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Google Premium Listings

upgrading from Adwords



11:16 pm on Dec 31, 2002 (gmt 0)

Every few days, a thread is posted when a advertiser has his/her "Adwords" pushed up to "Premium Listings"

Now Every single time this has happened, advertisers have made positive comments about Premium Listings. outperforming Adwords by quite some distance.

What I can NOT understand is why more people do NOT use Premium Listings instead, I know there are a number of reasons, such as:

High Entry Cost
NO inventory available
CPM rates are very high (when doing CPC analysis)

but the most common one:

Lack of Contact from Google in this department!
(GoogleGuy u reading closely).

Now from my personal experience, I have NO problems with ANY of the above, especially the NO contact bit.

If push came to shove, I would phone Head of UK sales on her home number at 3am to spend some money, and I am sure she would not complain, this is the attitude I see at Google UK...Customer Service...Customer Service...

So either there is a problem in the USA, or better contact channels are required by Google in relation to Premium Listings.

The reason I am making this posting is for fellow members to realise that Google Premium Listings is a very good marketing tool, "often" cheaper than Adwords as NO bidding wars are being played.


latest campaign stats across Europe on Premium Listings:

Impressions: 71,943
Clicks: 9,637
CTR: 13,40

The highest creative achieved: 20.04 CTR
The lowest creative achieved: 7.27 CTR
(the above are based on creatives with at least 2,000 impressions), there are other niche keywords with a few hundrded impressions achieving up to 100% CTR.


10:09 am on Jan 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

Can we get some Official Clarification from GoogleGuy or GoogleGal about the minimum spend on Premium listings.

I am pretty sure its different for USA and UK.

Furthermore I am also confident that if the minimum was $15,000 for 3 months, but you ONLY had $10,000 to spend, that they world NOT turn you away.

My opinion is that an entry figure was set to discourage timewasters wishing to spend $50 , especially considering the admin time taken to get a camapign up and running.

At the end of the day, if Google have inventory and YOU are a serious advertiser, I am 100% sure they will NOT turn you down.



2:02 am on Jan 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

Adwords being shown as premiums implies failure of adwords.


2:17 am on Jan 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member chiyo is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

>>Adwords being shown as premiums implies failure of adwords<<

Not necessarily

It could also imply..

* Google using space that is unfilled - making them more revenue as CTR is higher. In that way it could just as easily imply the failure of premium listings model in some way..

* Google trying to convert their adwords advertisers (who provide much less revenue per advertiser) on the advantages of have a premium spot, therby converting small advertisers to big ones (to some extent this thread itself could very well be a manifestation of that strategy)

Premium spots are only sensible, cost effective (and affordable) for certain types of advertisers, while Adwords are more cost effective and affordable for other types. I think a lot depends on industry, click volume required, and scale of the advertisers business. Thre are a lot of webmasters advertising in Adwords, who would otherwise never advertise on the net, as the entry cost is low. The ROI for Google to manage and recruit this large group vs advertiser expenditure must be much lower, but some will be converted..


2:56 am on Jan 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

If you go with this "Premium Listings", how many words do you get to list under in say(viagra)?



5:27 am on Jan 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Zero. Viagra would be filled.


7:16 am on Jan 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member vitaplease is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

I just clicked on a premium ads on my laptop.
Couldn't tell the difference in colours ;)
(I wonder how many people Jacob N. would find, who would accidently do the same in a Usability test. I guess some other search engine would have to give him the order for that.)

Now if there was enough inventory, I would join soonest.

By the way, which country is served ad-wise, when searching in www2?

I see different ads on ww2 compared to www.


6:14 pm on Jan 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

no prob. NFFC - please let me know if you need anything else.

Regarding minimum spends, the minimum for the Google UK office is 3k, but yes, for special cases we can accept lower spends - espceially if the campaign is simple to post/manage etc...


6:52 pm on Jan 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

"Zero. Viagra would be filled." What about some other search terms(like dog food or beeds. How does google assign the number of search terms for a "Premium Listings"? Do you get to know how many and what words your ad will be shown under "before" you buy your ad? Is there a guild line for this?



7:03 pm on Jan 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

You can set a limit as too how many clicks you want on each keyword.


7:17 pm on Jan 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

Regarding minimum spends, the minimum for the Google UK office is 3k, but yes, for special cases we can accept lower spends - espceially if the campaign is simple to post/manage etc...

at last an answer many have been waiting for!

GoogleGuy, can we put Kate through the initiation ceremony at WebmasterWorld, or do you have other plans.

And since Kate (morgana)is based in the UK, Google Girl would be better as we do NOT really use terms such as Gal.

choice is yours, initiation ceremony awaits :)



6:11 am on Jan 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Wasn't Morgana a Sorceress who did the nasty with Arthur Pendragon, gave birth to Mordred and later besieged Camelot. Doing several not so nice things to Merlin in the process?

