AdWords Seminars for Success will be presented in six cities during Google’s first round of introducing these one-day training courses aimed at informing entrepreneurs on the benefits of AdWords and its potential rewards.
The jaded observer might be deluded into believing Google gets so much attention, it could not possibly need to go out and promote itself, and certainly not in an offline manner. That is what Google plans to do with the AdWords Seminars, coming soon to four more cities: Chicago, New York City, Miami, and Boston (sessions in Los Angeles and San Mateo were held in late September.)
Vivian at the Inside AdWords blog wrote about the program in a recent post:
Seminars will be offered in two tracks: beginner/intermediate, or intermediate/advanced. You can choose to attend a full-day session or the afternoon session only.
These seminars are not run by Google itself, but instead by carefully selected search marketing professionals who have years of experience managing AdWords for their clients….We thought it’d be better this way, so that attendees can have an unbiased view on AdWords from the seminar leaders.
Two people have been conducting the seminars on Google’s behalf. Brad Geddes is probably best known for his work moderating at Webmaster World, while Anastasia Holdren serves as vice president for information technology company Sitening in Nashville.
Google also dangled a $50 AdWords credit to people who sign up 14 days in advance for a seminar. That credit must be used within 14 days of attending the seminar, so even though Google said the seminars are not sales pitches, that small window of eligibility does provide a little nudge toward signing up for AdWords.
We see them as something much more important, as it pertains to local search. The local online advertising market in total could hit $7.7 billion in 2007, according to Borrell Associates, and search marketing will be a significant contributor to that figure.
Google has competition for the paid search side of local advertising. Microsoft and its AdCenter plan to push hard for local clients, the idea being to build up that client base with a high volume of smaller budget-wielding businesses.
Yahoo’s forthcoming search advertising upgrade, Project Panama, has been touted as one that will improve its paid search ad display relevance for advertisers. Ask.com launched an update to its Sponsored Listings service, which debuted in 2005.
Plenty of other Internet players want to cut into the search advertising pie. Since Google dominates such a big piece of it, gains others can make could have an impact. A little knowledge, or in this case education, could go a long way for Google, and it is surprising to see the AdWords Seminars debut on such a small scale.