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The truth about BP buying internet search terms

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posted on Jun, 15 2010 @ 08:05 PM
It is widely reported that BP has been 'buying up' keywords relating to the oil disaster so as their site appears within the first-page search results for paid listings. There needs to be some clarification on this. In a past life I worked with Google Adwords and pay-per-click advertising for my employers' website. The way it is being reported by the media infers BP own these keywords. This is not true.

You, me any member of ATS can compete with BP via Google Adwords and have ATS or your site appear next to BPs without too much effort. The way the system works is this. Your site is filled with keywords and phrases which are the search terms internet users plug into their favorite search engine to find your services. Those links you see at the very top of the search page are called sponsored links. This is where BP is appearing when you search 'gulf oil spill' 'oil spill', etc.

For your website to appear in these listing, you place monetary bids against keywords relevant to your site. There is a maximum cost-per-bid of about £50 from memory. There are two factors to getting your site on to the first page. One is your sites' relevance and the other is how much you are willing to bid. There are other variables which I won't go into, but suffice to say these are the two primary factors.

Now, I used to work in telecommunications and keywords like: Business phone system, voip, mobile phone etc. could run at £10.00 a keyword. I used Google Adwords keyword tool to look at the average cost of keywords for 'deepwater horizon', 'bp oil spill' and 'oil spill' and guess what, the average cost for 'deepwater horizon' is £0.04, 'bp oil spill' is £0.04 and 'oil spill' is £1.01.

In conclusion, those keywords associated with the oil spill haven't been 'bought up', but the keywords were never really searched for to begin with. As a consequence, very few competitors were using them. Any member could market their website, use oil spill and BP related keywords and have their site appear on page one quite cheaply and easily.

This is just food for thought and remember to question what the media tells you.

Edit to say: Google Adwords, keywords, bids etc. can be quite confusing, so please ask me any questions you may have. I just want to point out that the keywords were never used in a competitive sense before, thus BPs ease of advancing their site to page one on paid listings. The core keywords have pence bids on them currently and no direct competition. ATS, want to go one-on-one with BP?

[edit on 15-6-2010 by LarryLove]

[edit on 15-6-2010 by LarryLove]

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