Paid Search without Keywords? What the…?

2010 was the most volatile year for paid search since Google introduced AdWords Select in 2002.

The changes have been so fast and furious, and so all-encompassing, that most advertisers have taken refuge in one of three strategies:

1. Ignore them and keep soldiering on

2. Catch snippets of the changes and wonder what they mean

3. Jump onto a new platform or feature without really grokking the implications

I want to suggest a fourth way (thanks, Gurdjieff ;) – pay attention to the few folks out there who are able to see the big picture and translate it into actionable priorities (or, if you prefer, prioritized actions).

alex-cohen of clickequations.comAlex Cohen of ClickEquations is one of those rare fellows. While I was reading his January 18, 2011 article on The Dawn of Paid Search without Keywords in Search Engine Watch, I kept getting the feeling, “I better tell my students and clients about this.”

I got Alex on the phone this week, and interviewed him about the article, and much more. We got into a rollicking discussion of AdWords complexity, advertisers competing against Google for listings, how Szechuan restaurants in Narbeth, PA can compete in the new AdWords, why the 2003 Oakland A’s were twice as smart as the 2003 New York Yankees, and why AdWords 2011 is now a game of subtraction rather than addition.

I learned a lot. You will too.

Download the audio here, then come back to this blog post and add your comments and questions.

As I mention in the interview, my agency,, uses the advanced reporting features of ClickEquations, as well as our natural charm, rugged good looks, and marketing expertise, to redistribute wealth to our clients from their competitors and from Google.

If you’re spending more than $1000 a month on AdWords and you’re still doing it all yourself, you’re probably leaving a lot more money on the table than we’ll cost you. Give us a shout for a free account audit followed by a zero-pressure sales call.

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2 Comments. Leave a comment or send a Trackback.
  1. #1 • Phil said on November 2 2011:

    Hi Howie, just thought you’d like to know that the link to the interview seems to be broken.

  2. #2 • Howie Jacobson said on November 3 2011:

    Hi Phil,

    Thanks for the heads-up. It’s working for me right now – possible Audio Acrobat went down for a bit when you tried to listen.

    Give it another try, and let me know if you have better luck.