Smart buying or Gaming the system?

There has been a lot of talk recently about Google and CPG marketers around the value of search as it relates to branding. However, as brands and retailers bid on the same keywords, it drives up the cost and ultimately hurts both parties. So, some companies have looked more closely at co-op search marketing where certain terms are off limits to various parties involved, thus reducing the competition and costs.

Other companies have tried to create search copy that does not elicit a click, searching for the ‘free impression’ but Google’s algorithm will reduce rank or remove completely if there is not enough click volume. After all, Google knows how they make money and will only serve ads that are likely to get clicks.

This question is also raised is in the ad network space. If I can buy inventory on a CPC basis and remove any call to action, it is likely that the CTR will decrease dramatically, thus extending the reach of the buy for branding purposes. I see this as smart buying. The current situation in the market allows people to complete this kind of buy, of course, with client approval. If the client is expecting clicks, you better have a prominent call to action, brand logo in every frame and other ways to increase the CTR. Overall, the industry is young and it seems like Google wrote the rules first, but that doesn’t mean that they will be around forever and that they are the golden rule for all online media. Until I see that this is truly gaming the system and unfairly punishing someone, I think it is a smart strategy for certain campaigns.

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One Response to “Smart buying or Gaming the system?”

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