Wow, Google’s Quality Score is really starting to bite hard on some PPC budgets. I’ve just taken a call from Auctioning4U, a UK-based firm that helps people sell goods on eBay, and they are reporting that average click costs have risen by almost 2,000% in just one week.
Trevor Ginn, Head of Consulting at Auctioning4U, told me that one keyphrase has jumped in price from 12p to £2.75 in the last week.
In another example, the price went up from his default of 30p (which paid for an average Adwords position of 1.3) to £5.50. “Feel my pain,” he says, not without reason.
Naturally, Trevor is wounded and reeling, and puzzled as to what he’s done wrong. He’s not really done anything wrong. It is simply a case of Google shifting the goalposts.
Yup, this PPC hyperinflation is linked to Google’s newly-enhanced focus on ad quality. It could be a case of too much, too soon.
Rand Fishkin’s SEOmoz.org is a great website for anybody interested in SEO as it contains search marketing news, research and analysis. It also hosts a number of tools that can help marketers, including a new ‘Page Strength’ tool.
TechCrunch reports that Bebo has spurned the advances of UK telecoms behemoth BT, which is rumoured to have offered more than £300m ($552m) for the social networking site.
However, a senior BT executive told E-consultancy that this is nonsense.
Our BT source said: “We can state categorically that BT has not had any discussions with, or made any approach to, Bebo. We're not sure where this rumour came from.”
UPDATE: Bebo's Xochi Birch also emailed me to say: "BT has not approached us and we currently have no contact with anyone at BT." She also has no clue about where the rumour came from.
Last week we reported that eBay has banned Google Checkout, something that is likely to backfire on the auction giant, which owns rival payment processor PayPal.
Silicon has today published a timely analysis of why eBay is more likely to suffer than Big G.
Meanwhile, I have been looking for the smoking gun that might force Google to retaliate, leading to the possible banning of eBay from its search results. Hard to imagine it could come to that, but who knows?
As a non-coder I've never felt 100% geek, despite what some of my Luddite friends think. However, as this picture shows, I am getting ever-closer to that magical figure (and to inheriting the earth, which would fulfil a small ambition).
Yes, I've received this month's geek merchandise from Valleyschwag!
Britons made £8.5 billion last year by trading goods online, according to a new survey. The research, by Orange Broadband, said UK citizens made an average of £341 in 2005 through auction sites such as eBay.
Google CEO Eric Schmidt has played down calls for the search industry to tighten its grip on click fraud by declaring the problem "self-correcting".
Quoted by ZDNet from a speech at Stanford University earlier this year, the Google CEO said clickfraud could ultimately be solved by market forces, and that PPC firms should "let it happen".
Wow, what a week for customer services. First we had the now-infamous Vincent Ferrari call to AOL. Then we noticed a press release on E-consultancy that painted a bleak picture of online customer services among retail companies.
Vince wanted to cancel his account and having heard “the nightmare stories” decided to record his phone call to AOL Member Services. Some 21 frustrating minutes later he finally managed to achieve his goal… not entirely helpful.
International fame followed after the AOL tape went viral – the combination of Digg and the New York Times channelled 700,000 visitors to Vince’s site in rapid succession, forcing him to temporarily remove the recording (still offline).
If you didn’t hear it you can watch him being interviewed about his AOL experience on TV via YouTube – the interview has excerpts from the cancellation call. Too funny, unless you're an AOL executive...
Bang bang, eBay has - rather unsurprisingly - shot down Google Checkout, preventing people from using it to pay for auction items, according to a post on AuctionBytes.
The Guardian’s Jack Schofield has written a thought-provoking piece on the power of Google, specifically referring to the case of a website called sprayonmud.co.uk which was delisted from the almighty search engine in December 2005.
Jack asks whether it is ‘fair’ for Google to act as judge and jury in these cases, even suggesting that it should finance an ‘independent ombudsman’ to address complaints. He warns: “If Google’s management don’t find a way to temper the company’s power, legislators will eventually do it for them.”
The whole article seems based around the weird notion that Google owes you something. The fact is that Google owes you nothing, and everything you get from it is a bonus (either by accident or design).