Minimum Bids… Going, Going… GONE

23 September, 2008

Google Has Ended (for the time being) Minimum Bids

Google Turns Around

Google Turns Around

In a move which has escaped much comment (at least on the blogsphere I frequent) Google has dropped Minimum bids. Previously, particularly on popular or competitive keywords, minimum bids meant that you couldn’t just bid a few pence and get an ad published – you had to bid what Google deemed to be an amount worthy of appearing on the esteemed search engine… but not any more.

The Logic For Minimum Bids

The logic seems to be simple – if you have businesses bidding £1+ on keywords, then why allow the user to click on a link for only 5p? Money lost I think… so, if the top bid is £1+, force all the others to bid say 30p to join the queue. More money to Google.

The Fallacy Behind Minimum Bids

Ah, but the rub is this… advertiser resistance and natural listings.

Firstly, with all the tools at their disposal, the bigger spenders know what they are prepared to pay for a visit. They were priced out and rather than doing as Google expected (upping their bids), they resisted such changes turned to other routes to market. Leaving popular search terms rather empty and without choice.

Secondly, because listings became more empty, the natural listings on the pages took greater clickshare.  And as these don’t provide income for Google, the revenues from advertising actually fell on a per page basis.

Surely Not a BackTrack?

Google has bravely taken the bold step of retreating, realising that people prefer choice, both in adverts as well as searches. I expect Yahoo to follow suit once they’ve sorted out catching up with Google on their most recent list of ‘mee toos’. MS Ad Center… er… I don’t think minimum bids is something they have the luxury of indulging in for the next few years.

So long Google minimum bids, I am not sure whether I’m going to miss you or not… must check my Analytics!

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It Would Be Funny… If People Weren’t Buying It!

29 July, 2008
How To Get Top of Google

How To Get Top of Google

Just thought I’d share the latest ‘classic’ with you that arrived in my inbox…

“Place Your Website Billboard at the Top of Google, Yahoo and MSN”

Well, if that isn’t an invitation to take a look at something, then what is… so I clicked on Web Banners Online to see what it was all about. And, indeed, it’s true, they CAN get your website placed at the top of any of these search engines.

Except, no-on will see them, because no-one knows about Web Banners Online… and certainly Google, Yahoo and MSN have not signed and exclusivity ‘deal’ with this business. In fact, they’ll probably send a link to show you how you would appear if someone came across their website.

The business (note I’m using a ‘no follow’ link used above just to make sure that I’m not giving it any credibility or value) of tricking unsuspecting business is proliferating online. I have one every week in my inbox… ‘get top listings by buying my e-book’, ‘Get a free website (did we mention shared hosting of £250 per month)’, and the sad thing is that people are being parted with cash by believing what they see.

So what’s the solution… I think we need to ‘out’ these businesses and practices for what they are… How we go about achieving this is an entirely different matter. Any thoughts?

Another time I’ll tell you about the business that can get you top listing in Google in just 10 minutes… and how you can make them pay for it!