Tag Archive for google adwords

Interview with Brad Geddes on SEA

Brad GeddesWith SMX Munich just around the corner I reached out to successful and well known AdWords speaker and trainer Brad Geddes.  Brad is the founder of online training and toolset provider Certified Knowledge but also a well published AdWords author and long term Search Engine Land Contributor.

Brad is an international speaker who has presented at more that 35 conferences, trained more than 10,000 businesses on AdWords and one of the most hopeful and supportive blokes in the search industry.

Brad is speaking at SMX Munich but also running a full day training session Advanced AdWords Training on Monday 24th March.  But I suggest that anyone in the AdWords/PPC space should consider both his training session and his two SMX presentation sessions.

Your session is focused on what’s new in AdWords? What’s your favourite new feature people should trial?
There are some new features from last year, such as extensions, that user must use now due to the changes in Ad Rank. In other cases, it really depends on the company and their goals as to what features you must try. For lead generation, the changes to how conversions are tracked is very nice and should be implemented. For ecommerce sites, mobile PLAs are doing much better than expected. For anyone doing display, in-market buyers and affinity categories are must tries. If you are advertising on mobile, you must do ad testing by device and use mobile ads.

So I don’t think there’s necessarily a best feature (outside of extensions), I think the best new features are based upon your account and overall goals.

This week Google Starting rolling out Search Ad Annotations, have you tested them yet and any insights you can share?
I’ve used them a little bit. The major issue seems to be getting consumers to rate the ads. I’m a much bigger fan of the ratings extension which can often be leveraged outside of ecommerce companies as its easier to get 3rd party reviews completed than get someone to complete these surveys. However, they are so new, I just don’t have enough data yet to make a case for how good they might be once they are more broadly used.

What are your views on the aggressive expansion on PLAs? Is PLAs going to replace organic results?
I don’t think Google can ever replace organic results. Users go to Google for the free results, and often find the ads as better places to find their results. If Google ever does away with free results, I think we’ll see a greater adoption of other search engines.

So apparently tag-less remarketing maybe coming to AdWords soon? Any thoughts? Concerns?
The idea is great since there is less work for companies to do to take advantage of remarketing, especially dynamic remarketing ads. However, there are many ways this can be implemented. As long as advertiser’s maintain control over how and when users are placed into lists, then this will be a good idea. However, if this is implemented with little user control, then I don’t think it will be widely adopted. Until we can see how this is going to work, its very hard to make good or bad statements around adoption.

Cross-Device remarketing is coming have you seen/tested it yet?
I’ve tested it with one company and its worked very well. As most people watch TV while using a secondary device, this will help with cross device marketing. I’m more interested in seeing RLSA cross device remarketing as most users are starting their search over again on a second device as opposed to just going to a site a second time.

Have you spent much time in campaigns utilising In App conversion tracking yet?
I have not. I’ve done a little app marketing, but not much; so I really can’t comment on this one.

Sponsored results appear to be coming to Knowledge graph any insights on possible impacts/results?
When the knowledge graph was introduced, competitive bidding and impressions took a huge dive. I think this is a way for Google to reclaim some of those impressions. If I’m a big brand; then I would not be a fan of it as its too easy for competitors to draw attention to their sites on brand queries. If I’m a competitor to a large brand, then I’m going to enjoy trying to siphon off some traffic from my competitors. In the end, I don’t think this is a big game changer; I think its going to be like advertising on large brand queries a year ago when it was much easier to maintain decent CTRs and low first page bids on competitor terms, which has become more difficult in the past year due to knowledge graph.

Bing is aggressively marketing and gaining market share how do you use Bing Ads in your SEA strategies?
As I’m based in the US, I use Bing quite a bit. Now, Bing doesn’t have huge market share in the US; but they have made their system quite compatible with AdWords to the point that they even have import from AdWords functionality. The feature that I like most about Bing is that they still allow you to make mobile only or tablet only ads. In areas where Google has removed control from advertiser’s, Bing has sided with the advertiser’s so its a great system to add some more volume to your search campaigns.

