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Class Action Lawsuit? Unfairness of Google Checkout Badge

Discussion in 'Google AdWords' started by JZ2K, Jul 28, 2009.

  1. #1
    I am hoping for some feedback here in the forums and see if anyone else is experiencing the same problems I do.

    We are a small internet based company selling digital goods (game cards, software, etc). Our monthly spend with Adwords is $25000.00. Not large by some accounts, but not small either.
    SEMrush
    On 60% of our exact match keywords, our Quality Score is 10/10. Over the course of 2009 up until June, our CTR% was a very steady 20% on average and we maintained on average position 1.3 on our exact match keywords.

    My bid on average per click was a steady $1.50 on average.

    That is until one of our competitors decided to use Google Checkout and put a Checkout "Badge" on their advertisement. No wording change on his text ads, just an addition of the Checkout Badge. He put his ad right below mine, at position #2.

    Up until then, all the competitors in our field didn't use Checkout.

    Within 7 days of this "badge" showing up on the searches, our CTR% dropped from 20% to hovering roughly at 10% to 12.5% depending on the day, steady from June until now. This has not only hurt our conversion rate, but actually, but our bid per click by a significant sum.

    That's right. Our cost per click as a result of a reduced CTR% from 20% to 10% has bumped our cost per bid to $1.95 a 23% increase!.

    That is simply outrageous for someone to be able to squat in the middle of the top 3 searches for the keywords with a Google Checkout badge and completely ruin everyone else's CTR% and cost the entire space cost per click to go up because of him.

    This not only have forced us to get Google Checkout ourselves, and not because we want to, but cost us significant sums of money to rebrand our site to take a new form of payment.


    As most of you know, your ad text that you write is the only differentiator besides bid price to make you stand out on a search. So a big colorful icon next to your ad of course will give it just that edge over everyone else.

    Even google touts about how much more CTR% you will get if you put a checkout badge on your site.

    But this is such an aggresive anti-competitive thing to be forced down a merchant's throat. If I choose not to use google checkout I have to pay 23% more for a click ?

    This is not only a class action lawsuit waiting to happen, but an anti-trust case to happen.

    For those of you who are in eCOmmerce and advertising with adwords and there are google checkout badge competitors in your keywords, take note that they are stealing your CTR%s like crazy and costing you a TON more $ per click as a result due to your lower CTR%.

    I hope to generate some discussions around this to see what other people's opinions are. For us a pretty decent paying advertiser, we work hard on our text wording and bids daily to make sure it stays competitive, and the text and willingness to pay X $ per bid is something as an advertiser we can control, but for the Checkout badge, we can't, unless we force ourselves to use Checkout. To me, that seems very unfair that I have to pay more just because I chose not to use Google checkout.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2009
    JZ2K, Jul 28, 2009 IP
    SEMrush
  2. JZ2K

    JZ2K Peon

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    #2
    I want to also add that after our drop in CTR%, our Quality Score of 10/10 did not change as it is still in a pretty high 10%+ range. However, due to a competitor having a higher CTR now from the Badge, everyone elses CTR% in the top 4 would have dropped, not just mine. Having 10/10 QS does not mean much when you are in a competitive field of course, because everyone has a 10/10 QS on those keywords, therefore the per click cost $ 's only differentiator becomes your CTR%

    Therefore all competitors ended up paying more per click than this guy with the badge. That is a significant amount more paid to Google, and a significant financial disadvantage to anyone not using Google Checkout badges, and Google seem to have done a slick job in hiding this for awhile.
     
    JZ2K, Jul 28, 2009 IP
  3. knownowppc

    knownowppc Peon

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    #3
    Not only google, but you'll see similar on yahoo too. They own the real estate of their respective search engines and want a bigger share of market as well. Not sure if this will really play out to be a law suit, although I do agree with your analysis.
     
    knownowppc, Jul 28, 2009 IP
  4. frankMeyer

    frankMeyer Peon

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    #4
    I've been on the opposite end of the Google Checkout badge. We implemented Google Checkout to one of our e-commerce sites and CTR jumped UP about 10% and CPC dropped about 10%.

    Conversions rose only a small amount but it did make a huge impact on our bottom line.

    In your case you should just go ahead and start offering Google Checkout. Link your Google checkout account to your adwords account, get a couple sales and that badge will start appearing on all of your ads.

    I bet if you do this your CTR will rise and your CPC will drop also. I understand with some sites implementing Google Checkout could be difficult but I bet the benefit will outweigh the cost/time involved with implementing it.

    Keep us posted because I would like to hear how this turns out for you.
     
    frankMeyer, Jul 29, 2009 IP
  5. JZ2K

    JZ2K Peon

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    #5
    It seems Google did not take a liking to me posting this. Google has removed this post from all organic searches. It is now nowhere to be found on Google properties anywhere.
     
    JZ2K, Aug 1, 2009 IP
  6. tvmatt

    tvmatt Peon

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    #6
    .. you want to sue Google because your CPC went up and CTR went down because they used a feature that you're able to use too? That's almost like suing Google because a new advertiser put an ad on the same term, or because one of the advertisers changed their ad text.

    This is one of the dumbest posts I've ever seen. No lawyer would be willing to take this on.
     
    tvmatt, Aug 2, 2009 IP
  7. ChrisBa

    ChrisBa Well-Known Member

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    #7
    interesting..
     
    ChrisBa, Aug 2, 2009 IP