Now I’ve hit the, “why this is a really bad idea” point: AdWords is based on Cost Per Click (CPC).
To drive traffic in an emergency, which is basically guaranteed traffic (based on all the media taking place during an emergency) the click rate will be potentially very high.
Check out the Google AdWords Cost Calculator and run some tests for yourself. I found that average CPC to gain “top position” on the AdWord section is $2 to $4 per click on key words involving emergencies. (This also answers my previous question about how items are ranked…) Based on the term “emergency management’ and $4 CPC, it calculates my daily cost could be roughly $151-$184 a day. (This is based on current monthly averages and not emergency traffic.) This cost is just for the ONE TERM. How many terms do you think people would have to buy to cover their bases? You could easily hit thousands of dollars a DAY in costs just for top results using this process. Granted it’s hard to estimate what this would look like and yes this may only happen a few times a year, but there is a significant potential cost here.
Again, how is this cost beneficial to the public and/or the government? They system was designed for, for profit organizations and it shows.