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The current economy and AdWords spending
Questions from an AdSense publisher
farmboy




msg:4369215
 5:18 pm on Sep 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

Hello everyone. I am an AdSense publisher and I'm asking a few questions about your side of the business in hopes I'll get a few responses.

How has your spending changed over the past 1-3 years? Is that because of the current state of the economy?

Does your spending decrease as the month progresses? Do you regularly run out of money in your spending budget before you run out of month?

Thanks to anyone who responds. Hopefully it will clear up some things I have been observing on the AdSense side.


FarmBoy

 

RhinoFish




msg:4370285
 8:20 pm on Oct 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

i run an agency, so i'm talking about aggregate numbers here...

my per account spending has grown a lot, but my targeting has narrowed considerably - i'm on a never ending quest to improve my clients' ROAS and reach.

my accounts aren't controlled by budget limits, but by return. so as long as ROAS makes sense, the calendar days of the month don't mean much to me.

like many advertisers, i often use G's tools to find more places to advertise, finding that contextually relevant sites / pages work best.

when i search those tools looking for sites, i often have issues with targeting sections of sites, because the site owner on the other end has a hierarchy, but often doesn't comprehend that obvious segmentation on their end, is the key to getting people to bid the highest for certain pages. if i sell football helmets, i bid higher for your pages and sections about helmets. but if you don't segment your content well, then i may not be able to target it well, or see that it's available to target by itself. contextual targeting often solves this issue for me, but not always. further, contextual limits my reach to just those pages that are exactly relevant.

here's an example... say i sell KISS figurines... and your have a rock and roll music forum... i'd like to target the /kiss/ section, and i hope you list it on your end, making it show in my searches. if i contextually target your site's pages, two bad things happen...

1) my ad shows on your Bay City Rollers page when someone there posts about how much better BCR is than Kiss - and i don't sell on that page...

2) in your /kiss/ section, there are many pages there, where my target buyers are hanging out, and many of those pages are peripherally related to KISS, like maybe a bunch of pages of the cars that the band drives... and contextually, i'm a mismatch, and i lose exposure.

if you can add a new layer of attention to your adsense thinking, and if you add lots of sections that aren't identical to your contextual structure, you will allow more bidders to chase you, from more angles. and in an auction, more bidders means higher prices, for you.

so don't worry about me running out of budget at the end of the month, concern yourself with being easier to find, not as a site, but as many site sections (aka channels). not only is this one key to me making money, but the same applies to you. and if i were ever budget limited, the most relevant (and converting) traffic would be the last one i paused as i neared my limits.

:-)

[google.com...]

londrum




msg:4370300
 8:41 pm on Oct 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

here's an example... say i sell KISS figurines... and your have a rock and roll music forum... i'd like to target the /kiss/ section, and i hope you list it on your end, making it show in my searches.


does that only work when we use channels? say, for example, we created a kiss channel and made sure that those ads only appeared on kids pages, i get that. but is that the only way that you can do it? can you target pages by URL as well?

[...i wish that google made it a bit clearer to publishers what the advertisers actually see at the their end, so we could help them find our stuff better.]

LucidSW




msg:4370407
 2:14 am on Oct 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

> can you target pages by URL as well?

Yes.

RhinoFish




msg:4370702
 7:03 pm on Oct 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

yes, i can target by pages...

which means i must return now and then, search existing pages versus pages you have live on your site, to see if you posted anything new...

just saying if you want to maximize your ad income, maximize the ways your content can be effectively segmented and / or targeted. channels help you do that.

londrum




msg:4370706
 7:10 pm on Oct 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

so how do you actually find the channels? all we can do as publishers is give each channel a name and a little description. presumably you can search for them by keyword?

what happens then... do they all appear in order of traffic, clicks, eCPM, and all that kind of stuff? does info about the site appear alongside as well? because we can't give any of that.

the only reason i've baulked at narrowing down my channels is that i've always assumed that if an advertiser searched for "widget" channels then he would pick the highest traffic ones first.

but if i restrict channels to a couple of pages then the traffic might go down into the low hundreds. would that put you off choosing it? (or would it prevent you from even finding it?)

farmboy




msg:4376054
 5:55 pm on Oct 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

RhinoFish,

Thanks for responding to my original post.

