I have it checked in most campaigns because I get enough conversions. It doesn't convert in some others, so you really need to try it and decide.
Test, test, and test some more.
What works for some sites, won't work for others.
Many accounts, it converts very well.
Others get hundreds or thousands of hits with little to no conversions. Depends a lot on the KWs and demographics involved.
Off in virtually all acounts.
On on all accounts
on for all. For a while there it was kick ass for branding, I would do 5,000 search impressions a day at .5% CTR and do 100,000 adsense impressions for 10 cents. ie 2 clicks
We originally had it turned on. When the monthly billing started to get too high we turned it off and have had no change in sales.
The savings allowed us to add a number of new keywords that have great CTR and conversion.
Why not just have separate (and lower) bids for content matching? Here is how: [webmasterworld.com ] see post #5.
IMO, Adsense has value, just a lot less value.
ON for low-cost adwords and certainly on slow days.
I also seperate, with campaigns made up for content sites only. These ads have quiet different copy than ads for search engines. And it is working for me.
On for all campaigns at the moment but only just started, seems to be converting well at the moment.
|IMO, Adsense has value, just a lot less value. |
Some advertisers have reported getting higher conversion rates with content ads than with search ads. IMHO, general rules don't make sense in a targeted medium.
I think it's pretty obvious that the most important variable is where your ads will appear. If you're an advertiser in a niche where most ads will be seen by people who are interested in (and may actually be looking for) what you have to sell, your conversion rate should be pretty decent. If you're in a category where your ads are likely to turn up on general news and entertainment sites, it's logical to assume that conversion rates will be lower.
One basic weaknesses of contextual advertising is that targeting is by keyword, not by audience. If your product/service and keywords tend to result in a targeted audience of potential buyers ("Elbonian river cruises," "Hupmobile car parts"), then contextual ads should work well for you--as they seem to be doing for quite a few other niche advertisers.
Jakob Neilsen has some interesting thoughts related to this subject. He believes that, in general, advertising doesn't work on the Web. Users ignore ads because they are contrary to the Web's basic imperative, which is to let users go where they want and get their information needs instantly gratified. However, he believes that there are 2 exceptions:
1. Classified ads - as far as users are concerned, they are content, not advertising
2. Search engine ads - search engines are the one type of website that people visit with the explicit goal of finding someplace else to go
Now, non-search sites are now experimenting with text-only ad formats in hope of replicating search engine advertising success. However, Neilsen believes that it's doubtful that their efforts will work because non-search sites lack the equation's crucial element: users' single-minded goal to leave the site as quickly as possible.
You can read more from Jakob Neilsen's Alertbox [useit.com]
I think it is somewhere in between. Although we *never* get conversions from content ads. This is also probably because of our business type and product.
I will agree that IMO search traffic is 'better'. But I also believe adsense (for us) has value as a branding outlet.
BUT, we won't pay nearly as much as we will for search ads.
EFV says there are some with higher conversions from adsense than search ads. Seems to me like the *rare* exception rather than a rule.
|Now, non-search sites are now experimenting with text-only ad formats in hope of replicating search engine advertising success. However, Neilsen believes that it's doubtful that their efforts will work because non-search sites lack the equation's crucial element: users' single-minded goal to leave the site as quickly as possible. |
Nielsen might as well say that magazine advertising doesn't work because, unlike Yellow Pages readers, magazine readers don't have the single-minded goal to leave the page as quickly as possible. And if he were right, one would have to explain why magazines like POPULAR PHOTOGRAPHY and ROAD & TRACK carry the same advertisers' mail-order ads month after month.
Content advertising does work; if it didn't, content publishers wouldn't be generating revenues through affiliate sales.
I'm not an Adwords advertizer, but I do display Adsense on my site.
I wonder sometimes if advertizers would be more successfull on content sites if they were a little, maybe a lot, more carefull about which terms they target.
EFV mentioned Hupmobile parts. The big chain auto parts stores aren't likely to carry Hupmobile Parts, or parts for many other cars from the pre-war period.
If I understand correctly they could use negative words to avoid showing up on an antique car site, while still showing up on sites related to modern cars.
Would doing so increase CTR and conversions? I don't know, but I wonder about that sort of thing.
I'm pretty sure an ad on an antique car site for bad credit repair or easy car loans isn't going to generate much response, if any. Parts ads for your 1995 Flivermobile might draw an occasional click, but I doubt it would be worth it in the long run. Maybe for branding.
But I don't really care about an advertizers branding campaign, ads that don't pay publishers probably aren't all that appreciated by publishers.
More importantly I think the on/off question is one that needs to be addressed by Google, by advertizers, and by publishers together to find a more workable arrangement.
Unfortunately, I suspect that forums like this are as close as most of us are going to come to getting the opportunity to work through this stuff together.
I don't think the analogy with magazines is quite parallel. I think people look at and read websites in a different way than magazines.
|Content advertising does work; if it didn't, content publishers wouldn't be generating revenues through affiliate sales. |
It seems that banner advertising has failed, why?
Content network off in all campaigns (unless the client asks for the service by name).
|It seems that banner advertising has failed, why? |
It hasn't. Un-targeted banner advertising networks have failed (I can't think why...).
I think generally banner advertising in most cases does not work very well. In most cases it is not very targeted. Content ads like Google serves through AdSense will, IMHO never work as well as ads along side the serps.
