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  • NegBox 1:37 pm on April 26, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: API Fees, ,   

    I Hope Google Chokes on an Antitrust Investigation Soon 

    For some reason, I’m slowly becoming more and more bitter towards Google. It all started nice and well – I loved the Prince Valiant air of the early days. These days, though, I’m going deep into Negative Sentiment Override and I’m seeing everything they do as as either self-serving, manipulative or aggressive.

    The real trigger here is that I’m pissed they charge “API Fees” to advertise with them using anything but their crap. If askjeeves.com charges API fees, they screw themselves. If lycos.com charges API fees, they screw themselves…. When the dominant (90%+) market player charges API fees, they screw YOU. Catch the difference?

    Their latest Blah post includes:

    Introducing preferred AdWords API pricing
    The Google AdWords API allows developers to build applications that interact directly with the AdWords platform. Agencies and developers of search engine marketing tools use these applications to manage large AdWords campaigns more efficiently and creatively.

    Today, we’re announcing preferred AdWords API pricing. This gives qualified Google AdWords Certified Partners who manage client AdWords accounts free use of the AdWords API based on managed client spend. To apply, agencies must have an active agency profile page and be compliant with the AdWords API terms and conditions. We’ll evaluate applications for preferred AdWords API pricing based on the criteria listed here.

    We hope preferred AdWords API pricing will encourage agencies and developers to experiment with new strategies, expand the functionality of their tools, and build more comprehensive client campaigns without worrying about increased costs. You can learn more about preferred pricing and how to apply at the preferred AdWords API pricing site.

    What does this mean? The ones with the big bucks get the big breaks – that isn’t news for anyone, is it? It just doesn’t fit the image of the goody-two-shoes Google: Rob the little advertisers to give the big ones a free ride – all under the auspices of lower cost of maintenance of the relationship and larger business scale.

    Oh, so you guys are looking for feedback? Here it is: Stop screwing the small advertisers! I’m starting to regret having given them the power I gave them, even if it was just an ounce of power to a Kiloton machine.

    • Chris Zaharias 2:15 pm on April 26, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      You got it all wrong, my man. Small advertisers' growth in spend over the years has been so anemic that it's the single biggest impediment to Google's continued growth. The 3rd-party SEM tool providers have never been able to apply their tool to SMB campaigns because the API charges have been prohibitive. Properly-built SMB AdWords campaigns have extremely high API cost / ad budget ratios.
      My recent post Is The Pareto Rule An Understatement in SEM?

    • Mike Chiasson 2:57 pm on April 26, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Hmm I took this one as leveraging an intelligent SEM's account to share the CTR pricing on to their other customers.

      For example if you have an ad that has a 8/10 quality score, it will cost more cpc than a 10/10. Part of that determination of quality score is CTR.

      Since SEMs probably nail more 10/10s than a small business owner, chances are their client's ad can be rated a 10/10 with the increased CTR as opposed to being say a 8/10 from their regular account.

      Still bullshit. but thats the way everything works to give incentives for people not to do it themselves. Saves google time from having to respond to emails (not like they do anyways). Health Insurance companies have done the same thing for years, you get it yourself its more expensive than if you signed up with a group of young people.
      My recent post The March Numbers

      • negbox 6:05 pm on April 26, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        Mike, I think we're talking about different stuff – The API fees are what they charge to access your campaign using third-party tools – Like Tracking202 Pro. Unless I misread their guidelines, they already use quality scores to move your cost-per-click up and down. I seem to remember a video from Google explaining that.

        Your conclusion is still right, though: Google wants to scale by not spending that much money supporting small advertisers.

        Step back for a second and think about that model… Its the exact freaking opposite of the successful Web 2.0 businesses, which finance themselves with the top of the food chain and enable the long tail. You can't entice the "Long tail" advertisers by slapping them with fees!

  • NegBox 4:55 am on March 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: API Fees, , Monopoly   

    Google charging “API Fees” to access AdWords is the bullshit near-monopolies can pull off. I wouldn’t put it past Microsoft to charge API fees if their search bazaar ever gets a little bigger than Tinkerbell. It may not sound like much – $0.25 per 1,000 calls or so, but a call is so insignificant my piddly account racks up fees quite fast – forget near-real-time reporting, I’d go broke. Freaking bastards.

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