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April 27, 2015
Those kind of stories are frightening, whether they're true or not. That particular story has probably been exagerated and expanded, but is also probably rooted in some semblance of truth.
While it may be possible to let a PPC campaign run away on you and rack up that much cost, it's highly unlikely. However, while less dramatic, a surprise bill of one or two hundred dollars can be just as unpleasant and certainly happens more frequently.
That's why I mentioned above to be careful with your bids. Don't set your daily budget higher than you can comfortably afford, even if your daily actual spend is much lower than the available budget. But in all cases, your daily budget will be your maximum exposure in any given day, so your bill isn't going to go much over that.
For example, if you're spending $20 per day on average and you've got your budget set to allow up to $50 per day, then you do run the risk of actually spending $50 per day. So, in that case you should be making a point of checking your account regularly which will let you notice if your daily "actuals" are creeping upward.
And with your bids, keep them realistic too. If your current bid settings are costing you $1 per click, then there's no need for your bid to be higher than, say, $1.25. If you have your bid set higher (sometimes they might be set as high as 2 or 4 dollars) then you run the risk of your daily cost running higher when the actual cost per click increases.
I prefer to err on the side of caution. If my client wants to spend $20 per day, then I set the budget at that. I will also set my bids so that I'm putting the higher bids on the most valuable keywords (and keyword matches as described above) and much lower bids on other keywords. And I use the bids to help find a balance between Position on the page + Number of times the ads are displayed.
As I've mentioned before, start small, start conservatively. You can always increase your bids or your budget once you've got a good idea of how your original settings are performing and by that time you'll have a better idea of where you should specificaly focus your increases.
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