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The accused: Google (the biggest website in the world). You may have heard of them.
Their plea: They make money without being evil.
The alleged crime: They make money while being evil.
The evidence: The introduction of Google AdWords Enhanced Campaigns.
Background to the Case
If your business is currently running AdWords campaigns, you should have seen Google’s new message telling them that their account will be upgraded to Enhanced Campaigns in a few months’ time.
Towards the middle of 2013, everyone on Google AdWords will be forced to change to Enhanced Campaigns- whether they like it or not.
Advertisers previously had control over what type of device their ads were destined for.
Soon, your campaigns will not have the capability to target distinguish between desktop and tablet (big difference in some industries). However, they will have some control over display on smartphones using “custom bid adjustments”.
The Case for the Defense
Mobile is here to stay: We should all be creating campaigns for all possible devices. All our client has done is make sure we do. Our ads will now appear all over the place and that’s the way it should be.
Context: Our client has made it easier to adjust for time of day, location as well as device, so it’s now possible to target your pizza campaign towards hungry workers within a 3 mile radius of your business at 7pm on Tuesday night.
New ad extension features: There’s an abundance of things we can do now that we couldn’t before, like showing the right ad extension on the right device. For example, showing a click to call extension to those looking at us on mobile.
It’s simple: Creating individual campaigns to target individual devices was fiddly and tiresome. Our client has made it easier.
Money? Evil?: Our client only wants the best of their customers: they’re trying to help us make money by reaching out to audiences in a relevant way, but if they happen to make some money along the way, who does it hurt?
The Case for the Prosecution
Loss of control: It’s now difficult for the unwary to run smartphone-only or desktop-only campaigns. There are workarounds using those “custom bid adjustments” but running campaigns using percentage adjustments will inevitably cause confusion and over-spending for struggling business people.
Damned inconvenience: PPC managers will now have to go back to the drawing board and restructure all their existing campaigns, basically because the accused has changed their minds again.
Motive: Profits: plain and simple. Recently, Google has experienced a hit in profits. We believe that this loss of control will result in higher CPC costs for innocent business people and more moolah for the multi-squillionaires at Google (PPC Hero have spoken about this). CPC costs for mobile and desktop are relatively low at the moment but who’s betting they stay that way?
Evidence: This is all new, but there’s one case study over a short period of time that shows an increase in tablet CPC costs
Verdict: The jury’s still out. (You knew that was going to happen, didn’t you?)