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Monday, July 16, 2007

Google PPA...Not So Great

I spent some time over the weekend evaluating a Google PPA campaign I've been running for a few weeks. I knew the potential for fraud, especially with high payouts available, would be an issue with Google PPA but honestly never expected to see results this poor.

I have a lead generation form I've used with various affiliate networks and other programs over the past 24 months. It's always worked well - i.e., generated a profit. I set this form up for a Google PPA campaign and am honestly shocked with how poor the results are. According to my AdWords account I've received 124 conversions. The reality is only 4 of those conversions are actually valid - the other 120 have fake information.

I'm seeing this same trend across a number of PPA campaigns. Pretty disappointing to say the least. At this point It look like I have two choices - drastically cut back what I'm willing to pay per conversion, or, add a lot of extra validation to the form. Alternately I may just pull the plug on PPA for awhile until some of these issues get worked out.

Is anyone seeing decent results with Google PPA yet?

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Monday, July 02, 2007

Assisted Yahoo Search Marketing Account

A thread at DP got my attention earlier today regarding Assisted Yahoo Search Marketing accounts. Basically you pay $199 for Yahoo to set up an initial account for you. According to the promo page this is what you get:

"With Assisted Set-Up, Yahoo! Search Marketing can help create a Sponsored Search campaign for you customized to your business goals and budget. We will help choose relevant keywords, write ads and suggest maximum bid amounts that work within your budget. You can expect to receive your proposed campaign within 2 to 5 business days, and we will contact you to discuss it in detail. This is a one-time set-up service to provide you with a strong foundation from which to manage your account and from which to model future campaigns."

Just like I don't let my banker write my checks, I've always been leery of having a paid search provider set up my campaigns. I've also seen work from account specialists at Google in the past and was less than say the least.

DavidK1 from DP had this to say about Yahoo's Assisted accounts:

"Hmmm.. Glad I found your thread. I actually just got a call from YSM yesterday sayinig they wanted to provide this service to us for free because we had reached the "Gold" level. I thought that was funny, because we only have a small test campaign that has been running since early March. "

Followed by:

A couple of days ago I noticed some new campaigns had been created in my account. Today I get a call from the YSM rep I have been working with, and he said he should have the complete proposal very soon."

And then again followed by:

"This service is completely WORTHLESS!! I couldn't believe at all the inappropriate and broad keywords, and how they were all jumbled together in one campaign. There were also a lot of keywords for things we DIDN'T sell! We have maybe 10 different leather lingerie products total for men, and they had this whole campaign with words like "boxer shorts", "underwear", and "vests". The word "leather" was only used in 2 terms.Everything was also set at .20 clicks. It didn't matter if it was a very broad and general term, or a more specific and detailed one."

Sounds like things I've seen in the past. "Account experts" that barely understand paid all.

To me the lesson is simple - no one cares about your business and it's success like you do. While it may sound appealing to spend only $200 for "expert" service the old saying is more often than not get what you pay for.

Anyone have a good experience with allowing a paid search company like Yahoo or Google access to set up your account(s)?

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