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New Adwords Features - Tools and Reporting
Ad Diagnostic and Change Max CPC Tools

 1:18 pm on Oct 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

New updates to features and functionality of Adwords interfaces.
Ad Diagnostic Tool [webmasterworld.com] -
Use this option if you're concerned about all ads within your account that should be appearing for a specific search term. For example, you could check your ad status for the phrase-matched keyword "Hawaiian cruises," targeted to California users.

Seems to be to check the status of your ads and why the are NOT running, or performing poorly. My guess is this is to keep down call volume from folks calling up and asking why their ads aren't displaying.

Find and Edit Max CPC's -
Update single or multiple Max CPCs throughout your account all at once.

This sounds pretty useful, there are some interesting queries you can run here. Haven't started playing yet, but this looks like a nice addition to the toolset to make managing those large campaigns a bit easier.

Reporting Changes
The Download Center now offers multiple download formats, improved graph views, and up to five scheduled daily, weekly, or monthly reports

Latest improvements to the performance center [adwords.google.com]

Looks like there have been some changes in the way reports are handled [webmasterworld.com] as well.
Changes/ Additions:

  • Scheduled and on-demand report templates
  • Stored Reports
  • More file formats
  • Enhanced Graphs


     3:09 pm on Oct 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

    About the Ad Diagnostic Tool:

    This particular search term is already associated with an ad from another campaign or Ad Group within your account. Only one ad per advertiser may appear on a given page per search term. When two or more ads within your account are eligible for a single search term, we show the one with the highest ranking. Please note that your ads will rotate evenly if you use the same keyword in different Ad Groups so you don't have multiple ads on the same page.

    This is interesting. It's saying that if I put 5 ads in one group to rotate them, that 4 of the 5 ads will never show for that keyword, unless I put the keyword in multiple grops.

    However, when I hit the 'View Search Results' then another ad shows, and another hit shows yet another ad.

    I think this is very confusing wording, and is going to lead to a lot of questions about what's going on, when basically, it looks like the way ads are shown hasn't actually changed at all.


     3:43 pm on Oct 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

    AWA - I hope this came from the board suggestions - but AdWords just made my day.

    I ran a report, which failed due to 'server error', but now, when I look at the reports screen, the report says 'pending', 'failed', etc and I can still run reports without logging out, and don't just get the 'you are already running a report screen'.

    A much asked for suggestion implemented. Great work.


     6:26 pm on Oct 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

    AWA - I hope this came from the board suggestions - but AdWords just made my day.

    eWhisper, this is one of the features that was being tested the other day, when you were not able to get to your Reports tab. Hope it is worth the earlier frustration. ;)

    I want to affirm that most changes to the AdWords system are a direct result of Advertiser feedback - and that the suggestions from WebmasterWorld are a huge part of that.

    Feedback is also collected from email and phone conversations as well, of course. But I'm not kidding when I say I'll forward suggestions from this Forum each week. Yesterday, for example, I sent roughly 7 pages along to a really big list of folks who actually read it. At least a couple of those pages were from right here. So, many thanks to the Forum for the continued feedback - whether it is postive, or not so pretty.

    By the way, I'll be keeping my eye on the feedback about the new features, and passing it on to the right folks as the day goes on.



     12:15 am on Oct 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

    the system has lost an important feature, or at least I cannot find it anymore. In the old system when you run a custom report and let's say you wanted to see how may clicks each group received and what was the cost, you could get a line of statistics for each group and at the bottom of the report you got Totals and Overall Averages. Now Totals and Overall Averages are gone. It is not nice to take features away from users! If the feature is still there, please tell me where I can find it.


     12:57 am on Oct 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

    Hey Adwords Advisor,

    We get email reports for one client. Today, all we got was a letter, with a bad link (404 not found), saying

    "The report you requested is now available for viewing or downloading via your Reports Download Center:

    Well DUH! My report is now available on the internet. Gee shucks. How about just sending me the report like you're supposed to? Do I need to beg for it?

    For our other clients, we get the reports by hitting a URL that describes the report we want with querystring parameters. In an application. It used to be, you could hit one URL for every client. Now that's different. You hit one URL, then you wait for your report, an arbitrary length of time, and then you refresh some page with cool graphics on it, and then you get a page full of reports and you have to pick the one out that you just ran. Same report, same name, same data, but different URL for each. Try to access that report via an application and what do you get back? Some weird encoded file that isn't even ANSI! CSV, TSV, XML, doesn't matter.

