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Is there still no way to block search network domains?
limitup




msg:3849160
 11:41 pm on Feb 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

I've been away from AdWords for awhile. Is there still no way to block individual domains within the search network? Is it still all or nothing? As in the past we are getting tons of clicks from bogus MFA-type pseudo search engines that I can't believe Google allows in their search network. Some of them literally are not even search engines.

 

Israel




msg:3849828
 4:23 am on Feb 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

Is there still no way to block individual domains within the search network?

That has been the question of the ages. I'd love to know if there is a way that I may have missed.

Many search referrals that I see look good, ISP home pages, legit search portals, but I've also seen 'search partners' that are ---- well, no content except a Google search box! I can't accept that humans visit these pages for any legit reason.

Now, some time back I put Google search boxes at the bottom of some of my sites. I thought it might please the Google G-ds and give my sites extra credibility. However, they've never generated enough revenue to make them worthwhile. In fact, they come off as I have reason to update the pages.

I am assuming that I only earn from a search through them if the searcher clicks an Adwords ad. If that is accurate, that may explain why the box gets a reasonable amount of use, but scant $$$ on my legitimate sites.

If the above assumption is true, that should tell you that some former MFA types are abusing that box.

Surely it is not a technical impossibility to implement a feature that would allow me to 'pick my partners' or similar.

I'm sure many would love to hear an answer on this. It's a tough choice to sacrifice the AOL's and cable/DSL home pages that many of my customers see when they launch their browsers just to avoid these gamers.

I already had to dump Search for my higher dollar campaigns and I saw income shoot up. Similar to the way I dumped Content completely early on after seeing my logs.

Israel

sacX




msg:3870235
 11:03 am on Mar 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

This has been an issue for years. There's no good reason why you can't do this. It's probably my #1 gripe with AdWords, and they've never given a reasonable explanation why it's like this.

I leave search network off, there's soo much crap on it. I know some of the providers would probably provide a decent ROI, but the inability to turn off the crap makes it an impractical headache.

Israel




msg:3870591
 4:07 am on Mar 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

This has been an issue for years. There's no good reason why you can't do this. It's probably my #1 gripe with AdWords, and they've never given a reasonable explanation why it's like this.

You wouldn't like the explanation I fear. You couldn't handle the explanation! -;) (to paraphrase a well known film quote).

I leave search network off, there's soo much crap on it. I know some of the providers would probably provide a decent ROI, but the inability to turn off the crap makes it an impractical headache.

Well, I have some diverse campaigns. Some of them are such obscure niches with low bids that don't seem to attract fraud.

I feel exactly like you stated above, but after thinking about it, I'm trying out a small experiment with a portion of a market that tradtionally attracts the crapp. So far, the referrers that I see in my logs are a bit better than what I saw when I dumped the Search Network for the higher dollar campaigns. Of course, there are a lot coming in with no referrer; not sure what to make of those.

I'm giving this a one month trial. I just know that some of these "Search Partners" are rigging the results returned. How? Don't exactly know, like you no doubt, I'm "white hat".

After a month, I'll know (I hope anyway), if the conversions that I get from the AOL's make up for the garbage. I'll report back.

*************

I just want to ascertain if maybe, Google has cleaned up some of the worst "Search Partners" in the couple of years since I last made a "Search Network" foray with some of the more vulnerable campaigns. Figure I'll never know if I don't try it now and then.....

I'm taking this one for the team -;)

Israel

RhinoFish




msg:3871389
 2:45 pm on Mar 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

I just know that some of these "Search Partners" are rigging the results returned. How? Don't exactly know, like you no doubt, I'm "white hat".

Keep researching, you'll find some of the answers.

Israel




msg:3879867
 3:56 am on Mar 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

I just want to ascertain if maybe, Google has cleaned up some of the worst "Search Partners" in the couple of years since I last made a "Search Network" foray with some of the more vulnerable campaigns. Figure I'll never know if I don't try it now and then.....

Okay, it hasn't quite been a month, but I don't want this thread to get too lost in the past.

After 3 weeks, I must say that taking a campaign that traditionally has been contained "vulnerable" keywords, perceived as being high $$$ and adding the Search Partner Network, I am impressed!

Yeah, there is some junk. I visit referrers that obviously no human would visit to do a search. Can't help but wonder why that's not obvious to Google. Strictly paid ads with zero content.

*************

OTOH, with all the great, cheaper conversions that I got from real Search Partner sites, I'll put up with a little junk. Good sites are out there. Email portals with a Search box, shopping sites where Search results blend in nicely, sites I never would never have thought about before. People either choose or get "stuck" with these sites as their home pages I suspect and do all their searching from there.

Since so far the good folks clearly outnumber the losers, I'm going to stick with the Search Network for some of these campaigns! We'll have to see in time as I start to show more broadly on the Search Network if that ratio changes....