The most successful publishers that generate sales probably sell products and services through the copy they write, they don't just place ads on the sites, IMHO.
I would add that the marketplace (especially the internet marketplace) is *efficient* . The true value of adsense, adwords and banners will be found.
I think that Smart Pricing, Advertisers bidding lower on adsense only campaigns, etc. is just that -- the market process taking place.
IMO, adsense has been highly overvalued. Many advertisers were 'blind' to this at first because the content match tracking is poor and many were not even aware when adsense was added.
Well now they are, and they are acting accordingly. As much as adsense publishers will not want to hear it, adsense spending wil go down as the market determines its true value.
|As much as adsense publishers will not want to hear it, adsense spending wil go down as the market determines its true value. |
It's not that simple. "Down" can mean down in real dollars or relative to search. In the short term, both may occur, but in the long term, some sites that are witnessing a moderate drop now may be earning higher EPCs than they were before April 1. Why? Because, as the market grows, there will be more advertisers chasing a limited amount of inventory for profitable niche keywords. This may tend to drive the immediate-ROI advertisers out of the market (e.g., affiliate sites), but it should lead to higher bids in categories where advertisers are accustomed to paying far higher costs per lead with direct-response ads or direct mail.
In other words, a rising tide may not lift all boats, but it will lift quite a few of them. And just as some publishers will forced out of the market by Google's pricing changes, some advertisers will be forced to leave the market because of greater bid competition.
|I think generally banner advertising in most cases does not work very well. In most cases it is not very targeted. |
I was using targeted affiliate banners for a while, and they had about the same clickthrough rate as the standard-size Google AdSense banners or descriptive affiliate text links in my page margins. I stopped running them mainly because I already had the text links and it seemed silly to promote the vendor's brand that heavily.
I've been running adsense on my site and also sell products through adwords ads and I track very carefully. My campaigns with Adsense enabled have a noticeably higher conversion rate AND a lower cost per click. Sounds like a great deal to me. However, I'm not foolish enough to believe that just because content ads do better than ads on search engines for this particular site and products means it will do better for all.
Those who make general statements that search ads convert better than content ads or vice versa are making ignorant statements for lack of a better word.
As much as people want to simplify it, it's just not that simple. Sorry guys, advertising never has and never will be a one size fits all endeavor.
|Those who make general statements that search ads convert better than content ads or vice versa are making ignorant statements for lack of a better word. |
That may well be, but since I've tested campaigns both with and without the content network box ticked, I will stick with what my research has shown (that conversion rates are lower with content ads). That's for my sectors. I'll take my ignorant statements over yours any day. :)
The clearest indication that adsense has been overvalued comes from Google itself. Smart Pricing automatically lowers the CPC, why?
Why did they need a new pricing scheme?
There is only one reason to lower a price, only one -- attract more customers.
They altered the way the pricing works because some publishers tried to game the system by building pages that would attract high paying ads on a site where the overall theme of the site is not related to that page. Visitors to these types of slightly would likely have lower conversions. They didn't just come out and say what they did but I found out this was so by testing. My adsense EPC on my theme based sites actually went up slightly. Sites that had broader themes where one page wasn't related to another page on the site had sharp EPC declines.
I've found that targeted ads on content sites built around the particular theme of the products/services I am selling converts much better than search. Like someone said earlier, when your ad shows up on general interest sites like news publications is when conversions suffer but if you target your ads better and use more specific calls to action I've found you can reduce clicks from these sources all the while promoting your brand for free while still getting higher conversion rates than search but like I said earlier it all depends on your particular situation so test, test, test....
|The clearest indication that adsense has been overvalued comes from Google itself. Smart Pricing automatically lowers the CPC, why? |
It's important to remember a couple of things:
1) Smart pricing applies to all so-called content ads, not just to AdSense. For all we know, smart pricing may have been as much of a reaction to growth in low-quality inventory from DomainPark and (soon) gmail as to poor conversion of AdSense ads.
2) Even within AdSense, there's a wide range of "content"--from editorial pages to forum pages to product pages on e-commerce sites. Some types of content (or sites) have been affected more by smart pricing than others have been. My own editorial travel site has experienced an overall drop of about 15% in EPC, but some publishers (those with forums, maybe?)are seeing a 90% drop. And some haven't seen any decline at all.
|I will stick with what my research has shown (that conversion rates are lower with content ads). That's for my sectors. I'll take my ignorant statements over yours any day. :) |
There was an interesting thread on the AdWords forum a while back on this topic. (I just wish I could remember the name of the thread.) The basic theme was that advertisers should be regarding content ads as a source of additional revenue, and that they were leaving money on the table by limiting themselves to search ads. (Obviously, this argument is of limited interest to affiliates and other businesses that may be earning their profit on a narrow spread, but other advertisers should give it some thought.)
|They altered the way the pricing works because some publishers tried to game the system by building pages that would attract high paying ads on a site where the overall theme of the site is not related to that page. |
That may be part of it, but I think the greater reason was Google's recognition that all content doesn't have the same value (from an advertiser's perspective) and that some mechanism was needed to match click pricing to click quality--especially with "content" being defined so broadly and new venues like gmail threatening to suck money from advertisers' budgets at an unprecedented rate.
A bit off-topic.
Are referrals from domains
googlesyndication and goodgleadservices = Adsense?
yes. I have only ever seen "pagead2.googlesyndication.com" however.