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Google AdWords: Drawbacks
Jun 16, 2004

If you read the article Google AdWords and Its Benefits, you now know a bit about how Google AdWords works and why its attractive. Now its time to consider the other side: why some merchants step away from Google AdWords.

Too Complex

For one thing, people complain that Google AdWords has become far too complex. The flip side of the presentation of over 100 lessons (plus quizzes) to help merchants learn the program is that it takes over 100 lessons to explain the details of the program! As time passes, more rules, regulations, and features are added and there's even more to learn.

In addition, webmasters who are unaware of the complexity may jump in with too much money too quickly and lose a fair amount before they figure out what kinds of adjustments need to be made.

Too Time-Consuming

Webmasters complain that the constant attention and adjustment to try to the best return on investment or the best click through rate leeches their time. Others lose their time for a different reason: because the find Google AdWords addictive, and—as with any other addiction—they can't tear themselves away.

Click Fraud

Click fraud is when someone with no intention of making a purchase deliberately clicks on a pay per click (PPC) advertisement. The Freakonomics Blog on NYTimes.com reported the MediaPost figures for the fourth quarter of 2007 as showing that overall click fraud was 16.6%, with the click fraud rate for PPC advertisements reaching 28.3%. If over a quarter of your visitors are fake, then the persuasiveness of AdWords and similar programs reaching a focused audience who are already interested in your product unlike other types of advertising seems rather less persuasive.

Another way of viewing those figures: If you spent $5000/month on AdWords advertising in the fourth quarter of 2007, you threw away $4245, if those click fraud figures are accurate. Observers have pointed out that even in the lawsuit AIT vs. Google in which Google was sued for not appropriately defending against click fraud, Google—which makes its money from advertising, is the arbiter of when fraud is found. Analysts have pointed this out as a fairly clear conflict of interest.

Automatic Matching

Certain folks warn of the dangers of ceding control of your advertising campaign to Google. Much as broad match and automatic matching offer to use your "surplus budget" to serve your ads in new places may sound appealing, the feature is criticized for losing the things that humans can do that automation can't (creating valuable negative keywords, for example). It also seems that the feature may be enabled by default, so this article has all rights reserved and is copyright by 100 Best that you have to know about it and turn it off in order not to have it take over.

Price per Click Rising

Newcomers to the world of AdWords have found minimum bids on some keywords to be out of their range. This keeps certain people out of the marketplace and conflicts with Google's policy as indicated by its Quality analysis: if the point is to give users the best value for the money, how can this be determined if certain vendors are ruled out of the picture from the get-go?

Related Web Tools:
Google AdWords Review

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