Have to give it to Google on this one. Despite the obvious "gamers", Google has cleaned the place up since my long hiatus from the Search Network on the "vulnerable" campaigns.

*************

Yes, Rhinofish, I suppose I could get a handle on exactly how the bums work Search in their favour, but I'm not going to waste energy on the negative. Especially when I can't do anything about it. Can I?

Which brings me to my only 2 real complaints:

1) The perennial - Why can't we "pick our partners" to some extent?

2) Also I'd like to move some other Adgroups which have been in Campaigns where Search has been hurting my CTR for ages. Move them into Campaigns where I can turn off the Search Network the only way possible - by Campaign.

However, I'd still prefer not to lose the history by moving them and having to start from scratch. That happens when I cut and paste through the Adwords Editor.

I swear, I recall before the Adwords Editor when there were more "Tools" in the online interface that I could move an Adgroup to another Campaign and lose only the Adgroup level negative keywords for no good reason. That was a small price to pay and easy to fix once I realized that.

I know I asked this elsewhere on WebmasterWorld and nobody chimed in that they recalled same. Perhaps it was a dream..... If so, it was quite a vivid one ;)

*************

So bottom line, after 3 weeks back into the Search Network for a Campaign, conversions for a much cheaper price. Pleasant surprise as conversions have been harder to come by of late!

Israel

jkwilson78




msg:3880233
 4:54 pm on Mar 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

I recently had a single keyword in my account bring in over $2000 in click costs by 2pm before I noticed the problem.

I freaked out, paused the keyword (it normally got $100/day in costs) and submitted a click fraud investigation with Google.

The outcome?

To paraphrase Google:

"Oh, no big deal that was one of our search partners, sometimes that happens with them from time to time, everything is cool, no fraud here. Let us know if you have any further questions. Good day."

RhinoFish




msg:3880869
 8:52 pm on Mar 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

i could see how the case they're describing could be true. like say a newspaper is a search partner (or someone like aol) and they run a featured article that is very close to your niche's theme and your ads are displayed right there and do get tons of imps and real clicks...

i, like many, have a tendency to side with the little guy (you), but i think objectively, i can't see your point because i can't say with any certainty whether this is a problem G should remedy, or not. i suggest you dig deeper into the reported data (and your analytics) and see what else you can learn about what happened.

and to others reading along, it's important to set daily budgets so you don't get burned by surprises.

avalon37




msg:3882085
 1:04 am on Mar 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

The search partners network for the terms I bid on converts 34% lower than Google only clicks. That being the case, I would need my CPC prices to fall 34% to enjoy the same ROI. BTW, the CPC prices fall nowhere near the 34% requirement. Actually, if you are fluent in Content match, you will do much better than running on the Google Search Partners.

RhinoFish




msg:3882364
 1:25 pm on Mar 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

the assumption that all search partner traffic converts less than G search... or that content does better than search partners... is too broad. i have many cases where the results are mixed the other way around. it depends on too many factors.

and i am quite sure G is keeping an eye on it because we do have an on / off switch at our disposal.

that said, i'd like more control and data reporting over partner selection, but i want more control and information on everything.

test, analyze, decide. if the search network isn't for you, turn it off. of course i'm being selfish with that recommendation, the more people that chose off, the more likelihood that G gives us finer control in the future.

:-)

rustyzipper




msg:3919281
 7:33 am on May 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

With the new interface, the place you add Excluded sites is weird, but has no mention as to whether it applies to content, search, etc.

Go to Campaigns: Click on a Campaign, Click the Networks Tab. Click the + to expand "Exclusions". If you choose Placements, it allows you to enter in domains & makes no mention of it only applying to Content Advertising. However, if you choose categories it says this applies to Content Advertising Only.

Has anyone called Google to get clarification on this?

We find Google converts about 20% better than search partners. We get a lot of google images searches with Zero conversions.. would love to block these!

Israel




msg:3920529
 7:16 pm on May 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

With the new interface, the place you add Excluded sites is weird, but has no mention as to whether it applies to content, search, etc.

Calling AWA please!

Israel

AdWordsAdvisor




msg:3920633
 11:50 pm on May 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

With the new interface, the place you add Excluded sites is weird, but has no mention as to whether it applies to content, search, etc.

I am 99.8% sure that this is simply a new UI on top of the exact same functionality as before.

I have pinged a colleague on the new UI team to confirm this (since I do hate to be wrong in public) but discover that she is traveling and not reachable.

I'll post again after I've had the chance to speak with her.

AWA

AdWordsAdvisor




msg:3922014
 9:28 pm on May 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

Aaach.

I forgot to update this thread. My apology.

I did reach my colleague, who confirms that this works the same as it did in the old interface. She did see the point about the lack of clarity, however, and will work on that.

Many thanks for the heads-up, rustyzipper and Israel. ;)

AWA

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