I received an email from Google announcing a couple of changes to the Google Grants programme:
“We are writing to let you know about a few changes to the Google Grants programme.
As part of our ongoing efforts to grow our advertising programme for nonprofits, we are making two changes to the Grants programme.
First, as of January 28, 2013, Google Grantees may bid up to $2.00 USD on keywords. This is an increase from the previous CPC bid cap of $1.00 USD and may allow your ads to enter auctions previously unavailable at the $1.00 bid cap.
Second, to balance the interests of businesses who pay to advertise on Google search, your ads will now appear below the ads of traditional AdWords advertisers.”
The second point here is by far the more important. As I understand it, this means that Google Grant adverts will now appear below all paid adverts.
When operating a business, money talks. But when your business is running a search engine, quality results should talk louder. This quality is the ultimate source of advertising revenue.
I had thought that the way that Google’s AdWord bidding operates – boosting the power of high-quality adverts, so that placement isn’t just determined by the money bid – was a decent compromise. Under the $1 Google Grant cap, some areas were out of reach – particularly for fundraising – but with good quality adverts and content, your $1 could go a long way in some cases.
I’ll be interested to see what impact this change has on the effectiveness of the Google Grant for charities.