| 11:38 pm on Dec 8, 2004 (gmt 0)|
[quote[This post is addressed to AWA or Google Guy. [/quote]
Heya Chernelle, and all. Just so you know, for the past few weeks I've been making sure that the right folks here at Google have been seeing the range of opinions on this subject. And I'll continue to do that.
Each week, I've quoted a few of the more well stated posts, verbatim, and then provided links to each of the several threads on the subject.
Bottom line, the whole range of opinions is being heard.
| 12:35 am on Dec 9, 2004 (gmt 0)|
so this is seriously under consideration?
I could swear that at Pubcon the Google rep said they are nowhere near doing this...I may be wrong.
| 2:05 am on Dec 9, 2004 (gmt 0)|
An interesting thread started by the fire starter extraordinaire himself - I'll be sad to see you go Shak. I’m sure the clever bods at Google have probably thought of everything I’m going to write but just in case here’s my two cents:
1. Ban Dynamic Keyword Insertion
I agree that this is a very useful tool but it’s miss-used by eBay types too frequently. Forcing users to create relevant ads and actually write relevant copy for each group of keywords would stop a lot of the spam. If you just throw in 2000 keywords in an ad group with generic copy the CTR will plummet. Dynamic insertion prevents this and allows people to write lazy, irrelevant ads. It appears several affiliates pretty much bid on every word in the dictionary, this doesn’t really benefit anyone.
Obviously the affiliates who use this tool appropriately would be hurt but hey, that's life, it's abused too much. I'm sure Google could think of some sort of half-way house here.
2. Auction Based System
Preventing 10 people bidding on ‘widgets’ and then all linking to widgets.com is a good idea – it confuses the typical user and it’s not in Google’s long term interests to do this. So, to prevent a huge short-term revenue loss by banning affiliate bidding outright an alternative system is needed. I see two key discussion points if the auction system is implemented:
Is this applied to trademark bidding only, every possible keyword or somewhere in between. How frequently are the keywords re-opened for auction? How does daily budget impact on this? It seems like a lot of maintenance will be required.
I’d suggest a system like Overture’s could work – you just see what the current bids are and you can outbid people whenever you want. However, unlike Overture, if the bidding system is just used to prevent multiple bids on the same keyword/URL combination (not to determine ad position) then it gets a little complicated. An example:
Person A bids on ‘widgets’ sending traffic to widgets.com
Person B bids on ‘widgets’ sending traffic to salewidgets.com
Person C wants to bid on ‘widgets’ and send traffic to the official widgets.com website. So, he needs to outbid Person A. When he creates his ad with the URL and then enters the keywords Google would need a new screen that alerts the user to any conflicts – i.e. any keywords that someone else also has with a matching URL. You can then choose between a few options:
• Outbid the other user
• Drop the keyword if it’s deemed too expensive
• Send to an alternative URL
• Sit in 1st reserve in case Person A blows his budget.
Then, if the first option is chosen, Person A needs some sort of alert to say he has been outbid, his keyword has dropped to 1st reserve etc…
And then Google just runs in the same way as it does now – Max CPC*CTR determines position (I’m sure Max CPC is weighted heavily in this equation though). The most relevant ads get a bonus, Google maximises revenue.
That’s just of the top of my head, I’m sure the development team at Google are more than capable of creating a user friendly interface and cater for the millions of other possible scenarios I haven’t thought of. However, IMO that’s a huge amount of effort when there’s not actually a great deal of benefit to the user, leading the second discussion point – who benefits out of the 3 groups: users, affiliates and Google? At this point in time I choose to keep my opinions on that topic to myself.
| 3:19 am on Dec 9, 2004 (gmt 0)|
|so this is seriously under consideration? |
I really wish we could get an answer to this question.
| 4:43 am on Dec 9, 2004 (gmt 0)|
Can someone please summarize what's happening here?
Too much ranting and confusion, so when do we hear the truth?
| 7:16 am on Dec 9, 2004 (gmt 0)|
|Google isn't nobody :) Remember Jan 1st 2003? |
Back then they could do what they liked. Now they're accountable to shareholders.
| 7:29 am on Dec 9, 2004 (gmt 0)|
I agree with eyeinthesky.
This all is very confusing, especially the different bidding models that are being propossed.
If you have hundred of keywords for example, your bid may be accepted on some but not on others. You may win for certain keywords showing in the US, but lose for the same words in the UK. Would there need to be seperate bids put in for all the different country combinations that advertisers may select etc.
