What`s happening with Adwords?

When I lived in San Francisco, they called them “seismic events” – a fancy, less scary word for earthquakes.

Has Google radically changed the rules of the game for Adwords? I`ll be the first to say I don`t know exactly what`s happening, but early reports lead me to think they`re targeting advertisers who are running lead generation web sites…with massive rate increases.

Speculation is not going to answer the question, but maybe collectively we can figure out what`s going on.

If you`re an Adwords advertiser and Google has dramatically changed your deal recently (from booting you off the system to radically increasing your pay per click rate) and you want to add to the common wisdom, describe what happened below.

Most important, what was on your landing page? “Normal” content? Content plus a strong opt-in offer? A page designed exclusively to get opt-ins?

It seems from what I`ve heard so far that Google has targeted pages that are set up soley to get opt-ins.

IF YOU`VE BEEN DIRECTLT EFFECTED, please share your story and maybe a common pattern will emerge… If you haven`t been effected, please don`t post speculations so we can keep the thread clear for factual information. Thanks.

– Ken McCarthy

P.S. For over 25 years I’ve been sharing the simple but powerful things that matter in business with my clients.

If you’d like direction for your business that will work today, tomorrow and twenty years from now, visit us at the System Club.

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75 Responses to What`s happening with Adwords?

  1. Matt July 24, 2006 at 7:44 pm #

    Well, about 2 weeks ago, conversions went into the dumpster and my cost about doubled. I have real content, little to no affiliate links and I sell real products and services. I make a specific product for each state but I’ve noticed that conversions are TERRIBLE when I send a client to a landing page, so I’ve been sending them to my homepage and conversions went through the roof (of course, until the recent change). I think google messed around with the algorithm that sets ranking and price and has skyrocketed the cost of keywords that don’t have *Specific* content on the landing page.

    Again, when I do have specific content, sales are terrible, so I’m in a real bind here. Actually thinking of taking my 7K/month I spend on google and just pile it into SEO.


  2. stephen goldberg July 24, 2006 at 7:44 pm #

    i have stopped running ads with google i just cant take there bullshit

  3. Saumil Patel July 24, 2006 at 7:48 pm #

    Well, I read a very informative report on the new Adwords changes .. you can download it for free at http://www.wuranga.com/reports/googleslap/

    get it .. its worth it !

  4. Kevin Wright July 24, 2006 at 7:57 pm #

    Yes, it seems rates have gone through thru the roof. Either I am missing the boat, or Google is really price gouging. I have many ads running for my wife’s website. What use to cost 5 to 10 cents, is now 50 cents to a $1+.

    There is one specific ad and keyword the really bugs me, because the cost is a buck a click, or it disables. Yet we are the only ones that even come up when that keyword is used, plus my ad copy matches the keyword. How can they justify charging me a buck, when I am the only one that comes up under that keyword, and my ad copy matches, etc.? The same ad/key words with Yahoo only cost me about 15 cents.

    I am looking for alternative methods to gain targeted leads. Any ideas, I would like to hear them, thanks.

  5. Thomas R. Schombert July 24, 2006 at 8:05 pm #

    I have personally been effected by what ever it is that is going on in the internet service to include the declide of clients due to changes and other unknown things that have changed within the internet. I pay to have leads to my site and have found an increased drop of in clients and calls as well in my listed in the local phone books as well. I guess if I don’t pay like the big dogs then I will be pushed aside. I can guarantee that I will not be renewing my services again in the coming renewal season. Biggest waste of money I have ever spent.

  6. Ken July 24, 2006 at 8:07 pm #

    I think you’ve answered your own question, Kevin: Take your business to Yahoo, MSN, and others. If more would do the same, Google would wise up.

  7. Ben July 24, 2006 at 8:19 pm #

    I have two adwords accounts. ONe I used heavily and the other just barely. Both have been indexed by the evil bot.

    My heavily used account was pretty much disabled and so I just took the 30 best keywords and put them in the other account w/ a re-direct url. Things are pretty much back on track. Prices are a bit higher, but not too badl

  8. Scott July 24, 2006 at 8:25 pm #

    I experienced the same problem many are reporting but managed to get it resolved along with the assistance of my adwords rep.

    According to Google they have begun to review and rank the landing page in addition to the ad.

    You can no longer have one display URL and send the user to a different URL. Correcting this one issue enabled me to get our campaign rereviewed and restrictions released.

    My cost per click has gone way done and my conversion remains excellent.

    Other issues that I was informed ( by the Google rep) that are being reviewed:

    * The landing page must provide some real, relevant information, directly related to the keyword. Not just a teaser to collect names.

    * Long form sales letters with no pictures are also being penalized. According to Google these type of pages do not provide the users with a good experience.

    While I can not speak definatively, it appears to me that an informative page on the subject at hand optimized to collect opt ins is the best solution to this issue.

    Again, time will tell but this seems to be working for us.

    Regards, Scott

  9. Anonymous July 24, 2006 at 8:27 pm #

    One way to get Google to wake up…..

    Spread it around that everyone should boycott the google income flow mechanism…It is simple really…

    When you do a search on google….and see something that interests you in the sponsored listings, don’t click it. don’t go there.

    If you recognize the company and can identify where the sponsered listing came from, then contact them directly by telephone and explain to them that you do not make use of Google, that they are wasting their time advertising on Google, besides it is too expensive anyway.

    If enough of us do that, google.com will feel the boycott and take appropriate steps to bring their prices in line with industry standards.

  10. Sam July 24, 2006 at 8:37 pm #

    Hi Ken,

    I’ve seen some changes in my Adwords. The prices have risen some and the impressions have gone down some. This is on largely single page sales sites.

    I read a very good study on the topic a few days ago. It can be picked up here: http://www.information-illimited.com/GoogleSlapReport1.pdf

    I hope it helps some folks.


  11. Peter Dudek July 24, 2006 at 9:39 pm #

    On July 11, Google hit me with minimum bids of between $1/click and $11/click. I had previously been paying between 12 – 14 cents and was in 2nd position of the PPC for most of my keywords. I had an average CTR of 12.8% and 10.42% for the two main keywords of my main site.

    My landing page was a testimonial type page with a link to the main product page. There were no squeeze pages involved–in fact, there were no attempts to gather email addresses on either page.

    FYI: In the past year, I’ve spent over $100,000 on Google Ads. I’m not just a hobbiest or a part-timer. Internet marketing is my full-time income to support our six children. Google’s actions are threatening the safety and well-being of my family!

    After several emotional phone calls to Google, I was told that the robots had determined that my landing page was “poor.”

    I got details from the human about what was wrong. I “fixed” my page. (What I did at Google’s suggestion was to eliminate the two-step approach of going from a testimonial page to a product page. I made the product page be the landing page.)

    After fixing my page, I requested a human review to see if my changes were sufficient.

