PPC Consultant Tells How AdWords is Evil

As a qualified AdWords PPC Consultant, I have enormous respect and admiration for Google and the tremendous advertising system that the company created. I often refer to AdWords as “database marketing on steroids” and think the speed and cost efficiencies that it offers small to mid-sized companies is pure genius. As a garner most of my own financial livelihood through managing Google advertising accounts, one would expect me to praise its virtues.

But… In fact… it’s quite the opposite!

Google AdWords is “EVIL” and will steal your money if you’re not careful or educated about its deceitful practices.

Over the past several years, I have managed millions of dollars in AdWords spend and have provided PPC consultant services to nearly 100 small to mid-sized companies throughout the world. During this time, I have seen first hand how AdWords has enhanced their technology to cause bid inflation and raise advertising costs while improving Google’s bottom line. This article will reveal some of these deceptive practices and show you how to avoid them in your own AdWords campaigns.

In the summer of 2008, one of my other PPC consultant friends and I were reminiscing of the good ole days of Google in the early to mid part of the decade when you could get an AdWords click for highly competitive keyword for $0.10 to $0.20 each. Nowadays, I routinely need to spend $1-$5/click for some of these same keywords and upwards of 10x that amount for some of the most sought after keywords. In my opinion, one of the main causes of this bid inflation within AdWords is rooted in a Google feature which informs online advertisers of the minimum bid required for placement on the 1st page. While this simple functionality may appear beneficial to advertisers, it actually creates a frenzied auction environment where inexperienced PPC consultants and do-it-yourself PPC managers overbid for keywords in their campaigns. Many people think that you need every one of your keywords on the 1st page of Google or you’re doomed. This strategy is useful only during early testing of your keywords to identify those which generate clicks and those which convert. After a statistically significant number of visitors to your site, a good PPC consultant should be able to quickly eliminate underperforming keywords from your AdWords campaign. To avoid the auction frenzy mentality caused by the Google functionality, I recommend that you focus on the long tail phrase and exact match keywords while determining your keyword break even points and maximum conversion costs. Only compete on those keywords that can profitably turn into customers. Dump the loser keywords and simply focus on the winners.

Another pitfall that many PPC advertisers fall into is allowing Google to manage your campaigns for you. While this “free” service from Google sounds good, in reality, I believe it’s like asking the “fox to watch your hen house”. I don’t trust them and neither should you. Buyer beware when Google recommends that you increase your budget, raise your bids, expand your list with more broad match keywords or advertise on all networks ( including the Display Network – formerly known as the Content Network ). I’ve even been on conference calls with Google executives who said that “phrase and exact match keywords are not really necessary and broad match keywords will satisfy most of your requirements”. A good PPC consultant worth his or her salt will reject all these suggestions.

Unless you’d like to give more money to Google, I recommend that you:

  • Never allow Google to touch your campaigns
  • Only advertise on the Display Network if you know what you’re doing ( more about that in a future article )
  • Increase your advertising budget only after you’ve fully identified profitable keywords
  • Test broad match keywords with caution
  • Use exact match and phrase match keywords as the core of your AdWords campaigns

If you’re losing money on AdWords or don’t have a good handle on the intricacies of the advertising system, then hire a certified Google PPC consultant to manage your online advertising program. He or she is more likely have greater vested interest in your online success than a multi-billion dollar corporation who claim they’re not EVIL but whose actions suggest otherwise.

About the Author: With over 20 years of experience in database marketing and searSavech engine marketing, John Pfeiffer helps small to mid-sized companies succeed online with proven and affordable pay-per-click services. In addition, he is the author of numerous articles and whitepapers on PPC advertising techniques. John can be reached at www.PPCforSmallBiz.com.

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