Google Ads may be one of most popular advertising channel in the world, but in terms of results it’s in fact one of the worse. This article will show you biggest downsides and problems of Google Ads.

Google Ads

The cost

With the average price of a few dollars per click, it’s almost impossible to make any profit from marketing, as that is a typical price for CPL (cost per lead). Everyone who works with online marketing knows that only 10%–20% of traffic from Google Ads will convert, making it heavily overpriced. Often, money spent on Google Ads is greater than the whole amount of sale, when it should be less than your margin if you want to make any profit.

High bounce rate

Google Ads has the highest bounce rate compared to any source of traffic. Quite often, the bounce rate is around 80-90%, when with email marketing, for example, it’s around 30-40%. A high bounce rate in combination with extremely high CPC makes Google Ads a pure waste of money. The reason for the high bounce is mainly the high amount of low-quality clicks.

Low-quality clicks

The amount of low-quality clicks coming from Google Ads is enormous, which drops the conversion rate significantly. The reason for this is how people use Google. For example, if they search “lawyer”, the majority will click on all the ten ads that will come up, and then after looking on each website, shorty will close 9 of them. This means 90% of advertisers did not get any valid traffic but still paid for the clicks.

Fake clicks

Fake clicks are generated by competitors, in order to drain the marketing budget of a company. Fake clicks can be generated by bots or by virtual assistants who Google cannot trace since they are real people. Fake clicks are a real nuisance of Google and other CPC based ads.

Low quality and low conversion rate

I have measured the conversion rate on Google Ads several times and compared it to the conversion rate of Email or SMS traffic. Usually, Google Ads had 5–10 time lower conversion rate. It never got better or even the same results as Email or SMS traffic. This, compared to the higher price of Google Ads, make absolutely no reason to use it.

Not a shortcut to SEO

While for customers Google Ads may seem like organic search results, as they appear on top, it’s not a short cut to SEO and will not have any effect on a website’s ranking. If SEO is your ultimate goal, you should spend money on things that really matter and bring long-term results. 

Who uses Google Ads then?

Big corporations have no idea how online marketing should be done. First of all, they still use online marketing the same way they use TV marketing, which is only for brand exposure. They hardly ever measure results the same way that the online marketing experts do, that is, the conversion rate from click to order. They measure online marketing the opposite way: the total marketing budget spend, and total sales got. This might sound smart, but if you take into account that even with zero marketing, they would still sell quite a lot, it means in the end that quite possibly the money spent on Google Ads bring less money in sales.

Are there any benefits of Google Ads?

Yes, there is one benefit. That is that no one will complain about marketing. This is the sole reason why big corporations like Google Ads because all they worry about is their fake reputation. However, if you don’t do any marketing, you will also not get any complaints and in addition to that not lose any money. Therefore the benefits of Google Ads are relatively minimal.


Filip Poutintsev, the Chief Editor of Honest Pros and Cons, is a long term business writer, who has been featured in various online publications such as Forbes, CoinTelegraph and HackerNoon. Now he writes exclusively for Honest Pros and Cons.