I want to highlight a serious flaw in the mentality of the Google Adwords system, which is related to phrases that are common but don’t have much competition in Adwords.
I was setting up a campaign, in which the names of barristers being typed would produce adverts in the sponsored links. For most people this was fine because their names weren’t anything remotely ‘famous’ and so clicks could be gained for cheap costs. However, as soon as I tried to set up ‘Jonathan Harvey’ (the name of the barrister) Google instantly disabled the phrase, saying that it wanted 50p per click to make it active.
This is based purely on the fact that there is a better-known ‘Jonathan Harvey’. Normally, this may be acceptable if there were also loads of sponsored links. However, there were none (in the UK) – not one! Exactly the same happened when trying to set up ‘Andrew Davies’.
This is a serious flaw in the Google system because it makes no sense at all to penalise advertisers who are trying to genuinely set up phrases that have no or little competition in the sponsored links. If a shop opened and had something for sale but no customers for weeks you could expect to walk in and get a bargain. Google is that ’shop’ – it has tons of blank space in the Sponsored Links part of the page but because it considers particular words to be popular and doesn’t make the link between those words and the free space on the right-hand side, it automatically charges a fortune per click even though in reality the phrase should cost pennies. If Google was a shop and needed the income it would go bust quickly.
It’s no surprise that I’m actively getting clients to start migrating across to other systems such as Yahoo and MSN at a much faster pace than I was previously recommending. The Google system is vastly unintelligent and it’s about time they started listening to their potential clients before they all go elsewhere.
Andy – Custwin