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Heather Newton13,598 Points
Is it really possible to get free access to AdWords?
It appears to be impossible to open an AdWords account without setting up at least one ad with a minimum budget of $49.86/mo. Am I missing something?
Heather Newton13,598 Points
I didn't have a pre-existing AdWords account, so I had to open a fresh one today. When I tried to search and navigate to the AdWords signup page, I kept getting automatically redirected to AdWords Express, which forces you through a 4-step ad creation process with a minimum ad budget of $0.66 per day and requires you to enter your credit card info before giving you access to any part of the AdWords dashboard.
I tried to enter a budget of $0 or to enter a nonsensical search term to eliminate any chance of getting a click, but both of those strategies were blocked. I finally came up with the idea of choosing an obscure country as the audience and using a search term people in that country would be really unlikly to care about. This made me feel comfortable enough to give my credit card info.
After completing this step, I was able to get through to a dashboard where there was an easy switch I could flip to deactivate the ad. Scrolling down the page, I found a little blue link in the Search Phrases section that said "Want more control of your keywords?" Clicking this, I was given the option to switch to classic AdWords instead of AdWords Express. After switching over, AdWords automatically re-activated my ad (without showing me any kind of pop-up or obvious indicator that they had done so) and I had to pause it again.
Maybe I'm just having a tough time using Google search effectively today, but to me it seems they have started pushing this new "Express" service and making it difficult to sign up directly to classic AdWords. In the end, it was possible for me to get in for "free," but I had to do it in a round-about way, and I did have to give up my credit card info in the process.
This video was created back when Google had a keywords tool that was accessible to anyone without creating an AdWords ad campaign and setting a budget, etc. Now, you are forced to create the account, set up the campaign and enter all of your information to access to the relevant keywords. AdWords express does all of the work for you, so it's not even remotely helpful. AdWords does have a keyword section, but it's not the same as presented in the video.
Jonathan GrieveTreehouse Moderator 90,704 Points
Adwords is Free and you can set your own campaign budgets so you don't spend more than you're willing to. You also pay on your results so if you don't get any clicks, you don't pay. :-)