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Google to abandon adsense?

 10:53 pm on Aug 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

Er well that is what this article is suggesting...


"A study from NewGate compared the performance of Google search and contextual campaigns for two clients. Results showed that click-through rates were 14 times to 150 times higher on the search ads than the contextual ads. The cost per lead, or order, was two to eight times higher for contextual campaigns. "



 10:57 pm on Aug 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

If it makes them money, why abandon it. Advertisers are only paying for clicks, so the model is still very attractive from an advertisers point of view. I think it would be a different situation if adsence was served on a cpm basis.



 11:03 pm on Aug 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

well my CTR is 5.0% on normal adwords-0.2% on content adv.(no sales)
I'm probably going to opt out of content adv.


 11:05 pm on Aug 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

This syndicated article is being discussed in the AdWords forum.

[webmasterworld.com ]


 11:41 pm on Aug 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

Given the study is based on 2 sites that doesn't say much... If i had to do a study based on any 2 sites using adsense i could come up with any figures i wanted.


 11:50 pm on Aug 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

I have 2.5% CTR on my adsense ads. And I know for a fact that the site deliverign around 60% of the impressions has a significantly lower CTR, which means my other site might reach around 3%. Which of course MUST mean advertisers advertisign on my adsense get CTR of 3%.

Since my own adWords campaign in th esame area gets around 2.4% CTR, that is not bad at all.



 12:44 am on Aug 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

Markus is right. It reminds me of the ballyhooed results of Bustamente doing better than Arnold in Cali. There are over 100 candidates and they polled 200 people.

Polls and studies with insufficient data needs to be taken with a grain of salt.


 1:28 am on Aug 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

killroy, if your displaying 4 ads, and the clickthru is 3% doesn't that mean that any given advertiser on your site is getting a clickthru ratio of 3% /4?


 1:36 am on Aug 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

It's impossible to make informed judgments about the effectiveness of "contextual advertising" or "content ads" because such ads have never been tested in a statistically meaningful way. Google "content ads," for example, appear on sites that cover the spectrum from large general news and entertainment sites to highly targeted niche sites. Some ads may be performing very poorly (e.g., ads for long-distance phone plans in a WASHINGTON POST article on FCC regulation of telephone companies' networks), but others are likely to be performing very well indeed.

I think it's a pretty safe bet that Google's AdSense program delivers better results than its "corporate partner" ads or Overture's "Content Match" ads. Why? Because AdSense offers the potential for targeted niche audiences, not just targeted keywords.

Google's automated matches aren't perfect, of course; I've seen ads for ATM equipment and supplies in my article on using European ATMs, and ads for beer-keg equipment are in my article on Munich's Oktoberfest. But most of the time, AdSense works pretty well if matching ads are available, and--just as important from the advertiser's point of view--an ad for "Burgundy by Barge" that appears in a cruising site's article on French barge cruises, or an ad for doughnut mixes that appears in a bakery trade magazine's site on doughnutmaking, is likely to deliver better results than the same ad in a CNN article about European water transportation or an MSNBC business story about Dunkin Donuts.

Over time, we'll probably see AdSense and similar programs evolve to give advertisers more control over where their ads appear. This will drive up bids on some sites and lead to lower bids on others.

In any case, the assertion that contextual ads work only on Google SERPS and not on "content sites" is just plain stupid. Such ads obviously do work, to judge by the AdSense revenues that many of us are seeing (and by the money that many Web publishers with readily "monetized" topics are earning from affiliate links on their sites).


 1:42 am on Aug 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

That's a particularly spinny title markus!

1. What they miss is the branding advantage of a low CTR. Especially in context with a campaign including several media or channels, a channel returning a low CTR can actually be a very good thing. Seeing that advertisers are paying fr clicks only, every ad that is viewed without a click is free branding, improves recognition and recall, and can make the likelihood a a qualified click through another channel higher.

2. Our own experiments with our Adwords campaigns have shown that ads for niche professional targets in Adsense sites are returning sgnificantly better conversions than search ads on Google and/or search partners. The n=2 case study you refer to is far too generalised to be of any use than spin.

As always the dvertisers have got to learn how to best exploit the unqiue advantages of contextualized click ads, rather than listen to the ad agencies who have a lot to lose if text ads become a mainstream choice. Ad agencies have been pitching for a long time that on line advertising can only become more effective if they are given more budgets to create rich media flashy TV-like ads - from which of course they make far higher profits.

And lets not forget that NewGate is a "search marketing agency"... not hard to see any hidden agenda there as contextualized content ads is an alternative (not in any way exclusive) to "Search" ads.

Thanks for the link!


 2:19 am on Aug 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

RE: Branding that's tricky. Adwords requires a minimum CTR or else they kick you out and you have to pay that annoying $5 and start over. So the title have to be real good. You can't easily Brand with that hanging over your head. Plus low CTR works against you. The higher CTR the more often and better placed your ads are.

What this means is you can't just say in the title:


and expect a real branding advantage. Branding works with banner ads perhaps, but not too great with text ads imo.


