Google Base Finally Gets Automat

    May 14, 2006

The Google Base blog announces that you can now advertise your Google Base items in Google AdWords, finally releasing the “Automat” system we saw in a patent filing last November.

From the Base control panel, you can create an ad, and watch as Base automatically finds queries and areas to target your ad against.

While this may not seem like a very useful system for those selling a single item, Google’s low prices make it a good deal. Since the minimum cost per click is just five cents, if you are selling to non-competitive keywords, you can sell your item pretty easily. Think about it: If you are trying to unload a $200 couch, would you pay $2.50 for fifty people to look at it? Of course! This is the smallest section of long-tail advertising, but the one that has least been tapped, advertising by individuals, not companies, for stuff they are trying to unload.

Of course, Google could have even more luck if they gave those using Google Base a pay-per-action model, where you only paid for the ad when someone bought something. This way, sellers could decide that the sale of their $200 couch was worth as much as, say, seven dollars, and as long as they were bidding more than the other couch sellers for that keyword, that ad would appear in the top spot until the couch was sold. The seller would pay Google seven dollars when the couch sold, but would pay nothing until it was. Considering that clicks for car sales could go for hundreds of dollars in a cost-per-action auction, Google could rake in even more than the fifty bucks it gets for mesothelioma.

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Nathan Weinberg writes the popular InsideGoogle blog, offering the latest news and insights about Google and search engines.

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