When wanting to draw attention on the internet, one cannot get past Google. With this market dominating position Google earns good money. In order to decrease the criticism connected to this the search engine company has started the programme Google Ad Grants. It enables non- profit organisations to make cost-free AdWords campaigns. How that works and why that is not as altruistic as it sounds in the first moment, the nerd from his Berliner SEO agency will explain.
In principal, Google Ad Grants is available for organisations that follow non- profit, MILDTAETIG or religious purposes. They should have the RECHTSFORM of a VEREIN or be a STIFTUNG. For Germany, it is obligatory to register with Stifter-helfen.de. Some kinds of non-profit organization are explicitly excluded from Google Ad Grants: governmental institutions and organisations, hospitals and medical groups as well as educational institutions. The participation has to be applied for in each single case. According to Google’s own statement, checking the requirements for Google Ad Grants should not take longer than 2 days.
When you get accepted, you can get ecstatic for a grant of 10,000$. You won’t get this wired to your account, or in cash, though. The 10,000$ are accessible as a budget which can be used for SEA campaigns in form of AdWords ads on search result pages on Google. These ads are bound to keywords. When somebody looks for “donations earthquake” for example, a charity could draw attention to itself by an appropriately designed AdWords campaign.
SYMPATHIANTEN, Members or Donators advertise through SEA with „Google Ad Grants“
Non-profit organisations have target groups as well, who they can address in Google Ad Grants. Within the programme only keyword-related SEA campaigns are allowed, though, that are exclusively displayed in the SERPs. Furthermore only text ads are covered by the programme.
How often an Adwords ad crops up on the search result pages is dependent on two factors. One is the so called CPC price, the cost-per-click price, which an advertiser is willing to pay as soon as an ad is clicked on. This CPC price Google Ad Grants has limited to 2$. That is not a lot, at all. Often looked up keywords can bring it to five- to ten-fold higher CPC price than that. However, many keywords relevant to charities and similar organisations are on a low level.
The second factor is the quality of the ad. When click on frequently, because it raises interest, it is also displayed more often and can out-compete other advertisers with a higher budget. In the frame of Google Ad Grants advertisement texts may naturally not follow commercial purposes, but have to reflect the values and aims of the participating non-profit organisation.
Like the concern from Mountain View, randomly, benefiting from Google Ad Grants
The programme sounds like altruism, at least when looked at it from the non- profit organisation’s point of view. It is out of question, though, as well that Google Ad Grants leads to an increased pressure in competition on companies and non-qualifying organisations. The volume of AdWords customers is increased altogether. There are more ads, and more keywords are advertised, which has a positive effect on the acceptance of AdWords ads, especially since advertisement for non-profit aims may increase the WOHLWOLLEN for this kind of text ads.
As some non-profit organisations are not satisfied with the available CPC price of 2$ many will invest into „normal“, paid-for AdWords campaigns. Looked at it that way Google Ad Grants is a nice tool for customer acquisition for the search engine concern.
It would be ideal if Google would make it possible to non-profit organisations to advertise in the display network of AdWords as well (Google Display Network, GDN in short). GDN is made up of several million sites making advertisement space available. As many non-profit organisations operate with keywords that are only rarely searched for advertisement space in the GDN within the Google Grant programme would offer them a chance to reach people that don’t specifically look for them, but still could be interested.
These points of criticism won’t stop anyone though to use Google Ad Grants. If the requirements to participate in this programme are fulfilled there are many advantages over others and better situated competitors as well as institutions. The attention for a good cause will be higher, in any case.