Buying Adwords Ads Could Now Be Detrimental To Your Wealth
It used to be that buying Adwords was an easy way for you to get traffic to your website. Those days are over. In 2011, Google implemented some new "quality control" measures to allow users to block your ads. At least you're still only charged on a "per click" basis.
How Adwords Used To Work
In the good-old days, you could buy an ad on Google's ad network. The ads would be displayed on the homepage on the right side of the search results. Sometimes, ads would appear above the organic search results.
These ads were, and are, clearly defined and separated from the organic search results. For ads above organic results, the ad shows a different color background. Last year, Google decided that users should be able to block adwords ads.
Users can now click on "why these ads" to be taken to an ads preferences manager. From here, users can choose to block ads. Not good. You're putting your ads at risk for being blocked by users.
It used to be that "block all (name of advertiser) ads" was displayed right in the ad. How terrible. That made it very easy to get rid of ads. When Google launched "Search Plus Your World," they removed this option from search results. You can still block ads by logging into your Google account, however.
Users have an incredible amount of choice over what ads they see now. Not only do you have to make it through Google's quality control, you have to make it past users' quality control. One option you have is to take the risk and by ads on Google. However, if you don't want to risk your ads being shut off, you can always buy traffic through smaller ad brokers.
Buying traffic through an advertising company is sort of like returning to the pre-Google days. You get to choose the ad you want to run, and you can choose how many people see that ad. Users can still elect to skip over your ad if they don't want to see it, but at least you aren't blocked outright (as long as the user doesn't have ad-blocking software installed).
It's generally a good idea to diversify your traffic sources anyway. This way, you're not relying on one company for all of your visitors. Unless you have somehow figured out a way to make money without having anyone visit your website, visitors are the lifeblood of your business. If you lose them, you're sunk.
Aside from being blocked, Adwords has become wickedly expensive. You have to meet certain quality guidelines before your ad even appears. Likewise, Google can indirectly control the substance of your ad in an important way: if your ad does not show keywords that relate to the landing page for the ad, your ad may not show or it may be awarded a low quality score.
This makes it hard to really differentiate yourself from your competitors. Look:
Is there any real reason to choose one company over another in this lineup? The ad copy varies a little from company to company, but everyone is pretty much saying the same thing here. To be fair, not all ad lineups look like this, but there are plenty that do.
With ads like this, the colors are all the same. The layout is all the same. Everyone is basically on equal footing except for the lucky advertisers listed above the organic search results.
The only way to really differentiate yourself is to use a different ad platform.