Sunday, February 5, 2012

no charge?

I wanted a mains charger for my sat nave system - and so put the relevant term into Google. Top of the ads was one from -  which means they had bid most to be there. So I clicked on that link and was taken to the site - see below ...

£2.99 seemed to a fair price, so I thought I would order one. However, when I had added the order to my basket I clicked on the 'delivery and account information', but guess what? They wanted my delivery and account information - there was nothing about how much the delivery was going to cost me. And to get that information I would have to complete the form shown below.

So I went to ebay where I bought the same product for £2.49 including delivery.

I would file this example under 'there is still work for me'. Good e-commerce sites gave up on this prcatice years ago - if, indeed, they ever started to doing it. I was telling organizations about telling customers the full cost of products in 1997. And yet companies still do it. Ho hum ...


  1. Can I point out that just because a PPC ad appears at the top of the listings, it doesn’t mean that they paid the most to be there. Ads are ranked by something called “Ad Rank” and this is a combination of Maximum Bid and Quality Score so if the company in question has a higher quality score than the competing ads it may just be able to rank above them.

  2. If I wanted to be pedantic I would point out that I actually said 'bid most', not 'paid to be there' because, of course, it costs nothing in nobody clicks on the link. But you are right in saying that there is more to being at the top of the ad lists than bidding the highest amount of money per click. Perhaps I should have said 'put in the best bid'?

    However, my point was that any organization listed in that position had made the conscious decision to 'pay' to be there rather than being on the organic listing. In this case 'pay' means that the organization has committed the resources to developing an ad and completing the necessary process – as well as building its quality score [not an over night accomplishment] in order to simply 'compete' for the top ad spot.

    To go to all that effort and then throw it away by making respondents to the ad register in order to find out the postage costs is a waste of that effort.

    And 'anonymous' … if you are one of my students of old – well done for learning about online advertising. If you are one of my current students – you can teach the session on online advertising :-)