I think shakala1978 has definately got a good idea with the ban on Dynamic Keyword Insertion. Although that would upset many it would help clean things up. Maybe the ban should only apply to affiliates and not to merchants with their huge product lists.
Maybe bye raising the minimum CTR from 0.5% to 1.0% and banning Dynamic Keyword Insertion or something along those lines but for affiliates only, we could go some way to improving the situation without the need for a complicated bidding system.
Just a thought!
| 9:42 am on Dec 9, 2004 (gmt 0)|
|I think shakala1978 has definately got a good idea with the ban on Dynamic Keyword Insertion. |
I really don't think that is the answer. If anything google should just spend a bit more time reviewing ads of the type. If the function is abused, the advertiser gets a warning, continue on and get banned. Dynamic insertion is too useful and powerful a tool to just completely drop from the system.
Another point that you touch on - Affiliates aren't the only ones abusing the feature, large conglomerate sites with a world of budget have some of the most irrelevant and improper ads that you will ever see. Ebay gets pointed to as 'Prime Example A', but there are many, many other companies without affiliates that try to saturate adwords with dynamic insertion.
| 10:09 am on Dec 9, 2004 (gmt 0)|
My view on this may be simplistic but this doesn't seem like a particularly difficult problem (in practical or technical terms to solve), as I understand it.
Problem: Google Adwords is being swamped by multiple ads for some advertisers on particular keywords, reducing the quality of a user's "search experience".
Solution: Adwords continues to use exactly the same algorithm that it does currently to calculate the positioning of ads for individual keywords. Once it's run its calculation, it leaves in the top ad pointing to a particular URL but then strips out all other ads pointing to that same URL.
End result would be that you'd only have one ad per advertiser (or per URL at least) showing for each keyword (or search) but you wouldn't need to implement a bidding system - in fact, you wouldn't undermine the current way that Adwords works at all. You'd simply be working on the same basis but without the annoying duplication of ads.
From the point of view of a "searcher" that cuts down on the amount of duplicated rubbish.
For your "normal advertiser", it allows them to compete on more even grounf because of the reduction in affiliate ads.
For "affiliates" it provides a level playing field, since the best-performing ad will be the only one to be shown for a particular URL on any particular search. Note: it wouldn't be the affiliate who "bids" the most who is top, but the one who would effectively have the best-performing ad (ie exactly as is the case now).
That's my possibly over-simplistic view anyway!
| 10:59 am on Dec 9, 2004 (gmt 0)|
How about weeding out - some - dupes by raising the CTR barrier for search phrases that have reached a saturation point, or phrases that are manually added by G.
IMO it allows them to tweak the algo to get the perfect 'user experience' rather than just blocking all dupes regardless of quality.
| 12:57 pm on Dec 9, 2004 (gmt 0)|
We are full time affiliates who have spent more than $1 million with google over the previous 12 months. I'm sure this is nowere near your biggest advertiser revenue but we think it's a large amount of cash.
We are currently working on new plans to spend much more through adwords and have purchased very costly servers for tracking and have even taken onboard 2 programming contracters to help with the developments that we have planned.
We can totally understand if changes need to be made to your system but you guys at google must also understand affiliates like us are spending large sums of money on developing business plans and the changes that are rumoured could flatten our business models.
All we expect from our "business partners" is some kind of confirmation that this rumour is indeed going to happen and also be given some kind of timelines so that we don't spend more of our limited budgets on staff etc and the whole process will have been a waste of time and money. If we have a confirmation of some kind we can then put plans in place and save a fortune in wasted outgoings.
We all know that "Shak" has good contacts and for him to post this rumour it is enough for us all to sit up and listen. It very much feels like google is throwing a deaf ear to our concerns when all we require is a little business courtesy to plan ahead.
AdWordsAdvisor, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE can you obtain a real response to this rumour for all affiliates concerned about the future?
Thanks very much, Michael
| 7:57 pm on Dec 9, 2004 (gmt 0)|
Knowing what my own budget is (I expect my spending to double next year if the rules stay the same) and seeing some of the numbers above I think the % of revenue that comes from Affiliates in ad words is actually closer to 40%
| 8:21 pm on Dec 9, 2004 (gmt 0)|
Now that AWA has made some important comments on the matter, it is interesting to hear the implied "bribes" coming forth.
But G$ has to decide which is better for the long-term credibility and survivability:
* taking the short-term view and accepting the affiliate bribes (shouting, "We'll spend more!") who otherwise destroy the value for users to want to use G$ anymore (until G$ finally becomes the Netscape it could very well become)
* taking the long-term view and refusing such bribes to ensure greater credibility as a legitimate provider of search information to users and thereby futhering the possibility for longterm success.
