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SEO versus PPC. Traditional listings take away my money.
wired in asia




msg:3039479
 1:57 am on Aug 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

We spend well over USD 1 million per year with google and despite the ever increasing costs are committed to PPC ads.

However, just below PPC ads (we usually rank under top 3), I find 'traditional advertisers' with multiple domains/sites, covering rank (traditional) 1-3. Traditional listings allow for more ad space and even show sub domains/sites with lengthy descriptions. As a paying advertiser naturally this upsets me. After all we pay dearly to get and maintain top PPC ranks. Or in other words the traditional ranks are funded by the paying Ad Words community.

As the expense for google ads now comes close to being no longer economically viable, and top spots are hard fought and paid for, I am curious to know what googles long term policy is on this issue.

 

rbacal




msg:3039491
 2:08 am on Aug 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

After all we pay dearly to get and maintain top PPC ranks. Or in other words the traditional ranks are funded by the paying Ad Words community.

As the expense for google ads now comes close to being no longer economically viable, and top spots are hard fought and paid for, I am curious to know what googles long term policy is on this issue.

That's like saying you're upset because you run an ad in a newspaper that also does software reviews and mentions products free of charge.

There's ads, and there's editorial (search results), and the twain doesn't meet.

I guess you can run your ads on the content network, and then you don't have the problem.

...and...money can't buy everything.

jay5r




msg:3039496
 2:18 am on Aug 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hell, just get rid of googlebot and only show ads...

Seriously, people come to Google to see search results you have to pay because you're not what they're there to see. For the most part the ads are "noise" (things that aren't as relevant, or people who haven't SEOd their site, or people who just launched their site and are sandboxed, etc.)

If you've got a million dollar budget spend some of it on some good white hat SEO and maybe you won't need to spend so much on PPC.

anallawalla




msg:3039550
 3:43 am on Aug 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

We spend well over USD 1 million per year with google

Sounds like you might be spending more than you need to - get a good agency that does both SEO and PPC and tell them to improve your organic listings and reduce your PPC spend, while getting you a better ROI.

Look up the heat map studies that show how few people look at the first ad and how sharply the eyeballs drop off from the second ad and lower. A small number of people don't even see any ads either by choice or they are running some software that does this by default.

wired in asia




msg:3039567
 4:47 am on Aug 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

jay5r

Thanks for your feedback, but you should be careful with generalizations;-) We offer exactly what people want, same as those traditional advertisers. If not, we hardly could afford current advertising budgets.

What google does though is to provide organic listings with a.) more ad text, b.) multiple links and c.) multiple listings. As a paying advertisers I simply want to see my ads in a more prominent position, and not being overshadowed by non paying, traditional advertisers.

And yes, SEO is a long term alternative.

poster_boy




msg:3039576
 5:30 am on Aug 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

As a paying advertiser naturally this upsets me.

While I can't say I agree with your support of banning natural listings, you should be relieved to know that - in the long run - Google will be on your side.

As Google gains fewer and fewer new users year over year, monetizing more of the "free traffic" and improving each page's eCPM will be a more aggressive strategy.

chief72




msg:3039729
 10:10 am on Aug 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

Wired in asia, I'm curious as to what it is you desire. Is it the removal of free results from the S.E. that you seek or would you like to see similar exposure/space given to both natural and paid results or are you just frustrated and blowing off a little steam. Perhaps I'm way off mark and it's none of the above, in which case can you please elaborate.

rbacal




msg:3039942
 2:27 pm on Aug 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

not being overshadowed by non paying, traditional advertisers.

I guess you wouldn't want to be overshadowed by the content that people come to google to access.

(and they aren't "traditional advertisers")

AdWordsAdvisor




msg:3039945
 2:31 pm on Aug 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

As a paying advertisers I simply want to see my ads in a more prominent position, and not being overshadowed by non paying, traditional advertisers.

wired in asia, it is important to note that the search results on the left are not from advertisers.

One big reason that Google is an excellent place in which to advertise is that a vast number of people come to Google each day to search, and make use of the search results on the left.

AWA

netmeg




msg:3039953
 2:37 pm on Aug 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

I think the original premise is off.

