17 October 2008
Filed under Google
Google announced this week that is it to reintroduce allowing gambling advertisers to use the Adwords advertising program, which it had previously removed in summer 2007. The official line from Google is that..
“Google AdWords allows online gambling advertisements to target Great Britain (England, Scotland, or Wales) as long as the advertiser is registered with the Gambling Commission and provides a valid operating license number. Advertisers based outside the UK and within the European Economic Area who wish to target online gambling ads to England, Scotland, or Wales must be licensed to advertise online gambling in their respective country.”
I am wondering the motives behind such a move, is this a change in moral compass or simply a move by Google to shore up their share price which has fallen nearly 50% this year (this despite recent profits increases of 25%). I am erring towards the latter. Pretty much everything Google do is designed to make them more money, and you have to admit, they come up with some pretty amazing products down the years.
So what does this means for PPC agencies? This could offer some welcome increase in click spend, many clients have been reducing their budgets in the face of slower consumer spending, although overall PPC spend is supposed to be increasing year on year (23% predicted for this year).
When working on casino/gambling clients in the past the CPC’s were highly competitive, around £4.00 per click for generic terms and that was on Yahoo. I am sure there will be some heart stopping CPC’s to come from Google to put the shivers up all PPC account managers. At the time of writing “casino” was £1.44, according to the keyword tool, no doubt this will rise very quickly!
This really is bad news for Yahoo, revenue from gambling related PPC advertisers must make up a good chunk on their overall revenue from PPC. Part of me thinks this is hard on them, and then half of me thinks “well they should have got their act together”. For example, why is there no offline editor? I think this would MASSIVELY increase advertiser’s use of Yahoo. Half the reason people are put off with Yahoo is that it is too cumbersome and slow to use - optimisation becomes a chore.
Another group who you thought would be raising a glass to this decision is the affiliate community. However according to the A4Uforum, it has not gone done well with some members as it seems as though only the merchants (casino’s) will be able to advertise. This ties in with the notion that Google doesn’t really like affiliates all that much, despite trying to become the biggest affiliate on the net! But surely more advertisers means more revenue?
It will be interesting to measure what happens and not just online. Gambling addiction is a growing problem in the UK, the fact that the main search engine with a 90% market share has reintroduced gambling related advertising will only serve to exacerbate this issue.