    What's wrong with hitting ONE URL AND GETTING BACK AN ANSI FILE?

    This is what the biggest customers want. The people who butter your bread. But you don't LISTEN. You build what you want, how you want.

    Overture has an API. Every day, every standard report is available at the same time. You just say, "Hey Overture, give me my report". And Overture says, "Here you go, sir!" With Google, it's more like you have to beg for your reports, and you'd BETTER feel lucky if and when you get them.

    I got an email from Google about this before it shipped. Get this:

    "Key benefits of this upgrade include:

    * Reliability and Performance. Get reports of any size, every time. "

    Let me tell you: this is a bald-faced lie. We get that one report via email because there's a 64k record limit on web reports and a 100k record limit on email reports, and neither is good enough but 100k is better than 64k.

    So I went to the "download center" and sat in front of my computer and watched the cool graphics as my report was built (oooh, how exciting!) and then went to a page and lo there was three copies of my report. Each a different URL, all the same report. So I download it and you know what I get? 100k records. That is a far cry from "reports of any size, every time" being as we have a half million records you're billing us for.

    Which leads me to another issue. Who else in the entire world has the gall to refuse to offer their clients complete, itimized billing? That is what these reports are, an itemized bill. Google absolutely refuses to make such a report available, instead making useless features for web clickers and dissing their biggest clients.

    Yahoo/Overture does 70% of the revenue for us on 30% of the volume. Guess where our budget is shifting?

    Your fan,


     5:24 pm on Oct 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

    This particular search term is already associated with an ad from another campaign or Ad Group within your account. Only one ad per advertiser may appear on a given page per search term. When two or more ads within your account are eligible for a single search term, we show the one with the highest ranking. Please note that your ads will rotate evenly if you use the same keyword in different Ad Groups so you don't have multiple ads on the same page.

    My take on this is different. This is my understanding: It is saying that only 1 advert for 1 campaign can be shown for 1 keyword per search by advertiser.

    For example, I have two campaigns one for each website, the first website is about 'cheese in new york' the second is about 'people who eat cheese'. If both campaigns bid on the broad-match keyword 'cheese' only one advert will be show. Despite having two distinct campaigns only one ad will show.

    Am I correct in thinking this? It has always been a loophole to exploit if you want to display multiple ads for the same keyword.


     6:11 pm on Oct 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

    Most of the reporting has never worked worth a hoot in my account and is constantly breaking down. Now the few simple stat reports that were available have now been removed. I've got reports that have now been running 36 hours and still say pending. I like to see my daily spend and a few other things that I can get at quickly. Doesn't anybody at Google realize some people want a little simplicity and don't want to be setting up reports all the time.


     11:05 pm on Oct 30, 2004 (gmt 0)


    [edited by: jcoronella at 11:06 pm (utc) on Oct. 30, 2004]


     11:05 pm on Oct 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

    - If I run a report as "yesterday" instead of a specific day it hangs. I have two reports 'pending' for about 12 hours now.

    - The new reporting system takes much more time to run.

    - Once the report is done, the download speed is deathly slow.

    - Best of all, you changed the order of the fields in some of the reports.

    Not to mention you released this close to a weekend so it will be days before it's fixed.


     11:24 pm on Oct 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

    Can anyone explain why I see multiple eBay AdWords listings for a search term? I sometimes see four or five different AdWords from eBay.


     3:42 am on Oct 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

    Can anyone explain why I see multiple eBay AdWords listings for a search term? I sometimes see four or five different AdWords from eBay.

    They are all affiliate links. So each ad is run by a different person, just for the same website.


     3:21 pm on Oct 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

    Not to mention you released this close to a weekend so it will be days before it's fixed.

    What I can't believe is that a major update shipped in Q4, just 57 days before Christmas.


     3:52 pm on Oct 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

    I agree with josebrwn - these new reports don't deliver on the stated mission of "any size reports at any time". And I setup a bunch of reports to email them to myself - nothing for today as of yet....

    While Google seems to relish the concept of a Public Beta across many of their products, they should understand that their only true paying customers demand a higher level of quality.

    running scared

     1:22 pm on Nov 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

    Some nice new features. Printer friendly graphs are certainly useful.

    Still got a long way to go though to become truely intuitive to use. Speed leaves something to be desired.


     2:00 pm on Nov 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

    I tried running reports for our customers with the new system and ran into a few surpises.

