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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.

 

simey




msg:3008809
 1:20 am on Jul 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

I would'nt want to have to constantly change my business in order to suit an advertising firm who I was PAYING to run my ads. Once you start down that road....

If you're raising the price, just admit to raising the price. (or are prices reduced for some and I missed it?)
There are planty of places to advertise on the web w/positive ROI. Just takes a little research.

If this does get rid of the MFA's, I give them points for that though.

edd1




msg:3008887
 2:58 am on Jul 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

I've just turned my account off completely. I was very reluctant and sad to do so but I'm off. I'll check every so often to see whether it's worth unpausing but for the moment my energy is better used elsewhere.

Four of five chats with Google this week and a different story everytime. Apparently the search term "information on widgets" is not specific enough for a page with great, original, relevant information about widgets.

I've switched the lights off and walked away. Bye Google, What a sad day.

ispy




msg:3008912
 3:58 am on Jul 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

If we all did it all at once on the same day we could take them down...

and it would be ok because if the majority do it means they would be less relevant. The common consensus is all that matters. The less money in...the less relevant of a seach engine they are...the less adword links that appear...the less link popularity...

ohwell




msg:3008916
 4:04 am on Jul 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

Best wishes to you Edd. It is a sad day.

It may be just business, but there are people today who lost a lot overnight. I know were all supposed to be professional here but it is hard...

It is easy to sit on your high horse and feel they must of been doing something wrong and deserved it. Fact is they were just misfortunate in a cold business world that the internet is.

I've deleted several things in writing this. I can't write without offending someone so I'll just wish everybody who was seriously affected the best.

I will say this though, don't fret about it too much. Cut your expenses and gather all your eggs close. Let what is left of G run on auto pilot and use your time in other areas. If you are smart enough to have gotten this far then you are smart enough to find other things that will work for you. There are other opportunities out there. Look around a little. Read some boards. Do some thinking. Keep pushing on. Something will develope again. It always does on the internet.

I've been slapped around since 1996. Seen a lot of stuff succeed for a while and then fail. It is the nature of the net. Nothing last's or works for long. I have never gotten rich like some. But I'll never quit trying.

Fact is the fools who stay and build for G are going backwards from here on. You and me are going forward. ; )

Besides all that Google BS was getting to be a p in the a anyhow.

Good luck to everybody.

aeiouy




msg:3008969
 5:24 am on Jul 15, 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.

This is the biggest disconnect I see from a lot of people here. The problem is everyone who does a search is not looking to buy something. Even if they click on an add for an item for sale with a price, it does not necessarily mean they intended to buy something. So there are a whole lot of other factors that go into the user experience than whether or not the advertiser made the sale.

I said it elsewhere and i will say it again. Clearly a lot of advertisers are not looking at the bigger picture and only concerned about their bottom line here and now. That is fine and good and not unreasonable. However, for the long-term viability of the entire program, someone has to take responsibility for making sure the overall experience is maintained at a level where people will still click on your ads 5 years from now.

While you may think that having 5% of your visitors through adwords click on your site means you delivered the goods, the reality is 95% of the people did not buy from you. Can you tell me why those 95% did not buy from you? Was it simply because your price was too high? What percentage got there because they were just looking for information and not looking to buy? For example. The whole thing gets even worse when you factor in MFA sites which draw the experience into the negative.

My point is, too many advertisers beleive a successful user experience is one where a product is sold, yet nobody converts over 50%, so it means the majority of people did not buy. Does that mean they had a bad experience? Of course not. But you can't assume they all had a good experience either, just because you sold to 5% or 10%.

People design ads to draw traffic that converts. Sometimes that includes an appealing ad to get someone to a landing page where more information can be dispersed. Have people fibbed, mislead, exxagerated or stretched in such circumstances? Of course they have.

How about this... why not clearly mark all advertisments where the expectation is a visitor is going to buy a product for money that it is clearly marked as such. That way people surfing for information and knowledge will not have a negative experience when they wind up a site that is basically a buy it now button.

