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Cost of a word - Kosher?

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# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

New business. Two months ago at the start, cost of my key words ranged from $1.50 to $5 tops, and the latter were only a few that were fringe to my offerings. I adjusted the price to be first page for all 50+ words and phrases.  Because I market to larger companies, I paused around the holidays because my target audience was off work.

This is a crowd that warms up to purchases, so may click the third or fourth time they see my ad. Except Google doesn't want to show it due to low clicks. I've written an email, appealing this approach towards business-to-business  advertising. These are folks who have to hold a meeting before they buy. I tripled my daily maximum, thinking it would increase impressions. Nope. Identical.

This week I turned it on again, and ran over limit by 1 PM. What gives? 


All my words are now $10 to $15 for first page. Wha?  How can a $1.70 word become a $12 word 2 months later? There's no way on earth a click is worth $12 in my field. Were 'other companies' bidding each other out of existence while I was paused?  


It's preposterous that companies who have been advertising with these words at the same levels for 2 years suddenly start bidding crazy. It is sheer opportunism. I suspect I was used as a tool to squeeze more money out of my competitor--and yes, I know exactly who that competitor is, because I can search the words and see all the players. 


Has everyone seen a steep increase in cost of words across the board since January?  Forbes wrote an article on how words used to be pennies, under a dollar, but now have gotten out of hand.


Worse, I tested some of my words and my ad which qualifies for first page placement isn't on the first page. There's room for it, and that day they scooped in less than 25% of my daily maximum, but they didn't show it. I used a long-tail phrase too, so there was no mistake or being squeezed out. 


Also, I have searched words to find NO ADs on the first page, yet when I got to page 3, there was my ad. Really? Wouldn't I be on the first page if I were the ONLY ad, and wouldn't I qualify with 10 cents?  It's dirty pool. Telling people they are bidding against others when they are not.


If the bidding is to get one on the first page, then the highest bidder should be on the first page, regardless of the price paid. Google makes up their own first-page dollar amount, and anyone who pays 20 cents less simply is moved to page 3, even if there is no ad on the first page.


There is no bidding war on my words. Google just saw some competition for the same set of words so tripled or quadrupled them, no advertiser did that. I was paused while this happened, and other companies might bump up a price by 20 cents, not dollars. Not in my field, label-making.


2 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Cost of a word - Kosher?

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Hi Lynn

Welcome to the community.

What you are experiencing is not uncommon and from the way you are describing it, it appears that you don't fully grasp how AdWords actually works. Don't worry though, it's pretty common!


Below is a short video about how the AdWords auction actually works. It really is the best AdWords video out there in my opinion. I'd HIGHLY recommend that you invest the short time in watching and understanding it as it's quite clear that your issue relate specifically to quality score.



Finally, appealing to Google by email, asking them to fundamentally change how their entire multi-billion dollar business is run is unlikely to yield any results. The way the auction is set up is incredibly fair and actually favors those who spend a little time learning the basics, especially the basics of quality score.


Anyway, have a watch and if there's anything that's not clear about how this all relates to your business, let me know and we can dive in deeper.


Hope that's helpful.

Re: Cost of a word - Kosher?

[ Edited ]
Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆
# 3
Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆

Hi Lynn,


As Dave_Davis Mentioned in his post that you need to study more about Adwords Auctions. I will take it a step forward and also after this you would need to read on Quality Score.


Here are some awesome topics on Quality Score from the Community -

1.Quality Score – The Magical & Mysterious Metrics

  1. Use Ad Extensions to extend your ads, and share valuable information!
  2. I like this infographic from Tenscores (I am no employee nor responsible to market for them).


Again to further add -

  1. Add negatives.
  2. Write Relevant Ads.
  3. Direct Customers to relevant landing pages.
  4. Build a detailed and granular account structure. If needed hire Adwords Marketer/Agency to do it.


Adwords has worked for many advertisers since its existence. Remember, Adwords is based on algorithms and complex programs. It cannot only suck the money out of you - if there is a problem it has to be for everyone else. Otherwise, there is something wrong in your account. Its not as easy as it seems to run it (I am not scaring you, but at times new advertisers have to know a lot and read a lot before they run adwords).

We all would want to know the following questions to further help you on this issue -


  1. What kind of keywords are you using? Dont give all keywords, can you let us know if they are 1 word, 2 words or more that.
  2. What are the match types?
  3. What is your landing page?
  4. What is the quality score of your keywords.(To find the quality score of your keyword - Read Here).
  5. Whats your target geography?
  6. Are you using any ad extensions? (To know more about ad extensions - Read Here).


We can help you in more detail and delve deep to further support as you need.


Hope this helps!


Re: Cost of a word - Kosher?

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor

Hi Lynn,


I believe you have watched the above video by now.


So, now when you know that bidding is not the only thing that affects average ad position, you can work with your campaigns to fetch more benefits even in the rising competition. Competition? Yes, Google trends does indicate a rise towards January for search queries similar to yours. It's almost a usual trend after holidays.  


Coming back to your questions, I would advise you to work with the selection of your keywords, ad copies, and landing pages to make them more targeted and relevant to your goals. It all will work together to increase quality scores overtime and in return you will pay less. 


The second thing I would advise - do not search for your own keywords to check your or your competitors ads. It generates impressions for your ads without getting clicks/conversions, and hence affects your ads CTR and eventually the overall performance.


It can also be reason for you not seeing ads in the first. As Google, based on users' search behaviour, stops or lessens the frequency of showing ads to a user who frequently searches for the same set of keywords without any positive actions for the advertisers. It is done to protect the interests of advertisers like us all. 


Use  Ad Preview and Diagnostic Tool to research competitors ads and to view your own ads. It won't affect your campaigns performance, but will help serve your purpose. 


Hope it helps.


Ratan Jha



About Me: Community Profile | Ratan Jha INC.
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