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Day 1 Results - Kinda disappointing
Google content advertising

 8:48 am on Feb 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

These are the stats for search ads -

Number of clicks - 1748
Number of impressions - 36317
CTR - 4.8%

These are the stats for content ads -

Number of clicks - 2
Number of impressions - 214
CTR - 0.9%

Website Category: B2C

Until Google rapidly increases its number of content partners, AdWords content advertising will not significantly affect the advertisers.

Somewhat surprised by the CTR of content ads - thought it would be much lower!



 4:34 pm on Mar 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

We are placing a clause in our contracts that states we will charge MORE when Overture adds "enhancements" or adwords changes their program and causes us WORK to turn stuff off.

Good point Mr. Mackin. The irony is that because we get paid as a percentage of client spend, it would be easy to kick back, do nothing and get paid more. But we really do live and die on ROI, so I think I'd prefer to selectively switch it on per industry, than to do a bulk switching off, until there's enough anecdotal success stories to justify it.

If we can't track it, we're not interested in it.


 6:05 pm on Mar 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

I wanted to mention one thing about opting out--we don't want it to be a hassle for agencies with lots of accounts if they decide not to participate. If you decide you don't want to do content ads after March 12, you can contact your AdWords rep and they can turn off content ads from all of your accounts at once.

Regarding tracking, the referrer will be different for content ads. If you don't have access to log files, you can also use an image + Javascript to embed the referrer in the image, and track it that way. Mikkel, I'll ask about allowing different landing urls for search vs. content ads. I'm guessing that you'd want something like a variable in the url that we would set to something like "search" or "content"? Would that be at a campaign level or at a universal level? I'll ask someone investigate this.


 9:06 pm on Mar 3, 2003 (gmt 0)


Yes, it would be very nice if you had an option for different paramaeters on the target URL string to indicate distribution channel.

While you are at it, you could also add the exact query string. I'm not interested but I know other people like to track bid price in variable pricing systems.

So something like:

1) variable: gdist
value: google (on google)
value: search (search partner)
value: content(content ad)

2) variable gq
value: auto-append search query

3) variable gbid (might want to add a standard encoding)
value: auto-append click amount


 9:57 pm on Mar 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

3) variable gbid (might want to add a standard encoding)
value: auto-append click amount

On a PPC engline like Overture where the bids are out in the open this is a great idea.

On Google, I would want some form of 'protection' with this. I.E. XOR the price with the login for the AdWords account or something -- so that my competitors don't see the 'value' in clicking my ads. :)


 7:51 am on Mar 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

An Adwords CTR of 1% to 5% is interesting, given the number one site in the SERP's must have 90%+ (does in my cats anyway).

It would cost me $4.50 PC to gain an average of 3.5% of searchers using Adwords......meanwhile I get 90%+ of them from using free, i.e. the "true" results....does SEO pay?


 10:41 am on Mar 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

Am I right in thinking that GG's suggestion to use the referer to distinguish content ads from search ads is a no go in practice? While it works in theory, doesn't it fail in practice because there's so many different refers already that are syndicated search partners and no easy way to distinguish content partners from search partners based on referer alone?


 2:43 pm on Mar 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

Because of caching, server redirects, and other factors referer does not always come through. In addition, many sites have existing tracking programs that are designed to utilize target url parameters.

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