Why are the reports slow in the first place? Just a couple of months back, the reports were fairly quick. What has happened now? Do they need to upgrade their servers? Or their software?
Does Google have any incentive to report faster?
If it weren't for our 3rd party PPC tracking service, it would be difficult to have a live finger on the pulse.
they are mad (imo)
I have always said the most crucial time of a campaign is the first 2-3 hours after going live, to fine tune the good, bad keywords
with current reporting, its an absolute nightmare
|any slower Google, and I may aswell let you know how many clicks I had |
HA- I was thinking the same thing a few hours ago. I bet I could also forecast, with much greater accuracy, my position and how many clicks I'll get when I change my MAX CPC.
But hey, if they send the leads, I'll send the check. So I guess they really have no incentive to speed things up.
|Does Google have any incentive to report faster? |
|But hey, if they send the leads, I'll send the check. So I guess they really have no incentive to speed things up. |
Oh yes. We absolutely have an incentive to make reporting faster, and also to have it match in the various levels of your account. The incentive is that we want to keep our advertisers happy, and working effectively for their own success. Bottom line: If you're successful, then we're successful. And if you're not, then, well, we won't be either.
Plus, there is a fair amount of pride involved as well. ;)
So don't imagine for a moment that this is not fully understood as an issue that needs resolving. And I can say with assurance that reporting speed is being worked on as a priority. On the other hand, as you may be able to imagine, it is a 'non-trivial' problem to solve - as an old buddy used to say.
So, I'll use this thread as a way of letting our engineers know how this affects you. Post away, and I'll send them a link to the entire thread at the end of the week.
Well we pretty much had to give up with the reporting when we were using conversion tracking. On our multi-thousand term account it was unusable - just timeouts.
We're now back to using our own conversion tracking - and we only report once a month to keep it bearable.
What's a REAL PAIN is the management interface. Its screen to screen time is also very slow - which if you're trying to update hundreds of terms means it costs a fortune in time to do it.
Fairly sure it's not us - as it's slow through various different ISPs. Perhaps it's having thousands of terms that causes the problem.
If it can't be speeded up - can we have a spreadsheet interface or a software app or something please? So we can download the current bid data - modify it locally, and upload it again. It would save HOURS and HOURS...
I think AWA's right - Google do have an incentive - I for one find life's too short to adjust my bids and test new campaigns with their interface very often - that hurts ROI - and means I spend more time and money elsewhere than I otherwise would - because I can get a better return doing something else.
Hi AWA one thing I have noticed is that due to the reporting some of my campaigns are going way over the daily budget I have set for that campaign I.E. x 2 or even X 3 in one case so it is impossible to stop intime to not exceed my budget on that campaign for that day
If you are going over your daily budget that is GREAT! Google gives you a refund for any amount over your daily limit! Therefore you are getting 2x or 3x traffic for free. Sounds like a good deal to me!
The daily budget is actually a MONTHLY budget.
If you went over your budget at the end of the month, then you'll get credited.
Brutally slow indeed.
Since we have limited resources, we always try to put our bodies where the ruturns are best. "Best" in our view means balancing ROI with reliability of earnings. And that implied a combination of organic traffic and paid traffic.
Recently we moved one employee out of paid search (Adwords/Overture) and into site dev and SEO. The deadly slowness of the reporting system pushed us away from paying (more) for Adwords, and towards the very thing that G would prefer that we not spend our time on: SEO.
It may sound insane - especially since we have increased our risk profile in doing this - but it seemed to make more sense to build additional pages/sites, than to sit in front of dead computer screens for hours. I don't need to give G our money *that* badly.
Google Tools are terrible.
My biggest complaint; you cannot do an exact search for a keyword. For example if I want to find a keyword say 'time magazine'...It's pulls all words with any variation of 'magazine'. In my case over 5,000 terms.
Work on that Google
Over the last few months I've noticed an increased cynicism in the posts on this specific forum in relation to adwords as a whole.
Just last Autumn, when I found this excellent forum, most posts related to providing advice to newbies (as I still am) with regards to what 'everyone' enthusiastically perceived as an innovative and very worthy marketing tool.
Now, however, I wonder as to whether, in some respects, the novelty has worn off as the ability and sophistication of all the marketeers here has moved on to a higher level, whilst at the same time adwords hasn't.
The most recent forward-looking and 'innovative' development for adwords (imo) was the introduction of the graphic ads (a banner by any other name...). Looking at this forum I see that very few, if any, discussion threads relate to these.