    I was told that they were not. I asked what more could I do? They said they couldn’t tell me what to do but that I should “try to think of ways to enhance my user’s experience.”

    So I had added Live Chat, a free video and a series of 7 free advice emails all without any obligation to buy. The only way I could do anything more for my visitors would be to give them my product for free.

    I called Google to see if that was sufficient. They told me NO! And would give no explaination as to why!

    The fact that I have spent so much money with them didn’t matter.

    The fact that the “improvements” to my site sent my conversion ratio from 3.03% to 1.74% didn’t matter.

    So now, all of my affiate campaigns are out of business. My main deal with my own product is limping along with Yahoo traffic. I have no idea why Google is treating me so terribly. But if anyone wants to work together to figure this out and find a solution: COUNT ME IN!

    I want to be a part of this discussion!

  12. Eran Malloch July 24, 2006 at 9:41 pm #

    I run a big campaign for 1 client in particular (he spends $10-15K/month) and I have found that any new ad groups I set up are having huge problems getting keywords to activate.

    The minimum bid price to get them working seems to be in the $12.91 a click for these ads, which is mega scarey stuff.

    I tested a theory that just cos it cost that much to activate, Goog wouldn’t actually charge me that price, but unfortunately I was wrong!!!!!!!!!! 🙁

    My landing pages are all a short sales letter encouraging visitors to register to attend a free seminar. We collect name, email address & let them choose a time & place for their preferred seminar from a drop-down box.

    Conversion aint great at the best of times, but unfortunately, we know from real testing that NOT collecting an opt-in booking on the landing page drops overall conversion & cost per lead down big time.

    I have sent adwords support emails about this, but all i get back is a cut & paste job from support – they just keep repeating themselves with that same stuff that won’t work for us.

    No way do we want to NOT collect an opt-in. It’s a HUGE waste of PPC money if you don’t collect that.

    I have tried pulling out specific keywords & building a unique landing page just around that kw combo and it has worked, but it would take me YEARS to convert my client’s ad campaign over to this system, so it’s totally impractical to do.

    I am moving a lot of their ad spend over to Overture/Yahoo at the moment, which are a total pain to use as well, but at least they don’t seem to penalise for collecting an opt-in. Plus, in general, they are cheaper clicks, even though their traffic is much lower as well…

    I have heard a rumour that this is all part of goog’s plan to move everybody across to CPA (cost per action) instead of CPC. Apparently to help beat click fraud issues.

    Whatever their plan is, I just hope this gets sorted asap, cos I am having to almost put everything on hold at the moment.

  13. Ken McCarthy July 24, 2006 at 9:43 pm #


    Thanks guys. This is a lot of information and I`m sure people who are in the middle of this thing are finding it useful. I know I am.

    Keep it coming…

  14. Ken Calhoun July 24, 2006 at 9:46 pm #

    Hi Ken,

    What I’ve found is that I’ve had to do much more testing on my adwords campaigns to get maximum CTR percentages from them.

    This is because from what I’ve seen in my tests, Google has definitely made it such that higher-CTR vs lower-CTR ads are shown in top vs bottom slots, and pricing on keywords varies dramatically depending on the type of landing page that traffic is being sent to. So I think that’s factored into the k/w pricing as well as ranking algorithms. Interesting stuff.

    I’m shifting most of my ppc budget to overture/msn til I get more data; minimizing google ad spends for now.

    Ken Calhoun

  15. Bruce Lamb July 24, 2006 at 9:49 pm #

    We have lots of adwords campaigns for our clients. We augment our natural search engine placement with a bit of Adwords for some of the search phrases for which we aren’t hitting first page natural placement. This ppc expense is on our dime — not mandated by any of our agreements with our clients — so we always watch the rates we are paying very closely, and will move budget from Adwords to Yahoo! Search and back again depending on where we can get the best value for our budget. I’ve checked the past two weeks’ results and the previous two weeks results (and the previous two weeks before that, as well, just to be safe) and the cost per click is almost identical between all three time periods. This sampling is over 18 different campaigns, so it has some built-in randomness. As such — at least in our industry (we have lots of real estate clients) — I don’t see any algorithm changes affecting our cost per click.
    All that being said, we get a lot of clients coming to us for natural search engine marketing services because they are paying a fortune in pay-per-click — and the rates they pay are likely to go up over time as competition increases.
    Just my $0.02 (CDN) worth!

  16. donisadreamer July 24, 2006 at 10:01 pm #

    I have been using Google for 18 months. I have hired consultants who ripped me off. I do it myself now but am haphazard at best. I have something good going but to reach the next level are there any honest pay per click managers out there who would be willing to help me for a reasonable fee. Just one of you nice people who knows the ropes would be fine. Thanks

  17. Charlie July 24, 2006 at 10:59 pm #


    I run a lot of Adwords/Adsense campaigns. Most are content article based sites with rss feeds, etc. For 1 main campaign, my Adwords bids were at .05-.15 each. Now minimums all are at .50 – $1 or more. I did not change my bid. I am still getting some impressions, but only about 3% of what I had been. My click rate has actually gone up just a touch, now at 3.4%.
    On the Adsense end, I am getting about 5% of the page impressions I had been at. CTR is about the same as it had been (17-20%).
    I do have a Yahoo account, but have not been using it. Guess it’s time to take a look at it again. Charlie

  18. Joe Stewart July 24, 2006 at 11:46 pm #

    Hi Ken,

    I got the boot too, but, unlike last summer, I didn’t have all of my eggs in one basket.

    My campaign got shut down in three seperate waves over a period of a couple weeks. No big deal as I was testing a landing page and basically doing Adsense arbitrage. I was pretty much breaking even on cost and getting all of my opt-ins for free, but oh, well. This is what Google does.

    I’d really like to see Yahoo and/or MSN start taking more chances and coming up with more unique ideas instead of chasing Google. Why not lead instead of follow? Am I mistaken or wasn’t it MSN that first introduced the “Dayparting” feature? The next thing you know Google was scrambling to get that set up in their system.

    Right now it seems that there’s just no one out there to “keep them honest” so we’re pretty much at their mercy, but I, like many others, am leaning toward more SEO and doing business with the “other guys”.

    I’m personally getting pretty tired of Google.



  19. Tony Ryan July 25, 2006 at 12:56 am #

    On April 5 probably 90% my 5c clicks on one campaign went to $1-$10. My spend dropped from $2k a month to $200. It’s now down to $100.

    Landing pages contained just an article and Adsense. No opt-in.

    Perhaps G targeted non-US accounts back then to test the waters. There have been no significant changes this month.

  20. Daniel Falk July 25, 2006 at 1:08 am #

    My site’s pages have been labelled “low-quality landing pages” by Google, and the vast majority of my keywords have been disabled unless I bid $5-$10 in most cases (I was bidding 20 cents – 50 cents).