Do you have any plans for Advanced Google AdWords 3rd Edition?
Yes, I’ve been working on the 3rd edition for several months, and I’m happy to say it should hit store shelves in May :)

Advanced Google AdWords

Advanced Google AdWords 3rd Edition

What is the main ideas/points that you hope people to get from attending your session?
I’m speaking on two sessions on Day 1 at SMX Munich. The first at 11:35am on Panel 3 is on new features. For that session, the attendee should look at all the new features (there are a lot) and decide which ones are most important for them to try. In most cases, advertiser’s are not treating mobile correctly, so that is an area that I hope most people start to understand. However, as Google rolled out so many features, some of them will be useful for companies and other’s won’t apply. So everyone should attend to make sure they didn’t miss a new feature, and then adopt the ones that make the most sense to them.

I’m also speaking on automating accounts from 3:30pm on Panel 3. For that session, I’m going to walk through how to take some of the manual work out of your accounts and use automation to reach your goals instead of just taking more of your precious time. For that session, I’m hoping that everyone can find ways to add automation to their accounts so they have more time to spend on new features or testing.

I also see that you are running Advanced AdWords Training what can people expect?
At SMX Munich I’m doing a full day training on AdWords. In that session we’ll start with how keywords and ads fit together, and then go through some organization, ad testing, display network, and more. I just did a session at SMX West, and the average person has been managing AdWords more than 5 years and overall, everyone really liked it. I try to make sure I cover the basics as I layer in more advanced concepts so I don’t lose the beginners and yet have enough advanced concepts so that the more advanced users also enjoy the day and can take away action items to implement in their own accounts.

What is the best testimonial/result you have heard from someone who has attended one of your training sessions?
That’s tough as I’ve received hundreds of testimonials over the years. I think the best testimonials are really action based where I’ve had many people return year after year or have someone attend and then they sent their entire team to another workshop after attending a session. I think someone sending their entire team or returning to watch the content again might be the biggest testimonial you can receive.

What are some of the other sessions/speakers at SMX Munich 2014 that you are looking to see?
I’ll definitely watch The 3 Habits of Highly Effective Online Marketers from Fred. Fred and I are speaking together for 3 straight weeks; and he always has interesting content, so I will catch his presentation. I plan on watching the PLA panel to ensure I know any differences between PLAs by country and how they are being used and measured by country. Justin Cutroni is a great analytics speaker, and I’m always looking to learn new ways of implementing and using analytics, so I’ll catch one or two of his sessions. I’m sure I’ll see more sessions; but I have a tendency to start speaking to speakers and attendees to learn more about their favorite speakers or content and then pick my sessions based upon that feedback.

So if people want to follow/engage with you online where can they find you?
I’m on twitter at @bgtheory or Google+ +BradGeddes I also spend a little bit of time on LinkedIn

SMX-MunchenThank you Brad for your time in answering these questions and congrats again on the success you have had with Google+ and I hope everyone enjoys your SMX presentation.

So if you want to catch Brad Geddes speak and save €€€ on tickets for SMX Munich 2014 you can use our discount code LOSTPRESSSMX and you can register and find out more here.

Get Google Offers Live in Australia

I noticed today that on a limited number of specific search terms around webhosting that LiquidWeb are running the new Google Offers ad extensions. These ads appeared at the top in the yellow box but also at the right side as shown in the screenshot.

What is most disturbing about these “get offers” ads is that Google extracts your loggedin email address and adds it automatically into the first field. I can see the next stage when AdWords pre-populates both of these fields with your personal information based on your Google account details.

Nice clear sign that Google is concerned about user privacy and is so willing to share this data with publishers.

Google-ACCC article puts focus on Journalism standards

A recent post published by ITNews has managed to again raise a level of concern about the quality of Technology journalism online and but also highlights the danger of being quoted out of context to support a poorly research article.  When you read the quote from “Truman Hoyle” below you will see that you risk the danger of appearing like you have no idea about online marketing and one might wonder why you were quoted in the first place. The IT News article has pissed me as it was recently written around the recent judgement against the Trading Post which they were successfully sued by the ACCC over engaging in misleading and deceptive conduct in relation to Google AdWords campaigns but the article tries to link the decision back to SEO on some level. The article screenshot is included below because I have no interest in linking to mis-information.

