How Is Google Adwords Like a Casino?

Have you ever walked out of a casino and realized that you are going home with absolutely nothing? Ever get “free money” to gamble from a casino? Ever get serious perks even when you break even? You will find Google AdWords to be no different; except hopefully that part about going home with nothing to show for your effort.

You go into a casino, put down your money and hope for a return in winnings. Google AdWords is almost the same except your “winnings” are sales that result from the money you put in. So, like gambling at a casino, you know if you are winning (making a profit) or losing (not making a profit).

Just like a casino, “The House” never loses; Google never loses. In fact, better than a casino, Google’s money is never once put at risk. There is no way to break the bank with Google AdWords.

Google rewards its “high rollers” (the ones who spend the most money). They do not bet against you and they’re going to be nothing but thrilled if you are on a winning streak. They send trinkets with the Google logo on it as a “reward” for loyal patronage like hats and other Google swag.

Google Swag
This hat was one of my Google AdWords “gifts.”

Just like a casino, Google will provide you with “virtual money” for you to spend with them. If you’re a business, you’ve probably got coupons from them to use just like cash on Google AdWords. Like a casino, you can’t use that cash anywhere else but with them. They know that once you show up that you will plunk down your own money­—just like a casino.

Since there are people who can teach you how to play blackjack, does that mean that there are people who teach Google AdWords? Yes, there are plenty. Google even certifies them and provides you with a directory of people and companies that will help you spend your money on your behalf; and they can show you what to do wrong and right. They even offer training sessions. You can minimize the risk, but if you are a crappy gambler and get excited too easily and you stop playing the odds, you’re still going to lose money.

Now here’s the really unfortunate part… Just like a casino, Google will stack the deck against you any way that they can by relying on human nature to stuff profits in their pocket. There are many examples of this (and many reasons why one should learn from a pro if possible) but here’s a simple one: When you start your first account, both the Display Network and Search Network are combined. In 2010, Google’s own video training (which Google has since removed) advised setting them up separately, but they do it to everyone who doesn’t know because it’s the default.

And finally, just like a casino, Google AdWords can be very addictive. I’ve seen times when AdWords users get dollar signs in their eyes when AdWords is really working and they want to just put more money down instead of focusing on what is working. It’s sad to see that customers get gold fever like this.

The best way to go into Google AdWords is to not go it alone. Find someone who has been there and done it or hire someone who can show you the ropes. Google Inc. is a for-profit business and they have the same level of customer service as a casino—high rollers get preferential treatment and you’ll get a well-planned response if you feel ripped off.