Google Crack Pipe: Did A PPC Keyword Buy Go Too Far?

I was disappointed when a client forwarded me the Advertising Age article on media outlets buying Google keywords. Essentially, certain news publishers (The NY Times and Washington Post among them) could have been buying paid advertising placement in Google (Google Adwords) to be seen for keyword searches such as “Virginia shooting”. Is the need for Google traffic that important?

Keyword Search: Virginia Shooting

Keyword Search: Virginia Tech Shooting

There’s nothing wrong with using PPC campaigns to build a brand presence and capture market, but I personally feel that it depends on the situation and objectives of the case. Is it “okay” to use a news story of this nature for purposes of something that appears to be linked to monetary share? I’m not certain, but I didn’t like reading about it from a Google Adwords campaign.

Update: I didn’t get a screenshot of the NY Times ad (didn’t get screenshots until later in the evening), so it would lead me to believe that they took the advertisement down once the article came out.


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