The bottom line is none of it matters if people just stop clicking on the ads altogether. Your great landing page, CTR, and your opinion of your customer experience.. not a hill of beans.. because the visitor is not coming because they got tired of having their time wasted and learned not to click on ads anymore.

Kobayashi




msg:3008971
 5:30 am on Jul 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

If all this was anything about improving the users experience, why would Google allow sites they deem "low quality" to continue running ads if advertisers pay a higher CPC.

[edited by: Kobayashi at 5:31 am (utc) on July 15, 2006]

ebuilder




msg:3008974
 5:43 am on Jul 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

Ohwell, Good Luck. I feel your pain and optimism. It was a very nice ride here as well. I even had my license plate changed to GOOGLE. I was crazy about the opportunity given by Adwords. The ability to reach out to people looking for information you had that couldn't be found otherwise. I am trying other applications now but they really don't hold a candle to Adwords. Maybe someday but not at this time. Goodbye cruel cruel Internet......Wait a minute, what if I?

ohwell




msg:3008975
 5:47 am on Jul 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

But when someone serches for kw "bobsmithswidgets" and sees the url www.bobsmithswidgets.com on the page and then clicks thru to bob's smith's widgets they are exactly where they want to be. Now if G raises Bob's CPC to $10.00 because they don't like Bob's privacy statement and are worried the surfer may have a bad experience that is my problem. If it was an affilites landing page. Ok redesign it. But this is the end merchant's site.

Total BS man. The only one having a bad experience is Bob tonight as he wonders how he is now gonna move all those widgets he bought because last week everything was running fine on his campaign. He got no warnings. Just a real bad suprise out of the blue this July 11th. The fact is: Bob is gonna bad mouth Google to everyone he knows and guess what did more damage? Bob's badmouthing by word of mouth or Bob's surfers who are right where they want to be.

BTW, Your planning on 5 years down the road Google is still going to be selling you clicks? Umm well maybe. : ) When you see 50% of your KWs smoked around next Halloween, the 4th quarter we will talk again... : )

[edited by: mona at 3:59 pm (utc) on July 16, 2006]
[edit reason]
[1][edit reason] no urls - thx [/edit]
[/edit][/1]

simey




msg:3008979
 6:00 am on Jul 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

The whole thing is quite buggy (as it stands)IMO

Those that have been affected and done a little experimenting with keywords might agree. Move your keywords around a little or add/subract plurals and see wide variations in cost. Nothing to do with users quality experience.

ohwell




msg:3008987
 6:12 am on Jul 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

eBuilder, Having GOOGLE on your license plate is easily the sadest thing I'v seen yet. By far. : )

Take a look at my thread I started on traffic between G, Y, MS.

If one were to add twice as many KWS to Y and lose 1/2 as many KWS as G -- guess what? The traffic is equal. Now add in some cheap traffic from the little PPC engines (granted they are small but cheap!) And your back in the ballpark with G. Then this time next year you can read as these same guys defending G today see there summer go up in smoke. ; )

Dudes it isn't over. We are going to get even! They just pissed us off. Woke us up. If we stick together. Give each other a hint, a hand now and then, we keep working, hang out bad mouth G (hehe) we can keep floating and eventually do BETTER. Yes these &^%& ^% guys ruined our summer and now we have to work more but it isn't over.

There are a lot of PO'ed business folks Google who are not real happy with you.

We won't quit. We won't forget.

xdude




msg:3009010
 6:58 am on Jul 15, 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.

This is the biggest disconnect I see from a lot of people here. The problem is everyone who does a search is not looking to buy something. Even if they click on an add for an item for sale with a price, it does not necessarily mean they intended to buy something. So there are a whole lot of other factors that go into the user experience than whether or not the advertiser made the sale.


For paid keyword ads, it is about sale conversion, whether that's a product, service, or what-not. I would say 99%, if not all, advertisers pay for ads to sell something and try to make a profit through product/service sales or commission.

