7 reasons why you shouldn’t use Google Adwords
Google Adwords seems to be the ubiquitous marketing tool that everybody uses. Google is everywhere, so the assumed reach also translates into results. Or at least, that is the perception.
We think that Google Adwords is overrated. And that startup marketers needlessly send inordinate amount of time, effort and money on Google Adwords without getting real results.
Why do we think so? Here are 7 reasons why you should not use Google Adwords:
1. Users trust organic search
Think about it. How many times did you actually click on the search ad? Even though these days, it tends to occupy 50%-70% of space? Studies show that users are wary of promoted products and will prefer organic search results more than promoted adword links.
2. Clicks are increasingly expensive
How many years ago was the last time you could buy clicks for a few pennies? Can you even buy them in the tens of cents right now? Mysteriously, regardless of the time of the day, Cost per click seems to be extremely high and rising. I will explain possible reasons in the later part of the blog around rising costs.
These high costing clicks are proving extremely detrimental to small businesses. In fact many have called Google, the destroyer of small businesses
3. Text ads are possibly the worst kind of advertising formats
Text ads are the worst possible ad format. They are the expensive text messages of the past era on old cellphones in the age of video calls.
As a business, the value that you get with text ads is limited. The best case scenario is that the user is interested in that product at that time and buys your product.
If not, you have no chance of driving results with text ads because they are not able to push the message strong enough except in the right context.
4. Mistakes can cost you dearly
Forgot to turn off ads?
Forgot to set a daily budget?
Forgot to switch off mobile ads even though your site site is not mobile optimized?
Forgot to only enable it for search?
All of this is going to cost you dearly, because Google will continue to spend on your ads as much of these settings have to be explicitly deactivated.
5. Google maybe charging you for traffic which it shouldn’t be charging for
Disclaimer: I am quoting this based on my experience and having seen publishers conduct fraud or make mistakes. Verifying this is up to you.
Google’s charges to advertisers are a one way street. Your card gets billed, no matter what. If Google’s algorithms detect fraud, invalid traffic or issues with publishers., they instantly block publisher accounts. Sometimes these accounts are frozen with hundreds of thousands of dollars. There are many lawsuits against Google regarding publisher lockouts.
The worrying trend is, while Google detects such fraud, it does not provide a mechanism to not charge the advertiser or refund the advertiser.
Would you like to pay for traffic that was not supposed to be charged to you? Would you like to pay for fraudulent bot clicks? or Repeat clicks? Of course not.
But because Google is the 800 pound gorilla in the room, no one can even question them on these practices.
6 Google runs a monopoly in advertising that leads to high ad prices
Google is a buyer, a seller and a marketplace. To help you understand, imagine if Ford manufactures, sells (as the dealer) and happens to be the highest buyer (for a taxi business).
Would you be able to buy Ford cars at competitive prices? More so, if they had 80% of the car manufacturing capacity, 60% of buying power and 85% of all dealerships?
When Ford decides to buy some of its own cars (presumeably for another of its businesses), it raises prices. When it decides to make more profit at its dealership business, it raises prices. And it can also raise cost of manufacturing, raising the final price to the customer, at a point that simply does not deliver value.
Google, is today in such a dominant force in advertising. They buy, sell and manage their advertising through their own exchanges (Google Adx).
This dominating position combined with lack of transparency means only one thing, continued climb of cost per clicks and increased cost per acquisition costs.
7. Studies say that Google Ads are useless.
In March 2013, eBay issued the findings of its own internal study on Google search ads. Its conclusion? For major brands, household names, search ads don’t have any value.
Because Google means advertising, the Atlantic asked whether Internet advertising works at all?.
In conclusion, while Google Adwords may be a dominant force of advertising, it may or may not work for your business.
My final assertion is that, Google Adwords has become a lot less effective for small businesses.
This blog originally appeared at Startup Marketer, a blog dedicated to help startups with their advertising strategies.
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