    The site has a substantial amount of quality original content on every page which directly addresses the ad contents, so it wasn’t a question of relevancy in my case.

    The site has no forced opt-in, nor any advertising of any kind. It did, however, have an option to opt-in to a newsletter for more information… and from talking with Google representatives on the phone on several occasions about this I gathered it was the existence of ANY kind of opt-in form, coupled with the competitiveness of some of my keywords, that caused the labelling. The site was built with software, SEO-Website-Builder, using one of their standard templates… and this may have been a factor as well, I’m not sure. Google commented that it had the “look” of a low-quality site, whatever that means.

    In spite of spending close to $10k per month with Google on Adwords, the Google representatives that would talk with me were amazingly unhelpful, would provide absolutely no specifics on the problem or possible solutions, and simply pointed to the Landing Page Quality Guidelines and kept insisting that this is an automated decision process by their software and cannot be reversed without making changes to the site of an unspecified nature.

    I do not believe this is a ploy by Google to simply get more money out of advertisers, but an honest attempt at improving the quality of ads and landing pages of paid advertisers as they are always trying to do for organic results.

    Unfortunately, many people such as myself are undeservedly being caught in their “dragnet”. Any automated decision will always have collateral damage.

  21. Peter Dudek July 25, 2006 at 1:49 am #


    Having found myself in a very similar position to yours, I find your attitude much more generous and philosophical than I am capable of. My hat’s off to you.

    Your comment that Google representatives are “amazingly unhelpful” is exactly right.

    I could NOT persuade anyone there to discuss reality, statistics or facts in any way. They are not much better than the copy/paste policy statements they parrot idiotically.

    Oh how I WISH there was a valid alternative to Google! How quickly a trusted and valued source of business has become a callous adversary! I am truly astonished at Google’s hateful attitude toward us!

  22. Michael Thompson Jr July 25, 2006 at 3:02 am #

    The BIG bad wolf can always do what he wants when he RUNS the forest. What your seeing now is almost what you saw several years ago with Microsoft and all of their “Monopoly of the marketplace” issues. Google controls so much market share, that they can institute changes without regard to their customers. They know you can’t go anywhere else if you want to focus on targeted traffic that goes through the largest search engine machine on the planet. Take your business to Yahoo, and MSN…hurt them in the pocket(if that’s possible) Don’t put your eggs in one basket, get creative. Maybe this will force marketers to come up with more creative ways to generate traffic. It’s just so funny, a company that is the stock market darling of the last decade, and is under immense pressure to generate HUGE quarterly cash flow would bite the hands of advertisers that are puting Billions in their pocket? Don’t succumb to the big bad wolf, there are other ways to generate traffic people!

  23. Terrance S. July 25, 2006 at 4:32 am #

    Hey Guys. Very, very interesting topic.

    I wanted to take a few moments and just switch your thinking view from a “business” or an “internet marketer “to just a plain average web surfer who knows nothing about opt-ins or leads.

    As an everyday average non-business website viewer, most people search for Google looking for information first.

    They are not looking to place their names and email addresses in a box before they get the information they are looking for.
    They are looking for information first.

    Google and the others were slowly moving their search engines to a “more content friendly” websites” ( even with the adword lead in)

    Google understands that in order for it to remain in good standing with its viewers, that it must give them the what they really want which is information first.

    If Im searching for information on how to stop my dog from barking,( as a everyday web surfer) I dont want to place my name and email address in the box first before I get my information.

    Now granted, if I like the information ( and not a sales letter or regurgitated super basic information but REAL stuff) then I could be inclined to place my name and email address on the website later in the website.

    This is where I believe that Google is aiming for. They don’t want people to feel frustrated

    Thats why you see them slowly trying to phase out many of the so called internet marketing type of strategies ( pop ups, multiple affiliate ads for the same product and unfortunately landing pages)

    I think part of the solution is to start moving towards quality content focused websites and using opt ins on each page but very discreetly and used to enhance the Google websurfer.

    Just my opinion from another point of view

  24. Adrian Bold July 25, 2006 at 7:00 am #

    There’s so much of this (AdWords Pain) being written about at the moment. I wonder if Google realise (care) about how many genuine businesses and individuals are being hurt by this continual experimenting with ‘quality’.

    The problem here in the UK is that they are just so dominant with search volume. I think the US is marginally better with Yahoo and MSN but at the moment they have just under 80% of search traffic. I wish the competition were better.

    I’ve also played email tennis with the support reps but it was only after my 4th email that I realised I had been communicating with a robot calling itself Deirdre. Of course, robots have no emotion or common sense. Pity.

    Spread the word and use Copernic Agent for a better search experience!

  25. Brian July 25, 2006 at 8:51 am #

    I found from the off, that Google adwords via Google.co.uk, were always twice the price of the cts from bidavertiser, which I found much easier to use and half the price.

    When it come down to it, Relavent page Content is going to win in the long run.
    All the adword companies will make things more difficult and want more of the action.
    Like everything in this world, if they think you are making a bob or two they’ll want some of the action, which eventually kills it in the end.

    I built my site using SiteBuild It

    which seems the only way to go in the long term.

  26. Mandar July 25, 2006 at 8:55 am #

    We just launched a new, CD based e-learning course on RFID. To promote it, we made a new campaign on Google, as well as Yahoo. The difference in costs is so huge, it was a shock when I discovered that I was paying more than $6 a click just to stay within the top 6 slots!! Plus the clicks themselves were suspect because the number of clicks charged by them, did not match with the numbers that I see when I monitor my website. It was a total ripoff and I lost $500 in a couple of days.
    I considered myself a Google adwords expert, but I lost my shirt on this. Our landing page is full of real content and at that time it wasn’t even asking for any opt-in. It was just trying to sell the CD based course.
    Cut to Yahoo. We hardly spent anything at all even while bidding to be in the top slot and nowhere near the $6 cost of Google. I think Google is now a BIG RIP OFF!!! Period. I would advise people to invest money in SEO or Yahoo rather than Google adwords. Besides, the talk of Google discouraging non content sites is pure hogwash, you get these sites in the main unpaid results anyway when you type in even a hot selling keyword like RFID.

  27. Ralf July 25, 2006 at 9:26 am #

    This blog is a great resource. Reading the real-life-examples shows that it’s not as easy as we thought in the beginning.
    Just having enough content relating to the ad seems not to help.

    I found several time that google behaves not very respectful or in the interest of their customers. They talk about the experience of the searchers all the time. Maybe they should start thinking about a high quality experience for their paying customers.

    But they don’t have to as long as everyone is panicing and presuppses that google is the only relevant way to get traffic or place ads.

    They are market leader in search and ppc. But who makes them big?

    If we want to become google a little less important and msn and yahoo to be an alternative….

