I’m currently running an AdWords campaign for my new project wheniskeynote.com. Since that web site is strictly non-commercial and won’t ever generate any revenues I have to bear the costs for the ad myself. It’s more like a test to learn how Google AdWords works and how it could be useful to me in future projects.
The CPC (cost-per-click) for the keywords I use (permutations of something like “next apple keynote”) is around 50 cents, which is pretty high considering that my ad is the only ad ever showing up in searches (I’m not using the content network btw.) using these keywords. Google’s answer to this particular situation is rather cryptic and not really comprehensible for an AdWords client. Fortunately, the CPC for my campaign is still far off from keywords like “auto insurance price quotes”, “consolidate graduate student loans” which sell for a whopping $50 per click on average!
Interestingly, one of my keyword combinations which was already running successfully for a few days suddenly showed a 20% CPC increase. My ad wasn’t even shown in searches anymore for that combination because the CPC now was higher than my maximum default bid. The reason why I suspect a CPC manipulation is that there’s no other bidder for this combination. If I increase the CPC to the requested bid level, my ad is showing up again but still the only one showing up. Needless to say that I won’t be bullied into bidding for artificially increased CPC. Someone at Google should redesign this revenue-generating algorithm in a way that isn’t THAT obvious :-)