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This 471 message thread spans 16 pages: < < 471 ( 1 2 3 [4] 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 ... 16 > >     
Open letter to Google Regarding Changes to The Ad Words Program
kingfish




msg:3003368
 12:33 am on Jul 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

As someone whose companies spend in excess of $300k per year on your Ad Words Program, I thought I would write you this open letter in hopes that someone would respond to it, as I have been unable to get a response from my assigned rep or anyone else at Google. I mentioned my own projects in addition to my own projects I serve as a consultant for several smaller companies which bring addition sums to Google. Why is it that Google treats me like an unwashed vagrant trying to buy a $.10 cup of coffee at Mc Donald’s rather than someone who spends $300k a year with them?

The issue I would like for you to address is of course is the radical rise in the minim bid costs that many of us are seeing. To get at this problem, I spoke to one rep on the phone today as my personal rep is “unavailable” and has been all day. I sent a lengthy email to support early this morning (my rep) and left a voice mail for my rep to contact me immediately. So far the only response I have gotten was from the lower the level rep when I declined to leave another voice mail for my personal rep. She was very apologetic and nice, but didn’t know what was going on. She told me all the reps were told was to expect some changes, but that they were not told what the changes would encompass or whom the changes would affect. She said she had spoken to some customers today that had similar issues, but simply put she doesn’t know what to advise them as she doesn’t know what the new quality system looks for other than the generic stuff from the Google Ad Words page. She looked at my account, and I had her note the same ad had been running in excess of 2 years and had produced a click through rate of 26% in those 2 years, and she agreed it wasn’t really possible to increase the quality the ad itself. She had no idea how often the bot looks at the pages so you can see if changes you make actually improve your quality score.

Your employees have been uninformed and left in the dark about these major changes to your program, and perhaps more importantly your paying customers have been left in the dark as well. The smart thing would have been to come to the community months ago and said hey we are thinking about some major changes, these are how these changes are going to affect you, and here is what you can do to bring your landing pages up to snuff. That way your business partners would not be left holding the bag when they are hit with overnight radical price increases, and are forced to seek immediate answers from your employees who have also been left in the dark, and have no useful information to provide your customers. I would suggest as good business etiquette and professionalism would dictate you roll these changes back immediately and evaluate what you have learned from this. Then come forward and announce what changes you plan to make, describe in detail what accounts it will have a negative impact on, and provide in detail guidelines for producing the type of landing pages that you want. That way your business partners can make a business decision as to if they want to continue to do business with you under the new system.

Sincerely

Mark A. Libbert
Attorney At Law

P.S. If any Overture/Yahoo rep is lurking I have 10-12k a month buy for you.

 

brizad




msg:3006464
 1:46 am on Jul 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

Gee even with these changes ebay ads still show up for almost any noun you search for. And I might add that many many of them go to cr*p pages that have absolutly nothing to do with the query.

I guess you have to spend millions a month to stay in AW, not just a puny $300,000 ;-)

ohwell




msg:3006490
 2:29 am on Jul 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

Id jump to the other side quicker than you can get a blowdry at "the plex". :) But by the time I got that set up they'd prob throw a monkey wrench into that too.

Time to take the profits I still can, and hop on some other ship. Maybe become a domainer. Sell to Adsense for a while. Specializing in SE typos. ;)

[edited by: eWhisper at 4:17 am (utc) on July 14, 2006]
[edit reason]
[1][edit reason] Please don't drop links. See TOS. [/edit]
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ohwell




msg:3006497
 2:36 am on Jul 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'm not promoting anything and I don't normally hang at Netpond. But while searching around found it. So hopefully that is cool to post that link. I felt a little better after reading his take. Netpond is members only but usually you can get in to read one page. If you can't get in I would be happy to cut and paste it if anyone wants me to and if that's cool.

Actually I am serious about a domainer. Noone can take your domains from you. This whole adwords thing has become way too much hassle and tenuous to build a future on. Hopefully Yahoo/MS will be more dependable at least for a year or more. I think they will be. After all being a WM shouldn't be a bunch of never ending (rebuild 30,000 pages - HELLO) grunt work.