Google-ACCC case puts focus on SEO

The case was about Sponsored Links

In what could amount to lazy journalism combined with failing to actually read a court judgement one of their journalists decided to pick an alternative viewpoint on how the case outcome had put focus onto SEO.  The mention of links does not automatically mean the story is about SEO, there is a large difference between SEO & SEM and the case is very clear that it’s about “sponsored links” as that term is mentioned 39 times during the case judgement.  If you check you will find that SEO is not mentioned once during the whole judgement  and the judge actually highlights that there is a clear difference between “organic results” and “sponsored links” just in case you took the time to read the judgement.  Part of the ACCC case was trying to force the judge to accept that users might not be able to easily identify between Organic and Paid results but the judgement focuses around Google AdWords and does not entertain the idea of SEO.  To re-enforce the flimsy nature of the article and how it is lacking support there is also no mention of any variation of SEO such as “search engine optimisation” to further re-inforce the point that this journalists failed to take the care the due diligence before writing this sub-standard post!

The journalist fails to make any real supporting links between the article theme about SEO and the actual court judgement, and gets a random quote from a lawyer at Truman Hoyle who weren’t even involved in the case.  The statement by Bridget Edghill doesn’t even really fit within the context of the judgement and could have even been taken out of context in reference to the actual court judgement.

Suggest you retract your quote

If I was Truman Hoyle Lawyers I would at least get my comment retracted as it does not put forward an image of a law firm that has an understanding of the difference between Google AdWords (case theme) and SEO (not discussed). I don’t see any way the judgement implied or suggested there was a link between the case and placing SEO users on notice as the case was about Google AdWords not Google Organic results, so any link between the two is fanciful.  There is a clear statement that there is no defamation implied or directed towards Truman Hoyle as it is clearly the journalist who has written a poorly researched article and added a law firm to try and add some credibility to his mis-informed article.

Journalists have to answer for fact checking

It is no wonder that business struggles to make the identification between how Google AdWords (Paid results) and SEO (organic results) actually differs. The journalist obviously found the word “link” in the judgement and choose to ignore the entire theme of the judgement along with the heavy use of “sponsored” links throughout the reasons for the judgement.  There is a very big difference in the context of the word “link” and it’s use for Google AdWords and some basic fact checking would have ensured this post actually added some value around the judgement instead of mis-informing the readers of ITNews.

Google AdWords is NOT part of SEO

Just to re-enforce the point while longer term there might be a case where SEO might place a website in front of a judge currently it’s just in the minds of fanciful journalists who don’t take the time to research articles before posting them! Feel free to respond with nasty and unsupported anonymous comments below or you can reach out to the the journalists who wrote the mis-informed post on twitter.

Google Certified Ad Networks List

The Google Certified Ad Networks continue to grow and are starting to feature a number of well-known marketing agencies and bid management platforms. As they expand their Certified Ad Network platform you can expect the criteria to change and they also reserve the right to offer your Adsense inventory to the Certified Ad Network based on many different criteria and quality factors.

Some of the bigger ad networks that have started serving their ads through the Google Adsense platform include: Advertise.com, AOL,Chitika,Forbes.com,Linkedin,Omnicom,ValueClick,Teracent

