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staying to the right of serps - how?
client wants to test right of v top of serps

 9:48 pm on Apr 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

I have a client who wants to experiment with google adwords positions (top of serps v right of serps)... in fact, they are interested in staying on the right and not climb to the top...

I know that to get to the top the ad has to (i) be approved, (ii) have a minimum 'max cpc' and (ii) a minimum CTR... (or at least some kind of formula thereof)

Is there anyway I can ensure the ads stay on the right? At least for 1 to 2 months so that we can track and measure?

How long does it take for the ads to be approved? Can I assume a minimum time period here in which I can be sure the ads sit on the right? How long would that time period be?

Over what period is the CTR calculated? Can I assume that the ads will sit on the right for a minimum number of impressions? What number would that be?

Is there any other way that you know/have discovered to achieve this?

Any input would be much appreciated!



 11:12 pm on Apr 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

That's a tricky one. Ad position depends on lots of factors including the three you mention. In addition, the CTR of an ad affects its positioning on G, and any regional strategies being used by others comes into play.

For example, if you bid $0.75 because that's what G says you'll need to bid to be at position #4 (first position on the right), then (1) your ad will need the appropriate CTR to keep it at that position regardless of your bid (a high CTR ad with a bid of $0.25 could easily push your ad down the list), and (2) others who use regional targeting are likely to perform better than non-targeted ads, resulting in your ad being positioned at #12 or #40 in a tight regional market.

Like I said, a tricky one.

One issue your employer might want to consider is that advertisers below position #4 receive far fewer impressions on the content sites than those in the top 4 due to the nature of AdSense delivery. So if you get your wish and your ads start sliding up and down on the right, then you'll probably notice a marked decrease in activity frlom content sites as you ad slides in and out of the ad blocks G is sending to their content "partners".



 11:23 pm on Apr 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

hmmm... thanks for your thoughts... I was under the impression that #3 is the top one on the right... if it's #4 where is number #3?

running scared

 12:46 pm on Apr 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

To the best of my knowledge there is no easy way to achieve it.

It helps to find some phrases that are less competitive as you decrease the very high chances of competitors changing their bids.

Exact match will probably also help

You will need to monitor your position very carefully howevever you do it.


 1:23 pm on Apr 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

Thank you... seeing that we are 'just' after a test (and not yet a long-term solution)... isn't there are time period during which I can be sure the ads will be to the right?

For example.

x weeks until the ads have been reviewed
x weeks until the ads reach y impressions?

If i can't determine where my ads will sit is there at least an easy way to assess which position they were on for any given time period so that I can correlate with my site data?


 7:48 pm on Apr 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

... isn't there are time period during which I can be sure the ads will be to the right?...

denof, this is indeed a tricky one. And honestly, I'm not able to think of a way to make sure that you never show up in the (one or two) top spots without otherwise interfering with the value of your testing.

With AdWords there is not really a way to ensure that you'll have (or in your case, not have a particular position. And in fact, it is not at all unusual to have one's position literally shift from impression to impression, as the competitive landscape changes rather quickly.

In order to get 'promoted' to the top spots, one's ads need to be approved (as you have already noted), and they need to have met an additional performance standard which focuses on a high CTR.

So while it seems really counterproductive to effective advertising, I suppose you could make an effort to write really 'mediocre' ads that would only get a moderate CTR at best. Yes, I know it sounds like I am making a joke, but having so-so ads is actually one way to avoid being promoted.

But if you're trying to test the effectiveness of something, writing mediocre ads in support of maintaining a low position seems destined to make the test meaningless.

The time-to-review is also difficult to predict, as it is highly dependent on volume, among other factors. But is will always be shorter than the period that your post indicates that you need.

Nor are impressions a factor that'll give you what you need.

You could make sure your ad was never approved by changing it frequently, but again this would make your testing useless. (At least insofar as I understand it.)

If i can't determine where my ads will sit is there at least an easy way to assess which position they were on for any given time period so that I can correlate with my site data?

You can look at your statistics for a 'date range' of your choosing. There are several pre-sets, or you may choose any date range that you wish to evaulate.

The smallest period that you're able to look at would be the date range of 'Today' - which amounts to the time between midnight PST, and about three hours before the current time. (This three hour offset is due to the fact that your stats run about three hours behind real time.) Anyway, at the Ad Group level of your account, you can see your average position for each keyword, for your chosen date range.

You may also wish to explore the 'Reports' tab of your account to see the various reports that you may run, which could prove useful.

I hope this information proves useful, although I am aware that it is not the answer you were hoping for. In a way though, it sounds as if you may be trying to test for a condition that can never actually be assured in the day-to-day operation of AdWords.

I wish you the best of success with this, however!



 10:37 pm on Apr 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

AWA - thank you for your great response! It was very comprehensive and clearly written... and of much help. I got the most of your last sentence: why test for a condition that cannot be controlled afterwards? If the ad will bounce between top and right in the long-term then it should do so during the experiment as well... so we haven't solved the problem but determined that the problem shouldn't be a problem... just in case I can't convince the client I will explore the reports closer. Thanks again!

The Grizzler

 11:12 pm on Apr 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

A nice feature that Google could introduce would be a tick box that says "I do not wish to have a banner ad".

Another could be any ad that has not been approved should not be able to attain a higher position than number 3, thus preventing one advertiser controlling whether or not there are banners shown above the normal SERPS.

We have spoken to our rep about this who tells us that it has been passed on to the features team but I doubt there will be any changes.


 5:29 pm on Apr 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

A nice feature that Google could introduce would be a tick box that says "I do not wish to have a banner ad".

I agree, The Grizzler - and I'm nearly certain that this is on the 'Wish List' already. But I'll forward the idea again.

While I'd say that many, if not most, advertisers would be pleased to be in the top spots, I've seen a variety of reason on this Forum as to why that is not always the case - notably those who track their conversions closely, and find that, for their business at least, they'd prefer to be in a lower position.

Anyway, I'll forward your feedback.


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