How Keywords are Used as Reputation Management and Google Ads First Stop

Image designed by Gregory Jackson

Before the BP oil spill, the company spent about $57,000 a month on search advertising with Google, but during the spill that amount increased to $3.59 million in June alone, according to Advertising Age, an Ad and Marketing Industry news company, owned by Crain Communications.

What is a Google AdWord?

Google AdWord is Google’s premier advertising product producing $23 billion in ad revenue for 2009.  AdWords charges by a pay-per-click (PPC) model.  Click thru rates (CTR) average 8 percent for the first ad, 5 percent for the second one, and 2.5 percent for the third ad.

There is a $5 activation fee and a minimum cost per click (CPC) of $0.01.  This means that if your ad gets clicked on, you will be charged a penny/click.  Further, the minimum cost per thousand impressions (CPM) or when a search delivers your ad 1,000 times is $0.25.

When considering keyword advertising you can go to Google AdWords select <Costs and Payment>, then click <Estimate Keyword Costs>.  As an example, search “oil spill” and Google AdWords cost estimator provides a keyword chart with global and local search numbers.  The keyword “oil spill” captured 1,830,000 global monthly search impressions for BP’s Gulf oil spill crises.  Other results are also displayed.  The chart shows relatively low interest in “oil spill” keyword searches for the oil spill in Italy (February 2010), and the oil spill in Texas waterway contained (January 2010).  The Gulf oil spill comes ashore (at point F) and gulf oil hits the 4 million gallon mark (at point E).  At point “B” BP had spent $93 million in total advertising for the Gulf oil spill.   At point D, President Obama promises the American people that he will fight the BP oil spill.  This point in BP’s damage control hit the highest interest in oil spill searches.

BP purchased other AdWords as well including; “oil spills”, “oil spill cleanup”, oil spills in the ocean”, “oil spill containment”, “oil spill response”, “live stream”, “oil spill pollution” and others.

Reputation Management through Google AdWords

BP’s keyword search advertising was minimal before the oil spill.  As concern mounted, their search advertising using AdWords, responded to web searches related to the disaster.

Reputation management online utilized broad match keywords including a combination of “oil” and “spill” that would trigger a BP search adand video search ads.  The resultant ads placed by BP redirected web surfers to BP videos and other company prepared content.

Google AdWords other than for crises management

Other big spenders on AdWordsfor the month of June (2010) included AT&T (for the iPhone campaign), Apollo Group (the parent company of the University of Phoenix), Expedia (an online travel site), eBay and Amazon.  All spent over $5 million each on search advertising.

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ABOUT the data-  Google Insight search data does not represent absolute value, but interest over time from data aggregated over millions of users with minimum thresholds.  Google Insight data of a downward line as a keyword loses popularity throughout a specific period of time, but does not necessarily mean absolute traffic is decreasing.