It will be interesting to see if G$ will take the credibility and ethical route or if G$ really is going to be just a bribe-taker.
| 8:40 pm on Dec 9, 2004 (gmt 0)|
MM, you've posted some ridiculous things in the past but this takes the cake.
By your definition any money exchanging hands in exchange for a service is now defined as a 'bribe'.
Do us all a favour before you post any more and do a search on G for 'dictionary'. On the right hand side of the results page some useless 'ghost' has generously provided a link to purchase a dictionary of your choosing.
Please use it.
| 9:05 pm on Dec 9, 2004 (gmt 0)|
"Please, please, please let us stay. We'll pay you more money! Pleeeeeeeeese! Waaaaaaah!"
Sounds like an implied bribe to me!
| 9:17 pm on Dec 9, 2004 (gmt 0)|
I'm a YHOO shareholder. I own no GOOG unfortunately.
But as a YHOO shareholder I am really quite miffed that they are taking an approach that is severely limiting their growth. GOOG shot up so much because of their year over year growth - and that is likely hihgly dependent on Adwords demand.
I have an Overture account - and IMHO it is crap compared to Adwords (for MANY MANY reasons). If Google wants to continue to police Ad quality like it has been doing, without taking drastic steps like they are talking about - I think they can have it both ways... Ad relevancy, and huge profits.
I do have substantial funds in YHOO shares (for the average investor) - and I seriously am annoyed as a shareholder that this complex they have over ad quality is a major hinderence to growth. And while GOOG has been shooting up on earnings news, YHOO goes up just slightly. (Stagnant compared to GOOG)
Yes I'll be really annoyed if GOOG does this - but they will be bringing on themselves the possible financial reprucussions that will come.
One of the things it will do - is really force me to develop more of a web presence / web store... Which you might say is great... But that will also drive me to move more and more to Overture too, as Overture requires that now.
So again - if Google does this, they deserve all that comes with it.
| 9:35 pm on Dec 9, 2004 (gmt 0)|
|Solution: Adwords continues to use exactly the same algorithm that it does currently to calculate the positioning of ads for individual keywords. Once it's run its calculation, it leaves in the top ad pointing to a particular URL but then strips out all other ads pointing to that same URL. |
Bazza9 well put. This is exactly the solution I would adopt.
| 10:40 pm on Dec 9, 2004 (gmt 0)|
I would agree PeteM, but where does that leave a new advertiser for that particular Keyword/URL combination, they don't have a CTR for their Ad to show, and unless their Ad gets shown their never going to get one. (a sort of Catch 22)
A twist on that idea that might work though could be something similar to the current Ad optimization feature within your account. The Ads with higher bid rankings for any given Keyword/URL combination get shown more often than those with low bid ramkings, with only one Ad to be shown at any one time.
That way any new advertiser could enter the market for a particular Keyword/URL combination if they wished, but would have to write quality Ads and prove themselves over time to be able to rise up through the rankings.
I'm sure for the Ads at the top that get shown most often the conversions rates would go up (less competition from competing Ads). It would also cut down on accidental secondary clicks from surfers who don't look at display URL's there bye saving the Advertiser money on wasted clicks.
Hows that sound.
| 10:46 pm on Dec 9, 2004 (gmt 0)|
Ooops sorry about the three posts.
I must have hit the submit button bye mistake instead of the preview button.
Please accept my apologies.
Maybe Shak, Skibum or eWhisper could delete the first two for me.
| 10:48 pm on Dec 9, 2004 (gmt 0)|
|I would agree PeteM, but where does that leave a new advertiser for that particular Keyword/URL combination, they don't have a CTR for their Ad to show, and unless their Ad gets shown their never going to get one. (a sort of Catch 22) |
Well there must currently be a default CTR rating for new ads. Position (or inclusion in the new world) would be based on the existing combination of CTR and max CPC.
Therefore you could buy your way in by specifying a high CTR.
| 11:05 pm on Dec 9, 2004 (gmt 0)|
Multiman....you add absolutely nothing of any real help to any thread ive ever seen you post in.
If you spent more time and thought on your own business instead of moaning and whinging about affiliates you would not even have to worry about "ghost" stealing your customers.
Back to the subject I can see why G want to stop the multi-domain ads on 1 keyword but as many people have said, they will lose tons and tons of business!