    As someone mentioned before it does not total on screen if you have a daily or so report. It does display a total on a downloaded CSV.

    The second strange thing is that with monthly reports Adwords sorts on the name of the month rather than on the correct month chronological order.

    The good news is that the proper , and . usage for europeans has been implemented but I hate the EUR prefix as I have to filter that one out again in excel.

    Last but not least the system is less flexible in "ad-hoc" reporting. Filling in names and options for every report is cumbersome for some "quick reports" and your system is filled in no time with temp type reports.

    Overall I like the change as it increases control, implementation is not flawless though...


     9:18 pm on Nov 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

    It's the erratic column layout in the .csv reports that's burning our mustard.

    On Thursday, 10/28, we had one column order.
    Reports for Friday, 10/29, used the "new" format with a different column order.
    This morning, 11/1. yet another column order.

    Am I going to have to rewrite our scripts for integrating daily Google data into our inhouse system EVERY DAY?

    Pick a column order and stick with it. They should be able to figure that out even when changing ("improving") the rest of the reporting system.

    Plus, I haven't had an email notification since Thursday, despite repeatedly re-setting our daily report specifications. They all end up with "email notification: off", regardless of what we specify.

    So now: I must login to AdWords, go to Custom Reports, create a new Custom Report nearly* the same as the Custom Report we've been getting for over a year, wait for the thing to generate, click the download link, investigate the most recent column order changes, rewrite our scripts to accomodate the daily column order changes, and then run our intergation routine. Last week, this took about 5 minutes per day. Now we need to spend over an hour each day.

    *We used to get all of our ad text in addition to click data, however since Google changed their .csv reports to use commas instead of tabs, we can no longer integrate ad text into our inhouse system without a few hours of clean-up work per report.

    Does anyone use tabs in their ad text? Didn't think so. So why did they switch to the comma-delimited format with quotes around entries with commas in the text? There was no problem getting rid of the quotes and converting the tabs into commas for our web-based inhouse system. Now, it's an entirely different clean-up task.

    Not much of an "improvement".

    I used to enjoy the flexibility of the Google reporting system, but now we're trying to figure out how to keep our inhouse system up to date with these new reports. Not pleased.


     9:45 pm on Nov 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

    I'm also finding inconsistencies in the results of the previous reports and the current ones. A custom URL report e.g. used to be able to "consolidate" URL's from different campaigns into one report line but now you get one report line for each campaign.

    Nothing we cannot solve in excel but annoying nonetheless. I thought it was just a userinterface update but there is much more changed under the hood.


     2:54 am on Nov 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

    Who is in charge of quality assurance for the AdWords product? Someone (many people) should be fired at Google for this debacle.

    It is quite obvious that no one at Google actually uses their own systems.


     3:45 pm on Nov 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

    I must admit, this update has a very OV feel to it. One thing I used to really respect about the adwords stuff was that while it didn't have the features of OV, it was stable..not the case with this update.

    The good news is that if they get their act together they are still in the running for the stability winners..



     6:58 pm on Nov 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

    Are *any* of the reports working for anyone right now? I heard that Google is aware of all these problems and currently has no ETA for fixing these issues.

    Someone please tell me how such careless development and rollout happens at a company with such "smart" people.


     7:03 pm on Nov 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

    Someone please tell me how such careless development and rollout happens at a company with such "smart" people.

    MSN Search ... Yahoo buys Overture ... what IPO?

    They're falling into the all-too-familiar trap of thinking that change means progress which means market share which means shareholder kudos.

    Tsk tsk, Google.


     7:38 pm on Nov 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

    I'm able to make reports for our customers but have to do it completely manually rather than in an automated fashion so it costs us much more time.

    Given the unstable situation I'll hold of on automating for a while until things settle down. I liked the reports the way they were....


     8:30 pm on Nov 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

    Given the unstable situation I'll hold of on automating for a while until things settle down. I liked the reports the way they were....

    Robsp, and all - Bringing stability to the Report Center is a top priority, of course - and you should be seeing improvement shortly, if you haven't already seen it. Speed should be back to normal now, for example.

    Thanks for the patience. I feel confident that you will value the new features, before too long. And if something isn't meeting your needs, well, I'll certainly pass that feedback on to the team.

    As a quick update, any 'backlog' of scheduled reports should have been delivered by now. So, if you are missing a scheduled report, I'd advise requesting it from the Report Center again.

