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Important News Bulletin Board to 7Search Advertisers
Updated Tuesday- May-21-2001
Irrelevant search terms are now OK!
They go on to detail their new program whereby you can advertise for key phrases that are 'related' but not 'relevant' and so on. If I find a URL for the newsletter I'll post it here. Their new program is probably no big deal, just posted the thing for sh**s and giggles.
Out of the 2,000 keywords - some of which were not really related to the site - they ended up rejecting "teen sex", which was probably the most relevant term out of all of them.
Not only that, but the person who was listed number 1 for that term - ran a site that is ILLEGAL in the US. I am not talking borderline here either. I mailed 7 search and basically asked them to explain how they can reject one keyword out of 2,000 that was related more than the other 2,000 keywords and why the person "who I presume complained about it" is allowed to advertise a totally irrelevant and illegal site to that term.
No response of course.
But over time, it just seems you pay a lot, get traffic, I don't say I don't, but my sales stay level with what I had before I got all that traffic.
So I have to echo, even for the PPCs like Goto.com bigjohnt's statement:
> "Degrading search results in trade for increased revenue... sound familiar?
Gain advertising revenue> lose traffic> bad idea"
I am really beginning to think a lot of the PPC traffic is bogus in terms of value.
Of course I really won't know that until I reduce my PPC buys to 0 or near 0 and then see what happens. But I am seriously considering it.
Not complaining. GoTo is a very small part of our promotion, really just based on the branding advantages when incoporated in mainstream SE's such as AV.
But from where I sit, based on a very small sample of terms, it seems GoTo is letting their relevancy go to pot, in their struggle to remain finacially afloat.
We may see the time where Se's like AV for example, see that the advantage they receive with using GoTo is not worth the lack of relevancy and specificity returned in their SERPS for users.
I agree with you that PPC is reaching a critical moment. Relevancy must be the key criterion for any Search facility surely, with others being less important - like speed, clarity of returns etc. Yet staying afloat at the moment seems to be at the expense of relevancy, and once you lose that you lose the reason for existance.
The incorporation of GoTo reults in other mainstream engines starting last year, may well turn out to be GoTo's last major success. The whole PPC bidding model may be on its last legs, especially if alternative models like the new flash ads, better market positioning for ads, higher quality indexes like Google and Fast (if they can find a way to raise sustainable revenue), and other nascent technologies continue to improve their game.
PPC bidding models were well suited for the late 1990's early 2000 biz environment where it was all about rushing fast to dominate an arena in the hope that you will crush any later opposition due to very broad brand visibility. Now Im not so sure. People are starting to question the VALUE of their traffic in terms of targeting and conversion, not just hits alone.. and for that, the value of PPC is becoming more highly questionable every month.
Yes, that is what I started out doing back in March, and just recently narrowed to the tight terms only. We'll see if that works, but frankly I can't help but wonder, given the narrow description for my site that appears on GoTo listings, that lets the clicker know he is only going to see x products on a term he searched for that was broad enough to include wxyz products, why I still got such poor ROI?
Also, there are some real screwy "search engines" -- IMHOP, that show up as partners of GoTo.com in my logs. I'm not talking about Dogpile and Mamma, and the better know mega search engines, but some real off-the-wall places I don't think I could ever find on my own.
Most of my buyers, as best I can tell, still continue to come from yahoo, aol, msn and google. Goto and its off-beat partners just don't seem to bring buying clicks.