  1. [X+1]
  2. AccountNow, Inc.
  3. Acxiom Corporation
  4. Ad Pepper
  5. Ad Perium NL
  6. Adchemy
  7. Adconion Media Group
  8. Adconion S.L.
  9. AdConion UK
  10. AdJug UK
  11. AdKnife
  12. Adlantic
  13. Adnetik Spain
  14. Adnetik US
  15. Adpepper Germany
  16. AdReady
  17. Adtegrity.com
  18. Advertise.com
  19. Alcance Media Group
  20. Announce Media
  21. AOL Inc
  22. AppNexus
  23. Atrinsic
  24. AudienceScience Inc.
  25. Bid Alpha
  26. Bizo
  27. Brand.net
  28. BrightRoll
  29. Burst Media
  30. Chitika
  31. ClickDistrict NL
  32. Collective Media
  33. Cossette Communications
  34. CPM Advisors, Inc
  35. Criteo Europe
  36. Criteo UK
  37. Criteo US
  38. Cyberplex, Inc
  39. Dapper Inc.
  40. DataXu
  41. Datran Media
  42. Dedicated Media
  43. Didit
  44. DKK Agency
  45. Dotomi
  46. DQ&A
  47. DSNR
  48. EchoSearch
  49. Efficient Frontier, Inc.
  50. Epic Advertising
  51. Exponential
  52. FetchBack
  53. Forbes.com
  54. Goodway Group
  55. Google Bidder Testing (AdWords Campaign Experiments?)
  56. Google Display Network (Spare Network Spot)
  57. HTTPool
  58. Hurra Germany
  59. ID Media
  60. IDG Tech
  61. Imagini Europe Ltd.
  62. Infectious Media
  63. Innovation Interactive
  64. Interactive Media Sales
  65. InterCLICK
  66. Internet Brands
  67. Invite Media
  68. iPonWeb
  69. Jumpstart Digital Marketing Inc
  70. LeadClick
  71. LinkedIn
  72. Lotame Solutions, Inc.
  73. LucidMedia
  74. MaxPoint Interactive
  75. Media Innovation Group
  76. Media6Degrees
  77. MediaMath
  78. Mediaplex
  79. Mexad
  80. Mixpo
  81. Mpire
  82. My Media Buyer
  83. MyThingsMedia UK
  84. NetSeer Inc.
  85. Next Performance
  86. Next Premium
  87. Next Step Media Online Inc
  88. NextAction
  89. Omnicom Media Group NL
  90. Omnicom Trading Desk
  91. OpenX Technologies
  92. OpinMind
  93. OwnerIQ, Inc.
  94. Pennyweb, Inc. (DBA Ybrant Digital)
  95. People Media, Inc
  96. Performance Advertising
  97. Permuto, Inc.
  98. Pinnacle Dream Media
  99. Pulse 360
  100. Quantcast Corporation
  101. QuinStreet, Inc.
  102. Radius Marketing Inc.
  103. Red Aril, Inc.
  104. Redux Media Inc.
  105. Reply! Inc.
  106. ReTargeter
  107. Return Media BV
  108. RichRelevance, Inc.
  109. Rocket Fuel Inc.
  110. Schnaeppchenjagd GmbH
  111. Semantic Sugar, Inc.
  112. ShareThis, Inc.
  113. Simplifi Holdings Inc.
  114. SinnerSchrader Deutschland GmbH
  115. SoMR Networks
  116. Sooth Software Corporation (dba AdBuyer.com)
  117. Specific Media
  118. Specific Media France SAS
  119. Specific Media Germany GmbH
  120. Specific Media UK Limited
  121. Spongecell
  122. Struq Limited
  123. Techconnect B.V.
  124. TellApart
  125. Teracent Corporation
  126. The Exchange Lab
  127. Traffic Marketplace
  128. TravelClick
  129. Tribal Fusion UK
  130. Triggit
  131. TubeMogul
  132. Turn
  133. Underdog Media
  134. UpValue GmbH
  135. ValueClick International Ltd
  136. ValueClick, Inc.
  137. VCCP Digital Ltd
  138. Veremedia
  139. Veruta
  140. VivaKi
  141. WinBuyer Ltd
  142. WPromote
  143. Xtend Global Media LTD
  144. Zillow

Will the Certified Ad Network appear in reporting?
Currently impressions, clicks, and earnings generated from the Google certified ad networks will appear in your Adsense reports in the same way these stats appear for AdWords ads. Google may in the future offer more detailed reporting options.

Can the certified ad network use the impression data from my site for ad targeting later?
No, the Google certified ad networks and those advertisers who use it are not allowed to collect data from your site for the purpose of subsequent re-targeting. This should allow you to benefit with increased revenue and you won’t need to offer your own site’s data for subsequent re-targeting.

Can I block all future Google certified ad networks?
Yes you can automatically block any new Google certified ad networks that are added and changes will take effect within 1-2 hours.

Can I request a specific Certified ad network for my ads?
You may allow and block specific ad networks, but you cannot request the addition of a specific ad network that is not yet certified by Google. Just because you allow a specific ad network doesn’t guarantee that they will target your site.

How are Certified ad networks selected by Google?
Currently the Google Adsense team has focused on their partners & vendors that have already been requested by the publishers in the network. The certification process is thorough and requires that the third-party ad platform complies with user privacy, latency, compliance with Google’s creative policies and accuracy of measurement.

How does Google certified ad networks work?
The Adsense platform now has yield management incorporated into the platform powered by DoubleClick Ad Exchange which means all the networks listed above can now compete for your ad units and drives up the revenue generated from each click in an open exchange.