Search engines don't exist ONLY to promote advertising, despite what people seem to believe is the direction Google et al. are all heading towards. There do still exist people in the world, who believe in developing and making available content just for the sake of easily accessible information. (Witness the Wikipedia - and no, I'm not saying it's all *accurate* information, but it is information for its own sake)

LifeinAsia




msg:3040021
 3:21 pm on Aug 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

same as those traditional advertisers

Um, exactly how are you different from a "traditional" advertiser? Other than the fact that you spend a million bucks to achieve the same ranking as others spending no money?

chief72




msg:3040556
 10:36 pm on Aug 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

I think at times advertisers tend to suffer from terminal subjectivity!
Lately I've seen posts from advertisers complaining Adwords dosen't work because they are unable to displace competitors higher in the results. Now it seems we have someone who would like to see the free search results disappear altogether so they can achieve greater exposure for their ad. I wonder if there is someone over at search compaining because they have spent a small fortune on site & link development, programming and hosting followed by several months in the sandbox only to have their No. 1 position in the organic results overshadowed by a big blue sponsored box.

I would like to see the free results made a whole lot more free (i.e. less ecommerce), but then I make my living mostly from PPC. Would I change my tune if my income was mostly derived from SEO? Who knows, quite possibly yes.

wired in asia




msg:3040715
 2:10 am on Aug 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

Correction here. I never said that traditional listings should be banned. Like any other google users I do seek quality sites, meeting my need for information.

What I find upsetting though is that at times SEO driven sites get top listings, with multiple links and extensive text coverage. Not only single domains by the same company show, but multiple rankings, all leading to the same, yet differently packaged content.

It is AdWords advertisers which pay the bills at google, so it is only fair that top advertisers should get mote coverage than traditional rankings. Sorry to be so direct about this. With prices for Google ads going up consistently I merely seek to discuss whether SEO driven sites should receive the same coverage.

ken_b




msg:3040735
 2:27 am on Aug 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

In even modestly competitive areas, every site on page one has paid a price to be there.

PPC clients have paid in cash, a nice simple concept everyone understands.

In the non-ppc results the site owners have also paid, but they paid with knowledge, skill, effort and time. Or they may have paid cash for the time and effort of someone who has the knowlege and skill to get their site to page one.

Nobody gets to, let alone stays on page one in even modestly competitive areas for free.

chief72




msg:3040738
 2:34 am on Aug 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

I agree the serps are all too often monopolised by affiliate pages/sites linking/redirecting to a single domain (I would love to see Google be as tough on this as they have been on Adwords of late) who add nothing of quality to the user experience.

I have to concur with earlier posters (and you yourself) who suggested your budget may be better spent on a combination of both traditional SEO & PPC. You may very well end up No.1 for both.

Khensu




msg:3040821
 4:32 am on Aug 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

Without organic listings there are no ads, you are a "me too" my friend with a few bucks.

Your telling me you want to blow me out of my #1 spot that I have had for 10 years just because you have money?

That would kill the dream of the internet where the clever small independent guy can stand toe to toe with the big fat fish with deep pockets.

[edited by: Khensu at 4:33 am (utc) on Aug. 10, 2006]

wired in asia




msg:3042101
 1:49 am on Aug 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

I am sorry, but I think your projection of the Internet is rather naive.

Google has created a marketplace, where top rankings equal top value virtual real estate and thus are charged (in case of PPC ads) top dollars. If you travel first class you want first class service. Simple as that.

'Traditional rankings' should stay, but have their place. One should be careful not to fall for the perfectly orchestrated google PR machine (no evil etc.). Google is a business vehicle, thus google has clear cut responsibilities to their advertisers and stakeholders.

Here an example of what I see:

Keywords: widgets+destinations. Top traditional ads (non paying):

Rank 1: selling widgets at discount rates....
widgets+destination 1 (link)
widgest+destination 2 (link)
widegets+destination 3 (link)
URL linking to index page

Rank 2: same company again, under a different domain
selling discount widgets....
widgets+destination 1 (link)
widgest+destination 2 (link)
widegets+destination 3 (link)
URL linking to index page

We advertise globally under hundreds of keyword combinations. I notice this extra (free of charge) coverage not for just a single site, but numerous domains under our target keywords. Many of the top ranking sites for all kind of industries are simply well engineered mirror sites of the same contents, thus bringing no value to the google customer. Yes, SEO efforts have a place. Beating the system is after all part of the system.

However, as the PPC cost has nearly doubled to last year, google should address this issue. I don't think I am the only serious advertisers who has a beef with this issue.

