I know a lot of our readers have recently taken an interest in affiliate marketing. As you venture deeper into affiliate marketing, you’ll undoubtedly come across pay-per-click (PPC) ads. Basically, you pay a company each time a consumer clicks on an ad. Google Adwords is currently one of the largest PPC companies around and if you aren’t careful, you could lose a lot of money.

The $30,000 Google Adwords Mistake

Earlier this week, a user by the name of medlounge posted the following question to Google’s help forum.

Dear Google Billing Dept.

I am very new to this google adsense and posting ads. Last night I wanted to do a “TEST RUN ONLY” for Google to monitor before I could run any ad for my blogger.com. This morning 04/27/2009 I see a cost bill of almost $30,000.00? Oh my GOD, how could this happen? PLEASE HELP! This is a mistake! Please fix this problem and remove this cost of almost $30,000.00 from my account. I don’t have that kind of money. I’m a single mom and I’m not even working. Please help. I look forward to your response to my request.

This poor lady spent almost $30,000 in one night! I don’t even know how that’s possible. Of course the validity of the post has to be questioned. I would think Google would prevent a new, inexperienced user from being able to spend that much money in such a short amount of time. She also seems to be holding back quite a bit of information.

Okay okay, supposing the above story is real, do you think Google should refund this poor single mom her costs? On one hand, this opens the door to a lot of “I didn’t know what I was doing!” type of excuses if they let her go. On the other, the people behind Google will look like jerks taking money from a single mother in this economy. What do you think should be done?

The overall point I’m trying to make is that you really need to be careful with pay-per-click advertising. If you don’t know what you’re doing and you don’t properly setup limits, you might see staggering, jaw-dropping bills with little or no return on your investment. These things take a lot time to learn. Be sure you fully understand what you might be getting yourself into.

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Join the Discussion

  • jocelyn

    I find this story hard to believe. when I started with adwords I placed a bid for 125.00 for a single keyword and meant it to be .12 per click. google called me and asked me if that was what I wanted because 125.00 was too much per click. they changed ot for me and gave me links to lessons…

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    carmasita kennel

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  • Vivian

    Hmm… how is it possible to rack up $30,000 accidentally? I haven’t used adwords in a while so I don’t quite remember, but can’t you setup a BUDGET per day? Like $30/day? She must have either raised it accidentally, or somehow didn’t setup any budget at all.

    The only other instance when I got charged accidentally was when I was testing with Facebook ads and I lowered the cpc to $0.15 thinking… nahhh my ad’s not going to show with such a low cpc! One week later, I get a notification that I used up all my Facebook credit, and had extra charges on my credit.

    I logged into Facebook ads, and realized that I was indeed getting clicks at $0.15 (even though I was previously only getting them at $0.30 per click).

    Lesson learned: PAY ATTENTION.

  • Roger Williams
    Roger Williams

    Hey Guys

    Thanks heaps for your warnings and advice. I’m still figuring out how I’m going to set myself up for telecommuting but I must say, that, even though it looks as though I’m about to enter a minefield, at least you’re out in front with your detectors showing us where most of them are. I shouldn’t get ‘blown up’ if I heed what you say. All the best. Roger W.

  • Katrina Lynn Aldan
    Katrina Lynn Aldan

    Hi to all viewers!! Very new to advertising also. Wow! That is a very large amount for only one day. I really hope they could help her out and give her advise before making that kind of error. I really think she was desperate and needed the extra money. I don’t think I will ever sign up there, that is scary. I too am looking to making extra money for my family and bills. I stay at home caring for my elderly father with two children of my own. My husband works with our public education but were renting. I’ve signed up with survey sites. It’s slow but everyday it’s adding up. I’m excited and there all free. Thanks for this site. I always check back everyday before I signup with any sites. Bye for now!

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