I have the same questions as londrum:

so how do you actually find the channels? all we can do as publishers is give each channel a name and a little description. presumably you can search for them by keyword?

what happens then... do they all appear in order of traffic, clicks, eCPM, and all that kind of stuff? does info about the site appear alongside as well? because we can't give any of that.

the only reason i've baulked at narrowing down my channels is that i've always assumed that if an advertiser searched for "widget" channels then he would pick the highest traffic ones first.



FarmBoy

RhinoFish




msg:4376603
 3:26 pm on Oct 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

on the other end, we use the AdWords (AW) Placement Targeting Tool (and DoubleClick Ad Planner), and yes, we search by keyword, among other things. in AW, there are sort orders available to us -- alpha by placement (aka domain), volume (imps), relevance, domain relevance...

because i'm an ROI-centric advertiser, i focus on relevance first.

and i see a list of placements that includes sites and also site subsections (channels).

so let's say i was selling halloween candy, and i search for placements, halloween sites are fine, but so are some family or parenting sites, or craft sites. if a parenting site has a halloween channel, i'd rather pick that, than to pick the entire parenting site. but it's up to the site to setup these channels though. and of course, it depends on your content and it's hierarchy and volume. but it most definitely, imo, is in your interest, to think through what portions you may setup as channels - surely doing so will bring you a premium.

here's more for you:
https://www.google.com/adsense/support/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=77776
(make sure you see the detailed instructions link at the bottom of this help article)

RhinoFish




msg:4376613
 3:38 pm on Oct 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

keep in mind that it's also in G's interest to offer good targeting solutions, both for them and those they serve. so G algorithmically figures out what to show me in the placement tool - i often see both relevant domains listed, then relevant channels within that domain as well. so i don't think you limit yourself by setting up channels, you add specialty targeting, while your broader (entire domain) remains as well. and since many times, contextual targeting isn't ideal (see my kiss example above), channels give advertisers another relevant, targeted method to use.

what i mean there is that we can combine MANY methods - placements, audiences, interests, remarketing, topics, contextual / keyword, placements... so the picture is very complex already, and any examples are simplifications of what we're doing on our end.

the goal for us both is effective targeting - if you overdue your channels, it won't help you, quantity doesn't equal effective. but, if you have a subsection that you can additionally tag and identify for us, you should attract more bees to that cell in your honey comb hive.

if i had a site about boats, and it was divided into sail and motor, i'd definitely add those as channels.

if i had a site about psychics, i might have a tarot channel... and a channeling channel. :-)

Leosghost




msg:4376616
 3:45 pm on Oct 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

As a lurker on this thread ( I flagged it on it's 1st day ), I'd like to say thanks to you RhinoFish :), for all the detail you've given and your time spent answering..very useful :)

And thanks to Farmboy for the OQ :)

farmboy




msg:4376692
 6:31 pm on Oct 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

As a publisher, if I want to make a channel targetable, Google provides a box where I can enter a description. Any advice on what to put in that description - fill it with key words, a descriptive sentence or two? What would be the most beneficial to you the advertiser?

I assume you can see the page and placement - what could I put in the description that you might not know from viewing the page?

FarmBoy

RhinoFish




msg:4377057
 2:08 pm on Oct 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

leosghost, you bet - fun topic!

farmboy, there are two levels to think on...

the placement tool looks like this:
[searchenginewatch.com...]
(halfway down the page)

there are the listings you see there, mainly "domain names", but also "domain names >> channels". your channel name is the first level of thinking - the name is what we see first. it better be short, thematic and to the point.

if we click on a listing there, a small window opens, and we see a link to a typical page or to the section of your site, your short description, ad types and sizes, a link to the AdPlanner profile page for the placement and a few other items. this is the second level of thinking - write a good description.

i've opened many info boxes, to see no description. i assume the adsense user didn't add one. thumbs down.

