Google Admits Price Gouging

Google share price: January 2007 - August 2007

“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 [1] [2], 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.
[Full article]

(NB. The Google share price graph is a snapshot from Yahoo’s impressive new Finance Charts}



  1. Brian Boyd says

    Richard, You wrote this article in 2007, I hope you can find a chance to update the Price Gouging Graph. Like blood thirsty vampires, Google entities are working together to suck dry every small businesses, the very people who have help built their empire. What will it take to reveal the ugly truth linking Google monopoly on Organic Search (not so organic anymore), Adwords and Youtube. This billion dollar industry may have friends in Washington, but this bullying can not be allowed to continue which is hurting competitors, businesses and the average consumers.

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