Google AdWords: The Web reality show

Google AdWords: The Web reality show

Summary: Over the past week, John Battelle has been blogging at 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".

TOPICS: Google

Over the past week, John Battelle has been blogging at 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”:


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!


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.

Topic: Google

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  • AdWords = RIP OFF

    Most of my customers despise AdWords and their pricing model. It is impossible to tell how much you will actually be paying. Their forecasting model of how many clicks you will get for certain prices is wildly inaccurate. The Google AdWords pricing is obviously aimed at emptying your wallet as quickly as you let them. Advertising on the AdSense network (contextual ads on non-Google sites) is guaranteed to blow out your budget about five times faster than AdWords, but seems to generate most of its hits overseas, and the traffic rarely seems to go past the front page, all of which are strong indications of severe click fraud.

    Any one who actually likes Google has never been a paying customer of theirs. I suggest to all of the Google fanboys to try putting a credit card number on file with them, and then see how awesome they think that company is.

    Justin James
  • RE: Google AdWords: The Web reality show

    I have been using Google AdWords for about 2 years. At the start this was an affordable way to generate traffic to my company's web site since each click was only .10 cents. Over the last year, the amount per click has gone up each month with most being a minimum of $1.00.

    Then I started seeing my keywords being deactivated and a minimum of $5.00 per click needed to reactivate them.
    So I tried an experiment...
    I deleted all key words and began inserting any keyword I could think of. Everyone of them required a $5.00 per click to activate. This leads me to think that my account has been flagged by Google and a potential pot of gold and they feel they can charge me this rate for every keyword I wish to activate. Talk about rip off....I am thinking that class action suite is in order if this is a common practice to rip off their customers. In the meantime...I have deactivated the campaign.