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Ad Extensions are ruining my bids
Tonearm




msg:4438666
 9:06 am on Apr 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

I use AdWords and Google Products and I've been using Product ad extensions in AdWords to display products along with my ads. I recently started using Sitelinks ad extensions as well, and I just realized something.

I append a tracking ID to the landing page URL of my ads in order to calculate the appropriate bid for each ad based on the conversions and profit associated with clicks on each ad. I realized that profit from clicks on my Sitelinks ad extensions are not considered when calculating my bids since the landing page URLs are static and don't include a tracking ID to identify the particular ad which was clicked. Is this also the case with Product ad extensions?

This is a big deal because about half of my AdWords spend is due to clicks on my ad extensions.

If I use the internal AdWords cost/conversion system instead of my own, would Google associate ad extension clicks with a particular ad when calculating cost/conversion for each ad so I can determine the appropriate bid for each ad?

 

RhinoFish




msg:4438723
 12:56 pm on Apr 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

while you can append a tracking bit to your sitelinks urls, they'll be shown with different ads, so depending, it can be very complex / confusing. segment by click type and you can see how the numbers look for the different elements better.

sitelinks and product extensions together, is a lot of real estate, it'd be rare for G to give you the space for both - check your numbers and optimize for the outcome you want.

filter those product extensions, :-).

"If I use the internal AdWords cost/conversion system instead of my own, would Google associate ad extension clicks with a particular ad when calculating cost/conversion for each ad so I can determine the appropriate bid for each ad?"
hehehe, i know the answer, but...
segment by click type, compare the numbers reported, then you tell us please.
:-)

Tonearm




msg:4438869
 8:28 pm on Apr 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

Hi RhinoFish,

My AdWords bid management system is based on knowing which orders are attributable to which AdWords ads. If ad extensions can't provide that information, I don't think I should use them. Can you confirm that's the case? I hate to give up the real estate but bid accuracy is key.

RhinoFish




msg:4439170
 1:56 pm on Apr 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

different ad extensions can be shown alongside different ads...

you're a tad myopic here, please read my 1st post again, dig in, what you want is there, but you do need to understand how it is reported in the interface, and in the API feeding your bid management system its data.

good luck to you!

Tonearm




msg:4440380
 9:36 am on Apr 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

what you want is there, but you do need to understand how it is reported in the interface, and in the API feeding your bid management system its data.

RhinoFish, forgive me if I'm missing something, but no matter how the AdWords interface or API reports clicks, I won't be able to associate orders with particular ads if I can't use a URL tracking ID that is unique to a particular ad, and like you said:

different ad extensions can be shown alongside different ads

Are you saying my only hope of getting this data from ad extensions is if I switch to Google's conversion-tracking interface?

RhinoFish




msg:4440535
 3:46 pm on Apr 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

yep, sort of (you could also talk to your bid management platform guys, so if they can provide the data you need by adding new features to your platform).

if you optimize looking at only ad urls, the value you assign to PLAs, Sitelinks and Prod Extensions won't represent their actual value (hence the term myopic). so your choice of using a bid management platform is a sacrifice. one i assert is a bad decision - sitelinks especially, can be incredibly valuable. but the decision is yours, perhaps you feel the bid management angle is so valuable, that the balance is different for you.

to be light hearted about it, i hope to compete with folks making decisions similarly.
:-)

Tonearm




msg:4440784
 9:19 am on Apr 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

you could also talk to your bid management platform guys, so if they can provide the data you need by adding new features to your platform

I programmed the platform myself based on Google's Perl AdWords API. I don't think there is any way to associate orders and ads without a tracking ID that is unique to a particular ad, unless I use Google's conversion-tracking interface which is deficient at least in that the profit used to make its calculations is not as accurate at order-time as it will be at ship-time.

if you optimize looking at only ad urls, the value you assign to PLAs, Sitelinks and Prod Extensions won't represent their actual value (hence the term myopic).

