Tuesday, July 18, 2006

SEO while Paying the Search Engines

Over the past year I have really been pushing the envelope on Search Engine Optimization and Pay Per Click programs. Now I am not a hevyweight by any means. Just in the PPC arena there are players that drop $10,000-$50,000 a day. I am more like $10-50 a day! As far as natural or organic results, I just do not have the pages being pursued enough at this point to make dent in the world. I have been playing with my ProfessionalASPNET.com blog for my name. You can look up 'Chris Love' on all the major search engines and I am on the first page on each one. I was no where to be found before I started trying, so I am pretty happy with that. Other than Google, it keeps getting a little better in each search engine. Google is such a battle.

Google is trying so hard to eliminate SPAM from their search engine, not just the organic results, but the Adwords results too. What this has really done is to reduce the relavent results from a search and increase the amount of junk in the index. A good example was a search to find some information to help me clean the fule line in my Briggs & Stratton lawn mower yesterday. I am sure there are some relavent sites to help with this, but they were not to be found on Google. I would say about 75% of the results on the first two pages were just MFA scraper sites with nothing inteligable on the page, just Adsense ads.

Recently Google announced that landing pages for Adwords Ads needed to be relavent to keep the minimum bid low enough to make it worth advertising. I thought this might be good, until it slammed my FindMyGolfCourse.com ads. For example I have pages on the site for each city in the country to list the golf courses in the city. So let's take 'Dallas Golf Courses' as a keyword to target. That ad will send the visitor to the following page; http://FindMyGolfCourse.com/q/tx/dallas/golf-courses.aspx. Voila a list and a map of golf courses in the Dallas metro area. I can not think of a more targeted landing page than that. Well for some reason Google thinks so. 147 Golf Courses, the current weather in Dallas and a MAP generated by Google of the first 15 courses in the list. I had my minimum bid set to $0.05, and was actually paying $0.02 per click. Now the minimum bid is $0.4 for all 38 targeted keywords for the ad.

I think this is a good illustration of a massive mistake by Google with their only revenue stream. From what I can tell (WAG) they may have just cut about 60-70% of the annual revenues off. So my advice is to dump any Google Stock you have, unless they fix their algo for AdWords. The thing is, many others, including me on some other sites are seeing min bids jump from $0.05 to as much as $100 per click. What a joke!

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