Companies Spending Too Much on Vanity Search Ads?

Jan 23, 2008 • 7:01 am | comments (3) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Pay Per Click Engines

A Search Engine Watch Forums thread is discussing if some companies are taking vanity search ads too far. Typically, the vanity search ads companies should own are for their own name and domain name. But some are going further. Some want to own it all and become synonymous with the product line they are selling. At what point is it too much?

For example, a search on computers returns ads from Microsoft, HP, Dell, Gateway, BestBuy, Circuit City, etc. BestBuy, Circuit City and their kind are buying the ads to sell. Microsoft, HP, Dell and Gateway might be trying to sell - but they might also be buying it for branding and vanity reasons. I don't see an Apple ad there.

How about the ultimate vanity ad for a search on god: Google Vanity Ads

Nah, I made that up but something like that would be kind of crazy.

In any event, do you think some companies are taking it too far with vanity searches?

Forum discussion at Search Engine Watch Forums.

Previous story: Daily Search Forum Recap: January 22, 2008


Eric Pender

01/23/2008 05:58 pm

My understanding has been that studies show that a combination of high organic and paid listings boosts brand recall more than just high organic or just high paid listings alone. So, theoretically, if increased brand awareness leads to higher purchasing intentions, I would imagine that the ROI for vanity ads could lead to an increase in profitability. But there's no way to be sure without concrete numbers.

Dan Perry

01/23/2008 05:59 pm

I think it's a learning cycle. 4-5 years ago, a large percentage of sites had the "Flash intro". Most of them figured out that it was a waste of time. Now it's vanity. When the lack of ROI punches them in the gut, it will shift more towards common sense.

Tom Slage

01/24/2008 01:38 pm

Eric, doesn't God already have some pretty good brand awareness? :)

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