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Ad Impressions Instability
Sudden Increase In Impressions

 4:26 am on Nov 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

This weekend it happened again and I'm wondering if anyone else ever suffers from this sporadic phenomenon. With no changes to my adwords/adgroup account my main phrase for which I have been #1 ever since adwords began 5 or so years ago, receives 2 or 3 times the normal count of impressions.

What makes it strange is that it is not attributable to a spike due to news coverage. In fact, I really would not mind it if that were the case since the number of clicks would also increase in lock step with my usual 15% CTR and I'd have a great weekend.

Unfortunately the sudden inexplicable tripling of impressions leads to no noticebale increase in clicks which of course kills my CTR which goes from around 15% to around 4% which, of course, has other negative implications (increased CPC, etc.).

The other anomaly is that during this day or two my ad is listed as being in the #3 position despite my seeing it only in the #1 position (up top above organics) as usual.

This weird occurence has happened 2 or 3 times in the last 6 weeks or so and always over a Saturday & Sunday and it really throws me for a loop.

Has anyone else noticeed similar strange huge increases in impressions on an unedited adgroup without any commensurate increase in clicks resulting in a dramatic drop in CTR over a weekend?



 4:52 am on Nov 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

"Has anyone else noticeed similar strange huge increases in impressions on an unedited adgroup without any commensurate increase in clicks resulting in a dramatic drop in CTR over a weekend? "

Yes, this has taken place for the last 3 days .. Has really hurt CTR.


 3:14 pm on Nov 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

hi green:

let's see what we do and don't have in common. first, do your ads in question run on just google or google + search network?

has your impression count and ctr returned to normal from the wacky weekend or is it still running unusually high?

in what position is your ad running that suffered the anomaly?

do you use broad/phrase/exact match?


 3:20 pm on Nov 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

Trying to get maximum clicks so running broad match.

Position not important consideration for me.

Running both Search + Content.

As I am bidding slightly low on Search and budget is not getting used up, Content impressions are running wild, trying to use up the whole budget.

I don't mind unless it hurts my CPC. But Content impressions should not matter.

The huge impressions on Content are still active across most campaigns.


 4:01 pm on Nov 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

I don't advertise on the content side, only adwords. on the adwords side you have the option of having ads show only on google or google as well as all of google's search partners.

my campaign has returned to normal as it has in the past when this anomaly showed up.

this strange occurence of huge impression increase without acompanying clicks appears to be a periodic appearance which falls on weekends and I believe it is related to the search network


 5:26 pm on Nov 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

rifj: i have had the same experience. on friday 11/17, my impressions jumped dramatically for no apparent reason ... i had not made any changes to account settings and was distributing via the same channels as always (search + content). over the weekend, impressions were high but yesterday it looks like they are coming back to the expected normal range

very odd. about 2 months back we saw the opposite: impressions nose-dived out of nowhere. though i think that was due to minimum CPCs being raised


 6:33 pm on Nov 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

stiffpicken: it is very strange and I don't like it since it kills my CTR and it is random and inexplicable. The bizarre thing is how the tripling or quadrupling of impressions does not seem to budge the clicks.

This is about the 3rd time I recall this happening in the last couple months and it always takes place over Sat & Sun and possibly late Friday.

While it was going on last weekend tweaking match types from broad to phrase to exact did not seem to have an effect. Finally sunday night i turned off the "search partners" option and I think that did the trick though I'm not sure, it was pretty late in the game by that point and numbers were inconclusive PLUS sales were suffering so I flipped that switch back on.

If/When this phenomenon re-occurs I will try to catch it early and perform tests again. By the way, along with the anomaly of clicks not increasing with impressions, the other wierd thing was that according to my adwords control panel my position dropped to 3 throughout this period from my usual #1 HOWEVER when I actually performed searches using my main 2 word phrase I was there at #1.

Does all this sound familiar to you stiffpicken or anyone else?

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