Google mortgage rates add up

Rodrigo Stockebrand noticed earlier today that his search queries for the generic term “mortgage rates” had started to show a new style AdWord’s result at the top of the organic results and it seems to be more than just a small test group.  It was covered briefly in a quick post at SEL by Barry Schwartz, but I thought there was more to explore around the new comparison ads and evaluate their longer term impact for advertisers and business.

It seems that the early Google’s AdWords comparison ad experiment has been expanded to cover home loan and mortgage products but has also taken place at the top of the search results in a 4th sponsored link.  The issue is that Google websites have an artificially inflated Google Quality score which guarantees any of their products top placement and potentially inflates the costs of advertising on that keyword, and the additional box is clearly a separate module as you can see thin white line between it and the standard AdWords modules.  Below is a screenshot of the new Google AdWords product which is exclusive to Google’s own comparison products, it’s not clear if it was manually placed for certain search queries to guarantee it would show just below the search bar.  But other advertisers should be able to check in their AdWords account under average position on if its showing even thou they are shown as top position.

Google Comparison Mortgage AdsLess space for organic results

One of the bigger concerns is that it doesn’t just affect competitors who are buying traffic with AdWords it compounds the problems for those trying to rank organically, there is more paid space and more Google products and less room for natural listings.  While this extra Google comparison ad has obviously pushed down the other ads, on my 1920×1080 resolution monitor it was less dramatic, but a majority of users don’t have a monitor so large so I dived into my visitor information contained in my Google Analytics accounts to find a baseline monitor size.  Looking at the average website visitors from my Google Analytics data around 48-54% of people have a screen resolution of between 1024×768 to 1280×1024 so I thought I would test the 3 smaller monitor sizes as to how it impacts the competitive landscape.

1920×1080 Resolution Monitor

Google Ads on 1920x1080 Monitor

Analysis: You can see that there is actually now only 5 organic results showing above the fold (visible without scrolling down) and the 6th result just creeps in.  The problem for organic rankings is that unless you are in the top 5 you are now going to miss out on a majority of the clicks, where in the past top 7 rankings still keep you above the fold.  Dynamic AdWords like these will also continue to change Google users behaviour and may have a dramatic long-term effect on the perceived importance of the organic results and further increase the market share of Google’s own products.

1280×1024 Resolution Monitor

Google Ads on 1280x1024 Monitor

Analysis: You can see that with the 1280×1024 resolution SXGA monitor but you can see that with the new Google Comparison Ads that showing below the 5th result on the first page will mean that you miss a majority of the potential clicks. Its hard enough for some clients to get to the 1st page on Google now it’s a case depending on your typically visitors you have to be in the top 5.

1280×768 Resolution Monitor

Google Ads on 1280x768 Monitor

Analysis: By shrinking the monitor size down slightly more to 1280×768 resolution it even cuts out the Google News results and also now only 7 AdWords ads are showing, decreasing the number of advertisers who are able to be seen.  It also reduces the organic results down to 3 which further increases your reliability on buying traffic from AdWords or from the new Google Comparison Ads.

1024×768 Resolution Monitor

Google Ads on 1024x768 Monitor

Analysis: The final screenshot is actually based on 1024×768 which is a 19inch monitor far larger than most laptop screens and still if you view the same result on a netbook you can actually only see the first organic result because of the 4 AdWords results showing at the top. Again Google News results are gone and there is 1 less Google AdWords spot on the right hand side.

Advice: If you are in this vertical start to examine in your web analytics solution the screen resolution of your typically visitors who just visit and those who generate a lead or revenue.  It will start to provide you a guideline as to if you are trying to increase your paid traffic what position you should try to bid for and from an organic ranking where you should be aiming if you want more clicks.  You want to break it down by those who just browse and those who actually generate a lead or revenue for your company.

Google’s potential audience?

The potential audience which is now able to see these new comparison ads is huge and its likely that the CTR from the other ads will plummet, which will likely impact their quality scores and lead to them having to pay more to bid for the same positions.  By Google offering a better quality Ad they are changing the behaviour of how people will select what ads to engage with but are also limiting other advertisers clicks as consumers are draw to the new style ad box.  The traffic volume based on the single generic keyword “mortgage rates” has estimated 1,000,000 monthly searches in the US with an average CPC rate of $14.88, according to Google’s own Google AdWords tool which is a massive audience to test the impact of its platform.  The question is how much cheaper is it to buy the lead directly from Google compared to fighting with other advertisers in the AdWords market?

