The $1000 Keyword

Welcome back! I hope everyone had a great Labor Day weekend.

Last week i was going through keywords for an attorney in Southern California and I noticed this.

Screenshot 2014-08-23 15.51.45 Screenshot 2014-08-23 15.51.59

I’ve been working in Adwords for a little while, and I’ve seen some things that are pretty odd, but this definitely topped the list. Not to mention, there was a second keyword in the account demanding a $1000 first page bid.

I called Adwords and asked what they thought, but my the Adwords specialist I spoke to was equally stunned.

So, why does this happen? More importantly, how did my keyword get bid up to this level?

Well, there are a few factors. The biggest one you’ll see is competition with other advertisers. If someone bids up a keyword to the point where it becomes more beneficial for Google to show their ad, even if they have a low quality score, you’ll have to raise your bid. You can see more about how the ad auction works here.

If we’d had a 5 or lower quality score, I would be less shocked, but $1000 for a click is a pretty big number. I often see $50+ and even up to $200 per click. It’s shocking to me when I see lawyers bid up to this level, but my guess is there’s an industry-wide misunderstanding of how the technology works and what a click is really worth.

Ultimately, it’s hard to say what happened. The keyword pictured above was reset and the $1000 first page bid estimate dropped off (though it remained for a different keyword with a lower quality score), but I’m still wondering what happened.

If you’ve ever seen something like this happen, send me an email and we’ll look into it.

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