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New ads pushing down top ads - 2 week problem

12:56 pm on Dec 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Over the last 2 weeks new ads posted are pushing all top 2 ads to the right. As a result what was a top rank shows now on the right at position 3/4. At the same time all top listings are now gone. Naturally traffic is down and so are revenues!

Over the last 2 weeks this happened to loads of keyword combinations just about daily, so I contacted our google rep. According to him he has to manually approve each ad, so it then drops (apparently the being subject to established rules). After my complaints (email/phone) he each time promptly approved the new ad so it gave way to established ads, ours among others. It would not take not long though for the same situation to occur again. After all, new ads are posted all the time.

As this is going on for over 2 weeks I wonder: how if google encourages advertisers into a bidding war by delaying ad approval? This would be the perfect way to drive up sales. Or is my google rep. just slow? A change in the google (adwords) algorithm?

Anyone, pls?

9:24 pm on Dec 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member jtara is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

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New ads cannot run in the blue box until they have been manually reviewed (not "approved"). This is the same review that permits ads to run on the Search Network and/or Content Network.

Any change to an ad actually creates a new ad, which will then require a new review. I would advise that you never change an ad, until it's one you just created. Create a NEW ad, and don't delete the old one until the new one is reviewed.

Unfortunately, there is no way to tell for sure if an ad has been reviewed. I've requested a checkbox as a feature.

I don't think your Google rep has anything to do with ad review, except when you complain and they accelerate review. I think they are just queued for reviewers.

I doubt that Google delays reviews as a business decision. They would lose many more customers through frustration than they would gain dollars from customers bidding up keywords.

It IS a problem, though, and DOES frustrate advertisers. The checkbox would go a long way to relieving the frustration.

9:59 pm on Dec 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Well, this answers a question for me. I was wondering why it took a couple of days for my ads too appear in the Content Network. Now I know.

P.S. Contrary to so many of the posts I read here, my Content Network ROI is 3 times that of search!

12:41 pm on Dec 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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to clarify, i was not relating to our ads, but rather to other advertisers posting/amending ads (combined with a high bid). this then causes our ads to be shifted/forced to the right, until the new advertisers ad is approved.
2:13 pm on Dec 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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This has been an issue since 2003 [webmasterworld.com].

If the person with the highest AdRank doesn't meet the qualifications for premium position, then everything is shifted down to the right.

Basically, the person in first position doesn't meet the premium qualifications, so can't be shown in premium position, and since they have the top adrank, no one else can be ahead of them.

This was a real issue in 03/04, however, it seemed that late 04/early 05 some algos were tweaked to keep this from happening.

There are probably still scenarios where this happens, and it sounds like your in one of them.

For a while, if you couldn't hit the premium spot (usually a CTR issue), you could at least keep others from hitting it as well. That tactic stopped working a while ago for the most part.

If it's an ongoing issue, I'd talk to your rep about the specific instance so that the algos can be further tweaked to keep this from happening.

4:32 am on Dec 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Thanks eWhisper for confirming this.

Yes you are correct. We copied the situation with one of our ads with the same result. Our (updated) ad with a high bid pushed all ads to the right side. Took then 2 days to be approved. After approval other ads went back to top (left) position.

In comparing stats I found that CTR rates drop when the ad is forced to the right. Surely top rank no. 2 gets a higher CTR then rank no. 2 right side. I also noticed that in response to the lower CTR costs per click go up.

We have this problem now for quite a high number of ads. Seems that the algo has changed.

1:49 am on Dec 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I have noticed exactly the same thing. I think it is WRONG of google to knock people out of the blue when a new ad appears. Its bad business for google and for advertisers. I think the new advertiser should have the top position on the right side, till he proves himself, then move into the blue. NOT KICK ALL ESTABLISHED ADVERTISERS OUT OF THE BLUE AREA.

Major issue with me. It costs google millions.

4:19 pm on Dec 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Adwords is seriosly behind on ad approvals now. Some of my ads created 2-3 days before X-mas are not approved yet!
5:13 am on Jan 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Thanks eWhisper

Discussed this with google and yes, they have been slow on approvals over C'ms. Approvals are still on the slow side though. I would think that they have to address this seriously, as posting of new ads or amendments combined with top bids will only increase.

8:06 pm on Jan 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Just to be clear, is there a differnece in the google process between "Approved" and "Reviewed"?

My understading is that ads were "approved" immediately when you write and save them. If an ad contains wierd characters or stuff like that then google will not veen let you create/save it.

Then a few days later the ad gets manually "reviewed" by a person. Only after review is an ad distributed to the partner network or contet nework.


10:38 pm on Jan 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Yeah, I know what you mean. If there are 2 in the blue box and a new ad comes along that outranks the two in the blue box, until it gets reviewed, it will be at the side.

Because of ranking, if the number one bid is on the right, all others should be below it, hence on the right.

Atleast that is how I think it works.

Kind of sucks, but hey it happens. I just put one up and knocked everyone to the side.


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