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Google Content Network CPA Performance Trends: Google Whitepaper

 5:37 pm on Apr 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

Google Content Network CPA Performance Trends: [google.com] Google Whitepaper

This white paper presents the findings from this analysis. It shows that advertisers who advertise on the content network see good results on a number of levels:

  • Ads on the Google Content Network are likely to be as cost-effective - or even more cost-effective - than ads on the search network.
    The median advertiser has a content CPA that's about 2% lower than their search CPA.
  • The Content Network drives a significant share of total conversions.
    The Content Network drives nearly 20% of total conversions for the median advertiser.
  • Conversion rates are higher for advertisers who used either of two AdWords campaign management controls: the Conversion Optimizer and site exclusion.
  • Download PDF File 2.4Mb CPA Performance Trends on the Google Content Network [google.com]


    Interent Yogi

     6:51 am on Apr 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

    3. In our analysis we looked at the median advertiser in order to best represent the Content Network performance of a typical advertiser.

    I would say for some industries content certainly does not stack up . Big ticket items brought from a random ad on a site?


     7:25 am on Apr 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

    Thanks Engine.

    This is the Fox guarding the Chicken Coop, or PR masquerading as Research.

    Generally if you want credibility you ask a respectable research organization to conduct a study, otherwise you get comments like these.


     10:59 am on Apr 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

    if you want credibility you ask a respectable research organization to conduct a study

    You don't always get credibility even then.

    Think of all the MSFT-sponsored studies which show that "opensource is rubbish" (I'm paraphrasing slightly...)


     11:59 am on Apr 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

    Agreed, hence "generally" :)


     2:04 pm on Apr 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

    yeah, this is study is by no means skewed; coming from google - owner of probably the largest content network on the planet. btw: i haven't done it in a while, but i have always opted out of content ads because they never have worked for me - low click through rates, low conversions; don't know if it had to do with the verticals in which i worked; but i have worked in many industries, and no ads were as efficient as search ads.


     2:42 pm on Apr 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

    I have accounts where people have bought relatively large tickets items ($1200+) from parked domains. I have another account that routinely converts a $7500 service from various sites on the Content Network.

    The thing is, managing Content correctly takes knowledge and, most of all, time. One size definitely does not fit all, and you have to find exactly the right sites to match your offer. One of the problems I always have when Google & Yahoo and MSN talk about value and ROI and all the benefits of their PPC program - they seem to have absolutely NO calculation in there for time.


     4:54 pm on Apr 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

    This is the Fox guarding the Chicken Coop, or PR masquerading as Research.

    Gee, and I thought it was research masquerading as PR. :-)

    Are you suggesting that they made the numbers up? Or that your anecdotal evidence is more meaningful than a survey of 25,000 accounts?

    It's reasonable to believe that Google wouldn't have released the data if the survey results had been unfavorable, but that doesn't mean the data and the white paper are works of fiction.

    Also, as has been said here many times before, "your mileage may vary." Medians aren't guarantees.

    Meenakshi Mosaic

     6:55 am on Apr 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

    As per my experience, content network helps to reduce CPC however conversions are only 1% - 2% till now...


     1:49 pm on Apr 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

    My assumption is that the whitepaper is factual - at least from the data / facts they used and referenced. I think the white paper is well written and a talented group of individuals worked very hard to produce it.

    The big picture is that Google is promoting the content network which, as a publisher is good. I take the paper to mean that the content network is profitable for Google and worth growing.

    The important and overall details have been omitted from of the white paper. Advertisers, publishers and others are likely to see a credibility problem with the white paper.

    Credibility Challenged Examples:

    1 When Google references reach of the content network within the first paragraph they use (1) Comcast data. I tend to believe that Google has better data on their reach than Comcast.
    2. The paper very clearly indicates that the research group was massaged and culled to include only those advertisers falling within median area and have tracking data enabled. I wonder what the numbers would indicate if they considered all data? Better yet what do they look like across different industries or advertising niches? Narrow and selective data is an earmark of a marketing pitch.
    3. They do not indicate tolerance of error – the paper is relatively absolute. Nothing is absolute in the marketing world.
    4. Any Google document that mentions “Smart Pricing” more than twice is suspect to me. Until I can see the Smart Pricing details, Smart Pricing is just AIG or Enron phrase. This is personal opinion btw.

    My last comment is a simple question – who is likely to benefit from this white paper? My simple answer, some advertisers, some publishers and Google.


     2:13 pm on Apr 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

    the content network can work for advertisers but it's very much a "hands on" thing. I've split my content campaign into three, allowing me to target different tiers of countries with different CPC rates, I'm very careful to utilise campaign-wide negative sites as they pop up and placement target the best sites (and pages) for higher rates.

    Each campaign is carefully divided into ad groups based on keywords which allows me to alter LP, ad title, ad content and display URL.

    If you do all of this and more, the content network can work for you. I don't imagine more than 20% of advertisers do this however, most just switching it on and leaving it.


     3:06 pm on Apr 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

    If you just opt into the content network and use your normal bids and don't run placement reports yeah it is going to suck.

    The content network rocks if you know how to use it. It is important to ad the Detailed Keyword Filter to show you which websites are sending you traffic. This allows you to add negative sites and check bounce rates. If you have goals set up you can check that too.

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