If you have much online experience at all then you are probably familiar with Google AdWords. You may even have used it to promote your online business or services. The service has certainly been very popular with website hosting companies and has helped drive qualified web hosting traffic for many years. Consider this, the current bid for the search term ‘website hosting’ is around $10 per click, and according to Google’s own data the term ‘website hosting’ receives around 246,000 searches per month.
Therefore, it is interesting to review the most recent information which has been made public by Google regarding the AdWords service. Here is a question: How many advertisers do you think that the Google AdWords service currently has?
According to information published in the New York Times Technology Blog, it is quite a bit larger than the company had been letting on. The number of advertisers that AdWords has attracted – and the average spend for each advertiser – has been a closely kept secret until this article. According to the Times, Google made a Securities and Exchange Commission filing on December 15th, which included the AdWords information. The filing was not available electronically, but only as a paper filing (which seems a bit odd for a technology company like Google). The Associated Press was the first to report on the information in the filing. The Associated Press report can be viewed here: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iTgONfr4UFxcbJTexvmmQl6U0j8wD95IJ23G0.
So what is the AdWords advertiser number? According to the filing, Google AdWords customer counts were: 89,000 in 2003, to 201,000 in 2004, 360,000 in 2005 and 600,000 in 2006.
2003 – 89,000 Advertisers;
2004 – 201,000 Advertisers;
2005 – 360,000 Advertisers;
2006 – 600,000 Advertisers;
2007 – 1,000,000 Advertisers.
Industry experts surmise that the current number of advertisers on AdWords is likely between 1.3 and 1.5 million. The report also revealed the average annual spend for each advertiser. According to Google’s own data, each advertiser spent just over $16,000 per year on the service.
So what of the website hosting industry and AdWords. During the boom times in web hosting it was not unusual or difficult to spend $250,000 per month on AdWords to drive traffic. When utilized correctly, AdWords yields a positive marketing return on investment. According to Stuart Melling, co-founder of website hosting company 34SP.com AdWords still has a place in website hosting advertising, ”AdWords is excellent to fill in gaps in our traffic and address product niches which we currently serve. While it is possible to run through a massive marketing budget with AdWords, a conservative campaign can yield positive results in the current competitive environment.”
The current success that AdWords is experiencing is also likely to continue. Consider these numbers, when viewing inside the AdWords interface at estimated bids the tools indicate the following prices to reach page 1 for the following keywords:
dedicated servers – $33 per click to reach page 1;
virtual dedicated servers – $27 per click to reach page 1;
managed VPS hosting – $13 per click to reach page 1;
data centers – $37 per click to reach page 1.
From the looks of these estimates and the recently released customer numbers from Google – AdWords has a long and prosperous future ahead. Particularly with regard to website hosting.