Australian Newsagency Blog

A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.

Using Google AdWords to pitch to those looking for a competitor business

Mark Fletcher
October 5th, 2017 · 6 Comments


You can pay Google to have your company listed if people search for a competitor. In a real-life high-street situation, this is like putting a billboard up directly in front of a competitor business location, so that everyone heading for that business saw your billboard first.

This is a common form of online advertising. Google advertisers pay Google for each click on the ad.

Newsagency software company POS Solutions recently complained a competitor of theirs, Retail Express, was doing this to them.

This week POS Solutions has been doing it to my POS software company. This is a reasonable form of paid advertising allowed by Google.

Landing people on your business website naturally, without having to pay for the click, is the most valuable landing you can have. It is free and the click to the page is purposeful as it was a sought-after destination.

The best way to achieve this, to land the people you want on your web page is to have fresh and valuable content. Google has smart algorithms for assessing this. Their determination shows in the natural search results, those listed after the Google ads, the entries that say AD. AD means the position has been paid for, the positioning is not a natural result based on content.

I do not use Google AdWords for any of my businesses. Rather, my focus has been and continues to be to ensure fresh, relevant, trusted and enjoyable content on each website with which I am connected. The high Google ranking of each of the websites, more than twenty in number, reflects the value focussing on these points: fresh, relevant, trusted and enjoyable content really does matter, to Google and to people searching online.

If your site is not ranked in Google search results where you want it, work on the site before you start spending money with Google to get it placed ahead of competitors. By work on the site, I mean: ensure fresh content, on-point meta data, regular SEO work and more to ensure Google sees your site as offering value to the Google ecosystem. Paying for ranking is an option but searchers do see this as an ad and not as a natural result.


Category: Management tip · marketing tip · newsagency marketing

6 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Bernard Zimmermann // Oct 5, 2017 at 1:58 PM

    Our complaint with Retail Express, which is our main competitor was that their advertisement heading was “POS Solutions Australia” but it was not us but actually an advertisement from Retail Express. This is misleading as people looking for us would end out going to Retail Express never realizing that it was not us. You can see it here on this URL with analysis and history

    We are certainly not doing it to your company as the advertisement is clearly marked. I think readers here will find the discussion on our URL interesting.


  • 2 Jeff // Oct 5, 2017 at 4:32 PM



  • 3 Mark Fletcher // Oct 5, 2017 at 5:12 PM

    Bernard you have been paying Google specifically for the Tower Systems keyword, as is your right. Own it. Own that you want people who are searching for Tower Systems to see the paid ad from your business. The search data for Tower Systems is strong. I can see why you would value it.

    Retail Express is not your main competitor, not according to any of the search traffic analysis tools, not according to trade show participation by your company or Retail Express.


  • 4 Colin // Oct 6, 2017 at 9:01 AM

    Bernard…… Link does not work. Tomorrow’s technology today only working yesterday?


  • 5 Peter // Oct 7, 2017 at 12:47 PM

    This issue raises the question of what is ethical or not on the net, where it appers ethics are decided by the almighty dollar. Mark no doubt has registrations (in Australia at least) with company registration and registered trading name etc protecting his business interests. Yet companies on the net can ignore this and do as they like depending on payment.


  • 6 John Fitzpatrick // Oct 8, 2017 at 12:55 AM


    Google Ad words appear to be a waste of money, I recently searched “Samsung Smart Cam”, Bunnings came up in the top 5 searches (twice) …. guess what Bunnings don’t even sell this item.

    Google provided a false search result – I suspect based on a paid Adword. So who is responsible for these false results – Google or someone buying Adword links. Either way it’s unethical to falsely promote an item that you do not sell.

    Google Adwords is throwing your money into Googles profit, for no benefit – if my example is wide spread.


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