Tastatura




msg:3042141
 2:41 am on Aug 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

wired_in_asia wrote:
Keywords: widgets+destinations. Top traditional ads (non paying):
<snip>

I bolded the word where I think difference of opinion (or understanding) comes in.
Those things on the left are NOT ads – they are search result. You might see it as an exposure for certain site, but it certainly is not an ad. The “little” boxes on the right, which you are paying for are (paid) ads. These things are two different vehicles.
Although I can see your philosophical argument about exposure( and hence an "ad") to the site in the search listings, in my opinion it is flawed.
What you are describing is “pay-for-play” type of a deal – where if you pay high enough you get top position in search listings. Market already went through this (at least in US) few years ago, and companies who had that kind of a business model, either are out of SE business or are very minor player.

Khensu




msg:3042157
 3:05 am on Aug 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

I agree there is a lot of crap on the web out there these days.

I can feel you pain about that!

But mixed in are the creators, innovators & inventors, the interesting people.

Without that there would be no search. Do you think someone would search a sea of paid ads? Yes but only to a limited degree. It's the sense of adventure that someone could find something really interesting while they are surfing/searching the stimulates the web.

Where you when the web was born?

I was in the delivery room cleaning off the baby!

crak_bot




msg:3042202
 4:25 am on Aug 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

I think the OP may have a point, at least a little one.

Google does offer free oraganic search results, but only does so now as a way to bring people to the paid ads.

It's similar to TV, NBC offers free shows but really only does so in order to get people to watch the ads. In TV, the advertisers have a good deal of pull as far as show content, ect. If the advertisers express concern over a certain show or subject matter, the producers will usually cave in.

I do not agree that advertisers should have equal exposure along with the top organic listings, at least not in the current search engine configuration.

To all that say the OP should spend his ad money on SEO, that may not be great advice. Many areas on the web are too crowded to try to break into the first page at this stage in the game. Plus, you're chasing a ghost. If he is spending a million dollars on ads I doubt he is in a field that would allow him to get into the top 3 organic results for the keywords he wants. Unless he is already close.

aeiouy




msg:3042217
 4:57 am on Aug 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

I really, really, really, really, really, really, tried hard to leave this thread alone.

Unfortunately:

It is AdWords advertisers which pay the bills at google, so it is only fair that top advertisers should get mote coverage than traditional rankings. Sorry to be so direct about this. With prices for Google ads going up consistently I merely seek to discuss whether SEO driven sites should receive the same coverage.

Would not allow me to pass. Once again I see an adwords advertiser with a big budget who seems to not have a grasp on the fundamentals of what they are doing or where they are doing it. No, it is not reasonable that the paid advertising should have more perks and exposure than the actual product. That is crazy. Clearly you feel Google exists simply to find people to buy things from you, and that is not their direct purpose. It would be like saying, well commericials in primetime should be 40 minutes of every hour because they pay the bills.

The problem with that, is it ruins the product and the product is what gets viewers. Without the viewers your ads are worthless. I think you need to fundamentally assess where you are advertising and why you are advertising there and what your expectations are for any particular publication or advertising vehicle. I could come up with other advertising examples all day long.

You want an infomercial on a major network in primetime, and it is simply not going to happen. The publisher has to protect their product, so they can continue making money in the future. Doing what you suggest would likely lessen the appeal of their product causing them to bleed visitors and eventually be significantly less valuable.

As long as they have visitors to sell to advertisers they will make money. I know some people who spend money on adwords feel like the world should revolve around their business, but that is not how most advertising works, especially that which is part of another product. The key is to fit within the context of the published content and draw as much off of that as you can. When you start impeding on it, well that is a lose-lose for everyone involved. There are magazines out there where 90% of the pages are paid advertising, but you will also find that the PAID circulation for those magazines is non-existant.

belege




msg:3042228
 5:03 am on Aug 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

The problem isn't the paying advertisers exposure, but the infection of organic results with seo crap. Google ask more and more for a service less and less attractive. And their partners (adwords clients) are suffering. They are paying for their exposure, but google ask them to have a "quality" landing page, but Google does't have any problem displaying this spamming sites as organic results.

wired in asia




msg:3042399
 10:06 am on Aug 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

aeiouy

I find your response interesting at it tries to draw a line between adwords advertisers and 'traditional', SEO driven sites.

You must admit that in areas of commercial virtual real estate nearly all sites covering top traditional ranks are SEO engineered. This clearly violates googles 'official' policy, yet these sites masked as relevant links, serve only one purpose, to make money.

Google from the start has been designed as a vehicle to generate income. Like with most successful businesses a lot of time and money has been invested on creating a good story. In the google case the story has been of good and evil. Like all entrepreneurs I love a good story, but with ad prices on the up business fundamentals rule. In this case it is very simple. I want the ad space I deserve.

