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on 22 January 2009
I bought this book to start me off on a very small campaign on Google Adwords for something very specific that I manufacture. I want to reach more customers at a sensible and predictable cost, and AdWords seemed worth investigating.

It's a slim book (90 pages of content). That's OK, I like information to be concise where it can be, but it means that if you're looking for verbiage, this is the wrong book. I chose this one because it's very recently published (at the time of this review) and AdWords is rapidly evolving.

So, to the content. The overall information contained in the book is excellent, and I can see how it could be used to improve an Adword campaign enough to pay for itself a hundred times over. Unfortunately, Stokes is pretty unaware that there might be sole traders out there looking to sell a few items using adwords, not to build up the world's greatest brand awareness. As an example, he states blandly (with no qualification) that you should "aim to have no less than 5,000 keywords, but preferaby 25,000 or more". That's entirely unsuitable for a small trader like me selling a single product into a tiny niche. I need Adwords to help me grow my business, not to take over my life. Spend thirty seconds assessing each keyword and actioning it (impossibly brief) and a 25,000 keyword list would take six working weeks to assess. OK if you have people dedicated to it; impossible if you're a sole trader. Fortunately, I can assess this as being utterly irrelevant to me, but there's a lack of consideration for his audience there.

More crucially, though, I became utterly sick of the references throughout to AdGooroo's tools and how utterly invaluable they are and how they offer information other tools don't offer. It's probably no coincidence that Stokes is ... you've got there before me ... President of AdGooroo.

Now it's possible (maybe even probable) that AdGooroo tools are the best. I didn't need to fork out six and a half quid to buy an advert for them.

It's a shame, as much of the information in there is useful; it just grates so much to have a product rammed down your throat by someone who cannot by any measure be classed as independent or impartial.

Buy the book if you're running a large campaign and expect to buy a service like AdGooroo; it's a good guide to how to do it with their tools. Otherwise, give it a miss.
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