I think GoogleGirl would be much more fitting, too many folks around here are already looking for an evil witch to blame for their SE positions;)


4:37 pm on Feb 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I am a very small player here but still - here is my

appx 1 month results for adwords:

spent on advertising : $600
sales : $2200
profit: $1600

appx 1 week results for premium (money spent is actually
spent to move adword to premium position, not purchase of
premium pos)
spent on advertising : $1500
sales : $1500
profit: $0

CTR doubled, click cost went from 0.08 to 0.25, but
conversion was *much* lower. My ad is very targeted
(type first 7 chars of my user name in google search to see)

Bye, bye premium listings!


5:32 pm on Feb 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member nffc is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

>appx 1 month results for adwords:

What were your 1st week results?


6:30 pm on Feb 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

They are quite uniform so you would pretty much divide
everything by 4. If you are asking for the *very* first
of adwords (which was couple of months ago), it is really
hard to tell, because I was changing my ad copy almost every
day. However, even with the worst ad/kwds (before starting
to read these forums ;-) ) it was always a profitable campaign.
My site still needs quite a bit of work to improve the
conversion ratio I am getting from adwords (1% right now),
but I am still at the loss as to why it plummeted so badly
once I moved "up north" -- different kind of people
clicking on premium vs. adwords?


7:09 pm on Feb 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member nffc is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

I believe that most people visit an ecom site 4 or 5 times before buying. I'm not suggesting you are wrong about premium, you know your business better than anyone, just that I think you have to compare like with like. Until you run the premium for a similar length of time I don't think you will know if its for you or not. The question is how much are you prepared to spend to be sure?


7:27 pm on Feb 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Hi Algebrator,

interesting finding ... can you be more precise by how much your conversion rate dropped? Using the approx figures you gave, your sales per week seemed to treble while your CTR only doubled, so your conversion actually appears to increase!

Anyway, I guess one thing is to see if you can reduce that $0.25 CPC. 2 things:

1) Were you the #1 Adwords guy before? If you weren't, then the results you're seeing will partly reflect the move to #1, not only to premium.

2) But assuming you were already #1 on a particular keyword, there is one way to get premium without paying any more CPC. That's to use [] exact matches. The thing that can really drive up the CPC in unpredictable ways is other keywords mixed in.

Say you want to have a Adword ad on your favourite keyword "algebra", and you're already #1 (more accurately, you're position 1 on [algebra] alone, and e.g. position 1.3 on average for all searches containing "algebra"). Maybe you're bidding $.15 and paying an average of $.08 a click. You find by experimenting that you "go north" to a premium slot if you raise your bid to $.60. Now if you up your bid for "algebra" to $.60 you find your average CPC jumps to maybe $.25, like yours did. What's causing this is searchers who are typing in searches like "algebra software", "algebra calculator" or even "algebra sex toy";). With these searches you're competing against high-bidders who are bidding on the generic terms "calculator", "software" or "sex toy". It's when your ad gets clicked on amidst all these other searches that your CPC is much higher than it is on your usual searches like "algebra" or "algebra help" or "algebra homework".

What's the solution? Use exact matches like [algebra]. With an exact match, if you're in position #1 then you can raise your bid and not have to pay any more than usual; you're already on top and so paying only a cent more than they guy in position #2. But by raising your bid you get elevated to premium. the only think to watch out for is the competition in position #2 raising their bid!:o


7:34 pm on Feb 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I did not think exact matches were allowed on Ad-Words anymore?


7:47 pm on Feb 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I think that you just put square brackets round the search term for an exact match

e.g. [blue widget]


12:40 am on Feb 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Jonboy, here is more precise data:
1st line = 1 month adwords
2nd line = 1 week premium

#ord sales ctr clicks conv. clk total cost
62 2480 2.80% 7747 0.8% $0.08 $619
30 1200 6.00% 5542 0.54% $0.24 $1330

To answer your question - I was not 1st on algebra kwd.
My avg position was 2. My max was set at 0.15, but on
average the cost was 0.08
So, yes - this is probably due to moving to 1st position.
- previous #1 must have set their max to 0.23 and I had to
beat that.
As far as using [algebra], I don't think it would help,
because I have weeded out unwanted "algebra xxx" combination
via negative keywords. I am constantly checking my logs to
see if there are any wierd keyword combinations that were
used to reach me and I haven't seen any for a while.

NFFC suggested I wait for a while, but even if conversion
rate increases some, high click cost still seems to make it
less profitable then my original setup.

Also, I probably need to start focusing on improving my
conversion rate in general - I think I should be able to
do better than 0.8%.


9:12 am on Feb 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Interesting data Algebrator - thanks for sharing.

I threw it in a spreadsheet, and looking at it I think your first conclusion is right: there's no way the higher CTR is worth it at treble the price.

With the current CTRs you'd need to treble the page's conversion rate to make the more money from the higher option than the lower.

Even if you prequalified your ads more, causing CTR to drop while raising conversion, it's still doubtful if it would work. If by prequalifying more you halved the CTR, you'd still need to more than double conversion rates to find the expensive way was more profitable per week.

Good luck raising conversion rates anyway - someting I need to turn my attention to.

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