Google Adwords — contacting clients directly — hmmmm

by Stephanie Rewis on October 4, 2005

I found this to be rather odd. I have a realtor client that is finally, after I advised it over two years ago, ready to try using Google Adwords. My recommendation would have put him ahead of his competitors instead of playing catch up — but better late than never — I guess.

Strangely, the same day I was hooking him up with the company I recommended he use, Page Zero Media, he got a call from a sales rep at Google offering to, “Help him take his business to the next level.” Huh?

Call me naive, but I had no idea Google was in the habit of contacting people directly. Thus, doubting the call, I asked my client to let me check it out more thoroughly. Of course you know what I did — I googled the guy. ;) Sure enough, he was in the Google listings (in the Sponsored Links, no less) with a link to a page about him. He's an industry expert in real estate and local. OK, so he's real. There's even a picture.

But my goodness, does this bother anyone besides me? I mean, Google is a search engine (and of course lately, lots of other things) — but I think of it as having more to do with algorithms and engineering than sales. Thus, we have a whole culture of consultants and agencies that create and manage campaigns as their business. The create, tweak and measure — and many of them know their stuff. I've watched clients that didn't want to spend the money on a specialist use “a web person who can do adwords,” and the campaign was a flop. All their click-through money was wasted since it didn't convert into sales.

So we now have Google doing cold calls. Are they going to create and tweak a campaign? Are they going to measure the results and advise on the copywriting and landing pages? Will they continue to optimize the account to make it more effective? Who do they favor when they're creating campaigns for several clients in the same industry competing for the top spots/click-throughs? For you as a client, is your effectiveness simply the luck of the draw based on which account rep you get? Does that decide who wins the top spot/best copy and click-throughs? Do you want to hand Google your conversion data on a silver platter? What happened to that neutral person with only your best interests and success in mind?

I'm concerned at some of the recent moves at Google. Are we creating a monster? Am I overreacting? What are your thoughts?

And to answer the question that may be going through your mind — no, my client is not using the Google Adwords guy. We're going with Andrew Goodman's company. They rock. ;)

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

aardvark October 4, 2005 at 11:42 pm

You sound as if YOU really believe a “specialist” is required to use Google Adwords. Is it now common for “a web person” to have such lacking intelligence and knowledge? If you find someone or a business “specializing” in such, steer clear. You’d be wasting time and money. I suppose that holds true even if that person is “affiliated” with Google. I recommend reading the faqs, refer your clients to the same so they know what to expect.

Stef. October 4, 2005 at 11:53 pm

Thanks for the response. Yes, I’ve read the FAQ’s and yes, I’ve even run a campaign. That said, there is a lot more to it than most web developers have the time or inclination to put into it. I’m not at all saying that you can’t learn how to do it. I don’t have the time (I specialize in other things) — nor have the people that I’ve watched do it — the ones that just decided they could “figure it out.”

I definitely disagree with the “steering clear of people that specialize” comment though. I know a couple of them fairly well and there’s a definite science to it. Especially in the realm of copywriting, developing specific pages for the user to land on, and measuring results so the campaign can be adjusted and improved — made more profitable.

I honestly can see very little positive in letting google handle it though. ;) YMMV.

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