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Support responded with canned answer, never read all my detail
Google Local breaks my Adword ad.

 11:36 pm on Mar 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

When I Google search "Local" my ad does not show. The Google AdWords test tool identifies the reason as

"X Ad not shown ¦ Reason: The user is located outside your campaign's geo-targeting area."

Even thought I provided the zip code.

Regular Google search places me #4. Local does not show ad. I sent a very detailed note to Support, included a Screen capture link of what I see.

Support responded with a very thorough, complete tutorial that probably covers the problem most of the time.

I did NOT learn one new thing in the information provided. Clearly, they did not pay attention to all the details I provided because those details proved I covered all my diagnostic bases.

According to my server logs, NO ON ever looked at the image I provided.

Today's pleasant surprise was that Overture responded to my recent Support request with a Phone Call! Wow! I am impressed.



 2:28 am on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

Raleighpchousecalls, there isn't really enough info here, or in your other posts, to say for certain why you aren't seeing your ads. So let me try to describe the circumstances under which you would see them. First, though, I want to make an important distinction.

If you search in Local for a particular zip code, our system can not know that that is where you are located. It can only know that that is the area you are interested in searching.

For example, let's say I live in City A with a zip of 11111. But tomorrow I am flying to a city across the country, with a zip of 22222. And when I get there, I know I'll want pizza. So, while I'm in City A I search on Local for 'pizza' in '22222'. In this case the system would be entirely incorrect if it assumed that I lived in zip 22222.

So, with that said, if you want to be able to see your ads on Google Local for a particular radius around a particular zip code, the following things would need to be in place. (This list assumes that your budget is sufficient for your ad to show all the time. Otherwise, it might not show for simple lack of budget.)

* In your campaign settings, you would need to have selected the 'Google and the search network' option. If this option is not selected, your ads will not show on Google Local.

* Your ad would need to be appearing in the top three positions on Google, as there are a maximum of three ads on the local pages. So appearing in the fourth position on Google would not allow for your ad to show on Google Local.

* The zip code you have entered in Google Local would need to be within the area to which the campaign in question is targeted. This means that you could be targeted nationally - or if you are targeted regionally, you would need to be certain the region that you've targeted includes the zip you entered. In most cases, it is better to target the entire city rather that a radius around a particular point.

Hope this helps.



 4:39 am on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

Thanks for looking!
That is really encouraging.

Let me say I have done a lOT of testing across two days and tried to summarize with enough detail in the support request to illustrate that there is a problem, and that I have done a lot of homework learning how it is supposed to work.

In one test, I put my CPC high enough to ensure I was in position one. (I later put it back to normal and was usually in #3 or #4)

See this image:

Then, all I did was click "Local" and select the 1 mile link (and tried 2 mile and 3 mile, 5 and 15):

Quite frankley, I am disappointed that I can't seem to convince anyone in support that the problem is not my configuration of the Campaign settings, or other stupid things. Settings are not too different from Overture and that works for me.

You can be sure I have made every mistake in configuration that can be made, and after I was done learning the hard way, I started documenting, carefully, still looking for what I am doing wrong. I tested over and over and over, still thinking I am just plain dumb.

However, after all the pain and effort, and two separate support requests, there are two questions I can't seem to get answered:

1. If I am looking for a local business in Miami, and I put in the Zip Code for the location in Miami, why does Google care where my PC is located?

2. If I am a User/customer shopping, and I put in a Local search with a zip code, will a NATIONAL campaign with a higher CPC than the local businesses rank higher than the local business?

Question #1 is important because the "Google Campaign Tool" says my ad in my zip code is not shown because:

Reason: The user is located outside your campaign's geo-targeting area.

As a retired programmer, I conclude one or more of these items probably exist:

a. Bad business(Google) assumption that physical location of user is more important than the data in the Local field, like city of zip code.

b. Defect in the Design Document. (Unless Question #2 answer is, "CPC trumps all ad displays even in "Local" search".) If ther is NO design document, then i would probably have better luck in Las Vegas.

I hope I have presented enough detail. Thanks for your attention. It is really appreciated!


