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Google Raises Adwords Minimum Bid Requirements, Advertisers in the Dark

Without prior announcement, Google raised the minimum bid prices of thousands of Adwords keywords earlier this month. Many keywords that previously required mere pennies per click now have minimum bid requirements from $0.20 to $20 or more in some cases, regardless of competition.

Adwords advertisers who have questioned Google's motives have received little more than vague responses from the search engine.

Google said the changes to their pay-per-click program are meant to improve “the user experience.” According to the search engine, “Advertisers who are not providing useful landing pages to our users will have lower Quality Scores that in turn result in higher minimum bid requirements for their keywords.”

However, even the most keyword-relevant landing pages—that is, the web pages linked to on Adwords ads—require higher minimum bid prices per click. Google has not addressed this, other than by saying, “We'd rather show one less ad than to show an ad which leads to a poor user experience.”

Many advertisers have closed their Adwords accounts after years of involvement and large investments in the pay-per-click program. Some advertisers are moving their ad campaigns to other pay-per-click programs, including those run by Overture and Miva.


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