NHS kills Google advertising

I noted back in February that NHS Choices had spent £2.7m in one year on pay-per-click advertising. Well, that’s all changed now: a PQ answer reveals that the Adwords budget has been cut by 100%.

In line with Government policy, NHS Choices no longer has any arrangement, or pays for any search engine activity. No commitments have been made with Google or any other search provider for ‘pay per click’ online marketing since the moratorium on marketing spend was put in place on 24 May 2010. NHS Choices used paid search activity to ensure that it reaches the widest possible audience, and that users can easily find clinically assured health information and access the services they need from Government.

(And sure enough, other top spenders like the Act On CO2 campaign have also scrapped their Adwords activity.)
In my February piece, I looked at two specific search terms – ‘stop smoking’ and ‘chlamydia’. The NHS site is still the top natural result for ‘stop smoking‘… although it comes beneath sponsored links to specific pharma products. The picture for chlamydia isn’t so great: the NHS site comes well down the first page of Google results – beneath the American CDC, interestingly. Time to ramp up the SEO activity.

2 thoughts on “NHS kills Google advertising”

  1. Just a quick note to your article. NHS Choices did not spend £2.7m on pay-per-click advertising in one year. I believe your figure and that also referenced in your February feature, covered the total sum spent across a number of high profile campaigns by the Department of Health. The NHS Choices investment in raising awareness of online health information was only a part of this figure.

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