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Little Guy vs Auction Giant

click-thru rates & their known tactics?



9:33 pm on Dec 16, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I'm just getting started on Overture UK and in my niche there's only one competitor - a certain giant auction site that bids on everything you can think of.

They're on .25 pence, so the question for me is to beat them at .26 pence or settle for second place at the minimum .05 pence.

My conversion and profit for sale are such that it's more lucrative for me to pay .21 pence more and be in position #1 as long as position #1 gets at least 8% more clicks than position #2. (i.e. the extra few clicks are worth the extra cost for every click) So...

Question 1) Does position #1 on Overture UK get 8% more clicks than position #2?

Now they may change their bid, so more generally ...

Question 2) How many more clicks does position #1 get than position #2. Anyone have any information?

And lastly, can I appeal to your sympathy for the underdog and ask if anyone knows what the tactics / real Max bid of this Auction Giant are?

Presumably they are using 3rd party software so the max bid listed isn't certain. Has anyone found out how high they're willing to go in a niche? Presumably they can't calculate ROI for everyone of their thousands of keywords, so they must have some general maximums rather than a different one for every keyword.


9:41 pm on Dec 16, 2002 (gmt 0)

Jonboy, welcome to webmasterworld, dont forget to read the Welcome Post [webmasterworld.com]

In answer to your question, all industries have different patterns based on position, brand and the competetiveness of the industry.

Without knocking the big auction giants, most of them do NOT have a clue on what/why/where they are bidding.

You can try a test for a couple of days, 1 day at position 1, next day at position 2.

There are a number of excellent packages which are approved for automated bid management at Overture, without dropping urls, 1 such package highly recommended is GoToast.

Apart from that, some of the best PPC campaign management guys are members of this community, and will be pleased to give you some tips for PPC.

Lastly, do not worry too much about #1 or #30, at the end of the day its the $$$s that count, and do not fall prey to the "Overture Ego Plan" where all sense dissapears and being #1 is crucial.

(trust me on that last tip, been there, got the T-shirt, and lost a fortune)

Hope the above helps, sorry I could not be more specific with % of figures.

and finally welcome to the "dark side"


[edited by: Shakil at 9:53 pm (utc) on Dec. 16, 2002]


9:51 pm on Dec 16, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I wholly and soley agree with Shakil!

Take #2, write a better title and a better description...and test that out at a cheaper CPC. Ego will always cost you more, but smarter makes you bank!

Being #1, doesn't always mean more profit!

Think on that and be dismayed or enlightened, the choice is yours.


10:27 pm on Dec 16, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Welcome JonBoy.

I don't have any scientific research to back this up but I have heard that the 1st position gets a worse conversion rate than the #2 or lower listings.

Bottom line though, as others have mentioned, test it out a few different ways and go with the one that brings in the cash.


10:34 pm on Dec 16, 2002 (gmt 0)


That sounds like a great T-Shirt! Got a pic of it anywhere?

P.S. Your name sounds familiar...You don't happen to play basketball do you?


9:52 am on Dec 17, 2002 (gmt 0)


After Madonna dumped me, i needed a new hobby and decided to get into the SEO/PPC industry :)



9:57 am on Dec 17, 2002 (gmt 0)

SEO is more challenging than basketball any day! Its a test of skill, endurance and stamina (at least through the update it is!) ;)


Welcome to WW BTW, JonBoy


10:17 am on Dec 17, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Shame you don't drink Shak, we could have a field day with the basketball jokes, "seen you dribble" etc.

I think I know the certain auction site you mention and I promise you, you will never win in a head to head on price, but, you will never lose on conversion based on relevancy.

If you only have that one competitor and can always be in the top 3, then as long as the call to action is good enough and the price is good enough when the visitor gets there then I'd ignore the competition and focus on your own stuff.

I think if you did your ROI sums that it would be better to be paying 21p less.

We've often played around with big auction provider and they have very deep pockets to be #1. You are looking at figures well over 1 per click.

As for how many more clicks does #1 get than #2? It depends on so many factors, like how well the ads are written, how many sites are competing for the clicks, who the #1 or #2 is (this is where being a big brand scores, people will often go for who they know), what time of day, day of the week, industry sector.... etc.... etc....

Bottom line is, don't worry about how many more #1 gets, worry about ROI, spend a week in both positions and work it out for yourself. Some keywords give us better ROI at #4 than #1, but it depends on whether you want critical mass or not. More clicks will not always translate into more sales, the numbers are not always consistent.


10:35 am on Dec 17, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Personally I would settle for #2 position or set your bid at a high amount above the current #1 bidder.

Chances are they are using automatic bidding software or someone inside Overture is running the campaign for them. This may or may not work depending on how high you set the bid. You may also get stung this way if the other bidder comes in at 1p less than your bid.

You could try to bid higher for a month, see what the click through rates are and then decide what to do in the next month.

Hope this helps!


3:58 pm on Dec 17, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Thanks for the replies.

Particularly thanks to various people for pointing out that conversion rates vary across positions, and to WebDiversity for that Auction Giant's tactics and depth of pocket.

I'll try it in position #2 for a month to get some baseline data, then maybe try a sally into position #1, and report back here with the results.


5:11 pm on Dec 17, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I had a similar thing with E-bay, where from never having bid on my keywords before they put all their bids straight in at 60p when next nearest was only 10p.

Myself (and a few others I believe) increased my bid to 59p so they paid 60p a click. It took them two weeks to react when they just dropped away again. Even though my favourite postion is number two, I still thought they should play the game.


5:24 pm on Dec 17, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Every time I have a look at Overture I get that. Giant corporations who blanket bid 60p (or whatever) without even looking at the other bids. Come back around winter and they haven't turned a summer promotion off... It would be cool to see what you could to with a huge PPC budget managed well- I'm sure a lot of the big corps do- but I've seen more that don't.


5:29 pm on Dec 17, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

As long as you're in the top three, it really doesn't matter which of those positions you have. Beyond getting into the top three, you should concentrate on optimizing the text in your ad, as that will make the most difference.


6:04 pm on Dec 17, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Heh. Delicious irony methinks. . .

The world's largest auction site is quite inefficient in optimizing their own bids in an auction environment. ;)


6:38 pm on Dec 17, 2002 (gmt 0)

Has anyone figured out wihch auction site we're talking about? I'm drawing a blank..on the tip of my tongue...e something...no, no...wait, i something...yeah...GOT IT! iDock, right? ;)


11:50 am on Dec 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I found they were bidding on my terms but their title/descrip were vague - complained to overture (heck they dont allow us to have vague descrips) and got ebay's terms removed on hundreds of listings :) also done this with Espotting

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