Saturday, January 14, 2006

Why advertising in traditional media is better than paid search

Tom Foremski has it exactly wrong:

Companies can sell their products and services with a far lower cost of sales these days, because it is easier than ever to reach their customers directly through search engine marketing and blogs.

The problem with Google Adwords is that advertisers have no way of predicting what sort of copy might be associated with their ad. For example, let’s take one of my favorite blogs, The Housing Bubble. This is a blog devoted to exposing what the author sees as an overvalued real estate market. The advertising, driven by word association, is almost all real estate brokers. I can’t imagine a worse place to sell a house. If I were a display advertising sales representative, I would take a screen shot of The Housing Bubble blog to every realtor in my market. It is one thing to have your advertising run beside the occasional negative story. It is quite another to have it run on a blog devoted to slamming your industry.

Henry Copeland’s Blagads offers buyers better control; but it is time consuming to pick out the right combination of blogs to get the requisite amount of exposure. For the same amount of time you could pick out a combination of newspapers and magazines that would offer far more exposure.

As I have suggested elsewhere, news organizations would be well advised to offer their own version of paid search. This would offer a lower price than banner ads or paid links, but greater value in terms of placement. Traditional media is going to do just fine as soon as they adjust their business model.

Everyone else had a completely different take on this.

Elizabeth Albrycht
Jeremy Pepper
John Wagner
Novell Open PR
Travel PR Blog
Horn Group Weblog
Michael Sommermeyer
Morgan McLintic
Steve Rubel
DJ Otter Creek
Richard Edelman


John Wagner said...


I know a couple of small business owners who swear by Google advertising ... they say it delivers motivated, ready to buy consumers right to them.

Although the point you raise is a valid one ... but I think some people think it's worth the risk.

Alice said...

Clearly Google advertising is effective, or it would not have taken off. I just think we don't know enough about it to judge its overall effect.