there's not enough time in my day (or anyone else's), so i often add placements just from the domain name, or the domain and section name, when it tells me enough. sometimes i look at the description and even visit the site via the link.

given the depth of info, and it's layers, and that surely other advertisers behave differently than i do, and have different goals... it's impossible for me to give anyone specific help. but i'd say, if you understand the layers, you'll know to go from simple to more detailed, given how we are scanning on the other end. your description may not be read often, but when it is, it really matters.

i saw a channel description that said "325x250. Run of site". the sizes are already listed for me in the info box. and run of site is useless, and wrong, since it's a channel, and not the whole site.

our decision to add as placement process generally goes:

1) domain name / channel name => yes / no / maybe-look-deeper

2) open info box, see ad sizes and types, description, etc => yes / no / maybe-look-deeper

3) visit site or visit AdPlanner profile => yes / no

so make your description about the content, if it needs further info. make it about demographics. we already have ad types and size info, general traffic volume info (from G, which we trust more than site owner claimed volume) - give us enough info in the description to get to yes without having to go to the next step.

tell us more about what's there, or isn't there.

our mission is to look for relevant pages. we all are selling different things, so there's no right answer for you every time. but don't leave the description blank - i assure you my visit to an actual site will be very, very brief, 2 pages max. i have hundreds and thousands of sites to look at. the performance later will tell me whether to cut you off, or bid you up.

i need your elevator speech, super condensed.

i looking for date (okay, lots of them) - give me your opening line, that's all. before we even got to that, in 98% of the cases, i decided from across the room already. if i'm reading your description, you're a maybe - flirt with me very quickly, say the fewest words you can to tell me you are worth adding to my lil black book.

RhinoFish




msg:4377059
 2:15 pm on Oct 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

while the info (name, description) you can add are important, much more important, is how you divide your channels.

i'll add lots of maybe's to my lineup. then later, if it doesn't perform, i'll bid you down or exclude you.

so while us meeting is important, you putting out later, matters more.

the key to me loving you, is that your visitors convert for me.

don't over segment, you'll be too small too chase. but if your site is about recipes, add an organic channel, a bbq channel, a camping channel... think about how the universe of products parallels your universe of content, and try to align the stars in each.

RhinoFish




msg:4377062
 2:19 pm on Oct 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

It's not the perfume that you wear
It's not the ribbons in your hair.

It doesn't matter where you've been
As long as it sells deep, yeah

I guess you're just what I needed
Just what I needed
I needed someone to feed
I guess you're just what I needed

Leosghost




msg:4377067
 2:23 pm on Oct 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

RhinoFish..

love it ..:)) rare are the times when I print something I find on the web ..even more are are the times when I print a forum post #:4377057 ..last time must be all of 8 years ago or more ..I just printed yours...:)..

Very many similarities ( vis a vis the thinking and what you need to know and what appeals ..or bats it's eyelashes at you or flashes its "assets" from out of the interface ) with how I would have chosen in the past to place offline ads in any media be it print, TV, Radio or product placement in movies etc...

thanks again ..leaving the "flag on" ..one of the days this place will allow us to flag posters as opposed to threads..that would be really useful to be able to get notice of the "clear notes" without having to wade through ( however fast one reads and flits about over disparate areas of the fora here ) the cacaphony* and "noise"..

*Francophones will note the deliberate typo ;-)

the songwriting ..don't give up the day job just yet ..;-))..but I'd buy you beers based on the other post, and the sense of humor ;-)

farmboy




msg:4385567
 3:27 pm on Nov 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

Rhinofish,

Thanks again for participating in this thread so far. Very informative.

keep in mind that it's also in G's interest to offer good targeting solutions, both for them and those they serve


They could certainly improve by offering more clarity / better instructions to publishers. The lack of such instruction may be part of why an advertiser doesn't necessarily find what he needs when searching for targets.


don't over segment, you'll be too small too chase. but if your site is about recipes, add an organic channel, a bbq channel, a camping channel... think about how the universe of products parallels your universe of content, and try to align the stars in each.


I think a lot of publishers use channels to track performance by ad color scheme, location on page, ad size, page of site, etc. Throw in considerations for advertisers also and it becomes a lot to manage as your number of pages/sites grows.