    – when do we start to place our ads with msn and yahoo?
    – and when do we do our own searches with ohter se’s than google???
    – when do we remove google search boxes from our own websites?
    – when do we place ppc ads on our (yet still) adwords-sites from other search enginges?

    We are still strengthening google which backfires because it allows them to behave like the monopolist they became with our help.

  28. Patrick Whitson July 25, 2006 at 10:49 am #

    Hello everyone!

    Although I have had Google campaigns running previously (I don’t right now – good thing) – it does seem like they are playing russian roulette with the clients who pay their bills.

    Also remember, Google has been hiring a lot of people from Microsoft. Is it a coincidence that they have a monopolistic attitude?

    I’ll leave that up to you.

    Patrick Whitson

  29. Mike F July 25, 2006 at 11:09 am #

    What we are witnessing is the arragance and facist actions of a company that for now monopolizes this industry.
    If you thought Microsoft was bad, just look out.
    I was one of the many that were cancelled from AdSense a few months ago for no apparant reason, with no valid explanation, and no real recourse.
    As mentioned earlier, the only thing we can do is swing our support to the competitors.
    Google no longer feels it needs to work with the advitisers. Only the needs of Google’s accountants matter.
    Let us hope this action could cause Google to fail financially from lack of support.
    Those that have not been screwed yet, just wait for your turn!

  30. Pam Hollister July 25, 2006 at 8:03 pm #

    I am so glad that Ken sent me an email about this subject. For the past 6 to 8 weeks I’ve experienced dismal sales from my website – while prior results were really great! And, I have great information and product. Now I have some idea of what is going on.
    Is there anyone you know of that consults about SEO? I currently pay Google around $480/month and this is expensive for me.
    I’m looking for assistance. Thanks all of you for the great information.

  31. Jonathan Ginsberg July 25, 2006 at 9:58 pm #

    In my case, my AdWords bill went from $3,500 to $14,000 with no warning. Google contends that I “changed” my maximum bid from .05 per click on several high traffic terms to $20 per click in April (I did no such thing). My May bill was the normal $3,500 then, wham, in June, it went to $14,000.
    I complained and got the following result from Google:
    “I’m very pleased to offer you a credit of US$3,275.98 toward your Google AdWords account. This credit took an unusually long time for approval because it’s very rare that the Payments Team approves credits of such a
    large amount.”
    It appears that the Google motto “don’t be evil” has been replaced by “grab as much money as you can from loyal customers and screw the long term.” Google has taken me for approximately $7,000 but I have changed from being a raving fan to an angry, reluctant and vocally unhappy customer who is actively looking for ways to avoid spending money on AdWords. What a shame – I thought Google was different somehow.

  32. Ben July 25, 2006 at 10:46 pm #

    FIRST – I believe that user “quality” is obviously going to be different with organic results as compared to paid results. Goog ignores a simple fact that even the most un-savvy internet users realize that sponsored listings may have more aggressive content. (Leave landing pages alone – let users realize the difference b/t paid and natural results)

    SECOND, based upon the content on this blog as compared to many other forums w/ personal experiences w/ the new adwords change leads me to conclude the following is true:


    I wish everyone the best with finding alternate means, or cracking the code.

  33. David Wedge July 26, 2006 at 7:22 am #

    One of our sites is an affiliate sites, we link out to about 15 different sites via banners and various text links. We have plenty of good content and have worked hard to make it a useful site for our visitors.
    Our Google Adwords campaign has sunk without trace. About 300 of our keywords now have no position at all, and the remaining 100 or so now have an average position of 82.
    The net result is that we have had only 143 impressions over the last 7 days. We are only bidding a max of $0.20 per keyword, otherwise the conversion ratio does not generate a profit.
    We have had enough now of messing around with Google, keywords with little or no competition are not generating impressions (ie Google has decided we are not paying enough), so we are now focusing on the smaller PPC players instead.
    Note that we have also recently had massive problems with Yahoo who decided to ignore our daily / monthly budgets and our max bid amounts, they raided our bank accounts multiple times over one weekend and have since ignored a series of messages to them.
    If this is the way the big boys are going to play it they deserve to see their incomes drop considerably, we may be small fish to them but we still have alternatives.
    I can think of few other industries where the leading service providers can get away with behaving in such a bad and arrogant way towards their customers.

  34. enoch benjamin July 26, 2006 at 12:53 pm #

    Wow! I am really glad to know it was not just me! My impressions, click-thru’s all took a nose dive a few weeks ago. I am in the web design biz which has always been feircely competetive, but I have always been able to rely on overture/yahoo and google for good quality leads. About a year ago I switched 95% of my advertising over to google – now I feel like I made a big mistake. They are eating up my daily budget, but I have not received a single lead in 2 weeks!

    I hope yahoo takes me back!

  35. mike July 26, 2006 at 10:10 pm #

    Okay, Google has tossed a major hurdle in our paths.

    Now, we need alternatives.

    Unless I’m mistaken, I’m going to have to continue to deal with Google.

    Therefore, I need to know how to give Google what it wants.

    Ken, you’ve followed this thread and offered a couple comments to commisserate.

    With your legion of experts, what sayeth you on this Google shake-up?

    I’ve emailed Brad Fallon and Andy Jenkins a couple times, suggesting they launch a paid subscription service, allowing subscribers up to date on Google PPC and Natural.

    Those of us who *thought* we knew something about Search but have recently experienced the algorithm blues now know better.

    We don’t have the time to cry in our beer; we need to comply and get back to business.

    Good luck to all,

  36. Ben July 26, 2006 at 11:24 pm #

    Has anyone had luck with a whole new adwords account?

  37. Chui July 27, 2006 at 3:16 am #

    Turn an desperate situation into an opportunity.

    Post a message on your landing page, saying… “I need your help. If you’ve arrived on this page from Google, due to reasons beyond our control, the link may disappear anytime soon, and this site will disappear in a haystack of millions of other websites. If you like this site, consider subscribe to my newsletter. We don’t spam or share your emails.”

  38. Ken McCarthy July 27, 2006 at 1:19 pm #

    Some perspective…

    Short term vs. Long term fixes

    Perry Marshall, the Google AdWords wizard, asked me to speak at his Adwords conference in May.

    I gave a pretty unusual talk.

    My theme was:

    “Success leads people to
    over-optimize for the present – which ironically can set you up for failure in the future”

    Some people wondered what the heck I was talking about. Well, I think now a lot of people know.

    Having been involved in Internet marketing since the very beginning, I`ve seen many of these kinds of surprise
    “wipeouts” which is why the System Seminar and the System Club has always focused on a diversified approach to business building.

    Note the way we think and talk about what we do. BUSINESS -building.

    Every business – every business – needs to make an ongoing
    investment in preparing for the future.

