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Overture Approvals

Anyone else having difficulty getting search terms approved?

     
4:42 pm on Dec 10, 2002 (gmt 0)

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One of our services is to handle PPC accounts for clients. No optimization or anything complicated - we help them pick the terms, put them in with a description, wait for them to come through in 3-5 days and then do the bidding for them.

Only suddenly we don't anymore.

Suddenly rather than 3-5 days, Overture approvals are taking literally weeks. I have terms from back in November that haven't been check yet. And then when they finally get looked at, whether they're approved or rejected seems to be ridiculously inconsistant. I've had cases where I submitted 4 search terms with the same description which I would say had the same relevancy, and two got approved and two got rejected for description.

And then of course when you resubmit them you have to wait for them to go through the approval proccess again...

After trying to reassure too many clients that yes their terms would come through... eventually, and eying the number of accounts that *must* be proccessed before I go on Christmas break, I'm starting to develop a nervous twitch. I have one client who wanted a Christmas orientated term, and put it in in the middle of November - it's still not been proccessed, and understandably he's less than happy.

Is everyone else in the same boat? Or do I have to add paranoia to the list of things poking me towards nervous breakdown?

4:59 pm on Dec 10, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Have you called customer support? The 800# is on their web site.
5:03 pm on Dec 10, 2002 (gmt 0)

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My problem with overture is they keep trying to put "Affiliate" in the description despite the fact that we stock the products and have no reference anywhere except the brand name where necessary. Other than that, they seem to be approving stuff in 3 days.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

"Your content covers this keyword very well. However it is essentially a sales pitch and we deleted your listing."

... Overture Sales Rep regarding a keyword that costs $250.00 a day

5:07 pm on Dec 10, 2002 (gmt 0)

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>seems to be ridiculously inconsistant.

I could not have said it better.

TIME:
We appealed a KW by phone and they said they would expedite it. Since then we have had 40 other KWs added :( So I called this AM and was told that the appeals editors don't get in until 10 AM.

5:08 pm on Dec 10, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Have you called customer support? The 800# is on their web site.

Called them... and called them.. and called them.

"It'll be through in 24 hours" and a weekend later, still no sign of it.

5:13 pm on Dec 10, 2002 (gmt 0)

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We appealed a KW by phone and they said they would expedite it. Since then we have had 40 other KWs added So I called this AM and was told that the appeals editors don't get in until 10 AM.

I'm seriously starting to believe that they've tweaked their TOS to say "We can reject it if you want to, so there" Even in cases where they've said "This is wrong with the site" and we've called the client, got them to tweak their site, and resubmitted... it's then rejected for a completely different reason.

It's getting to the point where clients ask "So if we do this it will definately get accepted?" and I have to answer "Well, no. The editor looking at your site could be having a bad day and reject it because they feel like it"

5:33 pm on Dec 10, 2002 (gmt 0)

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It's very bad, very erratic and very annoying.

Apparently thanksgiving added about 5-10 days to the 3-5 days (me thinks they need some editorial coverage on this side of the Atlantic, to cover for the holiday season), or maybe, in times of significant workload just approve ads. They can always dis-approve those that fail to meet the criteria retrospectively ala Google style.

For the clients it's their livelihood, for us it's our livelihood, for many advertisers I can see this being the proverbial straw that broke the camels back and add further weight to the Google monopoloy, only this time in the PPC arena, thank goodness Google revealed an Achilles heel this week also.

Thankfully all the shops need shelf packers....

6:29 pm on Dec 10, 2002 (gmt 0)

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If MSN didn't use Over's results I would have bailed months ago. I've cut my Over spending over 80% recently.

I submitted a term 'green widget' and they changed the actual term to:

'green (my comany's first name) widget (my company's last name)'

- give me a break!

I don't have time to argue with these people on every term I submit so it's very frustrating!

6:33 pm on Dec 10, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I have had two very extreme cases recently.

2 seperate accounts 10 keywords submitted to each on the same day.

account1 is a single site account - all 10 words got accepted in 40 mins, got email etc.

account2 - a multi site account that has been going for over two years - 2 words in after 6 days, no email, no reason for declined, no trace in the account status declined/pending section.

I never know what to expect.

8:05 pm on Dec 10, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I think that there are certain words in certain industries that are accepted in instances where the keyword selection is consistent.

What we find is often we'll submit say 20 keywords and 15 will get accepted almost straight away and the other 5 will go in the pending queue.

I know there have been issues where people are not checking historical searches and submitting loads of keywords without a hope that any of them will ever generate a search never mind a click, so maybe there is an element of "help us to help you", but maybe an e-mail saying, "hey, we're sorry, we are swamped bear with us", would not have gone amiss. At least then we would be able to have something to sort of placate clients with.

But the important thing is what all of us learn from this. My learning point is to add 3-5 days at least to any campaign lead times if there is a US holiday expected, and to try not to get out of my pram, it's not the editorial teams fault they have backlogs.

Anyone else got stuff they will learn from this?

6:45 am on Dec 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I put two listings in today and haven't heard back yet but I just assumed things are very busy right now. I can't believe that you have submissions still waiting from November!

I started advertising with Overture in August and I noticed an improvement in service within the last month and a half. I've gotten almost instant approvals, even at odd hours like 11pm Eastern and they've always been really accesable and helpful over the phone. I'm impressed so far. My only problem with Overture is, as was mentioned by others here, is that they sometimes reject submissions with seemingly no rhyme or reason. It doesn't happen often enough to cause frustration and when it does I just re-submit or make a call and the listing usually goes through.

I'd continue to pester them over the phone if I were you.

7:48 am on Dec 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

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We had the same problem. We submitted a listing for our primary keyword. It was denied. I called them up and asked if our site wasn't about "blue widgets", what the heck was it about? Our site lists every single blue widget there is. Our site has news and employment listings for the blue widget industry. This particular site is the center of the blue widget universe. (Not referring to the site on my profile, which is a hobby site.)
The salesperson suggested we upgrade to a Gold Service
account, which we did. They reviewed the site and wrote up 100 new listings, which we then approved. They were online in two days.
We noticed that their "Expert Search Term Selection" included words we would never have gotten if we had applied for them.
1:05 am on Dec 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

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>>it's not the editorial teams fault they have backlogs.

it's Overture's management that are responsible.

they'll have times when they have a very large number of submissions and it'll take longer to deal with them, but they've already taken this into account by stating that it'll take 3-5 days to add listings. all they need to do is organise their staffing levels properly to meet the 5 day deadline at busy times without having staff sat around doing nothing at less busy times.

it seems they've failed to organise their staffing properly as it's now taking 14 days or more to get listings approved or rejected. that's not beneficial to us or to Overture.

 

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