Does “GoogleClick” Spell The End For Bid Managers?

This week’s announcement of Google’s new AdWords Preferred Cost Bidding may have been a whimper compared to the bang of its DoubleClick acquisition news. But the two events may be related in a way that could spell trouble ahead for the paid search bid management companies like Atlas, Omniture, KeyWordMax, etc.

Preferred Cost Bidding allows advertisers to set an average price they would like to pay per click (or per thousand impressions)—and then AdWords works automatically to ensure the click price hovers around the preferred bid price. It’s an alternative to arbitrarily setting bid prices high—the Maximum Bid we’re used to—and rewards savvy advertisers who have figured out their acceptable ROI and conversion rate, such that they know exactly what a click is worth to them.

In so doing Google has added another bid management alternative that was formerly the domain of pricey bid management/automation software. Google now offers Ad Scheduling (dayparting, or the ability to vary ad delivery by day of week and/or time of day), position preference (automatic adjustment of the bid price to attain a specified ad rank), cost-per-action bidding (where the advertiser pays only if/when a desired action, like a sale, is achieved) and a handful of other “bid automation” capabilities.

Little wonder that bid management companies at SES NY last week were downplaying the value of their bid automation features and instead trumpeting campaign management features that make it easy for advertisers and agencies to manage campaigns across multiple PPC services—mainly Google’s, Yahoo’s and Microsoft’s.

But does this put them on safe ground? The answer may be a big “No,” based on an aspect of the DoubleClick acquisition that didn’t make the headlines: DoubleClick sells a slick PPC bid/campaign management package called DART Search. It boasts features that put it squarely head-to-head with the category like Atlas Search and Omniture SerachCenter—which currently charge fees in the hundreds to thousands of dollars monthly.

A free bid/campaign Manager from Google makes perfect sense given their strategy to provide best-of-breed tools to PPC advertisers—think Google Analytics and the Website Optimizer, two acquisitions that Google now provides at no cost. But it’s likely to force the Atlases and Omnitures of the world to scramble to provide new features that set them apart from DART Search.

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.

Related Topics: Channel: SEM | Google: Acquisitions | Search Ads: General | SEM Tools


About The Author: is a contributing writer to Search Engine Land, and Founder and CEO of Clix Marketing, a firm that creates and manages paid search advertising campaigns on services like Google AdWords, Yahoo! Search Marketing, Microsoft adCenter and others.

Connect with the author via: Email


Get all the top search stories emailed daily!  


Other ways to share:

Read before commenting! We welcome constructive comments and allow any that meet our common sense criteria. This means being respectful and polite to others. It means providing helpful information that contributes to a story or discussion. It means leaving links only that substantially add further to a discussion. Comments using foul language, being disrespectful to others or otherwise violating what we believe are common sense standards of discussion will be deleted. Comments may also be removed if they are posted from anonymous accounts. You can read more about our comments policy here.
  • JEHochman

    To rebrand Dart search, just add an ‘h’ and this is perfect:

    “With each passing moment you make yourself more my servant.” – Darth Search

Get Our News, Everywhere!

Daily Email:

Follow Search Engine Land on Twitter @sengineland Like Search Engine Land on Facebook Follow Search Engine Land on Google+ Get the Search Engine Land Feed Connect with Search Engine Land on LinkedIn Check out our Tumblr! See us on Pinterest


Click to watch SMX conference video

Join us at one of our SMX or MarTech events:

United States


Australia & China

Learn more about: SMX | MarTech

Free Daily Search News Recap!

SearchCap is a once-per-day newsletter update - sign up below and get the news delivered to you!



Search Engine Land Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors

Get Your Copy
Read The Full SEO Guide