    Here`s how I learned this:

    Before the Internet, I spent some time working on Wall Street. I`d see market opportunties open – and close – in a matter of weeks, somedays days, somtimes even minutes.

    The Adwords “Golden Age” was not unlike the Overture “Golden Age.”

    A new untested advertising concept was offered to the market very inexpensively to build interest. Then the price inflated.

    Smart people – many of them alerted to the opportunity by the System – piled on early and profited from the spread between what the traffic was selling for and what it was actually worth.

    The lesson that was drilled home to me over and over again on Wall Street was that pricing anomalies that let you mint money don`t last forever.

    OK, you say, that`s all well and good, but what about short-term

    I`ve been looking into it and have come across some promising SHORT TERM tactics but I want to test them some more before I talk about them publicly.

    But the key word is SHORT TERM.

    Long term strategy is not possible any time you`re too heavily weighted to one traffic source because that one source can always be taken way.

    It`s a little like trying to stand on one leg. You can do it, but not for long.

  39. Ken McCarthy July 27, 2006 at 10:36 pm #

    I found a long video about Google on the Internet.

    It’s not a “get rich quick” deal.

    Instead it’s an attempt by a film maker to understand the company and it contains a good overview of what Google says it is trying to accomplish as a business.

    Here it is:


  40. Chui July 27, 2006 at 11:18 pm #

    Amit Argawal points out Google is hiring adwords quality raters. Hmmm. I’m not sure if anyone is qualified to rate a page unless they have a pressing need in that particular niche.

    More links and resources on my URL.

  41. Ken McCarthy July 27, 2006 at 11:33 pm #

    Nice find Chui and very good point.

    Ironically, it sounds sound like Google is “de-volving” to the old Overture model by hiring ad readers.

    You’re quite right. The only person in a position to “evaluate” an ad is a prospect.


  42. Michael Boyle July 28, 2006 at 7:36 am #

    I started this week with my site in third position in Google for a search return of 38.5 million and as this was my main keyword phase… I was happy. My generic traffic was supplemented by Yahoo ppc this being more cost effective than the price enhanced Google ppc which I had put on pause four weeks ago. To my dismay my site vanished from the Google directory on Wednesday… given the valued contributions I read here… am I to understand that the reason for my exclusion is because I recently placed an opt in on my home page to sell off some end of line office chairs or is it because I am no longer paying Google?
    Either way genuine business people will always seek out genuine business partners… and I thought that was Google’s ethos!

  43. Mike_Myklin July 28, 2006 at 8:04 am #

    Fortunately, we had not placed much effort into Google for any of our clients. The higher PPC costs had encouraged us to use the Yahoo services and find other ways to promote traffic for the past couple of years.

    From the posts here, I’m guessing we can expect some new pressure in our Yahoo accounts …..

    I am not hearing about a corresponding increase in the Adsense revenues yet. Is this just a lag in effect or is there another reason?

  44. Johan Ramakers July 28, 2006 at 8:06 am #

    I’m very new at this adword thing with Google and spend limited (learnng the ropes) amounts for several customers. What strikes me is the inconsistency of quality experience that seems to be the base of Google’s action. After reading all the comments on this blog it occurs to me that previous conversion experience of almost everyone were quite satisfying with Google. Ergo the searcher, the one Google wants to give a more satisfying experience, was already pretty satisfied. Why else click on something that did not have their interest? Now mind you I think it’s always comendable to improve the quality and search experience, but it seems to me that Google is adopting the attitude that has become quite common these days: we’re here to tell you how to live your life, how to be happy, how to raise your kids nd how to sell your business. Unfortunately that’s what you get when you overload people (Google) with monopolistic power positions and keep your eyes closed to the potential consequences. The good thing is that every action gets a reaction and I’m thankful for Ken taking a pointman position in this.
    Han Ramakers Phd

  45. Keith Jennison July 28, 2006 at 8:51 am #

    Hi Ken,
    I’ve got just a little different perspective on this whole issue. The first I knew of it was when I received your newsletter about this post. We use Adwords and spend several thousand dollars a month. Since this all has happened, our Adwords impressions have increased, our click thru ratio has increased, the numbers of clicks have increased, and most importantly our conversion rate has increased.

    It appears to me, because Google has determined our landing pages are quality, we are getting higher positioning for our ads at the same price we paid in the past.

    This flies in the face of some of the speculation that they are gouging other advertisers charging $1 to $10 per click. It appears even if you raise your bid to this ridiculous amount, your ads still will be at the bottom. If they were only looking at the bottom line, the $10 ad would be at the top, right?

    I don’t claim to know or understand what is happening, but again, if it wasn’t for this forum, I would have just thought my ads were doing better because Google was probably getting more traffic.

    I’m not a big fan of the monopolistic Google, like most others that have posted, but if everyone who is upset with this new “quality landing page” policy moves to Yahoo or MSN ads this will only empower Google even more.

    It won’t take long for the internet user to learn that if they click on a Yahoo ad they will end up on some crap page where they are forced to squeeze to the next page or one of those long, boring sales letters. But if they use Google, they get quality advertiser. If this happens, Google will get bigger and Yahoo’s and MSN’s change of gaining any additional market share will go right down the toilet.

    The bottom line. Don’t pay $1-$10 per click. Leave your bids where they are and build your site with your customer in mind. In the long run, you just may make more money than you did before the shakeup.

  46. Shawn Wiederin July 28, 2006 at 9:12 am #

    I consult people all over the world daily on SEO and the one thing I tell each inddividual is “do not put all of your eggs in one basket!” There are many other methods besides PPC to drive traffic to your site. Yes, PPC is the fastest method to drive traffic to your pages. Yes, there are other alternatives!

  47. James July 28, 2006 at 10:06 am #

    I’ve been using adwords for just over a year and have noticed a difference in the past few weeks. It appears I am paying a bit more per click, but have been getting a better roi. I was a bit disappointed in the higher cpc’s until I realized I was getting more targeted traffic. I am consistently in the 6 to 14 percent ctr on some word/phrases and that seems to be up a bit also.

  48. swans Paul July 28, 2006 at 10:08 am #

    Perhaps, Google is committing suicide. As more and more people are complaining, it will be a matter of time before new and better alternatives show up.

    Here’s one I think that’s worth looking into:

    Someone on Michel Fortin’s blog suggested it. I haven’t tried it yet, but I think it worth looking into.

    When you put certain keywords, they show your website snapshot. And they offer pay per action, which seems attractive to me.

    So go on http://www.snap.com and take a look for yourself.

    Swans G Paul

  49. PD Laughlin July 28, 2006 at 10:40 am #

    I sell information on how to win at online poker and my rates went through the roof.

    My landing page is a one-page sales letter with a Hover-ad for opt-in and then I have the opt-in form at the bottom too.

