I’ll tell you exactly why “advertisers are simply bidding on and buying fewer keywords” to make the number of ad clicks fall in January for Google and Yahoo. It’s because they’re sticking it to their advertisers (or at least Google is).
I became an AdWords advertiser about two years ago. At the time, I could have my marketing speaker keywords appear fairly cheaply (some for about a penny). Ever since then, the amount of blood money I have to put up has steadily increased. It’s now to the point that I can’t realistically use AdWords as a part of my online marketing budget. I’m not paying double digit rates for a keyword click that is useless 9 times out of 10.
Last month, instead of AdWords I tried Google Print Ads and found relative success with ads printed on dead trees even though the majority of my business comes through online. That shouldn’t be the case with Google. Google ads should be one of the most cost effective ways to reach people online. They used to be. But not anymore.
Perhaps Sergey and Larry will realize the error of running up prices before they run off the rest of their other advertisers with deeper pockets than mine.