There’s been a spate of search people trying out AdWords. First there was Shoemoney, then Shoemoney pulled DaveN into it. Then a day or so ago I read that Battelle is trying AdWords. And I thought: “Crap. I have to write that review.”
What review? The review of Winning Results with Google AdWords. Let me explain.
Several months ago, someone sent me a package at the Googleplex. Inside I found a courtesy copy of Winning Results with Google AdWords. First, let’s talk about the moral dilemma. On one hand, I’d rather people didn’t send me stuff. For example, every few months, someone who got caught spamming gets the idea to send a package to the Googleplex. Like this one from a few years ago:
“I got caught spamming, so I’m going to send a cookie to Google”? That’s just not right somehow.
I believe Google’s policy is that token gifts are fine, but for me personally, I want to avoid even the appearance of impropriety.
On the other hand, Amazon sells the book for $15.74, which seems pretty small/token-ish. I did enough back-and-forth in my head that it felt like the iocaine powder scene in The Princess Bride: “Never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line.” And because I’m a busy person, I solved the dilemma by shoving the book on my bookcase and deciding not to do a blog review about it. Ah, the hazards of trying to do right in a complex world.
Now with everyone trying AdWords, the issue has resurfaced for me. And I think I’ve found a way to cut the Gordian knot: I just bought another copy of the book from Amazon. Now that I’ve paid for it, I feel free to review the book.
Still with me? Okay, let’s start the review portion. The cover of this book looks like your typical “How to use Adobe Elements/Microsoft Word/3D Studio Max” book. I normally hate those books. Do I really need a book to walk me through what the File menu does in an application? Do I need a chapter devoted to simple things that anyone could figure out in five minutes just using the software application? No! Personally, I hate that 60% of the bookstore space is filled with books that tell you how to use a software application. Where are the books such as Hackers and Painters or The Mythical Man-Month or Tufte?
Luckily, the cover is deceiving. This is not a “We will show you a screenshot, then explain that screenshot in words” book. This is a serious jump-start on getting started with AdWords. I was in the Google ads group when it was five engineers, but this book still taught me a ton of things. It gives tips on writing the copy, strategies of how to bid, ways to improve your ROI–it’s just a good book with solid coverage of all the important aspects of AdWords.
The other main concern with a book like that is that it gets outdated fast. It’s been a few months since the book came out, but the book is still quite up-to-date on how AdWords works. More importantly, it covers the principles in such a way that changes in AdWords shouldn’t throw you for too much of a loop. Goodman also writes in a fun-to-read style; you don’t have to force yourself to read this book. You can pick up the book, open to any point, and enjoy a few good pages of reading. If you’re a serious SEO or have anything to do with AdWords, I’d recommend picking up a copy.
The moral of the story is: if you’re going to advertise on AdWords, pick up a copy of Winning Results with Google AdWords. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. The other moral is: never ever send me stuff. Nothing. Not even a free pen. Thanks.