    I contacted the Adwords team and this is part of their response:

    “…I’ve confirmed that the quality review of your site was correct, and that your current landing page quality is very poor. Sites that don’t include useful content, products, and/or services for internet users are often difficult to advertise efficiently and effectively.

    Based on user feedback, we’ve found that low quality sites lead to a poor user experience, and unhappy users are less likely to click on AdWords ads. Also, advertisers with quality sites see higher advertising costs when they are forced to compete with ads for poor quality sites. AdWords provides the best results when both users and advertisers have a positive advertising experience.”

    I then did a search on the keyword “Texas Holdem” and found nothing but sites just like mine and many much worse.

    I contacted AdWords again advising them of my disatisfaction. This was their response:

    “…I understand you’re concerned about other ads running on your keyword ‘texas holdem’ with Landing Pages similar to your own without an increase in the maximum cost-per-click (CPC). Please be assured that we are applying the same criteria to evaluate the websites of all our advertisers.”

    What does this all mean to us? Not sure but it totally sucks from my point of view.

    PD Laughlin

  50. Ken Calhoun July 28, 2006 at 10:45 am #

    I’ve spent just under $49,800 this last 4 years on Google ads; what I’m realizing is that although they do produce, and should continue to be a part of my marketing mix, I’m:

    a) Going to do more with direct-mail, postcard mail and trade industry/print ads

    b) Cut my ppc budget by 70-80% this upcoming year

    c) Move a huge part of what’s in my ppc budget over to MSN/yahoo

    In using 3rd-party click fraud monitoring services like http://www.clickauthority.com (recommended; I have no aff w/them), I saw nearly 46% of my clicks were fraudulent, multiple cliks from same IP I was being charged for etc.

    I highly recommend anyone doing Google ads test Some kind of click fraud monitoring service – you’ll be shocked.

    So big picture, yes I’ll still utilize Google ppc, but on a dramatically smaller scale from now on.

    I don’t like being ripped off.

    Ken Calhoun

  51. Sean Woodruff July 28, 2006 at 11:02 am #

    While I feel for everyone that is taking a hit, I have one thought that keeps popping into my head.

    If you are relying on Google to provide the fuel for “your business”, you don’t have a business. You work for Google.

    As anyone from my part of the world can tell you (I live in a suburb of Flint, MI – Think GM, Roger & Me), when you work for a big business you have no say in the direction of that business.

  52. Nick July 28, 2006 at 11:17 am #

    It’s interesting reading all the posts here. It occurred to me to ask “is Google shooting themselves in the foot?”

    If they are losing so many accounts what’s going to happen to their bottom line? They are a public company that must deliver growing profits. If they are losing many accounts what’s going to happen to their profits?

  53. Jerome Fisher - pharmacy July 28, 2006 at 1:03 pm #

    Have many of you not been a bit too naive for several years regarding Google? I remember the big upset in November 2003, Florida update. Even then there were people who insisted that Google only had the best interest of their visitors in mind. What nonsense! Fact was that search results started to be increasingly irrelevant at this time. They tried to force successful SEOs to join their Adwords-bullshit. Luckily I already had built my customer database and still live from that smart decision. To learn for you: Now you should really not adapt to Google’s policy if you don’t want to spoil your life completely. You must collect as many email addresses as you can at almost any price even if Google penalizes you. So, move on to other sources of traffic and avoid Google at all costs.

    But here is a point which partly saves Google’s remaining ‘reputation’: Would you pay for placing advertisements in media which are only seen through adverts which you sell yourself? That’s what happens with the Adsense landing pages which drive cheap traffic to their Adsense-pages through low-bid keywords in Google Adwords. So, these publishers buy the cheap traffic from the same source which pays them afterwards their adsense income. This is only an arbitrage profit biz and thus kind of a nonsense circle which had to be stopped by Google.

    BTW, did you know that Google also filters search results according to “authority requests” in several countries? No, this is not off topic! They are just doing what they want. Yes, and they can because they are private. But then again: don’t support them anymore unless you want to be a Google-dog (not: ~.-bot)!

  54. kevin July 28, 2006 at 3:21 pm #

    “But if they use Google, they get quality advertiser. If this happens, Google will get bigger and Yahoo’s and MSN’s change of gaining any additional market share will go right down the toilet.”

    Voodoo economics at its finest, lol.The problem with your theaory is if Google keeps screwing with advertisers, there won’t BE ANY advertisers there! The advertisers are going to use the source that makes them the most money.

  55. kurt July 28, 2006 at 3:25 pm #

    “If Im searching for information on how to stop my dog from barking,( as a everyday web surfer) I dont want to place my name and email address in the box first before I get my information.”

    Then don’t click on the sponsored results, use the free results, as it is obvious you are looking for free information and have no intention of buying anything.Folks don’t pay for advertising for the opportunity to give stuff away.

  56. van cook July 28, 2006 at 3:34 pm #

    A key element for me in this discussion has been comments on Adwords – Adsense arbitrage. All my sites have content and all have Adsense. Recently, I have been driving traffic to the sites using Adwords. This has been surprisingly effective although my leads have virtually all come from “content” and not “search”

    Am I to understand that Adwords costs to drive traffic to Adsense sites are rising rapidly?

    I was looking forward to a healthy income from Adwords – Adsense arbitrage.

    Any comments would be appreciated.

  57. Kurt July 28, 2006 at 3:38 pm #

    “Google understands that in order for it to remain in good standing with its viewers, that it must give them the what they really want which is information first.”

    Bullshit. Still, if Google wants to be an information first resource, then they need to get out of the advertising business.

    “They said they couldn’t tell me what to do but that I should “try to think of ways to enhance my user’s experience.”

    And therein lies the problem. As a paying advertiser, you shouldn’t have to “guess” what the standards/requirements are. I know of no other advertising medium that operates this way.

    Mysterious algorithms are all well and good for the free search results, but they have NO PLACE in the paid advertising arena. God, I sooooo hope advertisers leave in huge numbers and “google slap” google’s bottom line bigtime. Sadly, it will never happen. Too many apologists who can’t see the forest for the trees…..

  58. Steve July 28, 2006 at 6:52 pm #

    Thanks Ken,

    This thread is maybe the best I’ve seen on the recent changes in Google’s AdWords rate algorithm.

    SEOs call these changes a “Dance” -and I think that’s the best metaphor for how advertisers could best respond. They have to be willing to dance with Google.

    If you think about it, they’re just being pragmatic. Google has publishers, advertisers, and users – but the only reason they make money is because users are willing to come to their site, and the only reason Google.com is popular is because it’s the best place to find and use information.

    Traffic + Conversion = Sales

    Anyone recognize this calculation?

    Google is protecting their traffic and their conversion rates first. They prioritize the Google search user over the website publisher or Google advertiser. This makes sense.

