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Friday, September 29, 2006

The Click Quality Council

What is the purpose of the Click Quality Council?

“Our goal is to ensure that the voice of the online advertising community is heard when it comes to developing industry standards that will define click measurement guidelines. Members of the Click Quality Council and online advertisers feel the impact invalid and fraudulent clicks are having on their online campaigns everyday. Their first-hand insight and experience will prove invaluable to the development of standards and our work with the IAB. We look forward to working closely with Council members to help with this important initiative.”

An associate of mine sent me a copy of the CQC's press release earlier today. Honestly, before seeing the release I haneverer heard of them. It looks like they are still somewhat new so I guess it's not really surprising I didn't know who they were.

Looks like the QCQ will be working with/participating in the new IAB initiative, an Industry-wide Click Measurement Working Group to ensure the voices of the advertisers are heard.

I did e-mail the QCQ for more info. I'd like to see what becoming a member is all about. That said, Good luck guys/gals - defining a click should be easy, defining a fraudulent click will be a touch more difficult:-)


Tuesday, September 26, 2006

How to Report an AdSense Violation

Today's ppc question reagrding reporting AdSense violations and is from Tim - last name withheld. Tim asks;

"I just got started with adwords a few weeks ago. I have been looking at some of the sites that are showing my ads in the content network and dont like what i see. Some of the sites are tricking people into clicking my ads. Sometimes the site owners are actually asking their visitors to click my ads. What is the best way to contact Google and let them know about these sites?"

Tim,

Here's the official Google page: How do I report a policy violation?

Reporting the AdSense violation is one thing - I'd take it a step further and use the AdWords site exclusion feature to prevent that site from displaying your ads again in the future.

Good luck Tim!


Monday, September 18, 2006

Using adCenter? Switch to Firefox for a Crash Free Experience.

Like the rest of the world some days I just give up on adCenter for the day due to crash after crash after crash. I can deal with here and there (although it's still a giant pain in the ass) but when I get 10 - 15 timeouts/crashes in less than 2 hours it's time to call it a day.

Get this - last Friday I started using Firefox to access my adCenter account and I haven't had a single crash in over 10 hours of use since then.

If that's not irony....

Anyway, if adCenter is pissing you off give Firefox 1.5 a try.


Using AdWords Editor? Read this....

Kind of funny...unless of course you're one of the people making the mistake:-)

Via Micromag...a knowledgeable AdWords dude from Brazil;

"A lot of AdWords Editors users around the world are adding the "Max CPC" keyword accidentally to their groups.

When using AdWords to reorganize my adgroups, I noticed that you can copy and paste a group of keywords from one adgroup to another adgroup by clicking the "Add Multiple KeyWords" before Pasting.

But you need to remove the following header:

Max CPC Keyword Type Keyword Destination URL Keyword Status Comment"


In the rest of the post he goes on to list a few examples where people are inadvertently bidding on the keyword "max cpc" to sell products like loans an vacuum equipment.

If you're using the AdWords Editor you may want to double check your account.


Friday, September 15, 2006

adCenter Chaos in the UK (Glad it's Your Turn)

It's Friday and every week needs some chaos:

Microsoft AdCenter Employee Admits to Chaos

"Microsoft launched its AdWords alternative here in the UK last month and I started adding some campaigns a week ago. First impressions were dreadful. It took ab-so-lu-tely ages and ages to do anything. I even went as far as digging out the Internet Explorer link in good faith of it working smoother in their native browser but no such luck. Adding two ads took me 40 minutes. I emailed them my thoughts..."

Johan, sounds just like what happened here in the states when adCenter first got going. It was horrible - and I do mean horrible - for the first couple of months. I hope it goes better in the UK...afterall the USA rollout was one big beta:-)


AdWords too Complicated for Many Businesses

"I find when I talk to clients, that statement rings true. Adwords, and other PPC offerings, are far too complicated for the average website owner. The PPC systems change a lot, the rules seem arbitrary, and there is a learning curve which is getting steeper by the day."

Read the full post at V7N, AdWords too complicated for many businesses.

Check out the post that inspired the V7N post as well, In software, it's all about distribution - and inventory.

I've been in the PPC space for quite some time and couldn't agree more - AdWords (and PPC in general) is far more complex than most people realize. Sure, when summarized it sounds like a piece of cake: "just create an account, enter your keywords and start collecting the revenue from all the new sales you'll make on your site." How hard is that?

