Google’s Advice Comes with a Price Tag

By Avelyn Austin | Jun 27, 2008
More Articles by Avelyn

Today, a new client of ours forwarded me an email from Google and wanted feedback. The email was as follows-

Hi [Client],
… I wanted to let you know that because we are approaching the end of the quarter, the optimization … completed for you needs to be either partially or fully accepted by Monday or you may be ineligible to receive optimizations going forward….
Have a wonderful weekend!


Basically Google was offering their free optimization services, with a time limit, I might add. I was quick to reply, letting the client know that Google’s suggestions were not typically in the client’s best interest. I’m not blaming Google, they’re a business and they have to make money too, but it’s my job to see through it.

Curious to see Google’s optimization suggestions, I jumped into Google AdWords and found that Google had put in some good suggests. Ironically, Google contacted this client only one week after our team had reduced average cost-per-click (CPC) in the campaign, thereby stretching the budget dollars further and allowing for an increase in total clicks. Ironically, it was just this ONE campaign that Google offered to optimize. Did a red flag go up over at Google when they saw that we were decreasing our CPC?

Unfortunately for Google, with our exquisite expertise, we had already gone above and beyond their suggestions TOOT TOOT (yes, I just tooted the Search Mojo horn proudly).

I continued to read on and then BINGO! The last suggestion Google had was to set an enormous default bid. I had to explain to the client that number 1 ad position on Google is not always best for you or your budget. In fact, I sent the client Tameka Kee’s blog post on the profitability of not being in number 1 ad position. Number 1 ad position, however, IS good for Google because a) it drives up the bids of all adverters competing for the top spot, b) they can sell top ad inventory at a higher price and deplete less ad inventory at the same time (leaving room for more advertisers to pay top dollar for the top position), and c) if you run out of budget faster, you might be more inclined to increase your budget. Ah, how convenient!!

Has Google ever contacted you and asked you to spend LESS per click to drive down your cost per conversion or cost per sale? Probably not.

So my point is this: Google knows a thing or two about setting up an Adwords account; but I warn you, think long and hard about their free optimization advice. Remember, Google and the other engines are businesses too (and always looking to increase their quarterly earnings), so look for the price tag!

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