Add to this a publisher is limited in the number of channels allowed and decisions have to be made on wise use of those channels. I think Google could really help out "both sides" by making things more clear. I've learned more in this thread than from Google so far. Thanks again.


FarmBoy

RhinoFish




msg:4386296
 8:26 pm on Nov 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

does G yet offer some kind of "website optimizer" tool for adsense placement? seems that conversion optimization tool would be easier to template for adsense publishers, than for ecom stores (and ecom stores have it in the AW interface).

i do like the notes you've added farmboy... remnds me of SEO being broken down into onpage and offpage factors.

together, it's an age old question...

what should i put on those billboards i'm renting...
and which ones should i choose to put them on...
and how do i best measure the outcomes from my choices...

(okay, that last one's cake for us!)

:-)

nomis5




msg:4391057
 5:36 pm on Nov 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

Thanks RhinoFish for taking the time to post in such detail and to Farmboy for the OP.

I suppose somewhere in the back of my head I knew that Adwords spenders must be analysing sites for the best ROI, but, until your post, I never really gave it a second thought.

Probably the best posts of the year.

RhinoFish




msg:4391511
 8:36 pm on Nov 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

"Adwords spenders must be analysing sites for the best ROI"

and within sites, pages and sections / channels. :-)

if the ROAS calls for it, i'll bid discrete elements at many times higher than other elements.

i can think of one campaign where i've got dogs bid at $0.70 and high performers bid at $2.75 (CPC on both). that's nearly a 4x bid range. and, i don't have a range limit, if the ROAS called for it, i'll bid whatever makes sense... cents... ad cents... adsense. :-)

the display conversion optimizer (and traditional conversion optimizer) means i may also put an algorithm in charge of varying my bids for CPA (i weight that setting for AOV, so it's really setting a CPA to achieve a target ROAS)... meaning i unleash the algo to push those bids up automatically where ever it makes sense. the better that algorithm can discern elements (pages, sections, channels), the better it can optimize. hierarchy and segmentation (aka targetability) still reigns supreme.

as the new display conversion optimizer becomes more prevalent in use, site owners using adsense will be affected, the more commercially aligned your traffic, the higher it's quality of traffic, the better it's content, the more you'll make. so while many advertisers (on my end) may not put in the work to push up discrete elemental bids, making this entire post less relevant, overall the spread of the DCO will alleviate that detailed work - to the benefit of the advertiser, and to the high quality, segmented site owners employing adsense.

more on DCO:
[adwords.google.com...]

towards this same end, you (adsense operators / site owners) control ad sizes displayed, orientation, location, and can even block certain advertisers. this is also not to be ignored. if you knew what ad sizes converted best for us folks on the other end, you'd be thinking constantly about optimizing for that as well. the answer to that question, like the segmentation issues we've been discussing, isn't simple at all. point being, if you're a data driven decision maker (like us on the other end), you should be testing your site to optimize this aspect as well. on the question of whose ads, rest assured G's algorithms are hard at work to optimize the outcome for us both, but the choice of size is yours to make. size is at least as critical as targetability, probably more so. in any case, the DCO will increase both levels of criticality (as it places greater value on discrete element's value). you definitely want to be on the + side of the DCO bidding algorithm's curve. :-)

we are different animals, but we're in the same ecosystem, our needs are aligned in several key ways -- glad we're talking together here.

Dot_Media




msg:4392254
 11:22 pm on Nov 29, 2011 (gmt 0)

Internet Banner Advertising:
Football website = Football product ad

Real World Advertising
Football Game = Doritos

Sgt_Kickaxe




msg:4392319
 3:43 am on Nov 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

I target specific pages on sites I respect, pages that I know are quality and have good authority as well as are receiving highly targeted MOTIVATED search visitors. It's not about getting onto the best pages, it's about getting in front of the eyes of those most likely to buy. There's often a difference.

Dave_B




msg:4393183
 10:11 pm on Dec 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

Be interesting in hearing the results of a publisher who has made changes with this information.

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