids so as to re-activate my now derelict keywords. I noticed that some of the inactive keywords were the ones that were doing the best for me…

Concluding paragraph: This is very odd to me. No one is competing for the Adwords I want to buy, but yet Google was telling me to raise my bid as much as 15 times my original price - a price that was working fine just a day or so ago. Can anyone enlighten me as to why? Am I missing something obvious? It sure feels, well, off. Is someone gaming me? Is Google? Or is this the way the company gets you to pay the equivalent of a phantom CPM - for getting a lot of impressions, but not getting a high enough click through rate? Innaresting....

Do you know how to best optimize AdWords buys? Join the conversation: “Talk Back” below to share your advice.

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