[edited by: eWhisper at 1:35 pm (utc) on Mar. 16, 2005]
[edit reason] Please No Specifics [/edit]


 5:18 pm on Mar 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

I have been getting canned responses from AdWords too,
the "please read the FAQ you silly person" kind of thing.

A phone call from Overture? Hmmm
I wonder if MSN has decided there is a service gap to exploit in their competiion with Google?



 5:21 pm on Mar 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

Sorry. MSN and Overture aren't the same. I know.
But both are Google PPC competitors, or Overture is and MSN will be, perhaps.



 5:22 pm on Mar 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

the "please read the FAQ you silly person" kind of thing.

"Please read the FAQ and then let us know if it's still an issue."

My spend goes up and their customer service quality goes DOWN.

It's definitely frustrating!


 5:23 pm on Mar 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

I've had friendly 1/2 hour phone calls with O -- people are nice and helpful, but the operation simply doesn't run as efficiently as AdWords from a system standpoint.

Too bad the two can't merge -- or at least O could improve a few areas like speed of approval, their clunky interface and I'd use them more.


PS: I'm glad I'm not the only one who gets those annoying canned answers straight from the help whenever I contact G!


 5:37 pm on Mar 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

Keep after 'em.

I talk to people all day about the virtues of Google, all the while knowing I am seeing signs of service decay and "big britches syndrome".

Sorry. But to study, be tested, get certified, and then have the underlying service assumption be you are careless or ignorant is discouraging. To others apparently also.

Taking consumers (us) for granted is not a way to encourage Brand Loyalty.

OK. Off the soapbox and back to work.



 5:49 pm on Mar 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'm glad I'm not the only one who gets those annoying canned answers straight from the help whenever I contact G!

No wonder, that they send mainly canned answers:
I am sure that there must be a huge load of mails to the support.

The newbie in adwords can run into many troubles (we know some of these troubles very well from this forum) very fast - and they want their answers.

The fastest (I am sure not the best)way is to send canned answers. I am sure that an canned answer may help to the newbies, who doesnot know the system or even do not read FAQ.

But it is like making a fun of GAP.

I would recommend another kind of support for GAP.


 6:18 pm on Mar 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

When I send them an email (or fill out a support request) it has my account number included. They can see I'm not a newbie. Or at the very least they can see what my spending level is.

They used to be quite helpful. Their customer service has been eroding for over a year now. Sometimes I don't even get a response.

I would love to post some of their responses but I think it's against TOS.


 8:06 pm on Mar 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

If I am a User/customer shopping, and I put in a Local search with a zip code, will a NATIONAL campaign with a higher CPC than the local businesses rank higher than the local business?

AdRank formula does not take into account proximity scoring for Google.com or local.google.com results.

We all wait for the day when Google Local will show local results in the ads, and not just the top bidders nationwide.


 9:40 pm on Mar 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

I have a very short time available to post right now, but did want to quickly respond to this:

We all wait for the day when Google Local will show local results in the ads, and not just the top bidders nationwide.

Point well taken, eWhisper, and I'll pass this feedback on later in the day.

The thinking behind the current scenario, though, is that in what is a truly global economy, advertisers who target the entire country (as an example) are saying that they are prepared to do business anywhere in the country. So their ad in local results is useful, as they are in fact doing business in that locale.

Which brings up a good point: as an advertiser, it's pretty important to target one's campaigns accurately. If you really are not prepared to do business world-wide, then it is not a good idea to target 'all countries - all languages'.

And if you are in New York and you'd rather not do business farther west than, say, Utah, then your campaign targeting would want to reflect that.

I have a bunch more to say regarding other posts in this thread, and will try to get back to it soon. :)



 9:58 pm on Mar 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

The first search engine that implements true local searching in their business model will have a competitive edge.

Untill the competing search engines join the practice, the "first to implement local" correctly will draw users over from their former "favorite". You will find there is not bias toward name, but "useable results" always win. I predict this advantage will last 12-14 months if not longer.

For years, I do "homework" research regarding which widget I want to buy. I then shop the local stores, very willing to pay sales tax, save shipping, and support local merchants even thought it coasts more money (usually).

If the local sources do not have my selected choice, then I go online to find it. I will NOT adjust my preference simply because the local store has something else in stock.

Never have I had a regret in choice since I started this method of shopping.

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