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Friday, December 29, 2006

Google Newspaper Ads via AdWords Interface?

Via Searchengineland I came across a Washington Post article called Google Set To Expand Newspaper Ad Program.

I have to admit - I'm confused as to what the WP article is actually talking about - the print/magazine program or the newspaper ads program?

Here are a few quotes from the WP article that I don't get;

"This fall, the search-engine company proposed to show how it could help newspapers sell print advertising to the hundreds of thousands of small merchants who buy Internet ads from Google. Advertisers would go online and bid on the excess ad inventory of daily newspapers, giving them a much-needed revenue boost."

There was an online bidding form you could fill out for the print/magazine program, not for the newspaper test that was just conducted with 100 advertisers. I was one of the 100 and the process was completely manual - there was no where to login and do/check anything. That was how it worked for me at least. Back in November the NYT also reported there is an online interface for the newspaper test:

"Advertisers then can log into Google’s main advertising system, known as AdWords, and click to go to the newspaper section. They will see a list of the participating papers and the sorts of ads that are available. They can then enter a bid for a certain type of advertisement, specifying the section and date range. Newspapers in turn see these bids and accept the ones they want. "

So maybe there is an interface but I wasn't given access to it for the test? Seems odd if Google was only working with 100 advertisers wouldn't they want them all really testing the system out?

More from the WP:

"Now, two months into a test with 100 advertisers and 66 newspapers, Google executives say that its pilot program has exceeded their expectations and that they will roll out an expanded version in the coming months. The top five participating newspapers are getting several bids a week from advertisers, the company said."

Still confused. All the newspaper ads I ran were placed for free and I've never been given an option to place any bids. Are advertisers contacting the papers directly to place bids or is are being bids being placed via the "newspaper" section of Google AdWords I've never seen?

More from the WP:

"Google's online system allows advertisers to choose the newspaper and the section, such as Food or Sports or Business, and where they want the ad to run, and then place a bid for that space for a particular day or series of days. The newspaper reviews the bids online and decides which, if any, to accept."

If the article is accurate it appears there is some sort of online system - I just don't get why only certain people from the 100 test group are using it. My biggest issue with the test was the total lack of transparency and control (more to follow in January)...that might not have been the case if I had access to this interface.

If nothing else the WP article has sparked my interest - maybe there's more to the Google newspaper test than I've seen so far. I would love to see a sreenshot of the AdWords Newspaper interface if anyone has one.

Another related article:


Friday, December 22, 2006

Happy Holidays

Just a quick Happy Holidays message from me to you. I plan to resume posting after the first of the year...although I may sneak one or two in between now and then.

Thanks for a great 2006.


Wednesday, December 20, 2006


Well, I've been tagged. After you've been tagged you're supposed to spill the beans on 5 things people don't know about you then tag a few other people. So here goes...

1. Despite using the name "GuyFromChicago" in a lot of places on the web I don't live in Chicago and never have. I've lived all around Chicago, just never in the actual city limits.

2. I once had a sleep walking incident that involved me walking 1.5 miles in the middle of winter with no shoes or coat. I didn't wake up until I was home....which is apparently where I really wanted to be.

3. I can't type....unless two finger typing is now accepted.

4. I commute farther than anyone I know - 120+ miles a day.

5. I lived in 4 different states between the ages of 17 & 21.

On an interesting side note, the guy who tagged me, Jeff, was tagged by kid disco. Kid disco and I share a birthday, December 12th.

I'll tag Johan, David, David, Joey & Stuart.

Now, so they aware they have been tagged I'll ask my 5 loyal readers to visit their sites often so they notice...although the blogspot hosted guys may never realize...

Happy holidays!

Monitoring AdWords Click Fraud

I haven't done much of anything with Google Analytics. Does it have some feature that makes it easy (in comparison to other analytics software) to monitor click fraud on your AdWords campaigns? Google seems to be "selling" that as a feature.

Free Content Clicks from adCenter

Received this morning...

