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Google's Ad Choices, or Are They? A Timeshare Resale Broker Takes a Closer Look
Don Nadeau, broker of record for Timeshare Broker Sales, advises consumers who need to sell or rent an unwanted timeshare to research and understand how Google AdChoices can impact the timeshare resale market.
Timeshare Broker Sales
19046 Bruce B. Downs Blvd. #42
Tampa, FL 33647
Phone # 813-341-3200
By now most of the civilized world has performed the iconic Google Search. From determining how much water (salt and fresh) a size 10 boat shoe will hold before it sinks, to the absorption rate of an olive in a martini, the so-called "search results" pages produce answers of all kinds and to your satisfaction. But what are all those links along the top and right-hand side of the page? Let's take a closer look.
Affectionately known as AdChoices, Google's advertising business model is a novel concept and a key contributor to their success. How can an advertiser turn down an opportunity to sell their wares, in front of millions of people, at no initial cost? Referred to as Pay-Per-Click (PPC), this business model allows companies to pay for advertising on a search results page only if a curious party clicks on the ad.
On a Search Results page, the "organic" results (in the body of the page) are free – meaning their presence on a search results page has not been paid for, and companies will not be charged for clicks. However, if searchers click the shaded areas on top or side column, the advertiser will be charged for the click because they have paid for its placement there.
How Much do Advertisers Pay for PPC Campaigns?
The amount charged depends on how "valuable" the search term is. For example, an advertiser that selects "timeshare" as a search term could pay $40/click, but if "blue lagoon" is selected for his timeshare ad, it may only cost $.50/click. Google assigns prices based on algorithms related to traffic, and advertisers then bid for placement on these search terms.
The same principal applies to the AdChoices links you may see on actual websites. Here though, the owner of the website generates cash if the PPC links are clicked. Many webmasters choose to have AdChoices on their sites as an added revenue stream or to defer costs. I chose not to have PPC's on my site, and I will tell you why:
Webmasters Cannot Regulate AdChoices on Their Sites
A key component for Google's success is to assign relevance to the ad. That is, if you are searching for a "timeshare broker," the PPC paid ads surrounding the search results will be other timeshare related ads, and not flower shops or shoes. Every page that contains AdChoices will be related to the content on that page.
Sounds sensible, but here's the rub: most of the AdChoices ads related to timeshare are overwhelmingly dominated by exit strategy companies (aka post-card companies) and up-front advertising companies; both often using multiple domain names. Because both business models charge an up-front fee to sell timeshare, they have the cash on hand to support the PPC campaigns currently running.
If a licensed timeshare broker uses this media, they often get out-bid. Because licensed brokers are paid for performance (i.e. commission), it is impossible to compete with these cash-rich companies for paid PPC campaigns. Worse, if broker ads appear amid up-front fee resellers, people may associate brokers with these companies. Conversely, if I ran AdChoices on my own website, it is impossible to scrub these companies and ads off the site. Even though Google provides tools, they prove highly ineffective.
Never Pay an Upfront Fee, and Always Do Your Research!
One final point, and the purpose of this article: consumers see these catchy domain names offering exit strategies and immediate relief. They claim to be lawyers and experts of every stripe. The web sites are very slick and the script tight.
Don't be fooled. If you are searching for a licensed timeshare broker, make the effort to confirm their license and check out the BBB report. Finally, if they ask for an upfront fee of any kind, run for the hills. In today's resale market, there is simply no need to pay up-front fees to get your timeshare sold, or for that matter, to pay someone to take your timeshare.
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