It's safe to assert that paid ads with high sale conversion are successful ads. And it's next to impossible for a 3rd-party ad space provider to come up with an across-the-board metric to judge whether an ad (or its landing page) is of high or low quality without knowing its real sale conversion rate.

It's however at the search engine's discretion to provide real estate for the sponsored ads and the content-matching website listings in any proportion they favor. If content quality is preferred, just minimize proportion of paid ads per page or shuffle all paid ads to the bottom with 6-pixel font size.

xdude




msg:3009011
 7:02 am on Jul 15, 2006 (gmt 0)


I will say this though, don't fret about it too much. Cut your expenses and gather all your eggs close. Let what is left of G run on auto pilot and use your time in other areas. If you are smart enough to have gotten this far then you are smart enough to find other things that will work for you. There are other opportunities out there. Look around a little. Read some boards. Do some thinking. Keep pushing on. Something will develope again. It always does on the internet.

Well said, ohwell.

Green_Grass




msg:3009064
 8:29 am on Jul 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

I am a pure merchant selling cheap widgets only in my country. My ads have been geo targetted to my country only and advertise only my 'red widgets'...

I got a manual review done by G specialists. Got a long personalised mail from them today.My site failed the review. IMO, they donot really care if you are merchant/ MFA / affiliate etc, they only want :

THEIR GUIDELINES TO BE MET.

You cannot do anything differently.

Good user experience is being defined only in terms of rigid guidelines. It has nothing to do with your product/ your sales /CTR or anything else.

It seems they just want a professionally designed good looking website, with a privacy policy, unrestricted user access, Lot of 'unique' content, many internal and external links, and lots of expensive items like ' Verisign secured' etc etc.

They simply donot want any 'small mom and pop' estore on their network. This kind of store cannot provide their 'pampered users' a good experience because they donot have all the fancy stuff...

or you can pay more and still advertise (BTW this, I cannot understand).

the_nerd




msg:3009101
 9:13 am on Jul 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

Here come the results of my "official" adwords survey:

I asked 5 people if they knew what happens when they click an adword. Well, they didn't. And when I told them that clicking on one of those ads could cost the advertisers anywhere from pennies to big $$ they stared at me in disbelief. "You mean I just click here and it costs the store X$? Unbelievable!"

Obviously many people don't know AT ALL it's paid advertising. And those who do seem to think it's some kind of pay per view, meaning they won't harm the advertiser by clicking on the ad.

That said - when everybody knows what clicking an ad really means - and if this knowledge hits the media (just make up a story about this little mom&pop store that went out of business because some competitor took out their adwords limit every morning), more people will know, then you have (at least) four kinds of users:

1. paid clickers, fraud (as before)
2. people clicking for fun
3. people who don't care and simply click an ad when they want to buy somethig
4. people who don't click, because they are polite and figure out how to get to the advertiser without costing him.

Only group 3 means win (Google) -win (Advertiser) -win (Customers)

Looks like this system can only work as long as mainstream users don't know what's happening (security by obscurity). And depending on the percentage of clicks from each group, the whole system could go down the drain. Let's all hope they didn't start this progress a couple of days ago - because, when the tipping point has been reached, there might be no un-tipping it.

nippon




msg:3009161
 9:47 am on Jul 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

<quote>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. </quote>

In Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintaince "An Inquiry into Values" by Robert Pirsig he talks about his philosophical search for the meaning of quality.

His conclusion: quality is what you like!

Green_Grass




msg:3009219
 10:36 am on Jul 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

"His conclusion: quality is what you like! "

Quality is what Google God likes.

Nothing else matters.

Widestrides




msg:3009368
 1:56 pm on Jul 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

How can this be about the quality of a website? Google is saying that my site is no good for some keywords but okay for others!

What they are really saying by this new policy is that for some keywords, we have decided that we can better maximize revenue WITHOUT your site and your 10 cent bid, but for some other keywords we can better maximize revenue WITH your site and your 10 cent bid.