"We're writing to let you know that from the date you started in the Microsoft adCenter Content Ads Pilot to December 4, 2006, you were not billed for clicks received through the Content Ads program.

During this initial pilot period, while your adCenter reports accurately reflected your clicks for both Search and Content Ads, the adCenter billing system did not recognize some or all of the content clicks you received. Therefore, those clicks were not billed to your account. During this time, your Search clicks were charged accurately to your account.

As a pilot participant, you will not be charged retroactively for those Content Ads clicks. Please note that from December 5, 2006 onwards, you will be charged for all clicks received through Content Ads. We apologize for any confusion this may have caused. "

I started on the content pilot in early October...had I known the content clicks were free I would have been much more aggressive:-)

Friday, December 15, 2006

Improve Your AdWords Ad Quality and Performance

Via the AdWords blog I found out that the AdWords team has added a whole new section to the help center about ad quality and performance.

Here's the summary from the AdWords blog (they explain it better than I can).

The Quality and Performance Overview section includes 11 topics meant to define quality and performance, and to help understand AdWords system behaviors.

Within the Quality and Performance Factors section, you'll find links to more than 25 topics on Quality Score, quality-based minimum bids, landing page quality, ad position, and clickthrough rate (CTR).

The Troubleshooting section offers more than 15 helpful links that can assist you in troubleshooting your keywords, ads, landing pages and minimum bids.

Lastly, the Improving Ad Performance section offers 20 or so topics on choosing successful keywords, creating targeted ads, and optimizing your account.

One thing I learned long ago that even if you think you know it all, you don't. I'm going spend some time this weekend reading all of the new additions. If you use AdWords I'd suggest you do the same. Little improvements can translate into huge savings or additional sales....or both:-)

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Google Newspaper Ads Update: Running in 78 Newspapers

Update/Correction: Our ad is actually running in 27 newspapers, not 78. The ad is running 78 times but in most cases is running the same newspaper on a number of consecutive dates.

I received confirmation a bit earlier today that the ad we sent in for the Google newspaper test was accepted and has been / will be running in 78 newspaper in the US. Some of the better known papers include the Chicago Tribune, Boston Herald, Houston Chronicle, Miami Herald and a bunch of others. My ad started running on 11/29/06 and is scheduled to run in various papers through 12/21/06. The Google print team sent a pdf showing my ad in one of the papers as well.

I've already started to see some activity on my tracking url. Should be very interesting to see how this develops. Among other things I'm looking forward to seeing how these visitors interact with our site when compared to visitors we acquire via online methods.

BTW, here's the e-mail they sent:

"Congratulations! Your ad has been selected to run in Google's print advertising test.

Attached is a list of newspapers, sections, and scheduled run dates for your ad, as well as a sample tearsheet displaying your ad. We determined where your ad would be placed by including it in a content bundle specifically relevant to your products or services.

Please note that some of the placements listed have not yet been confirmed by the newspapers and that your ad may appear in other publications in the near future. You may receive other confirmation emails such as this one."

Friday, December 08, 2006

Using Dynamic Text in adCenter

Using Dynamic Text in adCenter

Just go read that - it's a great summary of using dynamic text in adCenter with examples.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Google Newspaper Ad Test Update

Just a quick update regarding my participation in the Google newspaper ads test - I have confirmed that my ad did run although at this point I'm not sure in which or how many different newspapers. I am expecting some additional information late this week or early next and will post more info as it becomes available.

I have and still am seeing some activity on the special url I set up for this test but want to see what reach my ad was given before jumping to conclusions of the effectiveness of the test.

Earlier posts on the subject;

Google Newspaper Ad Test
Update # 1
Update #2

AdWords CPM Advertising

One of the areas a lot of AdWords advertisers struggle with is working with AdWords CPM campaigns. Unlike the more popular method of AdWords advertising, CPC, AdWords CPM advertising is based on what you the advertiser are willing to pay for 1,000 impressions a publishers website (or multiple websites).