[edited by: ohwell at 2:44 am (utc) on July 14, 2006]

Alex_Miles




msg:3006498
 2:38 am on Jul 14, 2006 (gmt 0)


>>A friend of mine was just berating me for not doing a >>stroke of work on my Adwords account for almost a year.

>If that's really true, how can you be surprised if your campaigns went dark?

Yes Netmeg. Thats how I got my ads to run again just now. I told the Adwords rep how much work I'd done on them. They felt sorry for me, and relented.

[edited by: Alex_Miles at 2:40 am (utc) on July 14, 2006]

rehabguy




msg:3006514
 2:48 am on Jul 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

For me, it comes down to this: As a business, you expect consistency from your vendors.

You can't do business with someone who blindsides you and won't explain why.

This is the the characteristic of a true MONOPOLY. Call the DOJ.

Google has finally turned into Microsoft, just evil-er.

vphoner




msg:3006526
 3:07 am on Jul 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

I would boycott Google in a national campaign, but all my words are already turned off. 100% of them. So in effect the boycott has started from my end. I think only a boycott would get through to these evil doers. They don't seem to realize they have ruined many small businesses. They have caused immense pain and suffering with no warning.

Alex_Miles




msg:3006527
 3:08 am on Jul 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

I was just thinking about how hungry I was and how I wanted a pizza, and my mind wandered a bit..

Imagine calling up your usual pizza delivery service for your favourite $15 veggie pizza with extra mushrooms and pineapple, and Luigi says "Your pizza will be there in 30 minutes sorry about forgetting the coke last time and by the way its $350 today because we don't like the look of your apartment much now would you like garlic bread with that?"

I don't care how special the brats in the plex think they are, its no way to treat a customer.

I have my keywords back at their usual price now and do you know what? I don't want them.

[edited by: Alex_Miles at 3:10 am (utc) on July 14, 2006]

ferfer




msg:3006528
 3:09 am on Jul 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

After all, this sends a msg to potential advertisers:

Adwords game has now some rare difficulties you won't understand.

adwords means potential dark, problems, dissapointment, time and effort lost.

Now for counsultants and account managers, you can show your customers how they will end paying $10 for the same others pays 0.30!

Keep it difficult to understand, so only experts can use it, thank you!

davewray




msg:3006539
 3:20 am on Jul 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

"We are looking for sites with substantial added value that lends to a positive end user experience."

That line above from the reported email from a Google rep just blows me away. Yes, I can see this being important for the natural SERP's, but NOT for the paid listings!

Let me explain. If someone is looking for a plasma tv and clicks on an ad, do they necessarily want "added value" on the product page before they purchase the item? Hell no! They don't give a rats arse about the history of plasma tv's, or how many there are in each household...etc, etc, etc. They want to know how much it costs and if it is a better deal than the previous site they visited...then bam, they pay for it! Great user experience without the bogus, rehashed, copied content!

Imagine if in a magazine Coca-Cola didn't just have flashy ads and had a nice little story about its history, and how Joe Blow from Ct cured his cancer by drinking it? Would that add to the user experience? I think not! CC want to make sales and can do so with a flashy ad.

PLEASE G kids, do not confuse free SERP's where one can get free info with PAID listings where one wants to sell a product or service. I would venture that you are taking AWAY from the user experience by adding garbage content on a product page just for the sake of pleasing the G algorithm Gods.

G, get your head out of your arse!

holyearth




msg:3006554
 3:34 am on Jul 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

Seriously Google......what do you want from us?

Manga




msg:3006560
 3:39 am on Jul 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

That line above from the reported email from a Google rep just blows me away. Yes, I can see this being important for the natural SERP's, but NOT for the paid listings!

Let me explain. If someone is looking for a plasma tv and clicks on an ad, do they necessarily want "added value" on the product page before they purchase the item? Hell no! They don't give a rats arse about the history of plasma tv's, or how many there are in each household...etc, etc, etc. They want to know how much it costs and if it is a better deal than the previous site they visited...then bam, they pay for it! Great user experience without the bogus, rehashed, copied content!

Imagine if in a magazine Coca-Cola didn't just have flashy ads and had a nice little story about its history, and how Joe Blow from Ct cured his cancer by drinking it? Would that add to the user experience? I think not! CC want to make sales and can do so with a flashy ad.