Google’s invasive ad box

While its interesting to see how Google is experimenting with new Ad types, I have discovered that there is also a second ad that Google is running which offers a bit more interactivity for users with a drop down menu for the approximate home value for quicker rate comparisons.

Google Refinance Ads

As you can see in the screenshot below, the bigger issue is that when consumers actually interact with the ad it blocks a majority of the competitors advertising message and also close to half of the first 2 organic results.  This type of ad seems to lack any aspects of tact by how it impacts and overrides the competitors presence on the page.  These types of ads show that Google is testing the ads for different markets where you might want to compare two pricing points before visiting the website.  Obviously Google is tracking all the interactions and may start to refine the pricing points as it gathers more data on users, so those who are based in a lower economic area may start to see slightly different approximate home values or even APRs….

Google Refinance Mortgage Dropdown AdThe CTR between the two ads modules being tested would be quite interesting as if users with different motivation or at a different stage of the buying cycle.  Obviously to further understand the mortgage market Google is bidding on search traffic for its comparison ads around a number of keywords, but I’ve select the top 20 related keywords based on estimated monthly search volumes, but it’s also interesting what keywords they are choosing not to bid on.

Google is also bidding on the following keywords

  • mortgage loan rates
  • mortgage loan interest rates
  • home loan interest rates
  • mortgage interest rates
  • current mortgage interest rate
  • best mortgage interest rates
  • current mortgage rates
  • home mortgage rates
  • home mortgage interest rates
  • refinance mortgage rates
  • refinancing mortgage rates
  • mortgage rate calculator
  • current home mortgage rates

Analysis: obviously most of these keywords are very high volume but are also closely related to “mortgage” but you notice that “home loan” is also featured which shows they might be testing language for different markets such as the UK or Australia.

Advice: Look at the ROI around these terms and if you are not already bidding on them, I would advise doing a trial with their own campaign and own budgets.  Remember Google buys search traffic with AdWords for branding and for testing so you should look at buying the same traffic but for testing.

Google is not bidding on the following

  • compare fixed mortgage rates ($0.05/cpc)
  • bad credit mortgage rates ($35.72/cpc)
  • home mortgage loan rate ($18.72/cpc)
  • best mortgage loan rate ($36.37/cpc)
  • current mortgage rates canada ($4.61/cpc)

Analysis: Obviously the product is US focused so any terms that focus outside the country such as “current mortgage rates canada” are likely to be ignored. The keyword that The Google AdWords tool said has the most traffic “compare fixed mortgage rates” is likely a bug or very low quality traffic. It’s likely that Google is avoiding some of the very expensive terms because the ROI doesn’t match with their comparison ad business model or they are just overpriced.

Advice: Best look at what other keywords Google is not bidding on and if you are take a closer look at the ROI and KPIs around those terms as they have been ignored for a good reason.

Google protects its mortgage leads

The screen shot below shows you a sample of the Google mortgage comparison page, where you can filter out and compare mortgages with a few clicks.  The comparison mortgage is generic enough to be expanded to feature an entire comparison shopping site as the URL structure also hints at future products can easily be added google.com/comparisonads/mortgages.

Google Mortgage Results

Google doesn’t want to miss out on a single dollar of commission or miss a single conversion if possible and have built a fairly idiot proof contact system that can be automatically tracked and optimised.  When you visit the comparison mortgage page you will see there is 3 contact options available for each lender: phone, call back and email.  Call back and email appear to be exactly the same contact form but are coded slightly differently for tracking purposes which will affect future AdWords bidding strategies.

Google Tracking Leads

Google is actually fairly smart in how their built the platform as the number listed above is a special Google phone number that will forward your call to the lender, but it can also be used to track the lead generated.  If you fill out the request a call or email lender contact form Google provides the lender with another special Google phone number that will forward to you which they can also track as a lead. Any details that you enter such as Street Address or Zip codes are just passed onto IntelliReal that has partnered with Google.

Will Comparison Ads expand to other verticals?