    The issues of missing 'total' rows on html reports, and inconsistent order of columns, both of which were mentioned in recent threads, are being addressed as top priorities.

    As mentioned, I'll continue to watch for feedback here, and pass it on the Report Center team. Please know that engineering is aware of the issues discussed here, and are working hard to resolve them.



     4:23 pm on Nov 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

    Hello AdWordsAdvisor,

    can you explain to me how Google could miss something as obvious as the totals in the HTML reports? Did you guys do any integration testing and user acceptance testing? If you had, something as obvious as this would have been noticed. This is testimony of extremely sloppy development and cut-over for such an important functionality. And you are doing that just before the holiday season... Unbelievable!

    Google used to have the best reporting tools of all PPC search engines. Whenever I wanted a report, I went there and boom, I got it w/o delays. Now I have to go back to the download center (even if I don't want to download, just display on the screen, what is up with that) and wait until they are not pending anymore. But since there are no totals, I need to download them into Excel.

    And then there is the e-mail issue. Reports used to be sent in HTML form, now you get a link and have to login. How do you explain that to end cutomers that you are managing a campaign for?

    My recommendation would be to roll back to your old reporting tool, go back to the drawing board, and next time around, do a better job.



     2:21 pm on Nov 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

    AdWords Advisor,

    A couple of issues that tech support doesn't seem to understand:

    1. Large reports are not complete. Reports that generate 100+ pages on the online view, are neither complete in the online view, or TSV data format.

    2. XML data format does not show decimals in MaxCPC, AveCPC, or Cost elements, yet the decimal is present in the AvePos element.
    (Tech support tried telling me this was due to Unicode UTF8 encoding. If that were true, why would the decimal be present in the AvePos element?)

    Our automated processes for exporting daily bid cost are choking because TSV format doesn't return the entire set of data, and XML format is basically useless until the decimals are formatted properly in the MaxCPC/AveCPC/Cost elements.



     6:08 pm on Nov 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

    redzone, I'll ping the techsters, and see what I can learn - and post again later.



     4:59 am on Nov 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

    AWA thanks....

    Charlie, I'm not sure what you are referring to, but the new reporting system "as a whole" is far better than the old system.

    1. You can get totals by just downloading the csv or tsv format directly into excel. Once the XML data option formats decimals properly, you could automatically download the data, and create online reports for your customers on your own web site.. You could still do it with either the CSV or TSV formats also.. Worst Case, email the CSV/TSV formats to your customers.

    The old system literally choked on large AdWords accounts. We constantly had to request tech support to obtain reports on simple time period requests like "yesterday". Now, we can request a daily cost report on a GAW account with 100,000+ keywords, and it's generated in less than 15 minutes.. Kudos to GAW on the performance enhancements.

    One other fix I'd like to see, is occasionally we request reports, that go into a "failed" status. GAW's system should be smart enough to re-generate a report that fails due to an internal system error. (Pending/Completed) should be the only 2 status values that an advertiser sees.


     7:15 am on Nov 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

    Hi Rezone, I guess the experience of the new tool is based largely on the type of reports users generally request and the type of features they use. In my case, I do not have any Ad groups with more than 700 keywords, I also do not need XML feeds or post reports on my web site. I basically used to run simple ad-hoc reports that came back instantly and e-mailes some reports on a daily basis to end customers and they would see them in HTML format.

    So it seems the improvements that have been made provide better stability and peformance on big reports. In my particular case, I was better off with the old tool.

    I still think however that Google could have done a better job at testing this thing out. For example, they could have let some of their users use it as part of a pilot program and that would have eliminated some of the basic errors that users have been reporting. My impression is that the new tool was only tested by internal Google people and not by real end users.



     1:28 pm on Nov 6, 2004 (gmt 0)


    Couldn't agree with you more on the beta testing.
    I reported several problems on Fri/Sat, didn't receive anything outside of the automated response until late Monday. Still haven't received an acceptable answer on the XML data format issue. (Finally asked AWA to look into it... :) Scheduling a major release for a Friday, was just poor timing. Overture always schedules new release versions on Sundays. Usage is low, and if there are any glitches, they can many times be resolved before the majority of advertisers access the new interface.

    There are always tradeoffs in coding for usability across a wide base of users. I never used the email function previously, but many of our advertisers claimed is was not very reliable in the old interface.

    This 49 message thread spans 2 pages: 49 ( [1] 2 > >
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