As I was checking through all the major campaign's search campaigns, I started to notice that a YouTube ad was appearing on all the candidate's names and I thought hmmm that is interesting. I only browsed through the top candidates of each side and as long as they are featured on YouTube's You Choose '08 page, there is a corresponding Google text ad directing the clicks into the individual candidate's YouTube video page. Some screen shots are shown in this post, but here are a couple of interesting observations:
- Mitt Romney's own text ad was consistently listed in the third spot behind declare yourself and YouTube. BTW - I'm not commenting on their search strategy, they may have valid reasons for not being #1.
- Hillary and Edwards who don't have any PPC ads of their own, now have YouTube in their #1 slot.
- Any other campaigns that are running PPC ads now have YouTube solidly in their #2 slot.
Of course, their ad buying raises a couple of questions, namely:
- How much does this effect the actual CPCs people are paying and is that fair?
- What is the impact on their search marketplace?
- Why is Google actually paying (assuming they are paying) to drive traffic into YouTube? I thought they wouldn't need to do that. And, even if they're not paying, there is an opportunity cost to not having someone in that second position.
- Are the ads actually driving bid amounts up for advertisers on those words? What happens if someone wants to outbid YouTube for the placement.?
I wrestled with what I actually think about it and I guess I'm coming up in a neutral to positive position. If you are not running any PPC ads (not sure where the logic is for that move.....), but you care enough about YouTube, than Google is doing you a big favor. If you are running PPC ads, I also think it could be helping you by keeping someone else out of the #2 position and sending people into a page that hopefully you've been working on. The most negative aspect of it could mean your CPCs are going up or you are dropping in the rankings for your own name.
You thought search engine marketing was complicated in the private sector? Try outbidding Google for your own brand name....