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Pay-Per-Click Advertising Management

Paid search marketing is known in the marketing and advertising industry by many different names (and abbreviations).

Search engine marketing (SEM, which can include SEO), pay-per-click (PPC), search engine advertising, sponsored listings… the list goes on. And that’s before you start to involve the names of specific advertising programs and ad types, such as Google Ads (formerly Google AdWords), Google Product Listing Ads, Google Shopping Ads, and Bing Ads.


Cost Per Click, or CPC, means that you as an advertiser appearing on a SERP pay the search engine for each user’s individual click on your ad.


Cost Per Mille, CPM, means cost per thousand impressions. Unlike CPC, this is an advertising model based on the number of people who see the ad.


Pay per click, or PPC, is the most widespread paid search model and is often used to refer to paid search in general.


Search Engine Marketing, also known as Search Marketing, is a nebulous term. It is often used to refer purely to paid search advertising, but can also encompass SEO.

Google Ads

Google Ads (known as Google AdWords prior to July 2018) is Google’s own advertising network. It offers PPC/CPC and CPM advertising as well as site targeted banner, text and rich media ads.

By using Google Ads, you can show your ads on one or both of Google’s advertising networks:

  • Google Search Network, which encompasses any ads that appear on Google search results pages, including Google Search, Google Shopping, Maps and its various search partners.
  • Google Display Network, which covers any website that partners with Google, and other Google sites such as Gmail and YouTube.

With Google Ads, if you choose CPC, you can set your bid (the amount you’re willing to pay for each click) to manual or automatic. With manual you choose your bid amounts, with automatic Google chooses the bid amount for you within your budget. With CPC and CPM you can set your maximum bid amount


What are the drawbacks of using Google Ads?

Google is always rolling out new features and improvements to its products, so something that appears to be a major issue or oversight on Google’s part will often be fixed further down the line – though sometimes only after several years have passed.

For example, in 2013 Google rolled out Enhanced Campaigns, which allowed advertisers to target people based on time of day, location and device. However, with this update came an end to advertisers’ ability to target tablet users separately from mobile and desktop users.

Google argued that as many users were swapping out their home PCs for tablets, the behaviour being exhibited was similar enough to group both device types into the same category, and so desktop and tablet users were treated as one and the same.

Google Ads users complained bitterly, and finally in 2016, Google announced increased control over device-level bidding in Enhanced Campaigns, which included the return of tablet bidding.

If you’re used to advertising on Facebook, Google’s audience targeting will also seem much less finely-honed. Google allows targeting by age, gender, location and device type, which gives you several options to be going on with – but doesn’t come close to Facebook’s level of granularity.

Of course, the nature of search advertising (where the user shows intent and is more likely to be in the market to buy) is also different to Facebook’s social advertising, and so the results you’ll see from the two platforms will always differ. However, don’t approach Google Ads expecting to directly reproduce Facebook’s granular targeting.

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