Posted July 21, 2010 10:16 am by with 2 comments

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You have to hand it to Google. They’re not afraid to put their efforts somewhere that will cause a ruckus among those concerned about whether Google is ‘too invested’ in its own business, so to speak. In the latest case of “We dare you to tear this one apart”, Google Ventures has invested in Trada which is an interesting approach to paid search campaign management that is directed at the most underserved of the market, the SMB.

TechCrunch reports

Google’s AdWords may be one of the most successful products in Internet history, but it’s fair to say that most small and medium-sized business owners aren’t exactly experts when it comes to writing their ad copy or picking out keywords — in fact, there’s a whole industry of consultants and firms who specialize in doing just that. Enter Trada, a startup that launched in March that’s looking to help turn the industry on its head with the power of crowdsourcing. The company just closed a $5.75 million Series C round of funding led by Google Ventures, with participation from previous investor Foundry Group.

Essentially the company crowdsources the account management of campaigns so that there are up to 25 ‘experts’ working on an account at once using Trada’s systems. At this point some of you are thinking “What in the world? Why would anyone want to do that?”. Trada assures people that their experts are vetted through being Google AdWords certified and passing a 45 minute exam from he company. They also receive scores as to their effectiveness so users can decide whether to keep someone or not.

Sure sounds interesting. Here is a video to explain the process.

I won’t go into any great detail on just how the system works. The TechCrunch post does a good job of that. What is important to note is that this service is provided across Google, Yahoo and bing platforms so by giving the end user the option that should keep some of the critics at bay.

What I find interesting is that Google obviously recognizes just how much money they are leaving on the table by not giving SMB’s the chance to truly compete in the paid search game. Anyone who deals with SMB’s or has looked the market always drools at the sheer numbers of them but the education of the group combined with notoriously tight wallets makes it hard to get scale in this space. Google knows it and is willing to invest in this type of game-changer while obviously awaiting the industry and government challenges that are sure to happen.

So what’s your opinion of Google getting into the paid search campaign management game? Is it good, bad or a non-issue?

  • It’s very interesting…
    SEM providers often need some automated machinery to upgrade their service quality, and we also thought about a service like TRADA, but i think that the personal contact with the costumer is essential..

    interesting to see what will happen with TRADA in the near and far future.

    thanks for that article

    • yeah, seems to me like the relationship between agency and customer is being devalued here. Id be interested in seeing some results.