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This seems to be the biggest scam since the pyramid scheme

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# 1
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Seems to me that this is the biggest scam since the infamous pyramid scheme. Google sells their advertising to multiple users than charges more to be #1 in the Ad list. What kills me is that people are actually buying this farce. I get that advertising pays but as a customer, I do not automatically select the first or even the second ad. In fact, I rarely select ads. Now that I know that business will be charged for ad clicks, I will spend the next month doing nothing but clicking google ads just to prove a point. You can bet your arse that Google has emplyees doing this very thing to "increase" sales and any denial from them would be the same as admitting it.


I choose my clicks by review(s) and word-of-mouth.


I came to AdWords to see about setting up ads and I find that the price is too high. I selected the minimum budget which is just under $50 a month and I can expect two or three clicks a month. This tells me that my ad will never even be seen once you factor in the clicks google will do to boost cost. For half that money I can post an ad in my local paper and reach everyone in my area. This AdWords is definitely NOT worth the money they're asking.


On a final note, I have been reading about this system supposedly being an "auction" of space. To be higher on the list you simply pay more. That too is bogus. I want a set price and a set number of ads. I couldn't care about number of clicks since my site is static anyway.

3 Expert replyverified_user

Re: This seems to be the biggest scam since the pyramid scheme

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Hi Wayne


Let me get one thing on the table right away. I'm not a Google employee, in fact very few people here are - and you can tell who they are because they have a blue line under their picture on the left. So I have no axe to grind....

With that in mind, allow me to go through your comments:


1. Google charges more for the prime positions.

Actually they don't..... the advertisers, through the bid mechanism, determine who appears in the top positions. The more competition you have for your chosen keywords, and the more aggressively your competition bids on those keywords the more you will pay. In low competition sectors there are many people still paying pennies for clicks - but, yes, if you are in insurance, for example, or real estate, then you will pay a lot more. But then if you make a sale you make a lot more so you should expect that. 


If you want to advertise with Time Magazine they will charge you more for the inside front cover and the back cover, they will charge you more for a right hand page and more again for an early right hand page. If you want a solus position, pay more. You want your ad next to a specific editorial, pay more. In fact anything that is not simple run of paper - you'll pay more.


2. If you spend the next month simply clicking on ads Google's system will most likely detect that and, seeing many clicks coming from the same IP will identify your activity as click fraud and will reimburse the advertisers for your wasted clicks - so if you want to waste your time doing this, you can, but it will not impact in any significant way...


3. Google employees click ads. Think about this for a moment.... I think we can all agree that Google is a smart company. If they are looking to sell their ad platform into the future then advertisers will have to see a benefit. If they do not, they will stop advertising and their business model collapses. It would be an incredibly stupid ploy by Google to do this - especially when they are making billions in ad revenue without having to steal a few clicks from you and me along the way.


4. The price is too high. Now at this point, I'm probably going to upset you, but please try and take my comments in the well intentioned manner they are written.... If you are running a business you need to advertise. You have, as you point out, a whole range of options from Adwords to your local paper to national television to magazines and the list is endless. Part of your job as an entrepreneur is to determine which of these vehicles to use.
If you cannot make AdWords work for you - in the sense that the profit you will get back from your ad spend is positive and worthwhile - then AdWords is not for you. Don't do it. It's not compulsory.
But, do bear in mind that your competitors are using AdWords. And as a consultant, I have many clients who are seeing very healthy returns on their ad spend. Just as an example, I had a lawyer client who was very happy to spend $12 a click on a highly targeted campaign we ran for him, because the response was good and the profit from each signed up client was around $7,000.... the numbers work for many people, but as I mentioned above, if they don't work for you - don't advertise. I must confess, however, that I find it hard to believe that the platform cannot be made to work for any business. It doesn't work in isolation, a crappy website isn't improved by sending traffic to it, but it can always be made to turn a profit in my experience. and frankly, this must be true for the clients that are spending multimillion dollar budgets with Google year in year out.


5. The price is too high (2).... again, with respect - if your business can thrive on a $25 local paper ad a month - please let me know what your business is, because I want in!


6. AdWords is definitely Not worth the money they are asking... again, this is a strange way to see things. They are not asking anything. What they are doing is offering you and your competitors a platform to reach people while they are searching on keywords related to your business. You decide if you would like to present your ads alongside these searches.. you and anyone else interested in reaching a person making that search. And you determine how much you would be prepared to pay for a visit to your site from that person. If you decide to pay more than your competitor your ad will appear above hers in the auction - if you decide to pay less then you will appear below or not at all. Google does have some minimums, but these are more related to relevance than actual dollar value amounts. If you are bidding on keywords not related to the content of your site, Google will not show your ad - no matter how much you bid! If they were genuinely in the game to simply steal your money, they would let you bid on everything and anything, but they don't - and in truth, they don't do that to protect us the advertisers, but rather to protect the quality of the search results for their users . including the ad results.


7. The auction is bogus - people higher on the list pay more.... this is surely the definition if an auction. You can't go to Sotheby's, bid $10 on a Picasso and be somehow upset when it is sold for more. That is how auctions work.


8. A set price for a set number of ads. you can do this - it's called CPM (Cost per Thousand) bidding. You can set a price with Google to pay an amount (that you decide) every time they display your ad 1,000 times....


