So, Google was his primary viable source of traffic and his only available channel for advertising? Why did he continue to throw that much money at Google for two years while not pursuing other marketing channels?
I'm sympathetic to his plight, but you know -- if something isn't working despite your best efforts, you have the choice of continuing to beat your head against the brick wall or of trying something else. What else did he try?
If I read your interview article correctly, he spent just under a million dollars ("7 figures") on AdWords. That's a lot of money to spend on one advertising channel. I know I work for a mid-sized company (about 60 employees) and we don't have that kind of an AdWords budget.
And he claims his competitor could outspend him by 10,000 times, which is why they were able to outrank him for his trademarked name in AdWords. Even cutting that by an order of magnitude to account for hyperbole, that means he thinks his competitor was spending nearly a billion dollars just to advertise on his trademarked name? Seriously? Even assuming they're just barely outspending him, that still means he has a competitor who's willing and able to drop a million dollars just to bid on his trademarked name. That must be one heck of a valuable trademark.
Look, any company that can afford to spend a million dollars in two years on AdWords can afford to hire a professional company to manage that AdWords campaign. In fact, I would argue if you're spending that much on AdWords, you don't have any business trying to manage that account yourself unless you yourself are Google Certified. Any certified AdWords professional should have the right knowledge and contacts to get some answers if the campaign doesn't perform up to snuff.
Honestly, we don't know if his campaign wasn't bringing the results he wanted because he was bidding on the wrong terms, because his landing pages sucked, because his expectations were out of line with any possible version of reality, because his ads were poorly constructed... or if it really was simply because a nasty competitor outbid him.
But the reality is, even if you're as big as WalMart, there's always going to be somebody out there who's willing to do what it takes to get ahead of you. They'll outbid you on your favorite keywords. They'll undercut you on your prices. They'll poach your best customers and steal your content.
The thing is: what's important is not what they
do. The important part is what you
do in response.
And any company that's so dependent on organic search they feel they have to spend that kind of cash on PPC to shore up their declining traffic, should also have enough money (and motivation) to hire a professional SEO right away, as soon as they notice a definite downward trend. And
they should take that as their wake-up call that they might also want to divert a bit of that cash toward developing other sources of traffic.
Instead, this guy apparently spent two years beating his head against the brick wall, trying to do it all in-house? And somehow this is Google's
Of course, we're just getting his spin on the story. There are likely many other factors entering into it that he either didn't consider (not being an SEO or AdWords pro) or that he doesn't want to acknowledge (because they don't paint him in the best light).
To me, I'm sorry, but something just doesn't add up with the story so far.