I say yes, based on how Google is growing its maps & technology platforms its only a matter of time before it expands its product to include other verticals. It’s easy to see Google expanding its comparison ads to include Real Estate & Hotels as they already offer a simple search function within Google Maps as shown below. You have already seen one comparison ad that featured a drop down box which shows they have the technology to place other interactive items into their text ads now.

Search for New York hotels directly from within Google Maps

New York Hotels

Search for New York real estate from within Google Maps

New York Real Estate

It’s likely that Google has a number of options to increase its revenue by competing for direct leads and sales and cutting out resellers and affiliates but the question is how quickly they will risk upsetting their advertisers or how much money they can make on the comparison ad platform.  Do you take the path to doing more of the work generating leads and hope the reduced revenue from your advertisers doesn’t drop quicker than you can grow your comparison shopping products?

Google Comparison Ads expanding internationally?
If you want to know when Google Comparison Ads might be expanded to your country I suggest keep an eye out for any new financial licensee such as when Google registered Google Payment Australia back in 2007, in what was thought to be part of Google Checkout Australia.   Google Payment Australia Pty Ltd was supposed to be setup for local Checkout services and has a Australian Financial Services licence (No. 318755). Google Australia holds the licence under which it is authorised to offer Google Checkout as a “non-cash payment product”. The Google company is not licensed as a bank or deposit-taking institution in Australia and does not provide banking services but might allow it to soon offer a similar comparison ad platform in Australia soon.

Top 1000 websites incorrect

Google Adplanner LogoGoogle has released their July 2010 stats from the 1000 largest websites worldwide.  The stats are based on unique visitors using the same data advertisers can measure and research in their Ad Planner platform.  The websites listed feature only top-level domains and exclude adult sites, other ad networks, certain Google sites or those sites who dont have publicly visible content. The other point is that a majority of those websites listed as having advertising available are using Google Adsense or Doubleclick Ads to serve their on site advertising.  Looking at the list in detail it apparently around 12% of the world’s top 1000 websites don’t have advertising which did seem a little strange so I thought I would explore this in some more detail.

Google Chart

The first site I wanted to explore was ESPN which is one of the world’s top sports networks and ranked #99 in the world’s top 1000 sites as listed by Google with around 21,000,000 unique visitors in July and was listed as having no advertising.  I would be very surprised if ESPN didn’t have any advertising if you have such a large audience and perfect demographics for beer & liquor advertisers.  It did take a little time when the website to notice where the content was due to the 2 huge Miller Lite banners occupying around 2/3 of the homepage, but maybe this didn’t count as advertising? Ok so the website doesn’t use DoubleClick or Google Adsense to serve ads but it’s still features advertising just not currently served by Google.

ESPN Go Ads

Looking at Twitter.com which is ranked #15 in the world’s top 1000 sites as listed by Google with around 96,000,000 unique visitors in July was also listed as not having advertising.  Twitter has long had its small definition ads as shown below “Twitter for Android” which are clearly advertising as are the Promoted tweets and the more powerful promoted trends which was heavily used by Disney to promote Toy Story 3. While these require the ads to be purchase direct from Twitter and cannot currently be purchase through any of Google’s marketplaces it does show that the list isn’t accurate.

Twitter Promoted TweetsLet’s look at a more mainstream website that is not in a social media or consumer focused, so Whitepages.com was ranked #305 with around 9,700,000 unique visitors in July 2010 and was also listed as having no advertising.  You can see that there is advertising on the home page but once again it’s not served by Google Doubleclick or Google Adsense so that is why it was likely listed as not having any advertising.

Whitepages Ads

Whitepages.com being a fairly aggressive website when it comes to monetisation, you can see that they have a number of different ad platforms competing for the same space, so this must clearly show that there is no place you can buy space on the site. With one single click on their Find Locations feature its clear that this top 1000 list is once again not accurate as I have seen Whitepages.com are serving Google Ads shown in the screenshot below just underneath the Bing Maps business locations.  To make it easier to spot the Google Adsense ads i’ve market them out with a large red box and a red arrow and so its clear that you can buy space with Google Advertising tools and shows their has no advertising list needs to checked again, just because the ads aren’t on the homepage doesn’t mean the site doesn’t accept advertising by Google.

