Google's AdWords program is now running full steam. Are any of you using it yet?
This program allows you to purchace advertising space in the Google search results.
Google will continue to display search results as they always have. However, to the right of the search results you will find an advertisement that has been purchased for the keyword or keyword phrase that was typed into the Google search field.
There is an initial charge of $50 to set up your account and you specify the maximum amount that can be charged to your credit card. Additionally, Google offers a "try it before you buy it" interface that allows you to estimate your cost and evanuate your ad before you buy.
The cost to advertise is $15CPM.
If anyone wants more information on how the program works simply visit Google at http://google.com or to jump directly to the FAQ go to:
I think you keyed in on the right word when you said "return." But the thing about Google and GoTo.com is that they are very different of programs.
GoTo.com charges based on click-through. Google charges based on impression.
On GoTo.com you can get an "impression" on the first page if you bid high enough to be in the top ten search results. For many search phrases in competative markets, that can mean quite a bit of money.
I just checked GoTo.com for the term "search engine placement." The cost to show up in the #1 spot right now is $2.84. Of course, if nobody clicks on your link - you've spent nothing - but then again, you've gained nothing. But if you get just 10 click throughs for that term and you are listed at #1 you just spent $28.40. For ten clicks!!!!
Now, let's think about this a little farther. Unfortuantly, at least a portion of the folks who click through on GoTo.com's top links are not really interested in buying a product. They are other folks who are also jockying for those prized positions on GoTo.com and want to see who their competition is.
I'll give ya a real life example. I sell Web Position Gold on my site. I typed in "search engine placement" just before I began to type this to see what would show up - and what do ya know? There at #9 was some guy who bid $1.01 to have his listing for Web Position Gold show up in the top ten for the phrase "search engine placement."
Out of curiosity, and because I sell WPG myself, I clicked on the link to see if his WPG site was any different than mine. Unfortunatly, that cost the guy $1.01 and he didn't get anything for it....
Anyway, the above is admittedly a poor attempt to use apply some numbers to GoTo.com. But I think it demonstrates some things you need to consider before spending your money there.
The cost to be ranked near the top for many search terms (not all) is very high - and it's difficult to estimate the quality of the click-throughs that you are getting. Moreover, even if you get the click-through, you still can't calculate if it was a good return on investment until you figure out your conversion rate - that is click throughs to actual sales.
Now, let's look at Google. For $15 I get not a listing in the search results, but a banner advertisement placed adjacent to the link that ranked #1 for my search term - and they display that banner 1,000 times.
I am currently running an AdWord on Google for the term "search engine placement" and so far, my click through rate for that paticualar phrase is 1.70%.
1,000 x 1.70% = 17 click throughs for $15! And if one of my competitors wants to click through on my ad just to see my site, let em click away. It does not cost me one penny! Whooohoooo!
So, let's compare that:
Cost for #1 spot on GoTo.com = 2.84
Cost for 17 click throughs = 48.28
Cost for 1000 banner ads placed beside #1 spot on Google = $15
Cost for 17 click throughs at 1.7% CTR = $15.00
Now, that's a fairly big difference, and admittedly everyone's results will vary. If you have some non-competative terms you may be able to get some great click through pricing on GoTo.com that just blows Google away. But if you are in a competative market (and who feels like they aren't these days) you are going to have to do some testing on your own to determine which is the better service for you.
And again, these are very basic numbers. We could go into much more depth, but I think they make a good point.
And lastly, before you can figure out if either of these two programs are worth your while - you'll have to figure out if your click throughs are actually converting into sales. We all love to have high page views and rank highly in the engines. But if the click throughs, high rankings, and banner ads are not converting into a profit on our web site all we are really doing is amusing ourselves.
Anyway, that's just IMHO. And as Dennis Miller might say,..... I could be wrong.
I'm still in the process of re-vamping my TWWW site, but as far as the SoulCysters site, the key words for me were all less than a 3 cents...most of mine were a penny for the 1, 2, or 3 position, and I average 4000 click throughs a month, with 30 people a day joining my mailing list, 15 new people joining my Message board, and 5 user generated new pages...that's good for me...
My Google ad...I've had thousands of impressions, and only 5 click throughs...
I can't say that I disagree with you there one bit. On GoTo.com I bid on as many keywords and keyword phrases as I can think of that are in the pennies per click range - and that can run those terms and phrases up into the hundreds of possibilities.
It's a great way to draw in fringe traffic.
My problem is that even after I've exhausted the common misspellings and obscure keyword phrases I'm nowhere near 6 or 7 thousand keywords that honestly describe the content on my web site. And just as a personal choice I only optimize for keywords and keyword phrases that are in, fact, relevant to my content in some meaningful way.
That's not to say that your's aren't. So, please please don't get me wrong. That is not what I am saying. I'm just saying that if my web site is about something like "standardized banner ad sizes" I'm not going to bid on a keyword phrase like "billboard advertising" (another promotion medium) just because I can get it for a penny.
It's completly irrelevant to the content on my web site - even though both of the subjects deal with advertising.
Another problem has to do with the way I deal with customers. If I have a customer who runs a billboard advertising business and they hire me to optimize their site, that's great. But they're not likely to be too impressed when I report to them that while they rank #48 on Google for the search term "billboard advertising" they are #1 over at GoTo.com for the term "standardized banner ad sizes."
Anyway.... that may be a poor comparison. Perhaps if I had more time I could think of something better. But I think it demonstrates the point.
So, in the end perhaps the answer is that you should use Google AdWords for those prized and highly competative significant terms that are just too expensive on GoTo to be profitable. And you should use GoTo.com to pick up fringe traffic.
I'm not 100% sure either way. I'd guess that the answer lies somewhere in between the two. But all fo this sure makes for some interesting conversation. And one thing is for certain. With the entrance of Google AdWords, everyone will need to re-examine their advertising budget at GoTo.com