PLEASE G kids, do not confuse free SERP's where one can get free info with PAID listings where one wants to sell a product or service. I would venture that you are taking AWAY from the user experience by adding garbage content on a product page just for the sake of pleasing the G algorithm Gods.

G, get your head out of your arse!

You took the words right out of my mouth. I was just about to post a similar statement.

This is direct response advertising. It's not about providing content for Google's surfers!

Some more children's logic from Google's landing page guidelines:

-Distinguish sponsored links from the rest of your site content.
-Try to provide information without requiring users to register. Or, provide a preview of what users will get by registering.
-In general, build pages that provide substantial and useful information to the end-user. If your ad does link to a page consisting of mostly ads or general search results (such as a directory or catalog page), provide additional information beyond what the user may have seen in your ad or on the page prior to clicking on your ad.
-You should have unique content (should not be similar or nearly identical in appearance to another site). For more information, see our affiliate guidelines.

I love the second one. "Try to provide information without requiring users to register." I had a bunch of squeeze pages killed by Google probably for this reason.

Helloooo Goooogle! I am not running a charity over here! You don't let me ride for free so your surfers do not ride for free either.

[edited by: mona at 4:43 pm (utc) on July 14, 2006]
[edit reason]
[1][edit reason] See TOS [/edit]
[/edit][/1]

ohwell




msg:3006561
 3:39 am on Jul 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

>>If that's really true, how can you be surprised if your >>campaigns went dark?

Where is it stated in "that company's" TOS that this guy has to fiddle with his campaigns on a regular basis?

He should be surprised because they were his campaigns and he should have been given fair warning they were about to go dark. I'm sure his credit cards were being debited.

ohwell




msg:3006587
 3:54 am on Jul 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

""We are looking for sites with substantial added value that lends to a positive end user experience."

Anyone else sick of "this company's" way of publicly speaking. They try to lookK so professional to the business world. jeesh just speak normally like we do on this board.
They must have hired someone to write all their form letters cause they all have that same corporate mumbo jumbo quality to them.

"substantial added value" is awfully vague. Probably on purpose.

[edited by: mona at 4:51 pm (utc) on July 14, 2006]
[edit reason]
[1][edit reason] language [/edit]
[/edit][/1]

rohitj




msg:3006588
 3:54 am on Jul 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

People stop clicking ads if they suck. So there is a business interest in making sure there's added value on a page with a plasma tv or any other page for which we pay to get traffic too. Not that I necessairly buy this excuse, but an argument could definately be made from google's perspective.

Tom_PR




msg:3006601
 3:59 am on Jul 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

The success of an ad is clearly not whether or not a user "enjoys" the experience. It's whether or not the advertiser makes a sale. Google does not have this information. *I* do.

I can tell *them* how well the user experience went by my sales. No algorithm can replace that.

Heck, I dont even go by CTR. I go by profit. Just business. Some keywords I use have ca bad CTR, but great gross profit percent. Now why on earth would I mess with it?

[edited by: mona at 4:55 pm (utc) on July 14, 2006]
[edit reason]
[1][edit reason] See TOS [/edit]
[/edit][/1]

simey




msg:3006608
 4:05 am on Jul 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'm still seeing tons of ads for
'free plasma screen tv'
'free laptops'
'free screensaver'

Im sure those that click get a positive user experience.

ohwell




msg:3006609
 4:06 am on Jul 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

Alex, You should be able to let a KW go on indefinitly without fiddling once you get it how you want it. Well OK at least for months unless someone manages to take your listing. (if you happened to be sending to the same domain) But if your sending to a unique domain and you have your CPC high enough to account for ebbs and flows it should run on auto pilot.

That's the whole problem the last year. Everytime you check in "the system" has found 85 KWs that need your attention.
Sheesh. I feel like a 12 year old "go for" at his first job rather than a partner everytimne you leave the stats and return after say a day or two. They can write algos but they can't write a system that can run without having it's hand held every two hours!

venrooy




msg:3006610
 4:06 am on Jul 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

If an ad sucks - then it will most likely kill itself, because conversions will not be made. And if conversions are being made, then obviously the ad doesn't suck.

