UK Government Advertising on Google

The UK Government has bought Adwords on Google in order to encourage more traffic to its web portal. The site was launched in March this year, but rather like the Millennium Dome, visitor numbers have been disappointing. 589,000 visitors came to the site in July, up from 471,500 in June.

The government is currently focussing on families, the disabled and motorists and has bought up key words in those categories. Ads only need to be paid for it they are clicked on.

Naturally, since I like to pick holes in everything, I thought I’d visit Google and find out what focussed and informative my income tax had purchased. Searches for NHS, Blair, “UK government services” and even WMD did not prompt Google to fling up an advert for Directgov. Sure enough though, when I searched for “directgov”, I got an ad.

The Directgov site offers a wide range of services, from applying for a pension credit to reporting a crime, if visitor numbers are low, then it’s because people don’t know the site is there and what it can do.


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