Back at the turn of the century (seems like only yesterday!) Google was just a new kid on the block…

We had dozens of small search engines, and top of the heap was Yahoo. There were also the likes of Alta Vista, Lycos, Hotbot, Ask Jeeves, etc, etc, etc.

Paid Search was an emerging market, and we were there right from the start, as one of the UK’s first ever Pay-Par-Click agencies. The paid search results on all the search engines were provided by 2 companies in the UK – eSpotting and Overture:

espotting overture

Interestingly, these two rivals had to compete fiercely for the most popular search engines’ business, resulting in eSpotting providing the paid search results for and Overture for!

The model was simple – the advertiser who pays the most gets the first position, the next highest bid gets the second, and so on. However, this led to “bidding wars”, with advertisers constantly trying to outbid eachother, until it became too expensive, everyone dropped their bids, and the whole process started again.

Zap Marketing (as we were then known) employed very clever software to automate the bidding process – we could set the parameters (minimum and maximum bids, desired position range, bid increase over nearest competitor, etc), and would adjust our clients bids every hour, 24/7. Our servers were making hundreds of thousands of bid adjustments every hour!  Not only did this mean that our clients maintained good positions, without ever having to bid higher than necessary, they were also saving money and time.

What we were doing was so effective that eSpotting and Overture started to refer their advertisers to us directly!

Moreover, traditional advertising agencies didn’t understand the importance of the digital marketplace, and didn’t enter the fray for some years.

Then, in the year 2000, along came Google, and changed the whole industry…

adwords logo


Until then, the only thing that influenced your position was your bid. This meant that big companies and organisations could afford to outbid and squeeze out the smaller competition, even for keywords that were not hugely important to them. Google wanted to make paid search more ethical, and introduced an algorithm which took into account things like the quality of the website and the relevance of the searchterm to the advertiser. Now it became more important than ever for advertisers to employ the services of PPC professionals, because Google Adwords was simple to set up, but very difficult to master!

Knowing how to structure campaigns and manage them effectively is now a hugely complex skill, and requires years of experience. It’s now possible, with the right knowledge, to appear above your competitors, but pay less than them!

The Google Adwords model has evolved hugely over the years, and continues to be improved and enhanced. If you’d like to find out how professional PPC management could help your business, contact us today or call 07712 432327

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