NYT Rings Up Lawyer Google Ad Clicks

    October 15, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

An interesting consequence of one reporter’s search for more information on the most costly keywords in Google AdWords ended up costing those advertisers a little money.

Since those advertisers are attorneys, there isn’t likely to be much public outcry about the battles they have over keyword bid prices. CyberWyre and its tracking of the highest paying search terms lists ones related to mesothelioma and ‘personal injury Michigan’ in its top four.

The highest priced phrase, “mesothelioma treatment options,” commands a bid of $69.10, according to CyberWyre. Such a bid would not be possible unless the competition were willing to pay and edge out the competition.

There are plenty of reasons why people are looking forward to Google’s third quarter financial announcement, aside from analyst estimates of earnings per share that are about 50 cents higher than Google’s second quarter numbers.

Lawyers were the little losers when Adam Liptak at the New York Times settled in to research the issue:

Professor Childs, who has written about advertising by lawyers on Google on his TortsProf blog, lawprofessors.typepad.com/tortsprof, said he sometimes typed in Web site addresses rather than clicking on sponsored links when doing his research.

“It feels a little weird to cost them 50 bucks to satisfy my curiosity,” he said.

That had not occurred to me. In working on this column, I looked at a bunch of lawyers’ Web sites, at a cumulative cost to them of, oh, $1,000. Sorry.

That meant a $1,000 chunk of change dropped into the revenue stream for Google, based on that traffic, a few curious clicks from a reporter, unless Google were to filter those clicks out of the stream and not charge their lawyerly clients.