Did Google steal your Christmas?

El Reg thinks Google’s business model is meltdown proof – if Google needs more revenue, they can just come up with a way to display your ads more often. While I still think Google Adwords is great marketing tool for almost every business, I agree you have to keep a close eye on your campaigns.

Some checkboxes you might consider turning off in your campaign settings:


Search Partners? Why wouldn’t I want Google to show my ads on sites like Google product search, ask.com and aol? Well, because they’re showing on ebay, too, even though Google doesn’t mention this in Adwords help.

I asked Google last year and got this reply:

“Our global search network includes Google Product Search, Google Groups, and search sites such as AOL, Ask.com, ebay.com/ebay.de and shopping.com.”

An no, you can’t chose certain sites, it’s all or nothing.

In our case, “nothing” was the right choice. Ebay customers are not our target market and we actually stopped selling on Ebay years ago. Why would we want to display ads there?

Instead of throwing tons of money at Google Adwords, we restricted spending to a sensible level, redesigned our main online shop and invested some time into SEO. The result? December turnover increased by 50% in comparison to last year while costs for Adwords decreased by 57%.

No, Google did not steal our Christmas. 😉

Good news from Paypal and Moneybookers

It was a bizarre situation: Paypal had acquired a bank license and transferred its headquarters  to Luxembourg and still, if you were a Paypal customer in Luxembourg, your only option was to withdraw funds to a U.S. bank account or to spend them. Withdrawal to a local bank account or to an account in another EU member state? No way.

At least, that used to be the situation until…  well, I have no idea when they actually changed this, but anyhow: It’s finally possible to withdraw money to a bank account in Luxembourg!

Paypal - withdraw funds in Luxembourg

As you can see, you can alternatively withdraw funds to a credit/debit card (this feature had been announced on the Paypal Blog in September).

I’m just glad I didn’t go through the trouble of establishing a bank account in the U.S. just to be able to withdraw funds.


In other “news that I apparently missed”, Paypal competitor Moneybookers [affiliate link] is allowing merchants to accept payments with the French Carte Bleue. As far as I know, this is the first and only option to accept the Carte Bleue without the need to establish a merchant account (compte commerçant) with a French bank.

While most Carte Bleues (>90%?) are nowadays co-branded with the Visa logo, giving potential customers in France the additional option of using the Carte Bleue Nationale sounds like a good idea to me, especially if the implementation is as simple as it is with Moneybookers.

I’m about to change my company’s online shops’ payment pages and might post again in a few weeks about the acceptance of Moneybooker’s Carte Bleue payment option.