Bottom line is the bottom line.

toddb




msg:3009430
 2:55 pm on Jul 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

we have the same problem as before. They want us to move to quality BUT they do not define it well. 99% of us would simply comply if we knew what that meant.

ronmcd




msg:3009442
 3:07 pm on Jul 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

Which is exactly why it is a lie Todd.

jim2003




msg:3009455
 3:13 pm on Jul 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

Toddb,

As an advertiser who has been whacked by these qualty score updates I am wildly sympathetic to your comment that 99% would comply. But I am certain that Google believes (probably fairly) that some percent of people would take any "rules" governing quality score and attempt to game the system to thier benefit and to the detriment of other advertisers. Already in this thread people have talked about "cloaking" and other black hat methods to beat the system. Sadly that is why the rest of us must be kept in the dark. By the way it seems clear to me that the Google reps on the ground so to speak are equally in the dark about exact methodolgy too.

europeforvisitors




msg:3009459
 3:19 pm on Jul 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

everyone who does a search is not looking to buy something..

And even when users are looking to buy something, they may not be planning to buy it today.

DoubleClick published a study last year on user behavior before the sale. The study (which covered a number of sectors such as travel, automotive, and clothing) showed that the average buyer conducts about five online searches over a period of weeks before making a purchase.

So, from a typical shopper's perspective, an ad click should lead to something more informative and unique than a picture, a boilerplate blurb, and order button. The "user experience" is important to users--and, as a consequence, to Google--because of how people shop and what they expect to find when they're researching purchases.

ronmcd




msg:3009467
 3:30 pm on Jul 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

an ad click should lead to something more informative and unique than a picture, a boilerplate blurb, and order button

But who decides this? Not google surely, its the visitors that decide!

A fabulous one page "direct sales" letter can produce excellent sales, its all in the skill of the sales copy writer. But google has decided this wont work anymore, unless its fits their identikit "quality" score.

If people buy from this site in droves, is it poor quality? If its the only site providing this service that people are looking to buy how can google say its poor? Should this site abandon carefully tested copy to make flabby content telling potential buyers everything they ever wanted to know about the product, its history and construction, spread over 100 pages?

Nonsense.

If I'm paying for advertising I expect to be able to write my own ad copy, and find out what converts (I thought thats what we were trying to do), not what googles programmers like to look at. I'm paying for this service. Well, I was ;-)

europeforvisitors




msg:3009521
 4:23 pm on Jul 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

But who decides this? Not google surely, its the visitors that decide!

Google does a lot of market research, and it's unlikely that it would introduce such a far-reaching change (one that will have short-term impact on its ad revenues) without listening to input from outside the company. In this case, Google may have been swayed by feedback from users and mainstream advertisers.

Also, most media have advertising standards that are intended to protect and enhance the value of their ad sales. If Google feels that encouraging useful landing pages is beneficial and that poor-quality or non-existent landing pages are harmful to its bottom line, then it will do what's necessary to protect its business.

It's possible (even probable) that the algorithm used to determine "quality scores" needs improvement, but that's a whole separate issue from the question of whether Google has the right to use such scores or to encourage landing pages that have intrinsic value for users.

leflores




msg:3009540
 4:40 pm on Jul 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

Well my point is that if we will create quality pages, with inbound links, quality content, good pagerank, proper keyword density, etc.... we will be focusing our activity in something diferent as to sales... our websites are just the starting point of an ecommerce activity not the whole, we have a lot more to do.

And just to finish my idea... if I had to do all that stuff in my site... why pay them for the clicks? Perhaps a little more work and I will be ranking in the organic results :) Or was not Adwords intended to those who did not ranked well? i.e. who had not content? or inbound links?

mzanzig




msg:3009589
 5:26 pm on Jul 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

I am a publisher running Adsense on my sites. I seldomly post over here, but as the recent changes have affected both advertisers and (indirectly) publishers, I thought I'll voice my opinion here as well.