 2:27 am on Aug 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

If you are paying for adwords on a pay per click basis, why is the cost of leads 2 to 8 times higher? Know its Saturday, and beer has started to haze my grey matter, but something doesn't add up.


 2:29 am on Aug 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

beer has started to haze my grey matter...



 2:38 am on Aug 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

A point that seems to commonly be overlooked is that there are a fairly large number of people that are willing to display ads only now becasue of the new adsense layout and concept that would never diplay the "hit the monkey" type of ads. Therefore, even "if" the ads generate a lower CTR, there are now more people (and more diverse range of sites) that are now showing ads -- thus increasing the overall reach of an advertising campaign.


 2:44 am on Aug 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

Has brown bottle inspiration....

Let me see...advertisers want lower rates, lets make up some numbers about how much more expensive text ads are, so we can make a case to reduce prices. Is that about right here? Seems like some pretty creative accounting system to come up with the numbers. Sees this one is empty....goes to get more creative fluids:)


 3:33 am on Aug 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

So what if Adsense is less successful than Adwords? The whole reason Google developed Adsense is because they're running out of search results inventory. If I'm an advertiser, I'll take as much as I can of the search results and then dip into the Adsense inventory for additional eyeballs. Sure, they may be less targeted and provide a lower ROI, but it's still additional eyeballs. Assuming they can make the numbers work, they'll keep spending.

If they slow their spending, then Google will probably respond by lowering the price on Adsense until the advertisers rush back in. Google won't retreat from the market. The adventage Google gives over pretty much every other solution is its automation. The advertisers purchase the ads self-serve; Google matches the right ads to the right content; and we publishers don't have to do anything but obsessively check our stats.


 3:47 am on Aug 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

Still struggling with the math here....lets see...something costs 8 times more but I will buy it anyhow? Would think if this was the general trend, adsense would be dead by now. Eight weeks of data should be showing adwords purchasers the trends by now. How was the data compiled? Thought adwords purchasers didn't know how the click was generated?


 5:58 am on Aug 31, 2003 (gmt 0)


1. In Adwords, CTR for Adsense sites is not taken into account for minimum CTR for keywords purposes, or for positioning calculations.

2. If you are looking for a professional or industrial market, Adwords advertisers will often use their brand name, if not in the linked text. Thats the main difference between selling commodities to the mass market and targeted niche services/products.


 6:25 am on Aug 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

chiyo...but are they are able to create one ad for adsense display and another for keywords? I thought they had to use the same ads and therefore would care about minimums.


 6:40 am on Aug 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

I don't think there can be any one true statistic for the effectivness of contextual adverts. Lets think of two sites. One is offering advice on "how to service your car" in this type of site the users are going to be very DIY orientated. The adverts for "garage services" and "car serviving" are going to go largly ignored. In this situation the user is not a potential customer. On another site it is an article about how it is "great to have a mobile phone". On this site it will be people who are interested in the product so the adverts for "great deals on phones" and "low cost phone" are very likely to be exactly what the user is looking for.

It brings in to the spot light the massive split in the web. Commercial and information. Perhaps Adsence is just not suited to certain typed of website.

Just my opinion.



 4:31 pm on Aug 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

It brings in to the spot light the massive split in the web. Commercial and information. Perhaps Adsence is just not suited to certain typed of website.

That's true of any type of advertising, not just AdSense. Certain topics just don't lend themselves to e-commerce, and ads will get low response rates whether they're on a content site, on a Google SERP, or in a newspaper or magazine.

But don't assume that AdSense isn't suited to "information" sites. It all depends on the topic and the audience. A travel-planning site, a digital-camera review site, or a site about restoring antique cars is likely to do extremely well with AdSense because people who read about those topics are likely to spend money. In fact, such information sites are likely to make a lot more revenue than "commercial" sites that sell modern poetry or photo prints of crop art.

The quality of the site is also likely to be a factor. A reader who's visiting an established, professional-looking site may be more willing to click on an ad than a reader who's visiting John Q. Public's personal blog. This "confidence factor" is nothing new; it also exists in the magazine business, where readers are likely to feel more comfortable renting a villa or ordering mail-order clothing from an ad in the back of THE NEW YORKER than from an ad in a zine that was found on a shelf near the door of the local bagel or coffee shop. IMHO, too little attention has been given to the confidence factor in discussions about online advertising. Advertisers and commentators need to remember that not all readers feel comfortable buying from an unknown vendor on a Google SERP, just as not all prospects feel comfortable buying from an unknown merchant in the Yellow Pages. Online, as in print, advertising has greater impact when it's presented in the right editorial environment.


 4:53 pm on Aug 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

No matter how you feel about the issue, where you stand, or what you think the data show, it seems pretty clear that the great majority of people perceive search ads as something markedly different than content ads.

If they are different, Google should have two different bidding markets for each type of placement and let everyone make their own choices. There would certainly be lot more people doing comparative studies if the ad types were disentangled.


