Google Gives Bid Options

NEW YORK Google said it would let advertisers bid different amounts for keyword-targeted ads that run on content sites.

The move responds to long-running advertiser complaints that clicks from contextual listings do not convert as well as those from search, when a user has actively signaled intent by entering a query.

Google tried to quell those concerns in April 2004 with the introduction of a “smart pricing” system that would lower the cost advertisers pay for clicks from content ads if Google’s algorithms determine those clicks are less likely to convert to sales.

Smart pricing remains, but Google said advertisers could now have two different bids on the same keywords. The different bid prices will not affect the ranking of ads, which Google bases on maximum cost per click and a “quality score” based on the ad text, the keyword’s historical performance and other relevance factors Google determines.