Whitepages Google Ads

PlentyofFish is listed as #874 on the top 1000 list but is also listed as not having advertising, which is strange as that is how the site makes its revenue.  The dating site is free and relies completely on advertising revenue for its profits and it only took a few clicks to see a Google Adsense banner.  The top 1000 list seems to almost punish websites that don’t show their Google Adsense or Doubleclick ads on the homepage by listing them as not having advertising.  It’s clear that once again the list is not accurate as the screenshot below shows “Ads by Google” so its even serving Ads on the Google content network.

Plenty of Fish

I was looking for a high-profile site that is revenue focused so I picked Boston Globe’s Boston.com, which was my first pick.  The first thing you can see is that there are a number of advertising banners available that you are able to buy advertising space with and the top banner actually is running on ads served by the DoubleClick platform.  This is a another example to show that the July list is not accurate if you are using it as your sole resource to decide what websites you should be targeting in your media planning.

Boston.com Ads

The best option is to use the actual DoubleClick Ad Planner platform and build your own list specific to your region or industry, as taking short cuts and using out of data information like the July 2010 list will lead to poor decisions and may mean that you miss opportunities. The July list is incorrect but it seems that the listings on the ad planner platform are correct and upto date.

Facebook improves advertising just…

Facebook LogoThe good news was sent out via Facebook’s Ad newsletter that finally some of the features advertisers take for granted on other platforms such as Microsoft adCentre or Google AdWords are slowly being rolled out on Facebook Ads. The first is allowing multiple users to access your Facebook ads account via the permission tool you can give the ability for others to manage your account on your behalf.  The general user can accomplish tasks such as improving quality of campaigns and performance of your ads or just monitoring the results of your ad campaign via the reports only setting. The add user setting is fairly easy to find but still requires a little digging to find, shown below.
Facebook User Permissions
  1. Go to your Settings page of your Ads Manager
  2. Click the “Add User” button
  3. Enter the name or email address of the person you want to add
  4. Choose the user access level. “General User” will allow full control, whereas “Reports Only” will allow for monitoring results but not editing campaigns.
  5. Done
The benefits to advertisers is they can now provide access without the user having access to your personal account, profile details, messages, or notifications. The new user system actually has 3 access level for users now with the original account owner being the admin.
Facebook Ad Permissions
  • Admin User – The admin is the only person that can provide new users with access to their account and only one administrator can be attached to an account.  They can do everything including add and remove credit cards and export ad reports.
  • General User – The general user can create, edit and delete ads and any past or present campaign, access all reports but only view and cannot change billing details.
  • Reports Only User – The base level user is the reports only user who can only access campaign and ad reports.
Facebook User Limitations
Facebook only allows you to provide access permissions to existing Facebook users, which you can search for by name if you are friends with them already or enter their email address associated with their Facebook account.  Facebook has followed Google’s lead in forcing members to create a Google account before it will allow access which means an increased number of accounts created that will boost overall member numbers.
One key factor that shows only a limited number businesses are advertising with Facebook, they have limited user access to up to 25 different ad accounts. The only issue is as shown below you can only create additional users one at a time, but it looks like it there is room for more users but has been disabled for some reason.  These limitations seem to show their Ad system is not yet scalable for Reseller models that target SMEs allowing Google AdWords to continue its domination of that market.
Facebook Ad Users
Facebook offers easier ad creation
To speed up the process and bring their platform closer to the mass market the have released a suggested ad tool.  So if you’re looking for some inspiration when creating your new Facebook Ads, try their “Suggest an Ad”, which they refer to as one-click ad creation.
  1. Go to your Ads Manager
  2. Click on “Create an Ad”
  3. Enter the URL of the website you want the ad to link to in the “Destination URL” field
  4. Click on “Suggest an Ad”
  5. Wait
  6. Confirm
As shown in the image below, you can use the copy as I have from the existing advert or enter the new destination URL and click suggest an Ad button and build a whole new fresh ad.
Facebook Ads Suggestions
As shown in the example below, the new Facebook ad system should automatically suggest an ad title, body and image based on the Destination URL. From this step, you can further modify the creative title, body text or image found, or chose to move on to the step that allows you to target your ad.
Facebook suggested ads

This is a feature that should have been included much earlier but its great to see that it is now available and does a much better job of finding suitable images and streamlines the process for quick campaigns or when using unique campaign specific landing pages.

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