Pls do count the characters in any SEO driven listing and compare with the max 25 characters first line of text and the max 35 characters for line 2&3. On top of all that google does 'approve ads', where non paying SEO engineered sites get away with anything. None of the comparisons in previous posts are relevant. Google is not a newspaper, nor was it ever designed to make the world a better place. Google is a well excecuted business concept creating a market place where only the toughest survive. And mind you, in all the competitive scrambling for top ranks, there is only one winner, google.

It believe that it is clearly time for google to re-evaluate their position towards advertisers.

jay5r




msg:3042484
 11:49 am on Aug 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

I find this whole thread pretty funny... aeiouy is right - it's like TV advertising... The average viewer is not going to put up with all commercials all the time - there's a reason why infomercials run at 2AM in the morning.

SEO is not bad according to Google - at least not white hat SEO. If it were bad Matt Cutts wouldn't be spending time explaining to webmasters how to SEO their sites. Google wants to find quality content. White hat SEO is about making good content that's easy to find and avoiding stupid mistakes that would penalize good content for no good reason.

IMHO, Wired in Asia comes off as a spoiled little kid who keeps whining "but Daddy, I WANT that..." The rules of the game are clear. If you want something the size of an organic listing, you do SEO and earn the organic listing. Or go advertise on the content network - you can have huge image/flash/video ads over there that are bigger than the content on the page (assuming the page has any meaningful content). But you're not going to get your infomercial shown during prime time on a big network - it just ain't gonna happen...

vincevincevince




msg:3042499
 12:11 pm on Aug 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

it's like TV advertising... The average viewer is not going to put up with all commercials all the time

That's the most relevant point raised in this thread so far. Searchers don't go to Google for the ads. If it was only ads they would never go to Google. How much would you be willing to pay for number one ad positions if nobody visited?

wired in asia




msg:3042717
 2:55 pm on Aug 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

jay5r

Hmmm a spoiled little kid, yes? Oh well, seems that you gained blurry vision from watching to much TV :-)

When watching TV, news, the nature channel or whatever, you would notice that TV is a far more advanced and refined advertising medium then google. Just about every piece you see carries some form of message, steering emotions in one way or another. At the end all this is paid for by you, the consumer. Thinking that you just innocently sit and watch TV for free is a rather naïve suggestion.

You did re-enforce one valid point though, without ads there would be no TV. In this respect, google is no different.

rbacal




msg:3042761
 3:20 pm on Aug 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

You must admit that in areas of commercial virtual real estate nearly all sites covering top traditional ranks are SEO engineered.

No. That's not even close to true. The vast, and I mean vast number of businesses don't SEO engineer. If the only people you hang out with are webmasters and SEO folks, you wouldn't realize that. My bet is many sites owned by webmasters on this forum ARE, but most business owners don't.

As an aside, in my niches, the top SERPS are there because they are high quality, and been in existence the longest, NOT because they SEO.

And, SEO engineering is only a part of the SERP ranking. Also, I don't SEO engineer per se, and many of my pages and sites rank highly.

You did re-enforce one valid point though, without ads there would be no TV. In this respect, google is no different.

Not true. Partly true. There are various other models for TV, including pay-by-subscription, pay-per-view, and for public television, donations. Those don't have commercials. Oh, and licensing fees.

Also, consider that google search existed prior to adwords.

gregbo




msg:3043357
 10:11 pm on Aug 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

We spend well over USD 1 million per year with google and despite the ever increasing costs are committed to PPC ads.

As long as you pay G to run your ads, you are paying for their philosophy of displaying them along with the organic results.

Based on what I've read about SES, you can expect to pay even more money.

LifeinAsia




msg:3043376
 10:27 pm on Aug 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

You did re-enforce one valid point though, without ads there would be no TV.

Sorry, but wrong. PBS comes to minds, as do HBO, Showtime, Cinemax,...

Khensu




msg:3043933
 4:01 pm on Aug 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

wired in asia

Thanks for your feedback, but you should be careful with generalizations;-) We offer exactly what people want, same as those traditional advertisers. If not, we hardly could afford current advertising budgets.

MFA/Directory speak, "We offer exactly what people want", no wonder your upset.

Tell me if I am wrong, if you are a traditional branded advertiser I apologize. If not, I don't, your just a pariah!

[edited by: Khensu at 4:11 pm (utc) on Aug. 12, 2006]

This 82 message thread spans 3 pages: 82 ( [1] 2 3 > >
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