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Search partners conversion
run search other then Google separately

 11:20 pm on Oct 8, 2009 (gmt 0)

I knew about concept of running Google search partners separately from Google search for long time, but never tried it.

I wonder if anyone had a chance to try it seriously, and see/compare the conversion results.

With "running search partners separately" I refer to creating two identical campaigns where you turn search partners OFF in the first one, and run both Google (obviously) and search partners in the second one.
Then you (have to) ensure that bids in "Google only" campaign are higher enough, so your ads from "mixed" do not get triggered on Google.

It's not a perfect scenario, nor there is a 100% guarantee it would work as I stated above. With prompt tracking, it would be easy to derive conclusion though and figure if such control is worth of playing with.

Has anyone tried this ever?




 12:44 am on Oct 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

Might be a bit simple but have you tried using the filter and segment by network to see search vs search partners?

I think by setting the Google only campaign bids higher, the ads would always show from this campaign and you wouldn't get impressions or clicks on the Google + search partner campaign.

I can see where you are coming from as there is additional search opportunities on the search network. It would be interesting to hear from someone who has tried it.


 1:49 pm on Oct 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

I don't believe it will work. This was talked on another forum (Digital Point or Warrior Forum) a few months ago.

The problem, as I see it, is that Adwords automatically rotates display of ads if you have the same keyword in two or more campaigns or groups.

If a search is done on Google, and Adwords decides to use your Google+Partners campaign, there's no way to stop it from doing so. Your ad shows on Google. A lower bid will not prevent that.

Of course, your Google+Partners campaign will get all the Search Partners traffic. But that campaign could still get up to 50% Google traffic. That percentage will vary depending on the relative traffic each gets. If they each get about the same number of impressions, the campaign will be about 67% from SP. The more traffic from the SPs, the higher your percentage. But you'll never make it 100%.

Maybe the solution is to create ads that appeal more to search partner traffic, if there is more traffic from the partners.


 4:32 pm on Oct 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

We'll see... I'm running it since yesterday as I figured "why talk if you can do it". Typical affiliate laziness (and busyness).

The biggest challenge is probably the gap between the bids from G and G+P campaigns. If I could set bids that are way different, but still hit top positions in G+P, that would be my way to go. Right now average position is quite low in some cases.

I have to wait for at least 24h of stats to get better understanding.
Plus, I probably made mistake by starting it with 18 ad groups and over 640 keywords in total.


 6:29 pm on Oct 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

I'm currently running a similar test, but I just took adgroups that have good conversion on G and poor on the search partners, and moved them to a G only campaign. have some more testing to do before I can draw any real conclusions tho


 7:42 pm on Oct 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

> I figured "why talk if you can do it".

Yes, of course. Please let us know

Another thing too that many are not aware of. Your QS is calculated only on the Google search network. I think it might be because they don't have access to data on the search partners that they need. However, I can't figure out what data that could be. Or maybe it's just easier and good enough for them to use their own data.

SanDiego Art

 7:48 pm on Oct 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

I think they only include Google.com results b/c it is consistent. Every partner in the Search Network has a different look/feel, layout, etc. so they eliminate the variables which they don't control.

Ask.com is a different audience from AOL.com, with different CTRs, etc.

Just a thought....


 11:45 am on Oct 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

Your QS is calculated only on the Google search network. I think it might be because they don't have access to data on the search partners that they need.


Your comments in this thread are very enlightening, shall I say "Lucid"?

One thing though: Once all/most of the keywords in an adgroup get slapped down to 1/10, I don't show anywhere after that, even an impression. The adgroup could have been racking up an excellent CTR and Conversion Rate before "The Slap" too.

If the Search Network Partners were unaware of QS, shouldn't I get at least some showings on Search Partners on those adgroups?




 12:56 pm on Oct 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

The QS=1 seems to be a flag for "your ads won't show at all", a zero-QS in effect, an off switch. That includes search partners. After all, they want the SPs to show quality ads too.

You may be wondering why Google doesn't want your ads to show. My guess is your an affiliate marketer and your landing page is full of affiliate links to your merchants. Google calls those bridge pages, "web pages that act as an intermediary, whose sole purpose is to link or redirect traffic to the parent company."

My suggestion is to delete those campaigns and link direct to the merchant's page. If you don't, Google may terminate your account.


 12:00 am on Oct 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

I've tested it and run most campaigns as "Google Only". The conversion is significantly better, but in many cases so are the CPC prices, so it's not always a better ROI. But I'd say 75% of the time the ROI is better without any search partners. If you don't need the additional volume from the search partners, ALWAYS run just Google.com only. People usually worry about losing the AOL clicks. Well these days, AOL clicks are less than 10% of all search partner clicks so don't kid your yourself. Those search partners are basically as suspect as the clicks from the content network.


 4:43 pm on Oct 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

we did this for a long time and actually found that our ROI was way better with the search partners only account. Strange but true! Of particular noteworthiness was the excellent quality of the AOL traffic!


 4:44 pm on Oct 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

we did this for a long time and actually found that our ROI was way better with the search partners only account. Strange but true! Of particular noteworthiness was the excellent quality of the AOL traffic!


 9:29 pm on Oct 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

exmoorbeast - you cannot run campaigns as search partners only. Do you work at AOL :) Campaigns CAN be more ROI positive with search partners because of the lower CPC, but never (repeat never) will a campaign with search partners convert better than a Google only campaign. It's not even debatable from a purely Google.com only (and no content) conversion perspective. I've been doing this since Google ad buys were $15 CPM. Anyone else here remember the good old days ? :)


 5:17 am on Oct 12, 2009 (gmt 0)


After over 18,500 impressions, only 1.11% has been served on Google which means a great control for that part (Google only vs. Search Partners only).

So far - 10% on the negative side. As this has been running for only 3 days, I believe it needs more time, and more importantly, a good tune up.

Regardless of the outcome, the best would be if Google simply let us pick our search partners.

I'll remind the readers about my decision to turn them OFF 100% after some findings:


Yeah, after some time, I should dig into logs and check the references for tracking codes specific to this "Search Partners" campaign. That should clearly show the referring URLs so I actually see WHO the search partners were.
It is just that it takes quite some time to organize all this...


 7:03 am on Oct 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

@avalon - well search partners converted better for us (repeat better). During the time when were were one of the top 10 spenders on Google! :-)

it's so long a go that i got this granular but I am pretty convinced that we just used to do Search partners only and it was something to do with having the same kw twice in the account. There was a way of doing it for sure.


 1:46 pm on Oct 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

> After over 18,500 impressions, only 1.11% has been served on Google

How many impressions on the Google only campaign?

I'm surprised it works but good to know you can force the issue.

As for results I've had with many clients, generally the CTR is lower, at times much, much lower on the search partners. Conversions on the other hand can be all over the place: same as Google traffic, lower or higher. No way to predict what it will be. Impressions too can vary tremendously. I've seen some campaigns where the SPs get 3 times the impressions, others where they get very little.


 1:59 pm on Oct 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

exmoorbeast if it was "so long ago" then you probably did see a lot more AOL traffic in your results. I suggest retrying your Search Partners only test in the current Google AdWords Search Networks. Also, if it worked better (search partners only), why did you stop running it that way? Traffic was minimal?


 4:52 pm on Oct 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

@avalon - Basically the business model changed and so did the way we bought traffic. It was 2006 (guess).

Things really do change a lot don't they! I'm trying to get back into it and it's a struggle. Feel like a dinosaur :-) There are some great improvements though that we can look forward to utilizing.

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