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Unusually high number of impressions
eshark




msg:1135651
 6:20 pm on Feb 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

One of my keywords gets about 1500 impressions a day with CTR about 2%.
This morning noticed that the number of impressions was 2600 and rising and CTR is about 0.1%. I've used this keyword for months and it NEVER got more than 2000 impressions a day, CTR has always been stable. ANd now it looks like it's gonna get 5000 impressions.
Is that a google bug? Any ideas?

 

inasisi




msg:1135652
 6:24 pm on Feb 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

Or it could be some one impression spamming to reduce you CTR. Is it a high value keyword?

eshark




msg:1135653
 6:36 pm on Feb 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

It is one of the main keywords in the business I am in.
What's a impression spamming, how do they do that?

inasisi




msg:1135654
 7:02 pm on Feb 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

Impression spamming is when a competitor pauses their campaign and then runs a program that searches Google for the particular keyword thousands of times. This program does not click on any of the Sponsored Results as that would be easy to find through Fraud detectors. By doing this your ads has got thousands of impressions but no clicks. Thus your keyword could be disabled or would have a very low CTR. Thus when the competitor resumes his campaign, he has a much better CTR than you and consequently a better position.

I have not experienced this first hand but it is definitely possible. I am not sure if Google has good fraud filters for this kind of impression spamming.

Frequent




msg:1135655
 7:50 pm on Feb 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

I would send the big G an email from within your account. Give them the specifics and ask them to check for impression spamming.

I had this happen to one of my accounts. I emailed Google and, although they did not confirm impression spamming, the impressions returned to normal the next day.

Another possibility, if this is a very new campaign is that your keywords/ads have finally been approved for use on the partner and content sites.

eshark




msg:1135656
 9:45 pm on Feb 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the info. That's a pretty dishonest way of competing but then it's hard to count on some people being honest these days.
It is not a new campaign and it's been running on the partner sites.
I;ve emailed Google will see what their response to this is.

poster_boy




msg:1135657
 9:51 pm on Feb 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

This is a possibility:

[webmasterworld.com...]

I saw the same effect (sky-rocketing impressions, bottom-falling out of my CTR)... then, saw my ad running on a "search syndication site" without being triggered by a search and I put two & two together.

The dishonest party here is Google.

mahlon




msg:1135658
 9:54 pm on Feb 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

I actually turned off all content targeting....we were getting way to many impressions from it.

poster_boy




msg:1135659
 10:12 pm on Feb 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

I actually turned off all content targeting....we were getting way to many impressions from it.

Without taking over this thread - where my post may or may not be off-topic... I'm opted-out of Content Targeting, too. The scenario discussed in that post counts those clicks (which SHOULD be content targeting) as search.

eshark




msg:1135660
 10:16 pm on Feb 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

Content search is off, but what poster_boy is talking about is different from content search. If I understand it correctly, it is these spammy sites running AdNonSense.
It could be .. but whyt is it only affecting one keyword and not others? And the change is very sudden after a few months just for that keyword. I think impression spamming is the most plausible explanation to me. And I learned something new -- I had no idea people would do that. I knew about the malicious clicks, not impression spam tho.
I'll update the thread once I get a response from Google which p[robably will take them a few days if past is any indication

poster_boy




msg:1135661
 10:33 pm on Feb 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

why is it only affecting one keyword and not others?

In my case, they picked a high volume keyword and pounded it out across this AdNonsense site (I love this term you've coined) in concentrated fashion.

I can tell the exact day that it kicked into place - went from 1000s of imps/day for months @ a 3% CTR to 1,000,000s of imps/day @ a 0.01% CTR overnight - all on one keyword.

AdWordsAdvisor




msg:1135662
 11:00 pm on Feb 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

One of my keywords gets about 1500 impressions a day with CTR about 2%.
This morning noticed that the number of impressions was 2600 and rising and CTR is about 0.1%.

Another thing to at least explore as a possibility: has the subject represented by the keyword seen any substantial media interest recently, particularly in the national press, or on TV?

This happens with some frequency, and can cause big (though often short lived) spikes in impressions. One example that sticks in my mind, from a while ago: keywords regarding a particular women's magazine spiked hugely when Britney Spears appeared on the cover, wearing not a lot. One advertiser that I spoke with at that time had a 1000% increase in impressions that day, followed by a smaller increase over the few days following.

Another example: a small island in the Southern US was featured in several magazine articles recently, accompanied by truly gorgeous pictures and glowing text. Lots of keywords concerned with real estate and rentals on that island spiked all of a sudden.

So, at least scan for national 'news' on the topic of your ads. Sometimes all it takes is one appearance on Oprah. ;)

AWA

eshark




msg:1135663
 11:14 pm on Feb 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

AWA,

I considered that possibility too. I am not an Oprah fan, but I read the news daly and have not seen anything in relation to the keyword.
Also, if that was the case, would not the CTR remain roughly the same as well? THat did not happen.
Also, the spike happened this morning. I had about 2600 impressions by 9 (Pacific time) and then it slowed to the more or less usual rate.

eWhisper




msg:1135664
 11:22 pm on Feb 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

Also, if that was the case, would not the CTR remain roughly the same as well?

Not if people are looking for news and you're offering a commercial product.

The reason of why the spike happened along with how commercial vs information the searches are has a direct relationship on CTR.

AdWordsAdvisor




msg:1135665
 11:23 pm on Feb 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

Also, if that was the case, would not the CTR remain roughly the same as well? THat did not happen.

In my experience, no, not really. In the magazine example, the advertiser's CTR plummeted, because people were just looking for info on the article, or for a look at cover shot, and were not interested in subscribing.

The 'island' advertiser also had a decline in CTR, though not as pronounced, as I recall.

<added> Oops, just noticed that eWhisper beat me to it. As usual! </added>

AWA

eshark




msg:1135666
 11:58 pm on Feb 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

OK, I admit that your explanation is possible (and I appreciate your comments, I learned something from this experience), but I still think that impression spamming is more plausible of an explanation. I mean it never occured to me to do something like that to drop competitors' CTR, but now that I know about it, I think I could write a script to do it in about 30 minutes (and I am slow :) ). Not that I would ever do it.
What I'd like to know if Google has any sort of safeguards against something like this. If not, then the placement formula taking CTR in consideration is pretty much useless.

AdWordsAdvisor




msg:1135667
 12:33 am on Feb 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

What I'd like to know if Google has any sort of safeguards against something like this.

Absolutely, yes. Every impression and click that occurs in your account is filtered. This is part of what occurs during the three hour delay in the reporting of your stats.

AWA

Syzygy




msg:1135668
 12:52 am on Feb 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

As a BTW/Aside: I saw impressions & ctr on my campaigns double just recently (after I'd done some tweaking, mind you - but not enough to make the sort of difference witnessed...). As pure speculation I wondered as to whether this may have coincided with the end of the recent Hajj.

Later (ie, at the end of the month), in looking at conversions & logs, the amount of traffic/clicks coming from the Middle East/India/Pakistan, etc, had gone through the roof...

Situations & events, perhaps unnoticed by the advertiser, really can impact upon the performance of your campaigns.

Syzygy

eshark




msg:1135669
 1:16 am on Feb 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

Interesting point, but I dont think it's the that, I only advertize in the USA.
The impression rate returned to normal now, stiull waiting for official response from Google, will see what they have to say

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