Google AdWords Express Gouging Prices For Small Businesses?

Jul 28, 2011 • 8:54 am | comments (4) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google AdWords

AdWords Express Money CPC

Google rebranded Boost to AdWords Express this week and along with that came huge price increases on the CPC (cost per click) side for some AdWords Express advertisers.

Local search expert, Mike Blumenthal, said in a Google Places Help thread that all of a sudden his CPC jumped 400% for his keywords. He said:

However at the beginning of July it appears that the cost of a click was dramatically and rapidly raised by a factor of 400% or so.

Two things occurred: The ad quickly ran through it monthly budget AND as a result it stopped showing

This seems to me like a quality score factor. Every AdWords advertiser knows that low quality scores can lead to CPC prices drastically being increased in order for the ad to show up in the search results.

The thing with this is that these ads are automatically created by Google, the keywords and sometimes the landing pages are automatically created and picked by Google. So I can't understand how Google would give themselves a low quality score and thus increase the CPCs of the keywords.

Maybe I do not fully understand but the response from the Google representative, Sheetal, did not answer Mike's question. So maybe she isn't sure?

Forum discussion at Google Places Help.

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07/28/2011 01:02 pm

How in the world do you run a campaign without at least some sort of max CPC?

Black Seo Guy

07/28/2011 01:44 pm

This does not surprise me at all because they are looking to make some return off those local searches. Because really there is not competition there in the first place. "Black Seo Guy "Signing Off"

Jeff Yablon

07/28/2011 06:02 pm

Barry, I gotta say that both Mike and you are guilty of incredibly poor communication on this one. First, I presume that Mike's CPC didn't automatically do anything, and as  Jeff points out in this comment :, if it IS possible to have your costs magically rise as much as is necessary to stay the big kahuna, then anyone who plays the game that way is an idiot.  ... Oh, wait. As for your comeback: "Every AdWords advertiser knows that low quality scores can lead to CPC prices drastically being increased in order for the ad to show up in the search results." ... I THINK you meant to say that if your quality score is low then Google might encourage you to raise your bid so you can convince (bribe) them to place your ad higher? Which is on the right track but not really how it works. Of course, since there IS NO 'really how it works' when it comes to relating your quality scores to your bids and your liklihood of getting high up, this is a moot point. Let's refer back to Mike's original hard-to-believe story and give Sheetal the benefit of the doubt.


07/29/2011 01:59 pm

Highly doubt its a quality score change...its more like Google trying rip off small business to their last penny... If you pay that much AdWords Express then might as well advertise on facebook which is at least 100% targeted by age, gender, status etc...

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