3
Nov

The PPC Scam Run By Google And Yahoo

Pay per click search marketing is a complete scam as Google and Yahoo run it. I find it truly amazing that Google and Yahoo both make the bulk of their revenue from something that so many people continue to lose money on.

That’s right, PPC advertising is a loser for most companies and individuals that use it.

I’m certainly not a big time player in the world of PPC, not with the $7,203.62 I’ve spent on Google Adwords in the last 3 years or so. But I have spent enough time, energy and money to know that making any money with the traditional bidding on keywords model is an extremely difficult task.  I’ve run more than 30 ad campaigns, totaling more than 100 ad groups and bid on more than 50,000 keywords to date and maybe, just maybe I’ve broken even. I certainly haven’t made any profit to speak of, and I’ll bet the average pay per click spender like myself, which numbers in the tens of thousands are in the same boat. 

One of the most egregious problems I see with PPC from Google Adwords and Yahoo Search Marketing is that some advertisers are allowed to run apparently any kind of campaign they want, while the rest of the small time spenders are locked out of the game.

Here’s a great example:
I’ve been trying to run an ad campaign over at Yahoo promoting iPod downloads. Anything with the word iPod in it is subject to a review, so your campaign doesn’t start immediately. After three days of waiting, my reviewer at Yahoo informed me my ad needed to say I was promoting something that was iPod compatible. I complied and resubmitted my ads. Another review came back and said I was promoting a product that was not acceptable because Yahoo no longer allows advertising for P2P sites. Oh really, just take a look at a search for iPod movie downloads over at Yahoo and see what you find. There are at least 2 ads in this search that directly link to peer-to-peer file sharing sites and most of the rest are so-called review sites, which are scams, that link to these sites.

Somebody is obviously allowed to advertise these products, however it’s not me. Here’s part of the email I got back from the Yahoo person that reviewed my ad campaign.

“Advertisers are not able to advertise their website if it promotes P2P file sharing any longer. At one point, we did allow this type of website to advertise on the Yahoo! network. We have recently revised this guideline, so the sites you still see advertising may not have been removed as of yet. We will submit a sales complaint to have our editors review their site to ensure they are abiding by our guidelines. We apologize for any inconvenience this might cause.”

Does that sound like a big fat lie or what? As long as the playing field isn’t level and some advertisers get special privileges such as this and Yahoo and Google continue to lie about this, there will be black hat affiliate marketers and SEO’s trying to buck the system. Power to them!

Alan

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One Response to “The PPC Scam Run By Google And Yahoo”

  1. Only thing I can say about Adwords, etc., is that for some normal businesses it is a great tool. I use it to advertise my business Brevard Web Hosting. Cheap, reliable, and only takes minutes and gets me exposed (potentially) on 1000’s of sites.

    Since it is just a straight-forward cost of business for me (advertising), I don’t have to worry so much about conversion rates, etc. I’m not selling more ‘clicks’, in other words. I’m selling a service that people either need or don’t need. I accept that I could lose $100/month and get “nothing” to show for it (in terms of new clients), but I might get 1 client every 3 months from it which would more than break-even.

    But you are right that people probably don’t really track their results as closely as they should. Including (gulp) me. But, it’s throwaway money (so to speak) for me. Sort of like a billboard on the interstate. You have to advertise or you don’t exist.

    In 30 minutes, you can get your site noticed by 1000’s of websites and millions of visitors to those sites, all for a few bucks (or less) per click. Super! One person I know puts a phone number on every Adsense ad so he gets some calls, believe it or not, that haven’t even yet clicked on the ad and cost him his $2.20 click fee. He actually fields calls from people who have never seen his website. They say “I just saw you ad on such-and-such website (content network site)”, apparently blissfully unaware they COULD click on it and have it take them to his website. He just calmly replies “Go to Google.com and type in xyz.com” and they do it. Of course, while I should do this, I don’t have an 800 number yet (like he does), but at least I could DO it. A click-through affiliate business, I don’t think, could use this strategy since their whole income is based on folks coming to their site and clicking something or signing up for something.

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