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How smart is Google's ad optimizer?

Google will show the "best ads", but are they really the best?

     
4:40 pm on May 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

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If in Campaign #1, I have one ad that does well for keyword A, and one that does well for keyword B, will Google's ad optimizer realize this, and show the best ad for each kw - or will it simply shopw the ad with the best overall ctr, independent of kw?

Also, is CTR measured per kw of the user, or of the advertiser? For instance, if I have an ad targeted at all "black widgets", with a CTR of 1%, but, when user's happen to type in "large black widgets", my CTR is 5% - will Google position me accordingly for "large black widgets"?

Thanks

6:14 pm on May 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

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The optimizer optimizes on overall best CTR for each adgroup. If you have structured your campaigns wisely all adgroups should have similar keywords (which do have different CTR's). We use this feature mostly in the beginning of a campaign to get some volume.
5:01 am on May 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

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If that's true, then isn't it always in your best interest to have one kw per group? That you way, you get the most accurate ctr (which does you good, as your best ads are shown higher and are not weighed down by your lesser ads, which are also less likely to convert).

Can anyone else confirm this? And what do you say of my conclusion (above)?

6:06 am on May 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Ad positions within an adgroup are determined per keyword so there is no need to just have one per adgroup.

One reason not to use the optimizer is that the best CTR (and best position) may not yield the best conversion.

7:56 am on May 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Rob,

Thanks for the info. May I ask you if you are sure - it doesn't seem to make sense that Google would develop a system to track CTR per kw, but then not use it for their optimizer.

10:28 am on May 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

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The optimizer makes a lot of sense for Google as it brings the average CTR per adgroup and hence the clicks to the highest possible level.

For G this simply means more revenue (which is why the option is default on). It is a very usefull feature when you are looking for traffic or want to test different ad texts on CTR. When you look for better ROI (like us) better switch the option off.

6:29 pm on May 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Rob,

Thaks for your reply. I'm afraid that I didn't amke myself clear. I meant to ask:

Ad positions within an adgroup are determined per keyword so there is no need to just have one per adgroup.

Are you sure about this? It seems odd that Google would develop a per kw CTR tracker, and then only use it for ad position, not ad optimization.

I understand full well that CTR does not necessarily equal conversion. But I'll add that, assuming the ad is straightforward (as opposed to mysterious ads trying to draw people), they're likely to be correlated.

6:48 pm on May 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Are you sure about this? It seems odd that Google would develop a per kw CTR tracker, and then only use it for ad position, not ad optimization.

I'm pretty sure about the ad position being keyword dependent. Just look in an adgroup and all average positions are different depending on competition, max cpc etc.

My question to you is how do you envision optimizing per keyword in an adgroup with lots of keywords?