Why Some Get Shafted by Google Pricing

First-Timers Pay More, Making Search Costly for Movie Marketers

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How much does Angelina Jolie cost? It depends on your history with her.

And that’s why for some movie marketers, who traditionally have promoted film releases by sending out the lead actors and actresses to appear on the late-night talk circuit, tabloid TV shows and the covers of fashion magazines, using search marketing doesn’t always make economic sense.

Consider the cost of bidding on the most popular actress of this summer’s film season. If you’re a first-time bidder on the term “Angelina Jolie,” it can run up to $5 per click — a little steep to justify for a marketer hawking a $10 movie ticket.

Why the high cost? A Google search ad is a factor of both the price a marketer is willing to pay for a keyword and the quality of the ad, which is determined in large part by how often users click on the ad over time and how relevant the copy is to the website to which it links. The higher the quality score, according to Google, the lower the minimum bid required for a particular ad placement.

Quality is a sort of currency, said Eric Druckenmiller, VP-media at Deep Focus, who put it this way: “Marketers that buy keywords and build that currency over time have theoretically ‘earned’ a discount on [cost per click] because of the relevancy they are bringing to the table.” (Cynics say the philosophy locks in long-term commitments, which guarantee spending over time and helps Google better project revenue.)

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