Warning for everyone else currently a happy AdWords customer: go through your lists, look for words which are under 1% CTR, and *scrub*. My best performing keyword has, over the past month, 1.75% CTR. It dipped for about a week below 1%. Random fluctuations, you would think, but Google responded by quadrupling the cost of it. And even if I pay that for weeks to rehabilitate the keyword there is no guarantee that the minimum bid will ever go down.
Update on AdWords
Originally written: September 14, 2006
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After finally achieving 30 cents per download (where AdWords is actually profitable) and keeping it there for a week my CPA creeped up again to 37 cents. Since I hadn’t made any big changes to my campaign and my market is pretty stable this time of the year I investigated what was up. It turns out that Google turned off half of my words in the vocabulary campaign, requiring a minimum bid of 15 cents for what used to cost 7-9.
As an afterthought, while programming v1.04 I had it append a variable saying what OS it was running on to all queries it makes to my website. This lets me track the relative popularity of the OS X version versus the Windows version. Now, as stated previously, I give customers the option of not telling me anything so these two numbers are fractions of what the true values are, but in the last seven days I’ve had 66 requests-for-updates from the Windows version and 6 from the Mac version (those are unique counts), not counting requests from folks with the registered version.