Using PPC to cause Anarchy!!! – The Power of PPC

Posted: 21st February 2012 by blackhat in Black Hat PPC

When people think of PPC, they usually think of it as a marketing channel for businesses to promote their products and services. And 99% of the time that is the case. The reason being is that these companies are making money off the back of PPC advertising.

But there is another side to PPC. The idea being that it can be used in a way to public broadcast your opinions to thousands of people.

What are we talking about?

If you take away the idea of trying to get an ROI from PPC, then you can see how you may want to spend money on Google to spread a message. Google has such a big reach now that there is plenty of opportunity for people to bid on keywords and use their ad copy as a message to get their point across.

So what?

Have a real think about this…

This could lead to absolute anarchy if left unregulated!

Let us give you some examples…

Suppose you were a football (or any sports team fan) and wanted to annoy the opposing fans. For example, you could target the keyword ‘Manchester United’ with this ad:

Man United PPC AdStirring up trouble between local rivals Manchester United and Manchester City. And it’s not as if the keyword ‘manchester united’ doesn’t get any search volume…it gets 100,000 of local monthly searches in the UK alone…

manchester united ppc adAnd there is no competing PPC ad on the keywords, so you can see in Google Traffic Estimator (above) that you would get very few clicks and a very low estimated cost to appear on that term (although Google Traffic Estimator has probably got those figures wrong.)

Another example could be topical with a recent news story. One thought that came to our mind was the recent dismissal of Fabio Capello as England Football Manager (ok, we are guys, we think about football a lot!) You could post an ad on the keyword [fabio capello] along the lines of…

Fabio Capello PPC Ad

But it doesn’t have to be for a person, a team or a company. You can go after any keyword that has search volume and put your own message out there. One example we could think of was the keyword, ‘i am bored‘ which people type into Google all the time and has thousands of searches a month with no competition on the keyword…

I_am_bored traffic estimator

Where you could post whatever ad or message you wanted as a cheap and effective way of getting your message out there…

I am bored PPC adHehe! :-)

Point to note: we didn’t actually set up any of these messages on any of these keywords although we could easily have done. We know that the Quality Score of these ads will be relatively low as the relevancy isn’t great, but you would still get a QS of 3-4 out of 10, which would be enough for your ad to show.

We’d be interested to hear others point of view on this matter…

1. Do you think PPC will be used in this way in the future?

2. Do you think that there should be some kind of regulation? As currently, anyone with a £50 AdWords voucher and a laptop can set up a message on any keyword and broadcast their thoughts to the world (all they have to worry about is excessive punctuation or capitalisation at the moment!)

3. We were trying to think of the any really bad ways that this could be used to cause anarchy? What keywords people would target and what message they would show in their ad copy? Any thoughts?

Leave us a comment below.

Brought to by Black Hat PPC.

[Postscript: we thought we'd share with you the link on how to get your £50 Google AdWords voucher as well, just in case you thought we were making it up that you could get them!]

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  1. Realize A Lot says:

    Advertising of this type is already going on but the problem is purposiveness. Beyond the promotional £50/75€/$100 it’s hard to justify broadcasting random thoughts to the world. But if you are making a jab, make it count!

  2. tim says:

    Well if you can monetize these terms…congrats! Connect the dots between the keywords and your ads and you make bank…

  3. Paul says:

    Wouldn’t there be a problem with trademarks using something like Manchester Utd?

    • blackhat says:

      Yes, if they have trademarked their term with Google. But in the case of Man Utd they aren’t bidding on their brand so Google wont uphold their trademark (if they have trademarked it) so its open for anyone to bid on. You can also change the text in your ad copy to ‘man utd’ which could get round the trademark as well.

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