Google looking at expanding its AdWords credit card overseas

By Patrick Stafford
Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Google may be looking at expanding its newest finance venture, where SMEs can access finance in order to fund AdWords campaigns, to Australia.


But one expert is warning local SMEs they shouldn't dive in head first.


The search giant launched its latest program in the United States and Britain last week after a year-long trial. SMEs can access credit-based finance for AdWords campaigns – and only AdWords campaigns, nothing else.


AdWords is seen by many as crucial for small business. It's the cheapest and most lucrative way to get sales in the early days of operating online, and as time goes on is a consistently important part of doing daily business.


Google regularly helps out SMEs with vouchers and other ways to win AdWords campaigns – a testament to how important they are. The new system allows companies to purchase campaigns at an interest rate of 8.99% in the United States, and 11.9% in Britain, up to a maximum of $US100,000 per month.


In a statement, the company told The Australian Financial Review an expansion is not out of the question.


"The US and UK are not the only countries where our advertisers face limited access to credit," a spokesperson said.


"Google is interested in using its financial resources to help advertisers with access to ample credit at attractive rates wherever possible."


But Australian search marketing expert Monte Huebsch, chief executive of Aussieweb, one of the few authorised AdWords resellers in Australia, says the idea isn't necessarily as great as it seems.


"My concerns are we'll put AdWords on this thing, and then all of a sudden a company starts paying a 12% premium if they're not paying debt down properly."


Besides, he says, businesses need to be actually spending less on AdWords, not more. Prices have been dropping as companies use fewer general keywords and instead opt for targeted campaigns.


"Click costs have gone down because the days of getting the most general terms are over."


"Businesses are using exact targeting now. That's what small businesses should be doing as well."


This story first appeared on SmartCompany.

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