In this post I would like to cover a few common questions about cpm advertising with AdWords, do a quick walk through of setting up a AdWords CPM campaigns, and, provide links to other info for advertisers who have additional questions.

Setting up an AdWords CPM Campaign

1. From your AdWords campaign management screen select "create a new campaign: site targeted". You'll find this wording close to the top of the screen, right above your current campaign list.

2. On the next screen you'll name your campaign and ad groups & select language and geo targeting options.

3. Depending on your choice of location targeting you'll be presented with choices to refine those options.

4. Next you'll be able to create your ad. While creating your ad remember that in upcoming steps you'll be able to target the site(s) you want the ad to run on. Make the ad specific to the site or niche - you want to use the ad to "speak" specifically to the site's audience. You'll have the option to create multiple ads before you proceed to the next step. You can always create additional ads at a later date as well.

5. Now that your ad has been created you're now able to pick the sites you would like your ad to run on. There are a number of different ways you can choose sites; pick sites from a categorized list, enter keywords that describe your target market and then select from a list of sites that match that target, enter specific urls to see of those sites are available or you can choose to target sites that have an audience that matches certain demographic characteristics. At this stage in the AdWords CPM campaign creation you'll also be given other info about the sites that are available - things like ad sizes/types they accept, sample pages and an estimated number of daily impressions.

6. Next you'll get a quick summary relating to the sites you picked, and will set your daily budget and the maximum CPM you are willing to pay.

After you're done with step 6 you'll have a chance to review everything before you hit save and submit your new campaign/ad group for approval.

The Most Common AdWords CPM Campaign Question...

Question: I set up a new site targeted cpm campaign X hours/days and there are still no impressions showing in my account.

Answer: There are a number of things that could cause this. Some possible reasons are:

  • Your bid is too low.
  • Your ad has not yet been reviewed/approved.
  • The site(s) you picked recently removed Adsense from their site but the AdWords interface has not yet removed them as a targetable site.
  • The publisher(s) is blocking your ad.
  • A combination of the above.

Solution: The most common (and accurate) advice is to;

Wait 24 hours from the time you activated the campaign then up your bid in increments your are comfortable with. Wait another 24 hours and repeat. Continue this process until you start to see some activity.

Also, double check the possible cause listed here: why can't I see my site targeted ad?

AdWords CPM campaigns can work very well in conjunction with or in place of other CPC campaigns. As with all marketing initiatives, start slow, measure your progress and let the numbers dictate how you should proceed.

Additional resources related to AdWords CPM / Site Targeted campaigns:

AdWords Site Targeted Ads FAQ

How Does CPM Pricing Work?

How Do I Create a Site Targeted Campaign

AdWords Learning Center - Site Targeting

Monday, December 04, 2006

AdWords Editor Version 2.5 Available

You can download AdWords Editor 2.5 here.

What's changed you ask?

The release notes for AdWords Editor 2.5 are here.

Have questions/comments about the editor you would like to share with Google? You can do that here.

Editor is a must use/must have if you're working on large accounts. I've even started using it for smaller accounts - it's much more efficient than the standard AdWords interface.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Google Showing the Quality Score (Test Confirmed)

I previously wrote about a DP member who had been invited to a participate in an AdWords test where he would be shown his quality score. While the test was officially unconfirmed, I ad no doubt the source was reliable. I came across an interview today where the quality score test was confirmed.

"In any case, Google is running a test now -- we haven't formally announced it yet, but I guess I'm going to tell you now -- showing in the front end, quality score information to the advertiser. This is sensitive. Potentially it helps the bad guys optimize, so we have to be careful how we implement this."

Where I see advertisers having access to the quality score being helpful is in cases where they may question the impact of changes they are making to their bidding strategy and landing pages. If the quality score advertisers have access to is real time (or at least close to real time) that will help advertisers measure the impact of the changes they may be making to their ad campaigns, keywords and landing pages.

Quality score info aside, the interview is a good one- check it out.

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