In reality though things are much more complex - even for marketers with experience in other marketing channels. If you want to be successful in PPC today you need to either commit yourself to doing it full time or be willing to hire someone that does. Even that doesn't guarantee success. I've said it before and still fully believe that successful PPC management - just like successful marketing in other channels - is a mix of science and art. The numbers can only take you so far, that's when the real experts can take a campaign to it's next level.

PPC management isn't going to get easier as time goes on. I'm willing to bet that in less than 5 years you'll see a dedicated person or team in just about every marketing department who's sole responsibility is PPC management.

There's a huge difference between doing it and doing it right.


Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Double Serving on adCenter

Back in May I wrote about issues I was facing with AdWords and other advertisers who were double serving. Still having the same issues with the same advertisers today...despite the numerous reports I've made to Google on the issue. Usually about a week after I report the violations Google takes action and all the offending ads are gone...for about a week and then they are all back again. My hunch is the offending party spends enough with Google that Google will never flat out ban their accounts or offending urls.

This post though is about double serving in adCenter. Of course the group I referenced above is double serving in adCenter as well. I spent some time (admittedly not a lot) looking around for an adCenter double serving policy but haven't been able to locate one. I conducted a few searches today in some "hot" markets and man, looks to me like adCenter has some serious double serving issues.

Regardless of the PPC engine double serving is a huge issue facing advertisers. Weak enforcement of double serving policies (or lack of a policy all together), in my opinion, presents the PPC marketing channel in a poor light. If you're in PPC and don't think double serving is an issue wait until;

1. A double (or more) serving competitor locks up 2 - 6 ad spots in one or more of your sweet spots.

2. Your client contacts you when they notice a double served ad and can't understand why you won't do the same for them or you can't get the offending ads turned off.

Seeing this shit day in and day out really makes me think about the old saying, "if you can't beat them, join them." Hopefully the PPC programs will step up and enforce the policy so it won't have to get to that point. If not....


Thursday, September 07, 2006

adCenter Behavioral Targeting

I was looking forward to checking out the behavioral targeting options in adCenter yesterday when I read about their release at SEW.

After about 1/2 hour of trying to find where I set them in my adCenter account I gave up and called support. I was told the behavioral targeting options are basically still in beta and only available to small group of testers.

I wonder why Media Post left that little but important fact out of their article on the subject.

Regardless, looking forward to testing the new targeting options when they are available.


Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Keyword Matching

Today's two part question was received via e-mail from Cara. Cara asks:

"Have you found that it makes any difference to exact match keywords that are
only one word, for example [dog]? Does this actually achieve better results
than dog or "dog" or is exact match only effective for keyword phrases?

Another thing I was wondering about is the Budget Optimizer offered by
AdWords. Would you say it is worth activating?"


In response to the first part of your question, yes, I have found that it makes a difference. While it does make a difference, I have not seen a definitive pattern that leads me to believe their is a "best practice" to use when picking keyword matching options for single words. My "best practice" is to usually start with all 3 keyword matching options and separate them by ad group. After X number of clicks I usually have a very good read on what matching option is converting the best for that particular word. Sometimes exact match is the clear winner...while other times it's phrase or broad.

I do suggest that if you're using broad or phrase match for single keywords that you invest the time in building a complete and thorough negative keyword list. Using the right negative keywords can make a HUGE difference in the success of a campaign.

In terms of the Budget Optimizer, I'm not much of a fan. Maybe I'm just a control freak but I suppose that's a label I would wear with pride in this case. I do some "traffic is all that counts" campaigns but the majority of my work is focused on conversions. Google has the following to say about use of the Budget Optimizer in relation to conversions:

"Please note that we don't recommend the Budget Optimizer for advertisers focused on measuring conversions or values of ad clicks."

When given the choice I always opt for more control. Yea, more control can sometimes equal more work but when a client's money is at stake I want to do everything within my power to maximize the effectiveness of their campaign(s).

If anyone who uses the budget optimizer on a regular basis would like to offer a differing point of view I'd love to hear it.


Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Can't See My AdWords Ad

I received 4 questions over the long weekend in response to my I'll answer your ppc questions post and they were all pretty much the same - people having problems seeing their AdWords ad.

If your question was;

Why can't I see my AdWords Ad?
Can't get my AdWords ad to show up.
AdWords ad not working.
AdWords ad showed up yesterday but it's gone today.

Here is your answer, or at least your starting point:

https://adwords.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=6105


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