As much as Organic SEO can prove to be a massive boon for businesses who come out at the top (e.g. our clients), in many cases we recommend clients also run Google Adwords campaigns.
Clients such as Moisturecure Dehumidifiers and Gynaecare Womens Health Clinic had an explosion of ROI from our SEO programs, and both companies asked us if we thought they should cut off their Adwords. In both cases we said to them that ultimately it’s better they continue to have that 2nd ranking on the first page – and so while they spend money when people click their PPC click, it’s a free outcome when people click the organic link.
In the past we never used to manage people’s Adwords campaigns as we were obsessed / fascinated / inspired by getting our clients the hottest first-page Google results.
However recently, with the advent of mobile phone internet use, a whole new series of parameters have come into play. Also businesses are now constantly getting outbid by their competitors. It’s war out there – and no longer can even small business owners sit back and be certain that their paid link is still at #1, #2 or even #3 on a Tuesday even though it was there on the Monday!
Are You Patriotic Or Not?
Of course here’s a reason to spend a larger proportion of your online advertising budget on home-grown SEO rather than Google, and it comes in the form of the fact that through Adwords, Google is pulling over a billion dollars a year out of the Australian economy, while paying only $74,000 per year in tax. As this article shows, Malcolm Turnbull for one is less than amused.
When we posted that article on our Facebook page, it stirred up quite a response. We titled it “We’ve been saying it for the last 2 years and here’s the proof ~ Google is sucking Australia dry!!”
Soon enough we received this fiery riposte from American internet entrepreneur James Martin:
This is actually just the same empty veiled threat that several US states tried to do to extort monies from Internet-based companies trying to essentially tax the Internet. The Australian consumer can currently buy online from an overseas company and the Australian government wants to now say, that because the person buying lives in Australia, that they want to through not only sales tax, but also Australian corporate taxes on to the company. So that means if I run an online business here in New Zealand, just because I have an Australian customer, I am now supposed to not only charge and collect the GST but they want me to also file all the tax work for all my customers that I might have in Australia (even if there is actually no delivery, rather merely access to IP like the case with Google and iTunes). This is the ATO trying to grab money it isn’t actually entitled to.
Once you can explain to a street vendor in a little cafe in Venice that they need to file tax returns and pay Australian corporate taxes because they served a customer from Australia and not have them and the Italian government laugh right in your face, then maybe Mr. Turnbull has a valid argument, but currently, he is full of bull!
Google is no more sucking Australia dry than Australians going on European vacations. The analogy is the same and it just shows how desperate the government is trying to find a new tax base and rationalize their spending habits.
Our SEO guru Stewart Dawes replied:
Having previously worked in magazines that are now close to closing down because their advertisers are spending $10K a month on Google and have cancelled their $2K a month advertising contract, this phenomenon is causing ‘old media’ to be precisely that. Also what’s happening is businesses are frantically competing via Google Adwords so they are constantly outbidding each other – the result being that to have an Adwords profile on the first page of Google costs often above $12 per click. So the volumes of money now being taken by Google is massive. I’ve got nothing against the free flow of money across borders, in fact I wish it was easier, however what I’m highlighting here is that the money is going into the hands of one company – and there are risks as we know the expression “absolute power corrupts …”. The flip side is the peanuts that Google pay if a website implements Adsense – despite having very high traffic on Sydneycafes.com.au my Adsense return is about $500 a year – so it’s a few crumbs for the chickens, thanks very much.
To which James Martin replied:
Fairfax and others had the chance to embrace the technology when Yahoo came out on to the scene and could have even bought into Google, but they didn’t. In fact, they tried to block it on several occasions and are now crying “foul”, well all I can say is it couldn’t happen to a bunch of nicer folk out there. May the Australian and Sydney Herald die out with its aging readership.
So there you have it, fellow Australian business people – the topic is a hot one. What are you choosing to do? Spend half your SEO budget on Organic SEO and half on Google Adwords? That’s what we suggest as a reasonable starting point. Or if you haven’t done SEO at all, we suggest you nail that first.
If you’d like to talk to us about Organic SEO and/or Google Adwords campaigns, email firstname.lastname@example.org