Reporting is provided, basically, at the same speed as it was nine/ten months ago (slowly) - nothing much has changed except that it all appears considerably clumsier now as my ability to interact with it develops.
Perhaps this is the same all round?
The reporting has always been slow. I think advertisers were hoping it would get better- it just hasn't. This leads to some frustration and anger that builds over time.
|Looking at this forum I see that very few, if any, discussion threads relate to these. |
search this on Google:
site:www.webmasterworld.com "image ads"
The image ads aren't getting very many clicks (for us).
|I have always said the most crucial time of a campaign is the first 2-3 hours after going live, to fine tune the good, bad keywords |
Hey what sort of things would you change off of such a small amount of time? Don't you usually change things based on conversions?
that for me is stage 1 in campaign optimisation, where I know I chose a certain wrong keyword etc etc
I'm impressed that Google can process a gazillion search requests in an instant, compare my MaxCPC to my competitors and charge me more money at any given millisecond than in the previous millisecond, decide in the blink of an eye based on various secret algorithms whether to put my ad in a top page position or on the right hand side, and they also process my credit card pretty darn immediately as well.
Why can they tell me how many clicks I've had without having to wait overnight for counts that make sense? Pulling results with "today" as the date is a complete joke and waste of my time. Fortunately for AW, Overture ain't much better.
Google is all about their best interests, even more so than most.
I agree that the reporting, among other problems, has become terrible..
Previously I could test campaigns/kw's, as shak stated, and fine tune quickly and easily. Lately, I fine tune the same things that use to take me minutes, over the course of a full 48 hours. So now it costs more time and money (+frustration) to do the same thing.
In one of markets I operate, there is a very heavy importance on time of day. Meaning that in certain times of the day (by the hour) the ad prices skyrocket and quickly drop. There is great monetary reward for those that can compete during these times, and fast/accurate reporting makes all the difference. Instead of watching specific ads perform in *close-to-real-time and being able to adjust as necessary, we are left with throwing the switch 1 way or the other then looking at the stats in a couple days when they finish tallying. Unless your in this type of market you might not make sense of this, however it is a problem directly related to reporting.
Another problem with reporting is that sometimes I see number (everything from ctr to conversions to $spent) change after 24 hours. Now I look back to run stats no earlier than 48 hours. Could be due to an astronomically complex campaign running thousands of factors with tens of thousands of clicks, but for such advertisers I would imagine they have an added incentive to setup something to work even faster.
Lately I have just been setting up my own AW tracking software to handle the data so I can get back on track. Would enjoy just using the AW interface for everything and feeling that it was reliable again.
More problems but others are covering them and I am quite busy right now. Hope my comments help and sorry for spelling errors.
I appreciate the thoughtful comments here, and keep them coming.
I'll be passing on the link to this entire thread tomorrow evening, and I'll be recommending to a lot of people that they read it in it's entirety. So this is an excellent chance for you to voice how delays in reporting have affected your experience with AdWords - and it's value to you as a place to spend your advertising dollars.
Something that may be related to the delayed reporting.... Almost every single time I click the estimate traffic button, I get widely different numbers for clicks/forecast. And when changing max CPC and estimating traffic, the numbers randomly change as well. I have no clue why this is so, but it is extremely confusing to get a grip on what numbers to use as a guideline....
Agree with airpal's comments about AdWords traffic estimates. The accuracy of these certainly seem to have dropped.
I don't bother looking at today's stats until tomorrow, if that makes sense ;-)
It is WAAAAAAY slow, I swear it used to be fairly quick. I'm going to have to start calling AdWords Overture.
Been absent a while....
As Shak says the first day of a campaign is make or break time. Sure you want to measure on results, but no point getting good results and then getting ads disabled for not hitting the CTR numbers.
We're at the point now where the only thing we use Google's interface for is to amend campaigns, evaluate actual spend against estimates and historical research based on actual results rather than estimates that are some way off.
I would have thought seasonal estimates would be very achievable based on "this time last year" plus say 30% for volume, but it's still some of the keyword research tools and sandbox that some will rely on.
All I can say is imagine the situation if the bidding was done in an open auction style........
I guess demand has outstripped demand, there are probably a lot of SEM companies scraping Adwords in a big way.
Why not offer some sort of paid API reporting feed for those who want real time reporting? We'd pay for it for sure.
Thanks again for the feedback, which I'll be passing on in a couple of hours.