First of all, I am very concerned about MFAs ruining the user experience, but I am even more concerned about advertisers leaving Adwords completely. Because that's were I am affected.

I understand those advertisers who want to be in control of the whole experience. You pay for the ride, so you say how exactly this is going to happen. You write the copy. You run the shop. There must be quality guidelines for landing pages, sure, in order to avoid trademark infringements, copyright infringements, obvious scams, and maybe MFAs. But apart from these, it's basically up to you to turn a visitor into a buyer.

It's not the publishers job.
It's not Google's job.
It's YOUR job, and you know that.

Let's say someone provides the same boilerplate shop as anyone else on the planet, but he has the best price for a widget. By far. And he knows it. And he wants customers looking for this deal. Now let's assume I am a customer and I know what I want to buy. Do I care about site design or additional information? Hell, no! I am looking for a deal. I know what I want to buy. I do not need additional information. I don't care whether the homepage is ugly or not. If I have the feeling that the shop delivers on time and in quality, I will consider to order. I need an attractive deal. Who is that big guy blocking the shop door? Google, please get out of the way.

It is worth noting that the whole system works ONLY if the ads do convert for the advertisers. You as advertisers understand this point easily, because it's the base of your business. Let's check how attractive Adwords really is:

Widget price for consumers = $200
Whole sale price for dealer = $150
Gross margin = $50
Conversion rate on web shop = 1 %
Required visitors to sell one widget = 100
Break Even = gross margin / 100 = $0.50

In other words: If this shop is bidding higher than $0.50 they will be losing money on every single sale, because the whole margin was eaten up by the ads. Shops selling cheaper widgets with smaller absolute margins will simply have to give up on advertising because it does not make sense for them commercially. And I am afraid that this is happening right now.

Ah, if the conversion rate is beefed up to 20% - then this shop could afford a click of $10.00, but even then they would just break even. And remember that customers research a lot before ordering (see EFVs statements on this). So how likely is a 20% conversion rate?

So, yes, I understand why some advertisers simply decide to halt their campaigns. And it scares me.

ohwell




msg:3009606
 5:39 pm on Jul 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

What you say is absoluteky true and as simple as 2+2=4. But G doesn't seem to care about yours or anyone elses margins/costs/ect.

I read where the top brass of G have stated, they don't mind NOW DAYS losing money/accts/advertisers if it means keeping there surfer/user base happy. They deem that more important now than current profits.

Perhaps they fear IE7-8 and MSN taking their visitors when the new browser comes out... Makes a lot of sense why this is happening. ; (

Tom_PR




msg:3009626
 5:56 pm on Jul 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

aeiouy, my ads clearly state the price of the product. I filter OUT freeloaders who just want to click and browse and not buy. I filter like crazy. My year to date conversion ratio on one ad is 1:24. In my market, that is so good that people simply do not believe it. That is the ratio with 1609 sales. On this landing page, over 95% of the people go several pages deep. It's very clearly a high quality ad and landing page.

As I've stated elsewhere on the board, over 80% of the people on one of my "inactivated" ads (100% of keywords beyond reasonable min. now) went 3 pages deep. This ad also states the price, and uses exact match. How again does this hint at low quality? It's unique, compelling, and clearly informative and sticky enough. Bots can not tell the story based on an algorithm that does not include sales IMHO for an ad that is clearly meant to make sales.

I dont WANT anyone to click my ads that does not intend to purchase. If I did, poof there goes my ROI and there goes my ad. Lets not forget that this is paid advertising! I'm not paying to advertise a site so people can begin the process, I'm closing the sale ASAP, and I'm doing it. So it works. An advertisement is successful if it makes sales.

I unpaused a campaign last evening that does well on weekends. 1:22 of the people who clicked made a purchase. Having only spent $8 and made $45 I'd say it's a good ad. 43 out of 44 of those clicks went 3 pages deep. I'd say thats sticky, informative and high quality. Adwords has now inactivated every keyword with over 3% CTR, and left me with the loose terms that have not made me a sale. So they've not only cost me (and themselves) another money maker, they've cost their users a site that clearly offered them exactly what they wanted. People dont generally go so deep into a site unless it's compelling enough. And again, in my market 1:22 unique:sale is top of the heap type of ratio.

