Here’s a shocking bit of news: Google isn’t in the charity business, so of course Adwords is primarily a way for them to make money. After all, that’s what they exist for. Here’s another shocker: you, the SEO professional are not Google’s customer. Nor is the average Joe sitting at home their customer; the only people who can rightly be called “customers” are the people who pay for advertising on Google Adwords. Now, that said, no, I don’t believe that Adwords is just a way for Google to make money. Here’s why:
Let’s start with the obvious – Adwords is primarily a way for Google to make money, as I said above. However, notice that I also emphasized the word “just” in my final sentence. That’s because Adwords does provide real benefit to the Internet community at large.
Just ask the millions of casual SEO professionals who don’t invest in expensive services like SECockpit or slightly less expensive options such as Market Samurai or Keyword Niche Finder. I’ve written about all these products before and they are all great at helping you to narrow down just the right keywords for your needs. However, many people simply rely on the Adwords keyword tool, which, while not perfect does do an adequate job of providing good SEO research.
Another thing that makes it obvious that Google isn’t treating Adwords exclusively as an ATM is that they don’t accept just anyone to the Adwords program. They regularly kick people out whom they believe abuse their terms of service. Why would they do that if they were purely all about making money from the service?
Well, There Is a Reason
Okay, I set up a bit of straw man argument above because the fact is that there are good, profit motivated reasons for Google to offer free Adwords services and to kick people out of the Adwords program.
Free Services Generate Good Will and Sales
First, let’s start with the free services – no for profit company ever gives something away for free without any ulterior motive. Even this blog, which is offered free on a regular basis exists because we hope you’ll use Quantum SEO Labs for your professional SEO needs. It’s about attracting good will from the public at large and from potential customers.
Adwords operates on the same principle – by making their data available to the public at large, Google is also making sure that more people will turn to them to find paid advertising on the Internet.
Standards Encourage More Advertisers
Finally, the standards that Google employs are designed ultimately to lead to greater profits. This is because many advertisers wouldn’t want to use the same platform as say a website trying to promote legalization of marijuana to promote their own services. It simply makes good business sense then for Google to restrict their services to sites which they approve, because this ultimately drives profits.
The bottom line is this, Adwords is primarily a way for Google to make money. In some respects, it’s just a way for Google to make money because the focus is clearly on generating profits. However, that doesn’t mean that in the process of pursuing said profits Google can’t also do some good with Adwords.