Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
August 28, 200710:36 PM

Google AdWords Is The Gateway Drug To Online Advertising

I just took a quick look at the markets to see how Google is doing. The stock closed today at over five hundred dollars per share. I remember when Google went public. I remember how prior to going public there was tons of hoopla about how the company wanted to open on the stock exchange, etc_

I also happen to be one of the few people that were involved in the monetization of search engine advertising (this was years before Google even existed). When we started looking at the pay-per-click model (and most search engine operators thought we were poisoning the well), it almost seemed too easy and obvious - get people to pay based on if the customer finds their search engine result relevant - seemed simple and fair enough. I actually remember in the mid-nineties thinking to myself that this model was almost too easy.

Google took the germ of pay-per-click, tweaked it, optimized it and managed to bring their stock to that five hundred dollars per share position we're at today. Ironically, Marketers continue to struggle with pay-per-click campaigns. Granted, the space has grown and the competition is fierce, but if you look at the advertising landscape, buying Google AdWords is so easy and the results are so tangible, that it got me thinking: if Marketers are not sure what or how to engage in the Digital Marketing landscape, one of the quickest and most painless ways to test the waters is with a pay-per-click campaign. The challenge is that once your start seeing the results - in real-time - and you're able to optimize, virtually, on the fly, you're hooked.

Google AdWords is the gateway drug to online advertising.

I sure do love the Social Media space. I spend a bulk load of personal time thinking, Blogging and Podcasting about the possibilities of the Digital Marketing landscape. That being said, I spend the majority of my office hours working the fundamentals: strong Website development, email marketing and search engine tactics.

Search Engine marketing, like any other channel, is experiencing its own set of issues. I am aware of them and they are continually well-documented in Blogs that focus exclusively on Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing. I'm not here to debate the issues.

If you were looking for one simple thing you could do to better understand how Digital Marketing can affect your overall Advertising strategy, I strongly recommend dumping one hundred dollars into a couple of Google AdWords campaigns - just to see what makes people click and convert.

It's simple, it's fun and if nothing comes of it (in terms of business leads), at least you've grown by trying it yourself and figuring out what not to do the next time. I'm a huge proponent of doing these first campaigns around your own Personal Brand as well. This way, you're not busting the bank on keywords that command a heavy pay-per-click bid amount.

Heed my message: pay-per-click is a gateway drug to online advertising, and before long you'll be scrubbing databases and looking for a solid run of network media buy for your next campaign. You might even find yourself pricing out a build in Second Life before realizing that it was that one pay-per-click campaign that got you started.

Lastly, my passion for getting Marketers excited about this space comes from my background in the Search Engine business. I doubt this Blog would have the reach and affect it commands were it not for a strong understanding of how Search Engines work - from what content makes people click to how the Engines read and rank. It doesn't have to be technical (I'm not a techie at all).

I'm just passionate about words and how computers understand them.

By Mitch Joel


Comments Comments Feed
  • Posted by Dan Schawbel
    Mitch Joel

    Adwords are quite expensive if you are buying popular keywords. Google is slowly taking over the word, especially as they purchase social media website after website.

    Reply
  • Mitch Joel

    In 2006, 41% of Google's ad revenues (which represented 99% of its total revenues) came from Google Network Web sites. In other words, Google's stock price is partially (close to 41%) due to the fact that tens of thousands of Web sites (big and small) display Google ads (including text, banners and video) or plug Google's search box. Either way, Google shares revenue with its partner Web sites (either on PPC or CPM).

    When it comes to Google's Search Network things are pretty straight forward. For example, a visitor goes to AOL, searches for xyz and Google displays its sponsored links (only those that are opted-in to appear on Google's Network). Mind you, most people who are in a search mode will go directly to Google (instead of a "search powered by Google" Web site).

    On the Google Content Network side (which brings the vast majority of that 41% of ad revenue) things are a bit more complicated. Google uses its contextual advertising technology to display ads that are "relevant" to the content of the partner's Web site.

    Matching (key)words (and/or phrases) on an article against a database on AdWords (or any other platform) is not so complicated. What's really challenging is to figure out *why* a (or should I say "each") person is reading the content on any contextually ad supported page.

    The same goes for in-text advertising (no wonder Google doesn't offer this service yet). Although the "idea" of in-text advertising (as far as publishers are concerned) is to enhance user experience (and not distract him/her with banner or other ads) there's nothing more distracting than to "link" the word "Greece" to someone who was born and raised in Greece and reads about the recent fires. I mean, come on! I'm not reading the article because I want to book a hotel. But then again, the "contextually driven" engine doesn't know that, does it?

    And to all that click fraud... But that's another beast.

    Conclusion: There's still a long way to perfect search engine marketing

    Recommedation: Before someone dumps/invests their first $100 on Google AdWords I would recommend that unless they want to waste their money (at least $41) they consult someone in our industry.

    Full disclosure: I'm a certified Google Advertising Professional.

    Maki Papadopoulos

    Reply
  • Posted by CT Moore
    Mitch Joel

    It's great to see you finally drawing on your SEM roots here.

    Reply
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