Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Google taking its eye off the long-term

Everybody knows that Google isn't evil. Well at least that they definitely say they're not.

They do seem to be bowing to the demands of capitalism recently though and have ruffled a few feathers in the process.

For anyone who missed it, Google has been playing about with its adwords mechanism.

Automatic matching now means that you bid against keywords that you didn't actually mean to buy (if you don't turn it off after Google turn it on.) That might be a good thing for your ROI and it might not, but would you be happy if you bought a spot in Coronation Street and ITV ran one in Emmerdale too because it has the same audience, then billed you for both? Thought not.

Adgooroo are also reporting that Google upped the number of ads per search by 57% in the last quarter of last year. Turning on the taps = more revenue for Google, but it's a very different strategy to Larry Page's statement that:

"we'd be better off showing just one ad [per page] - the perfect ad."

All of this, on its own, probably won't do any harm. It's not like I'm foretelling the downfall of Google but it could be likened to the brand manager who runs 'one more promotion' to boost sales before the year ends. Do it enough times and you start to devalue your brand.

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