(From Inside AdWords) We have, however, been working on an improvement to the top ad placement formula that will soon offer advertisers more control over achieving top placement while increasing the quality of our ad results for users.
That sounds promising, doesn’t it? Who wouldn’t want to improve their chances of appearing at the top of the Google AdWords heap?
So what is Google’s solution to help achieve this for advertisers? It’s a change in how ads will be ranked. Instead of relying heavily on actual CPC, they are going to switch to using maximum CPC. Here’s the explanation:
Actual CPC is determined, in part, by the bidding behavior of the advertisers below you. This means that your ad’s chance of being promoted to a top spot could be constrained by a factor you cannot influence. By considering your ad’s maximum CPC, a value you set, you will have more control over achieving top ad placement.
In truth, it won’t play out like this. This is Orwellian double speak at heart. Google is in business to create more profit for its shareholders. If the board of directors says “sell more ads” or “make more revenue from the ads you do sell” then guess what? We’re going after the big bucks. And this is what this is all about. Google wants to improve its profits.
Nothing wrong with that except that changing the way it ranks PPC ads is going to fare better for Google’s profits than for its advertisers. Here’s why:
you will have more control over achieving top ad placement. – No you won’t. This is double-speak for “the highest bidder wins.” Who do you think will be the highest bidder? I’m guessing it will be those with deep pockets.
Google has, more and more, moved toward being a shill for corporate influence. Its search results reflect it, its business relationships reflect it, and now its advertising model will reflect it. By maintaining a focus on actual CPC versus maximum CPC, Google ensure a level of competitiveness between the big money players and the small guys – corporations with deep pockets and small business entrepreneurs. This has been the essence of the Internet’s character from the beginning and has continued to be the essence of what Internet marketing has been about all along. Create an atmosphere is sheer competitiveness based on crude, raw financials and you’ll get an online version of cut-throat Wall Street wizarding. And that’s what Google is playing to.
Is that bad? Some people might think not. But I’m betting this type of advertising model is going to lead to more and more expensive ads, people bidding for keywords based on CPC alone and eventually you’ll see a decline in quality of PPC ads while Google improves its profits. Or am I just being paranoid?