AdWords clients accuse Google of money grabbing

26 Feb 2008

Google’s pay-per-click and contextual advertising service AdWords is set to extend a beta version of a new feature called Automatic Matching, which will see customers who don’t use up their AdWords budget having the leftover sum directed into what Google says are relevant search areas.

Google sent out invitations to customers to participate in the beta run of this feature, which begins on 28 February, saying they had been selected for the campaign.

“Automatic Matching automatically extends your campaign’s reach by using surplus budget to serve your ads on relevant search queries which are not already triggered by your keyword lists through analysing the structure and content of your website and AdWords campaigns,” explained Google.

The internet search giant gave the example of a site selling Adidas shoes, explaining that Automatic Matching would automatically target the client’s campaigns to queries like ‘shoes’, ‘adidas’ and ‘athletic’ but also to less obvious ones such as ‘slippers’, which the AdWords system itself has deemed of benefit.

While Google promises not to exceed the customers daily budget, blogger and SEO (search engine optimisation) expert, Dan Thies, claims on his blog that Google is essentially “offering you the exciting opportunity to bleed every penny of your budget every day, advertising against keywords that you didn’t want to bid on.”

The claim made by Thies and some other SEO consultants is that Automatic Matching would waste your budget surplus on irrelevant keywords that probably wouldn’t lead to a click-through at all, only to Google’s financial benefit.

By Marie Boran