I'm sure you are right about the myopia because I don't see what you're getting at here. :)

so your choice of using a bid management platform is a sacrifice. one i assert is a bad decision - sitelinks especially, can be incredibly valuable. but the decision is yours, perhaps you feel the bid management angle is so valuable, that the balance is different for you.

Well, I do think the accuracy of my bids is key to profitability.

to be light hearted about it, i hope to compete with folks making decisions similarly.

I hear you (and I can almost guarantee we aren't competitors) but I don't think greater visibility through ad extensions will do me any good if it means sacrificing bid accuracy, especially when half of my spend is due to ad extensions clicks that can't be tracked for ROI.

RhinoFish




msg:4440900
 7:01 pm on Apr 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

you can add dynamic ValueTrack params to the URLs you use for the sitelinks... and also append the ad / creative id there too.

see {creative} and {copy:[name]} here:
[support.google.com...]

RhinoFish




msg:4440903
 7:15 pm on Apr 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

"I do think the accuracy of my bids is key to profitability."

People with automated bidding tools do think that's the key. :-)

It is certainly way overblown. Consider how your actual CPC is determined by the quality score of the ad under yours... this means until your bid is raised sufficiently to surpass the person above you, there's a range of bids that, if you walked through them all, NOTHING for you would change at all. Not your actual CPC or your position. Further, Quality Scores are dynamically changing all the time, and other people's bids are too - given the 'idle spread' nature of bids, dynamism of the environment, your feedback loop lag, the easily observed non-linearity of resulting position, your system's lack of info compared to G's Conversion Optimizer, and many other factors... chasing the perfect bid is a trap.

If you'd like to remain mainly focused on a single facet, imo, you get much farther by choosing QS kaizen over bid automation.

But hey, what do I know? :-)

Relentlessly test, and do what works best for you - nobody's opinions trump doing that!

Happy selling!

Tonearm




msg:4442114
 6:49 pm on Apr 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

you can add dynamic ValueTrack params to the URLs you use for the sitelinks... and also append the ad / creative id there too.

see {creative} and {copy:[name]} here:
[support.google.com...]

Thank you, I did not know about ValueTrack. This could really simplify the way my system works. I'm going to start a new thread about it.

Consider how your actual CPC is determined by the quality score of the ad under yours... this means until your bid is raised sufficiently to surpass the person above you, there's a range of bids that, if you walked through them all, NOTHING for you would change at all. Not your actual CPC or your position.

But that's a great thing. My bid isn't my CPC, it's my maximum CPC. It's important I get the maximum CPC right so I don't spend too much relative to what I'm earning.

Further, Quality Scores are dynamically changing all the time, and other people's bids are too - given the 'idle spread' nature of bids, dynamism of the environment, your feedback loop lag, the easily observed non-linearity of resulting position, your system's lack of info compared to G's Conversion Optimizer, and many other factors... chasing the perfect bid is a trap.

All good points. The whole thing is fluid which means the bids are never perfect, but that's OK. "Perfect" would be nice but I'll settle for "really good", right?

Tonearm




msg:4442344
 8:24 am on Apr 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

sitelinks and product extensions together, is a lot of real estate, it'd be rare for G to give you the space for both

I just realized that you might be saying here that I need to choose between Sitelinks and Product Extensions. Do I need to choose between one and the other, or is it good to enable both?

LucidSW




msg:4443010
 2:37 pm on Apr 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

Rhino is the first person anywhere I've seen who has the same opinion as me on bid management systems. I'm sure there are others but he's the first I can recall to put it out there.

Bid management is of no value, especially if you don't take ROI into account or do anything about your ads. It's the ads that determine your click rate and thus your QS and CPC. I also believe it has an effect on your conversions. So a bid management system does just that, manage your spend. This to me is focusing on the wrong thing. You could do much better by improving ads as well as take a good look at your keywords.

Tonearm




msg:4443118
 6:45 pm on Apr 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

With a large number of keywords, how can you bid higher for keywords with a high ROI and lower for keywords with a low ROI without a bid management system?

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