    We spend money with them because they deliver traffic that converts. They know that we as advertisers will keep coming back as long as they have more traffic than anyone else. They also know that no one sector of advertisers, or one hundred advertisers, make a dent in their profit numbers.

    Their position in the market ISN’T monopolist, so protecting their traffic as their most valuable asset – and letting their advertiser population ebb and flow to suit the needs of their traffic source – is the only way they can compete effectively in the marketplace.


  59. Guru July 28, 2006 at 9:08 pm #

    One thing is obvious…

    This is the place to learn about it and get a handle on it.

    Thanks Ken and everyone.

    We just relaunched today after a brief hiatus and my how things have changed. Thanks for everything.

    We’ll keep you posted

  60. Virginia Van Vynckt July 28, 2006 at 11:16 pm #

    Just noticed that Google Adwords (the back end, not the campaigns) will be down for maintenance Saturday (7/29) from noon to 6 p.m. CST. Might be interesting to see if anything has changed once the system is back up.

  61. Rob Yaggie July 29, 2006 at 11:24 am #

    I know everyone hurt by this change is going to have a jaded perspective but lets be honest. You can’t think of yourself as dealing with Google but instead must view it as the huge base of search users they represent.

    Boycotts and taking your money elsewhere will not hurt Google. The search users don’t know or care about the unhappy advertisers here and they will continue to use Google with a passion. In fact, I too believe they will have a better experience if they get info without a squeeze page. The changes be made will NOT upset the average search user one bit and may unknowingly even please them.

    What I’m trying to say is after blowing off steam we as Internet marketers need to work together to find out the new rules of the game. Then we can make the adjustments needed to leverage the changes. Yes, it is frustrating and a lot of work but you have little or no influence in Google actions.

    For those ready to jump ship remember that other smart marketer will happily take your place.

  62. Rob Barnes July 29, 2006 at 11:29 pm #

    After reading these MANY posts about the changes at Google, it seems obvious to me that a REAL alternative is needed. And it does not seem that MSN and Yahoo are up to the task.

    With all the firepower I see here on this forum, may I make a suggestion? Think Linux, Think Open Source, Think SourceForge, Think Community–working together to achieve a positive result without relying on Big Business.

    How about our combining our talents and doing our own COMMUNITY search engine that does what Google pretended to do, “organize the world’s knowledge” and “Do No Evil”

    Together, perhaps with Copernic, Snap and others, we might break or at least dent the monopoly.

  63. J. Fisher Pharmacy July 30, 2006 at 12:47 pm #

    Sure, Google will be hurt if enough people stop their ridiculous doggy-mentality. Google is kidding with wou all the day – not yet realized? But you are all nice dogs still believing you’ll get your piece of meat at the end of the day if you are nice enough. Nuts! It seems they are in charge of your lifes! Just did a Google search for “deutsche eBooks” (means: ‘german eBooks’). Among the top results comes out this one: http://www.thuriam.com/Electronic-Publishing/eBooks.html
    Funny, look into their source code and let me know your opinion about keyword-stuffing! And you want to tell me Google penalizes keyword stuffing?? They do not. They have just magically made you all believe in their unlimited ability to almost look into your intentions. Google’s so called abilities to detect quality have now turned into kind of a 21st century myth! And like all majorities ever have done: Most of the people believe the nonsense. It’s probably more convenient to live in belief – but it’s also dangerous as history tells us. Think about it. I already mentioned the censoring (filtering) of search results in many countries done by Google in a preemptive obedience effort against fashistic regimes as in China. This and what happens currently and – most importantly – your reactions intending to save your ass (!) – all these are signs of absolutism. Save your freedom, not your ass!

  64. Ken McCarthy July 31, 2006 at 10:28 pm #

    Well, I don’t think you have to choose.

    I recommend you work to save your freedoms AND your bank account. The two are by no means mutually exclusive.

    Thanks for the example of Google’s apparent tolerance for keyword stuffing. Interesting.

  65. Simon August 1, 2006 at 4:47 am #

    I have spent the last few weeks testing, testing, testing. I have been hit on some campaigns and not others. My spend is L100K per annum.

    These are some of my findings, from my testing and speaking to google and other colleagues:

    * I believe these changes are to enhance the end user experience

    * I believe google has used feedback from end users (via their site feedback buttons on checkout pages etc.) to asess what users want and what the deem as good quality

    * My results show that campaigns that are doing OK have landing pages are directly relevant to the adword ad, have the keywords for the ad in the landing page. Have high level of ‘building trust factors’ – telephone numbers, contact details, about us pages etc Credibility indicators like BBB, trust etc. Are well designed, with copy that reads well for the end user. etc etc – in other words it is adwords 101.

    * My personal opinion is this is an attempt by google to clear the rubbish – arbitrage sites – out of their PPC index and get rid of the long copy sales type offerings that have historically been associated with scams

    * My workload has increased significantly as I have found that writing landing pages for each ad group is the only way to go and each adgroup has a very, very small set of targeted keywords – therefore the ads are highly targeted and so is the landing page/offer. But when you have 100,000+ keywords the workload involved is substantial

    * To me google are just doing more to increase the quality of their results (note I am not saying this is working as yet, but that is what I believe they are trying to do)

    * It really is pretty basic stuff – if you focus your campaigns and make them highly relevant and have great quality pages – all will be well – that’s what my testing indicates at any rate.


  66. Terry Wolf August 1, 2006 at 7:45 pm #

    I think it’s absolutely great what Google just did recently with their PPC change. I love it. Because tons of marketers are doing nothing but trying to shove gallons of produccts down a innocent searchers throat.

    If you ACTUALLY sincerly CARE about people that you’ve always designed your sites with useful content from the start. And these sites are now winning with the Google change.

    And all those “marketers” with the name-squeeze crap pages and sales letters are loosing.

    And I couldn’t be more happier that they are, because they obviously don’t understand the principle “People come online to get free info, NOT to buy”.

    And this should be your attitude. Ofcourse even if I don’t sell, my conversions are still in the 5-10% range.

  67. Ricci August 1, 2006 at 11:29 pm #

    *off topic* I’m really surprised at the grammatical errors that are present in some of these posts. You might be “affected” by the changes, but you haven’t been “effected”. They are not “loosing”, they are “losing”. Come on guys, we are marketers and copywriters – people who should be proficient with words.

    This is a public forum where you might want to show your best writing. After all, someone is bound to click on your name and visit your website. Don’t you want to present a professional impression before they do? Just a thought.

  68. Mark Widawer August 2, 2006 at 4:05 am #

    Thanks, Ken for starting this dialog.

    Some preliminary testing I’ve been doing with some clients seems to indicate the following:

    1) Google has multiple data centers, and not all of them get updated with the new code at the same time. Further, not all websites have been reviewed to the same degree. (What that means is that in addition to dealing with these user reports, we have to be aware of the signal-to-noise ratio.)