One thing I'm sure of so far, is that the inactivations are not based on people clicking the back button really fast. Unless it's DESIRED for them to click back fast, lol. In that case, it's just plain wrong obviously.

My best ad would have nobody ever click back to Google, but instead to make a purchase and enjoy their purchase. That person would say "I found what I wanted on Google Adwords" wouldnt they? Thats a quality and enjoyable experience.

ronmcd




msg:3009627
 6:00 pm on Jul 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

Google does a lot of market research, and it's unlikely that it would introduce such a far-reaching change (one that will have short-term impact on its ad revenues) without listening to input from outside the company. In this case, Google may have been swayed by feedback from users and mainstream advertisers.

mainstream advertisers? What an odd phrase to use. You mean the ones you think will now be free to advertise on your adsense pages, as opposed to the advertisers who have been affected, who MUST have been doing something wrong and cheapening the google network? Do you really think the quality sites arent affected? They have introduced this change with no consultation, and if its in response to calls by all (including me, many times) for less MFA / spam /gaming then theyve made a huge huge error in the way they approached it. I'm not sure they are that incompetent.

ronmcd




msg:3009635
 6:02 pm on Jul 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

I dont WANT anyone to click my ads that does not intend to purchase. If I did, poof there goes my ROI and there goes my ad. Lets not forget that this is paid advertising! I'm not paying to advertise a site so people can begin the process, I'm closing the sale ASAP, and I'm doing it. So it works. An advertisement is successful if it makes sales.

Absolutely, this the key. It's advertising. We have to have control over our own advertising otherwise ..... we walk. It'll happen, it's already started.

toddb




msg:3009685
 6:31 pm on Jul 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

we have had major changes before they wiped people out. I think the reason google can do this is the ad space is limited. I know some of us do well in the 4th space and lower but the over all CTR for those spaces is so low compared to 1-3. They can afford to wipe all of those spots out every 6 months and not feel any effect to their bottom line.

Google does stuff through automation. This causes lots of us to get shafted by small details. I have noticed Google does not care. It is all bottom line for them. Less labor and better experience will create more $$$ in the long run.

We need to adapt to their tweaks or die. Others are lining up for location as we speak. Google will survive but will we?

shorebreak




msg:3009696
 6:43 pm on Jul 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

My firm manages over $250M in ppc spend annual for our clients, >60% of that on Google, and with over 15M keywords. All of that spend is managed tightly to our clients' ROI goals and constraints, with keyword-level tracking de rigeur, geo-targeting in many cases and usually separate bidding for search vs content.

Our clients' ratio of spend between Google and Yahoo has increased from 1.2:1 back in 2004 to upwards of 1.9:1 today. This is another way of saying that Google's traffic is generally converting better than any other search engine and at greater volume than any other search engine.

We've not noticed any significant portion of our client base being affected, nor have those who've been affected been as horrible stories as those many of you are sharing.

I know it's not going to make anyone here feel any better, but Google *is* getting better in general at delivering what users and advertisers are looking for. I cannot see how we would be able to profitably grow our clients' spend as much as we have in the last 3 years if that weren't the case. Moreover, I do think that Google has to try some quality scoring tweaks to improve their marketplace, as overall industry CTR's have not been improving the way they did back from 2003-2005.

I've been in Europe the last 7 weeks for work, and it appears that the majority of Western European ppc advertisers are 12-18 months behind advertisers in the U.S. in terms of tracking/bidding sophistication, ad copy and landing page optimization, and keyword expansion. It also seem like AdWords-to-Overture arbitrage is still rampant. It comes as no surprise to me that Google needs to *try* to nudge their market in the right direction, otherwise the lead they've built for themselves in marketshare will be at risk.

-Shorebreak

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