Google Adwords Rip-Off
Every business wants a 1st place ranking on Google. More leads and more business, what business wouldn’t be tempted by that.
Before Google’s advertising program ‘Adwords’ appeared on the scene, creating a Google friendly website and targeting the free organic listing was the only option. In stepped Adwords, this offered businesses the opportunity for a page 1 ranking in no time at all, albeit a paid option.
(The adwords listings appear in the red boxes, the organic listings in the Google box)
Now Adwords management companies can deliver first page results and plenty offer a great service in doing so.
However over the last couple of years I’ve spoken to quite a few people and clients that have been offered Adwords management and 1st page rankings from companies claiming they are somehow associated with Google, and are authorised Adwords resellers when clearly they aren’t. The sales pitch is misleading and the service that they offer although it sounds like a great deal isn’t quite as good as it seems.
The pitch usually includes:
1. First page on Google permanently over the duration of the contract
2. Unlimited clicks for the traffic that will go through your website
3. 24 hour, 7 days a week listing.
4. Buy in bulk keyword offers
Number 4 is a falsehood, and if you’ve a daily budget then the others are clearly untrue as well.
I was recently speaking with someone who ran a campaign with one of these companies.
He was originally offered 5 keywords for £99 pounds for the 1st month and a small set-up fee of £30. For good measure an additional keyword was thrown in and the set-up fee waived.
The cost of the clicks came out of the £99, which was a nice sweetener. But hold on isn’t there an obvious conflict of interests here? the less clicks you have the more money they make.
The keywords were also very low competition and the number of search also very low.
I had a look at the report and what’s interesting is that atleast 4 of the keywords were pure rubbish, not just long tail keyword but non-existant terms that would never drive more than a couple of people to the site over the course of a year. The 2 major keywords according to Google estimates could be in position 1-3 for 4p, and with only 4 or 5 ads showing for those terms a top 3 placement isn’t going to break the bank. In fact if there was more than a few pounds of traffic through the pay per click adwords I’d be absolutely amazed.
When I had a look at the report, I noticed that nowhere does it mention clicks, it actually mentions impressions!
In the print in the email with the report it states ‘Impressions are the number of people that have actually seen your advert in google.co.uk’.
So when someone does a search on one of those 5/6 keyword terms that counts as an impression even though there’s no click thru to the site. It’s all bull.
With impressions for the month just over 100, even with a click thru rate of 5% that’s 5 clicks. Looking at Google Analytics for the main term and the only one that has a change of driving any traffic at all there was just 5 clicks, and the time spent on the website was minimal.
The report also noted that the terms were exact match, and that extensive keyword research had been conducted (ha ha).
It sounds like a good deal to an unsuspecting client but it’s Limited Adwords without the keyword research, campaign management and accountability.
I understand that for a £99 pound Adwords campaign the company can’t promise the earth, and that they have their costs, but atleast some amount of honesty and visibility might not be too much to ask for. The value the client was getting was also very poor.
You can find a list of authorised Google Adwords Resellers here.
Interestingly when you conduct a search on the name of one of these companies a listing comes up for from Google to ‘use an authorised’ reseller.