“Don’t be evil” – unless it earns you cold hard cash.
That’s the message from Google, who have finally admitted the truth behind ‘improvements’ to AdWords, their flagship advertising service.
The last year has seen a number of ‘quality score’ updates to AdWords, each leading to many AdWords advertisers complaining of ever-increasing AdWords bills (See Graywolf, Threadwatch  , PPC Discussions, PepperJam & more).
Google have always dressed these updates as improving user experience (um, because users don’t mind seeing junk provided the advertiser paid well for the privilege?).
But for the first time, Google has come clean. They’ve admitted the motivation for the latest updates is purely financial:
Even if you have a high quality ad, if advertisers below you are not bidding very much, your actual CPC may not be high enough to qualify your ad to appear in a top position.
(NB. The Google share price graph is a snapshot from Yahoo’s impressive new Finance Charts}