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Initially the service will be limited to tracking Adwords but possibly may later be extended to tracking other traffic.
Clearly this will be an issue for the various tracking services.
Anyone else know anything more about this?
Apparently from a single interface you can see CPC & CTR rates through to conversions on your site & ROI calcs. There will 3 or 4 definable actions you can track such as sign-ups, downloads, sales etc.
Initially just for Adword campaigns. Will then be extended so you can use for tracking other refered traffic.
This will put the cat amongst the pidgeons for all those ASP tracking vendors lick ConversionRuler etc. I guess they'll be making a big deal about the fact they offer independant third party tracking. Of course whether people will be prepared to pay for it is the question...
On a side note the Overture conversion counter does not work. It has failed to track 3 of 3 test orders over the last 7 days.
Over a weekend, I compiled a (literally) quick & dirty script that:
logs the session data
pings the server (again) saying, "it's a conversion"
when the user gets the "thank you" page.
The trick is to get this set up in conjunction with other, meaningful reports - that took a bit longer ;) Keywords, pages visited, total time on site, where the surfer originated, etc.
Try out various conversion tools / there are lots & lots out there. See what works best, and for what price. Any service will, over time, more than likely cost more than one of the script based solutions out there.
And as for giving Google or Overture your conversion data, consider their tendency to up the bid price whenever they can. If they can figure out your margins, then they can also decide to own a bigger piece of the pie. As they provide you traffic that you can't otherwise get (theoretically) you are dependent on their services.
If they charge more, and you know you can still make money on that higher cost, while you might complain, you'll have no choice but to pay for it. Seriously, consider it carefully if you want Overture (Yahoo) or Google to know how much you make on a per click basis.
One advantage some 3rd party services will still have from what I understand is that they (some anyway) will track the actual keyword used, whereas Google will lump all the search variations of a broad match into just the term purchased.
I also agree that it's a bit strange that the company serving the ads also knows the results, but hey, so does CJ.com and plenty of other networks.
Who knows, maybe one day Google will introduce a "trust bar", like the PayPal rating: it shows how many transactions with verified members you had ;-)