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How do you use the content network?

 10:19 am on May 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

Google is giving me pretty bad matches with the content network for some ad groups. Since the volume of clicks is so low with content, I've just been setting my content bid at 50% of my search bid, but I'm going to reduce it to 25%. How do you guys use the content network?



 2:09 pm on May 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

I start from the absolute lowest bid and work up until i get some decent traffic and then weed out from there. I'm hoping to an extent that eyeballs may just recognize our brand and start building familiarity over and beyond people clicking.. i mean some campaigns get hundreds of thousands of impressions for me at a vary low CPM.

Seriously considering image ads for some verticals to continue the branding


 6:04 pm on May 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

When you say "weed out from there" do you mean disabling content clicks for certain ad groups?

Definitely true about the massive number of impressions.


 6:39 pm on May 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

Do you feel that the Content Network presents value for the time and financial investment?


 11:29 am on May 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

pageoneresults, do you disable it completely?


 2:39 pm on May 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

pageoneresults, do you disable it completely?

I do on those campaigns that have a "very tight" budget. All we want is the actual Google Search traffic as we feel that is probably the best converting over the Content Network. I feel that the best place to be is at the core of the activity. I also feel that once you get into the Content Network the quality of the click throughs drops which in turn is going to have an overall impact on your campaign. We like to be a bit over conservative, especially when working with minimal budgets.


 7:23 pm on May 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

I also feel that once you get into the Content Network the quality of the click throughs drops which in turn is going to have an overall impact on your campaign.

Interesting, how does that affect the overall campaign?


 2:32 pm on May 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

There are some new strategies around using the content network. You might read over the Google links to see what the best practices are right now:

Google's content network: https://adwords.google.com/select/afc.html
Contextual Targeting: https://adwords.google.com/select/afc/contextual.html
Placement Targeting: https://adwords.google.com/select/afc/site.html

If you are trying to save time by running content and search together, you need to reconsider that strategy because:

1) Content will only look at 50 keywords so if you have more words than that in your adgroups, you need to make adjustments (if you can find a link to that information, let me know - I've been told this by Google multiple times now).
2) Ads for content need to be spicy so you don't need to use the same ads that you use in your regular adgroups.
3) Keyword groupings for content work a little different now than they used to so you'll get better results if you use slightly different keyword sets for search and content.


 6:16 pm on May 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

I create two campaigns - ALWAYS

One Search Campaign
One Content Campaign

The search campaign is my premium campaign. Higher CPC, higher targeting, hundreds of negative keywords from historical account history and plane non matches as discovered through wordtracker and such.

The Content campaign is very broad keywords to get the most impressions. I balance the CPC right at the minimum for broad matches.

I'll also create 3rd campaigns sometimes when i do site targeted traffic. These can be VERY expensive CPC's on some sites however the traffic is very much worth it. You may get a terrible CTR but the branding when matched 100% to a great vertical can bring traffic for months to come.

"weed out from there" is the process of running your click reports and tuning your keywords/negative keywords to make sure you're continually targeting your market.

I've been using wordtracker and the reports to do both. Wordtrack is great because it finds cases where something you sell may be a city name, travel destination, the name of a boat, famous person, yacht or have all sorts of niches you wouldn't care to have and don't want to pay money for and thats how i come up with my lists.

for example "kingston widget" - that has thousands of non matches because its a city, brand, brand with many components and a brand that could have service/repair/warranty/reviews/comparison/benchmarks/reliability and a plethora of queries that wouldn't make sense to target or wouldn't convert at a profitable degree.


 7:06 pm on May 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

I have some niches that perform extremely well in Content (some areas of health, for example, because there's a lot of really good health-related sites that run AdSense out there) But I keep a tight control over which sites my ads are running on; I run frequent site placement reports. I start every Content campaign by excluding YouTube and MySpace. I leave parked domains in until I have determined whether or not they will convert - I *do* have campaigns in which parked domains convert directly into sales. (I also own parked domains - full disclosure) I make sure I have both text and graphic ads available. I don't bother with match types, and I tend to have more ad groups with fewer (more focused) keywords; I also am more careful about the *name* of the ad group, because that seems to make a difference on the targeting.

Then I have other campaigns where it's just not worth the time and trouble to do all that for Content Network - I don't get any kind of return on it.

So there's no tried and true way of determining whether or not to use it, other than to test it, in very controlled circumstances.


 7:20 pm on May 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

So there's no tried and true way of determining whether or not to use it, other than to test it, in very controlled circumstances.

And with smaller budgets, it usually is not an option. You want to spend your time and money wisely and I feel the Content Network is where the "waste" factor increases. I refer to it as the "throw it up against the wall and see what sticks" network.

As noted above, if you're really into this and have the tools and knowledge available to you, it can work in some instances. I'm sure deeper pockets may prevail. :)


 7:54 pm on May 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

Using the Conversion Optimiser option may help the GoogleBrain(TM) do a reasonable job of maximising your returns across a mixture of search and content, even with a tiny budget.

That's what I'm doing, and I'm generally happy with the results.




 11:34 am on May 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

Thanks guys, sounds precarious. I guess I'll disable it for now.


 12:36 pm on May 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

How about the "search network"? Do you guys enable that? I'm in Brazil at the moment and I've noticed my ads show up on the search partners' results even though I only have the US enabled.


 12:43 pm on May 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

For me content network is a great match if you target correctly. I get better conversions when i'm on Pricegrabber as a Google ad at the bottom than when i was paying their outrageous fees directly.

I used to sell on Buy.com but a tuned content ad / partner ad is much cheaper.. Buy.com wants 6-15% of your sale value, i get plenty of conversions at .50 cents to 1.25 from them ;)

"Weed out" is a continuous job and sometimes you may need to "Weed back in" because everything is a trend and never set in stone like some people like to suggest


 12:57 pm on May 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

Nice Byron. What specific content sites work well for you guys? pricegrabber.com and buy.com sound like excellent picks. Maybe amazon.com and shopzilla.com too?

Do you specifically target these guys with Google's "site targeting"?


 2:32 pm on May 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

Search Network is a mixed bag - you get parked domains and a bunch of crap you might not want, but you also get places like AOL and WebMD and some others. So you just have to decide what it's worth to you. Also, for some of those (like AOL) you have to keep pretty close to the top of the list in order to show up.


 4:38 pm on May 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

You can turn off appearing on parked domains now, which I have done for all my campaigns.



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