9. your final point - I couldn't care about number of clicks since my site is static anyway. - I simply don't understand.... clicks represent visits to your site. The fact that your site is static is, frankly, irrelevant. do you want new visitors to your site? If the answer is yes, then Google has a way for you to do this. If you don't well, as I mentioned earlier, don't advertise.


Finally, please remember that advertising with Google is not obligatory. you don't have to do it. It's very hard to make AdWords work for you "out of the box" - I myself have complained to Google (and anyone else who will listen) about this many times. They make it too easy for people to advertise. And many smaller, new advertisers fail to make it work and then get upset at Google. But this is equivalent to buying yourself a complete set of ski gear and then getting annoyed that you keep falling over. I bought all the stuff they told me I needed, so why am I on my back all the time???


If you want to try AdWords and have it work for you there are consultants who can help. Google themselves can help - although you might be better off getting a Google Partner involved. They will even give you a helping hand with a coupon (often $100 or so) for you to make some early mistakes. But be warned, it is an easy way to spend and lose money. and whatever sector you are in there are going to be some competitors out there who are using the platform to its fullest and you will need to get up to speed with them if you are to compete on a level playing field.


Good luck.....

!Re: This seems to be the biggest scam since the pyramid scheme

[ Edited ]
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# 3
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Thanks for the really long answer, Steve. Grim facts but true. It's like the 'New Driver' signs we're seeing on the road. So what, you're in the game, driving two tons of steel and glass right next to me and you're in the game. No special treatment, Adwords is the same - learn the rules or find another game because AdWords is a level playing field with alot of good competitors who know the tricks and have learned them through trial and error. The bottom line is to build smart ads with relevant keywords and drive them into a landing page with enticing click thrus and calls to action - and convert those clicks. It's kind of like football. Use your strengths, adjust to the defense, call smart plays, and move the ball - then do it again. Easier said than done but worth the learning curve when the bounce rate drops and the converted clicks go up!

Re: This seems to be the biggest scam since the pyramid scheme

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 4
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This is absolutely true. I got in excess of 3,000 people looking at my ad and about 1,200 clicks. Out of that I got no inquiries at all. NOT ONE SINGLE PHONE CALL, NOT ONE SINGLE EMAIL, NOT ONE SINGLE APPRAISAL, EXCEPT FROM A SYMPATHETIC FRIEND. In my experience, for every 1,000 people who look at an ad elsewhere (eg. Newspapers and hard copy junk-mail, website 'contact us' form.), there are between 4 and 10 responses, therefore out of 3,000 people who looked at my ad, I should have got somewhere between 12 and 30 inquiries. And from those who clicked onto my ad, I guess-timate somewhere between 10 and 20 inquiries. I don't expect sales, because that's up to me, but I do expect that many inquiries.
It is my sworn, but unproven opinion that Google employs people to just click ads all day long. However, if statistical experience is any guide then my opinion may well be fact.
To rub salt into the wounds, when I suspended the ad, thinking that maybe I will try again at a later date, Google deleted all the data, so if I wanted to reinstate tne ad ( not that I would be so stupid ), I would have to start from scratch. So to my mind that is hard evidence that Google knows that we are onto them and from their experience, those of us who suspend ads, never reinstate them because we know that something untoward is going on.
#@#%&&# you Google and double #%&*# the employees who clicked onto my ad and wasted my money.

Re: This seems to be the biggest scam since the pyramid scheme

Top Contributor
# 5
Top Contributor
>>> ...if statistical experience is any guide... <<<

Yes, it is a guide. Just look at the growing number of businesses using AdWords.

>>> ... Google deleted all the data, so if I wanted to reinstate tne ad .... I would have to start from scratch ... <<<

That's not true. I still have campaigns from 2008 and can look at all those historical data.

Re: This seems to be the biggest scam since the pyramid scheme

Top Contributor
# 6
Top Contributor
Interesting to see that this discussion came around again - here's a thought for you to mull over...

Letting you get into the ring with Mike Tyson is not levelling the playing field - he will destroy you.

Google talk about levelling the playing field as if letting anyone advertise means that they are on an equal footing with the more experienced advertisers who employ qualified agencies who specialise in this all day every day.

To make this work you need to pick your battles and look for the opportunities that the bigger advertisers are passing up. They are there. It might be a little like panning for gold, but there are nuggets out there. But don't assume that just because you can set up a campaign and run your ads that you are competing evenly. Tyson trained for years and wasn't running a full time business whilst doing so.

Re: This seems to be the biggest scam since the pyramid scheme

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# 7
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As of 8/26/2016, I spent $1,000 on a Google AdWords campaign that began 7/7/2016. Target locations and keywords optimized for both text and display ads. My website is a simple one page info on a prime real estate property lot for sale.


Traffic reported by my website service follows: July 3,537 visitors; August 2,641 visitors.


AdWords campaign budgets follow: July USD $758; August USD $273.


Number of inquiries follow: July 4 sms txt & 0 email; August 3 sms txt & 0 email.


AdWords campaign paused 8/26/2016 mid-day. All website traffic ceased immediately thereafter.



1.) of the 5,000+ visitors, only 7 were interested but via sms txt --no email inquiries.

2.) of the 5,000+ visitors, only 7 were "authentic" and the rest were "bogus".

3.) spending more money on AdWords campaign budget is not directly proportionate to number of visitors.


Re: This seems to be the biggest scam since the pyramid scheme

Community Manager
# 8
Community Manager
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