Some people claim to make a make a lot of money out of the PPC ads and a lot seems to depend on how your site is set up and where in the world you're located...... From what I can work out the US based sited seem to do better than our sites, that are based in South Africa do..... but of course, Google don't tell you much about how they operate, so you can never be sure.
FWIW, we have something like 600 + pages spread over 3 sites, have followed all the claimed 'rules' done a fair bit of experimentation and are still only making peanuts on the PPC ads.
Also FWIW, we advertise a lot of (ABE) affiliate books on our sites and do considerably better on the the books than we do on the PPC Google ads.
Google ads can be effective but, like anything else, it all depends.
Typically you set up your Google ad account with a monthly/daily budget and Google will show your ad until that money runs out. You don't pay for impressions (Google showing your ad) you only pay when customers click your ad and goes to your web site.
When Google "searchers" initiate a search, Google ad placement is determined by the CPC (cost per click) a merchant is willing to pay. The more money you bid on a "keyword" (term/information the customer is searching for) the closer the ad is placed to page one of the search results. What you need to bid for a "keyword" to get a placement close to page one depends on how may other merchants are also bidding on that "keyword".
Keep in mind Google ads cost you money every time someone clicks your ad.
For example -- on a $20 monthly budget; If your product sells for $19.95 and your CPC cost is $0.25. If 80 people click your link (cost $20) -- but only one person buys your product you've lost 5 cents. However if 80 people click the ad and 40 people buy your product you've made $778.
The trick is to craft an ad that only attracts customers who may actually buy your product. This is much harder to do than it sounds. The first thing you need to do is open up Google and actually do some test searches for your potential "keywords" and see what ads your competitors are showing. If there are a lot of merchants using the same keyword you may have to pay more to get close to page one.
Only time and experimenting will prove if you can actually make any money.
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