The problem is that Google doesn't look at quality with a business definition. No one knows what google's definition of quality is, but it definately has nothing to do with making money.

kingfish




msg:3006631
 4:18 am on Jul 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

Wow I never imagined this thread would cause such a stir. I was quite angry when I wrote it so perhaps I said a few things that were a bit over the top, and I apologize for that. I loved doing what to me was a large volume of business with Google. Now I do a smaller volume of business with them. I hope they get this fixed and/or get the kinks worked out of the new system is short order. Other than that I stand behind what I said before, and hope Google takes our collective concerns more seriously.

To update you as to what has happened since I posted this: First off my rep called me first thing the next day after I posted this and apologized for being unavailable. My rep was very courteous and polite, and it was a long conversation. I felt he sincerely tried to help. The ultimate conclusion of the conversation was my rep telling me to not make any changes to my landing page yet because he doesn’t know what to tell me to change at this point.

Now this next part is strictly my opinion, so take it at that. Google tried something new, and it produced unintended consequences in a lot of cases. I really don’t think it was a money grab as I see so many vacant ad spaces I suspect it generated a negative monetary result for them.

And a request if I may be so bold. I would ask all of you to be nice to the Google reps you speak to. What happened wasn’t their fault, and I have felt all of the ones I have spoken to sincerely want to help, but just lack the knowledge as to what will remedy these problems.

pflyers




msg:3006632
 4:20 am on Jul 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

Normal business mantra

"The customer is always right" "Service with a smile"

Googles Mantra

"The customer is always wrong" "Only we know best"

eWhisper




msg:3006635
 4:22 am on Jul 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

FYI - AWA is out of town, and will be for almost another two weeks.

[webmasterworld.com...]

Has nothing todo with the update - everyone gets vacation time.

ohwell




msg:3006636
 4:22 am on Jul 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

Dave, Manga,

Exactly. A couple of my listings that were "banned" were sent directly to the site the surfer typed in. For example as an affiliate to widgets.com

KW = [widgets]
destination URL = widgets.com

yet it is found to have a bad "landing page" and jacked to $1.00 CPC. No the real reason is it was at 1-5 cents and was making me (not them) money.

That is proof this is not based on the landing page.

The landing page can't get any more user friendly. They are where they want to be!

Like widgets.com is gonna redesign their site after I write them and tell them, "Um Hi widgets.com. Um the google bot doesn't like your page and raise my CPC 100 fold. Thus traffic has stopped. Umm could you redesign your site please"

: )

It would be comical if it wasn't so sad.

[edited by: jatar_k at 5:35 pm (utc) on July 14, 2006]

Tom_PR




msg:3006637
 4:23 am on Jul 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

I was very nice to the rep I spoke to. I dont have a dedicated one, so it was pot luck. I did let her know that I understood they were receiving a lot of calls similar to mine. I also pointed out how entirely relevant, clear and honest and accurate my keywords, ads and landing pages were/are. And if she could please pass them on for a quality review so I know what to change.

One thing that bothers me is that another advertiser I know, who does have a dedicated rep, received her reply today that basically said sorry, and please review the quality guidelines.

So I'd consider yourself lucky that your rep is trying to find out what part of the quality guidelines you're being affected by..

I'm not holding out much hope for more than a cut/paste personally..

ohwell




msg:3006643
 4:31 am on Jul 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

And no I'm not gonna write and complain about it. You can't argue with "the almighty algo" and frankly I prefer to remain lost in the 300,000 rather than have some "finger on the button" employee snooping in my stuff. My luck they would say nothing we can do, however, we did find a few more that now need $1.00 to be active!

[edited by: ohwell at 4:51 am (utc) on July 14, 2006]

rise2it




msg:3006645
 4:41 am on Jul 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

Let me give you my views of how it works, regardless of the PPC company.

(1) They begin doing PPC

(2) They sign up a massive amount of advertisers in a short period of time

(3) Their revenue zooms

...so far, so good. But then...

(4) All of the sucessful people in every genre are already customers. There is very little 'new blood' for them to harvest.

(5) Stockholders expect to see massively increasing revenue

(6) Without adding new customers, they must increase their bottom line by coming up with new ways to gouge their current customers.

(7) These ideas each quarter (almost like clockwork) are known as new 'features'.