 5:43 pm on Aug 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

it seems pretty clear that the great majority of people perceive search ads as something markedly different than content ads.

We don't really know that, because there's no way to poll a representative sample of advertisers and publishers. (It's unlikely that Webmaster World members are representative of the larger advertiser and publishing community.)

If they are different, Google should have two different bidding markets for each type of placement and let everyone make their own choices. There would certainly be lot more people doing comparative studies if the ad types were disentangled.

Two different bidding markets wouldn't be enough, because you'd be comparing apples and oranges--or, to use a more accurate analogy, apples (Google SERPs) and the entire world of produce other than apples (general news and entertainment sites, professionally edited niche sites in commercial and non-commercial categories, personal sites, blogs, forums, e-commerce sites, and every other kind of site that might run AdSense and Google "content partner" ads).

Ideally, AdSense would let advertisers choose from a menu of options, including Google and Google partners' SERPs, content sites in general, and specific sites (via opt-in or opt-out filters). That way, advertisers could test the ROI for different types of ads and fine-tune their campaigns to meet specific objectives. Such options would also encourage participation by big-name corporate advertisers who are used to having control over where their ads run.

Side note: It would be helpful to me as a publisher, and to Google as an ad vendor, if I could tell prospective advertisers that they could buy ads on my site through AdSense. Right now, all I can say is something like "I don't sell ads directly, and the best way to reach my audience is to buy AdWords and select the 'content ads' option." If businesses could test the waters by advertising on sites they're familiar with (and which they trust to deliver quality audiences), they might be more willing to try content ads and PPC ads in general.


 1:30 am on Sep 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

I don't think there can be any one true statistic for the effectivness of contextual adverts. Lets think of two sites. One is offering advice on "how to service your car" in this type of site the users are going to be very DIY orientated. The adverts for "garage services" and "car serviving" are going to go largly ignored.

Where google will really start making money, for themselves as well as us, will be when in a case like that they figure out to display ads for car parts, or maybe hand tools. Many pages have markets which are not obvious. Ads for hand tools may work better than car related ads in your example. That's something that is really hard to do without a human brain connecting the dots, but is something I believe google can do.

That being said, I understand the point you were trying to get accross. You're right, some pages just may not have a market with users who are willing to part with cash, which makes them very hard to advertise on.



 3:08 am on Sep 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

Agree with the discussions above, with different sites having better click ratios, and branding being important. However this thread started with an article that made statements about costs to advertisers. Still waiting for the comments on this side of the equation. As I have stated above, it doesn't add up in my opinion. Although it is possible that less qualified leads are coming via the clicks from content sites where is some analysis of this? Anyone here actually seeing this effect? We can argue the "soft" issues here, but why not deal with some numbers? One number for sure is that google has increased its views substantially for it's advertisers in the last 2 months with adsense.


 3:15 am on Sep 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

Visi. my feeling is that it is very difficult to determine "value per click" or ROI, and comparing Adsense to others, reliably and validly. We see many statements stating things like "Adsense obviously has much lower ROI than search ads" on this and other boards, when, when i ask directly, the poster admits graciously that they have no evidence - its just a guess.

Im generally not a consipracy theorist, but i also note that the success of Adsense could be a major threat to the existing online advertising elite, competing ad networks, some affiliate programs, even leading publisher elites (Time Warner etc - note what sources reported that story!) and other "players". I would not be surprised if at least some of these players wanted to "sex up the dossier" a bit from posting in discussion boards, right through to publishing results of "research" with almost nil credibility.


 3:33 am on Sep 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

Same feelings here Chiyo, just not sure why these statements are not challenged, but just accepted. Like I said above, if something was costing me 8x's the cost somewhere else, I'd be moving on quickly. Advertisers have had 8 weeks to evaluate, so if these numbers are credible would expect to see the impact within this month at the lastest with huge number of advertisers abandoning the program. Just not seeing that with number of ads being served.


 3:48 am on Sep 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

What to me is also fascinating about this thread (though i know in this case the original poster was only having a bit of fun) is that a report of a n=2 case study run by a search ads company with no detail of methodology provided managed to a) be picked up by the Time Warner group for a supposedly "serious piece", and b) is seen as a reason why Google may be abandoning adsense!

It screams out to me spin spin spin! Now give me some hard evidence with it and yes that's definately interesting and useful... But this is none of that.

George Bush, Tony Blair, Andrew Campbell, and the Iraqi information minister - you are rank amateurs guys compared to the Web spinners!


 4:00 am on Sep 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

Ya the report is halarious, and i thought the title would grab some attention :)

What most people fail to realize that in every industry there are one or 2 major adsense players, who probably account for greater then 20% of the ads displayed. Those are the players who make the market, and those are also the players who would be displaying ads with or without adsense.
Speaking of which how is foxnews.com's getting away with rates of $55/CPM


 4:19 am on Sep 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

Chiyo...you are right. But truth doesn't sell like sensationalism does...

This 44 message thread spans 2 pages: 44 ( [1] 2 > >
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