I have my trust in G that they will come up with a happy medium for everybody.
| 11:31 pm on Dec 9, 2004 (gmt 0)|
That maybe so PeteM, but I'm sure the default CTR is way below the top performing Ad's CTR. Therefore to buy your way in could very well end up costing an arm and a leg.
| 11:46 pm on Dec 9, 2004 (gmt 0)|
I've added nothing, eh? Not only does such fiction attempt to insult me, but it insults everyone who has agreed with me and all or any of the people I've helped in other threads on other issues.
In this thread, I am concerned with having a legitimate information internet. My input about the affiliate ghosts destroying the AdWords adspace is a legtimate argument -- and G$ itself may very well be responding to it.
As such, because my argument may very well have succeeded (we'll have to wait and see), such attacks of fiction against me are, of course, to be expected.
| 11:49 pm on Dec 9, 2004 (gmt 0)|
What I'm trying to say PeteM, is that from a quality standpoint which is what Google is after, its got to be better to have to earn the right for your Ads to show through good Ad copy rather than simply being able to buy your way in and end up pushing click cost to a level that would give MultiMan a heart attack if he had to pay them.
[edited by: Chernelle at 12:29 am (utc) on Dec. 10, 2004]
| 11:58 pm on Dec 9, 2004 (gmt 0)|
After all that's the reason Google brought in bid ranking based on CTR as oppossed to the Overture system in the first place.
Lets be carefull not to throw the baby out with the bath water.
| 2:56 am on Dec 10, 2004 (gmt 0)|
I was thinking about bidding on trade names and trade marks. A lot of merchants allow their affiliates to bid on these. When you come across these trade name/mark keywords you do usually see all of the ads pointing to the same URL, but what else would you expect to see with that type of keyword? Say Google allows only one URL pointing to a particular domain as some of you have suggested. What would happen is that Google would essentially be removing any commercial value (for google) from these types of keywords because all of those ads (save one) that use to point to the trade name/mark holder would likely be replaced with something like these examples.
Trade Name for sale
Check out the deals now
Trade Name at Amazon.com
Find Trade Name for everyone
Free shipping on select Trade Name
Trade Name at Target
On sale today
Find the Cheapest Prices for Trade Name
and Trade Name Products at Nextag.com
The point being of course that the company that owns the trade name/mark is the only one that sells the widgets with that trade name and the rest of the fill ads would simply be generated with the dynamic keyword tool or by hand in some cases be people looking to cash in only the newly cheap keywords with untargeted ads. In cases like these wouldn’t keeping affiliates from biding on the same URL result in less relevant results for the end user? It would also look a lot spammier IMO. If I were the trade name/mark holder in question for any particular keyword I wouldn’t be very happy that 90% of the ads that use to point to my mark/name were now redirecting someone searching for my mark/name someplace else. I would contact my attorney so he/she could inform google I don’t want anybody else bidding on my name/mark anymore.
| 7:21 am on Dec 10, 2004 (gmt 0)|
|That maybe so PeteM, but I'm sure the default CTR is way below the top performing Ad's CTR. Therefore to buy your way in could very well end up costing an arm and a leg. |
True, but you could reduce the max cpc once enough ads have been served to calculate the CTR.
| 7:24 am on Dec 10, 2004 (gmt 0)|
Is there any way that this issue would fix itself in the long term? All we really need is some decent competition to Amazon (there's a few decent sized players coming through now in the UK e.g. play.com cdwow, hmv, etc). And we can't be far off the point when everyone has an ebay account.
| 7:38 am on Dec 10, 2004 (gmt 0)|
(True, but you could reduce the max cpc once enough ads have been served to calculate the CTR.)
I understand what your saying PeteM
But I still think something similar to the current Ad optimization feature within our accounts which I mentioned before; where the Ads with higher bid rankings for any given Keyword/URL combination get shown more often than those with low bid ramkings but with only one Ad being shown at any one time, would be more fair and equitable for all concerned.
| 8:17 am on Dec 10, 2004 (gmt 0)|
Any change G wants to make to the adwords system is fine with me.
All I expect, as an advertiser, is to be given reasonable notice (3 months would be OK) about any changes which are going to take place. After all, they are not doing anything wrong - no reason to be secretive.
However, IF this happens, i think we will be given either, no notice, or an embarrassingly short period of notice. I hope I am proven wrong.
| 9:05 am on Dec 10, 2004 (gmt 0)|
|My input about the affiliate ghosts destroying the AdWords adspace is a legtimate argument -- and G$ itself may very well be responding to it. |
Im sure the people at google will be knocking on your door very soon and offering you all kinds of jobs.
Your arrogance is astonishing!
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