-------

We'll be having this same conversation, with different terminology, again in 90 days.

teenwolf




msg:3006728
 6:35 am on Jul 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

Essentially, G$ has used all of us (collectively) to build this big PPC-Search-Empire thing and now is discarding us like trash.

I absolutely cannot believe they are doing this and getting away with it. I am truly at a loss for any other words to describe this situation.

Good luck to all attempting to pick up the pieces and move on.

ogletree




msg:3006731
 6:40 am on Jul 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

Google can do anything they want. I think this is the end of the free ride we have been used to. We have all been able to have high end advertising for very cheap. Google is just going to be like advertsing on Radio or TV. I spoke to a dentist the other day that just coudl not afford to advertise on radio because he just did not get a return on his investment. Google is going to start doing the same thing. Every business gets to the point where they want to raise prices until they stop making money. That is how you find the market price. If they make more money by doing this and some of you leave what do they care. The people that pay attention to this kind of stuff and who are upset by it are a very tiny percentage of their customers.

Widestrides




msg:3006761
 7:14 am on Jul 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

Bottom line is why should Google run as many as 32 ads and make $1 or $2 or $3 on the top three or four ads and then serve up 20 some ads at a measley $.05-$.20 each on pages 2, 3 and 4? They have researched and decided that they can serve up the same 3 or 4 or 5 ads on every SERPS page at $5-$10 each and make a lot more money. If they make more money doing this, they go with it. If you think they make more money running a lot of cheap ads, you're crazy. No one clicks on more than a few ads, so why not serve up only high priced ads?

I'm not happy. I'm out of business. But I saw it coming. I'm surprised it didn't happen sooner. I can't blame them. Every business including your own tries to maximize profits and squeeze as much as you are able to out of your customers. When you reach the price at which the market will bear no more, you back off.

I think Google will back off a bit, but the new minimum will still be $3-$5. And that effectively eliminates EVERY affiliate, and mabye a lot of small online stores.

Widestrides




msg:3006784
 7:26 am on Jul 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

We can take out business to Yahoo and MSN now and also hope AOL employs one of them soon instead of Google. But there's not a lot of traffic there at this time. Google still has the biggest piece of the search pie. But if Yahoo or MSN start getting a bigger piece of the search pie, they will also up their minimum bids to what the market will bear.

An affiliate like myself using Google AdWords is dead. No affiliate can make a profit paying $5-$10 a click. I did fine if I kept it under $.20 a click. So it's not even close at these new rates. Google knew this would kill the affiliates. But that's business and they killed us in cold blooded fashion. They don't need us anymore. That's the facts.

I'm not sure if the little online stores can survive and continue to run their ads. Maybe only the biggest stores will be able to advertise on Google now.

So, it is back to trying to get some clicks from the free, organic SERPS. That and what little traffic I can pick up on Yahoo and MSN.

Widestrides




msg:3006793
 7:34 am on Jul 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

The only thing that prevents this from happening is good old-fashioned competition. And Google doesn't have that right now. If Google, Yahoo and MSN each had about 33% of the search market, Google would not have done what they just did.

Fortuneaff




msg:3006802
 7:41 am on Jul 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

Lets be honest in the big world of internet marketing that has global reach you need to be more than a one man band doing your thing to compete with the big boys. Google is the same for the big guy as it is for the little guy. The only difference is how much time and money can the little guy put in vs the big players.

Congrats if you got in early 3 years ago and you have an account with significant history. Yes you should have got cheap clicks but those times are changing.

The big players are coming, and you need to choose your discipline that you are going to make your money in. If your a top ppc marketing person then specialise in this, get contracts with top merchants (who have high quality scores). Make your money in being able to buy clicks better than anyone else in your market.

You can't be a web developer, PPC marketer and a merchant and expect that you will be able to hold out against the tide of international competition. You are competiting against teams of specialists and Google is going to punish you if your not on top of your game in every way.

In the last few months I have found that I have successfully been able to do new campaigns in competitive markets and get cheap clicks from a start-up position. This is because I specialize in my sector and I get deals with established merchants who have no issues around quality scores on their websites.

So my advice is to stop complaining about what Google is doing and focus on being better at what you do than anyone else in your sector. Remeber you are competing against the other players on Google Adwords not Google (sometimes 20% CTR isn't enough.)

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