    2) What you see is not all that can be seen — by Google. Two identical sites, or two identical Google Campaigns are not the same in Google’s eyes. So, you aren’t seeing what you think you see. (Take everything you observe and learn with a grain of salt. Including this post.)

    3) Google *does not* hate landing pages, or squeeze pages. What they seem not to like are sites with no content outside of the direct sales effort.

    4) The determining factor does not appear to be solely the landing page itself, but the overall quality of the domain, too. (At least, that’s what we’ve observed – so far.)

    I’m putting together a series of recommendations — or at least things to try — which I’ll publish based on my findings. Still doing a few tests, but I’ve got some relatively simple things brewing that should help out quite a bit.

    The information here helps.

    One client had his minimum bid jacked from 15 cents to $5 and $10. I suggested a few tests and we got those rates dropped back down to 15 cents just a few minutes later.

    What we don’t know yet is if those better rates will stick, or for how long.

    I’ll post results here, as well as on my own blog at http://www.TrafficAndConversion.com

    –Mark Widawer
    Author, http://www.LandingPageCashMachine.com

  69. Perry Marshall August 2, 2006 at 8:57 am #

    Hi, Perry Marshall here. The funny thing about this update was – it was very draconian for a few advertisers, but undoubtedly only a few. We were surprised at how few questions and inquiries we got in our office on this. It was a handful of very upset people – I don’t think Google made a very big sacrifice w/ this one.

    I think, however, that they are unraveling the trust they have with some people especially by not explaining what they’re doing, not even to their staff, and when they want to roll out new things like Google Checkout (which is not rolling out very successfully btw) trust with their advertisers counts and there’s not a whole lot of trust to go around.

    For those who are baffled by this update, we pretty much figured it out – an explanation is available here:


  70. Mark Widawer August 2, 2006 at 4:22 pm #

    Great report. What you describe there about the content-rich domains matches what I’ve found so far as well.
    In other words, it ain’t just the page, it’s the whole site.
    I’ve got a feeling what’s going on is that Google’s bots have gone out and made a rating of each site in its SEO index in expectation of an adwords ad pointing there.
    NOT each page.
    And that’s where the quick-fix domain name change benefit comes from.
    But I’m not certain those changes will last forever — or even a few weeks. My expectation is that some other ‘bot, or some human, will review every display and destination URL in every ad, and make a more subjective assessment.
    Why do I think that? Because ultimately if you’ve got a high-value site with a landing page with no links to any of it, Google will let you buy your keywords cheap today. But that does not give the user the high-value experience that Google wants to provide.
    So when will the rules change again? I’ve got no idea. But I am pretty sure of two things. . .
    1) There’s more to this than meets the eye, even now.
    2) Time hasn’t yet become a factor, and and it will.
    –Mark Widawer

  71. JJ August 6, 2006 at 6:23 pm #

    My adword costs just jumped 12000%.

    I have a no adsense, straight forward, sales letter style, name squeeze page with 300 words of content and I have just cancelled my AdWords account.

    I don’t know about any of the rest of you folks but this pisses me off. Maybe if they sent a note, (I am subscribed to the email updates) and explained the changes I might jump all the new hoops but overall it seems to be just another case of monopolistic bull in the china shop.

    Too bad.

    Google adwords used to be good.

    Looking for a new PPC account.

  72. Kai Guettner August 10, 2006 at 9:51 pm #

    Here I thought I was the only one with Google problems!

    I, as everyone else here has been bitten by the Google bug. How sad. I don’t understand how Google and other online services such as EBay and PayPal have forgotten who got them where they are today. The small business owner. Whether working from home, garage, basement or a real office, it was us, the small entrepeneurs that built Google, EBay and PayPal. Not the big companies who now dominate Google with their $15 per click and Million dollar advertising budgets. It is very unfair of Google to constantly change their metrics and not really tell us about it first. Oh sure, they say, “Oh, starting on the next Wednesday after the next full moon, we are going to do this or that.” What they don’t tell you, are things like the fact that your landing page will now be used to judge how much you should pay. Who are they to judge my landing page? After all, my customers have been buyin g from me for years with google traffic costing only .05 and .10 cents per click. Now, Google wants what? $5, $10 even $15 per click? No my friend, it had nothing to do with your webpage or landing page. It is because some other bastard was dumb enough to pay $14.95 a click to get your spot. So what, he can afford it. But hey, We can’t! And now, this mess is putting people out of business and they can’t feed their families anymore. Thanks Google for joining the far right and the current administration by sticking it to the little guy. After this administration leaves office, I hope Google follows suit. We need a new search engine run by small business people who won’t go public and won’t sell out to the MAN!


    Kai Guettner

  73. Al Taylor August 11, 2006 at 10:45 pm #

    I had a feeling google was up to something last January, when my conversions jumped through the roof. Then dropped to normal in February for no apparent reason.

    I have a one page site that promotes affiliate products, just a soft sell endorsement linked directly to the products page. 98% of the traffic was google adwords.

    I used to pay 5-10 cents a click and then the price started rising to over 50 cents a click, even on words with minimal competition. Eventualy I had to drop my most profitable campaigns.

    One of my most profitable sites is kicked to curb waiting. It still makes a slight profit so I haven’t killed it.

    It sucks to be at the mercy of such a giant like google. I have since dropped all my google adwords campaigns.

    I believe that google is trying to clean out their system now that they are publicly traded and found a way to do it and make huge pofits. How much did each of us pay to try to hang on to those profitable keywords? And how much are you paying now?

  74. Carl King August 16, 2006 at 8:50 am #

    I read about half of these posts and haven’t seen anyone state the obvious.

    Just wait until Google’s next quarterly stock report. When news gets out that revenues are way down, you will see Google stock go through the floor in a matter of hours.

    They will then surely understand who their real customers are.

    I would consider buying Yahoo and MSN stock shortly before the Q3 Google report is due to come out.

  75. Matt Connelly August 24, 2006 at 10:26 am #

    After reading through this blog, it amazes me how quick people are willing to quit, rather than roll up their sleeves, get to work, and capitalize on this opportunity! Yes, I said “opportunity” :-). For sure, we have been hit as well with the recent changes but have managed to regroup and get everything back to normal (using similar findings that Perry posted) and not surprisingly, we are seeing better numbers because of many people just “dropping out” of the game.

    I guess I shouldn’t be saying this, because for us it’s been a good thing overall. But after sitting on the sidelines reading this blog for the past 2 weeks I guess I finally broke ;-).

    It’s a philosphy I strongly believe in- when life throws you a curve ball, it’s your job to adjust and not bitch and moan about the changes you need to make. In the end this will only continue to root out those who don’t want to make the effort, leaving more for us who continue to push forward.

    That’s my 2 cents…


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