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content impression, not in content?

unquestionably not in content, 1 impression today

     
6:51 am on Mar 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Watch for this one. Content was NEVER turned on.

A campaign that I positively did not tinker with by accident had an impression in content in at least one ad group today.

Things like that don't happen unless there is a bug somewhere.

I've learned as a programmer for 20 years, if something that defies your logic happens, there is a flaw in your logic. You may try to blame in on "system burps", "cache problems" and the like, but you know in your heart something doesn't work right in a certain circumstance.

What's up? We're seeing too much weird stuff lately. Somebody is tinkering with the live environment.

patient2all

8:27 am on Mar 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Found another, also happened 03/09 - this has never happened before in a campaign with content off.

patient2all

10:17 am on Mar 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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There's more of them.

BTW, It's not the single impressions that bothers me.

It's a symptom that obviously there is some messing around going on in the AdWords code and we are the guinea pigs as evinced by the many pleading threads about on-hold keywords, ad optimization, campaigns that just die and on and on.

As many have said, prior to November, there was a very predictable system where questions had easy answers, less 'pinging' of the tech team and 'show us specific examples'

As someone else pointed out, the original broad match was an elegant system which everyone understood and seemed to deliver results right on the mark. I was able to get by with 1/4 of the keywords I require now.

My impression with broad match of late has been that it acts more like exact match until it gets 'n' impressions then it matches to any old thing.

I tested some queries on my ads and the results spooked me. In one case, the wrong ad came up! The 4 word broad match had only 1 word in common with the ad that appeared. It was totally inappropriate.

OT: What's the deal on editing your post? Sometimes I can, sometimes I can't.

Ah heck, this is all OT. I'm going to sleep!

patient2all

2:26 pm on Mar 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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The same thing was noticed by sem4u here:

[webmasterworld.com...]

Shouldn't someone unite the two threads?

2:34 pm on Mar 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I have had a couple of clicks as well :(

I am waiting for a call back from support about the issue.

2:42 pm on Mar 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Sorry about the "casualties" - collateral damage...

I'm very interested to hear what Support is going to say about this...They should at least apologize!

Well, let's hope they don't suggest you to turn Content on, then off - like with "Automatically optimize ad serving for my ads"

3:10 pm on Mar 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Well they have apologised via e-mail for the inconvenience. Might have to wait until the Californians wake up to get an answer.
5:03 pm on Mar 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Hmmmm. I've contacted the tech folks, who have heard of no reported case as of about half an hour ago.

I've also alerted both the phone and email teams to pass information along to the techsters, should they receive calls or emails reporting similar occurrences.

As always, while troubleshooting, it would be very useful to have actual examples to work from. So, if this is happening in your account, it would be much appreciated if you'd let us know the account, campaign(s) and Ad Group(s) in which you are noticing this.

I'll certainly post again, as I am updated.

Many thanks!

AWA

5:11 pm on Mar 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Well AWA I informed Google UK just before 11am via e-mail then shortly after by phone.

I went through with the rep two examples of two accounts where content clicks and impressions should not have occurred.

I hope this is sorted out soon.

6:19 pm on Mar 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I have 2 ad groups showing content impressions and clicks as well. Of course, I paused the them immediately. Imagine thousands of webmasters halting their advertising because of this but I'd rather make less money than be bankrupted.
6:23 pm on Mar 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I can confirm that I also have several campaigns showing content clicks and impressions today, yet the content checkbox is off and has been for a while.
7:01 pm on Mar 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Well, let's hope they don't suggest you to turn Content on, then off - like with "Automatically optimize ad serving for my ads"

Mike,

Perhaps if IE users worldwide all clear their cache files, the problem will disappear :)

Sorry, I couldn't help it!

Also, Mike, it should have been suggested in the other thread that the 2 be merged. After all I was first to note it as I was staying up all night in the US working on campaigns :) -- Again only kidding, lack of sleep has me in a giddy mood!

Can someone take a minute while the OT issue I mentioned is still fresh and tell me why sometimes I can edit my posts and sometimes I can't? Thanks!

patient2all

7:36 pm on Mar 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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As someone else pointed out, the original broad match was an elegant system which everyone understood and seemed to deliver results right on the mark. I was able to get by with 1/4 of the keywords I require now.

Yes, the frustrating thing is that they change the rules and you never know what's happening.

Off to check if I've got any content clicks (and if I did, I'll be upset)...

11:03 pm on Mar 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I think we've all got content clicks. I have as many impressions and clicks too as though I had opted into content. It's happening across the board in every campaign that I check. The campaigns that are more general in nature have the most impressions and clicks of course.

Are we going to be paying for clicks from this traffic that we do not want to be exposed to? I'd already learned the hard way that I don't want most of my campaigns in Content.

It's as though the flag is being ignored entirely.

Now yesterday was a lousy day for me across the board which is unusual. I'm well spread out, so if one thing doesn't do well on a given day, some of the others usually carry me. I can't directly blame something Google might have been doing for that, but I noticed other strange stuff yesterday too.

I was testing with the Ad Diagnostic tool and clearly the wrong AdGroups were being chosen. I'd enter a 4 word phrase and it would show an ad from an AdGroup that had only 1 of those words in its keyword list. And the most general word too. It was totally irrelevant to the search phrase. Was this happening to searchers too?

Too much stuff is breaking down of late. Don't they have a test system to play around on?

CTR on my most important campaigns which are usually consistent from day to day are down today too.

I worked hard to learn the rules and how to make the most of them. However, like you said if they change from day to day.....

We need an answer quick!

patient2all

2:10 am on Mar 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

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OK, well, just to thoroughly confuse everybody... i appear to have the reverse thing happening.

i have some content-only campaigns that are showing up in my logs as clicks coming from google search results on google itself (not search or content partners).

in other words, the campaign is supposed to be showing only on the content network, but i'm getting clicks from google.

i can tell this is happening from the unique keyword referral part of my referral string, which tells me if it's a content click: kw=ContentWidget.

that's not a big problem, as i see it. (but unwanted content clicks, as described by others, definitely are.)

i'm far more concerned with the trickle (five, six seven times a day) of international clicks my campaigns get, even though i have USA only selected on these campaigns. (clicks are coming from google's international sites, not partner sites!)

it's not a heck of a lot of money at this point, but...

"...a million here, a million there, pretty soon you're talking real money." - everett dirksen

6:17 am on Mar 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

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We need an answer quick!

Understood. Thanks to all who have sent emails - I've seen several as I've taken an overview of what is coming in during the course of the day.

Engineering is working on this as a priority, as you'd probably imagine. I don't have an update as of yet - or an ETA for a fix. I'll certainly keep you all informed, though.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Thanks much for your patience, and for the information you've provided. Both are appreciated.

Thanks in particular to patient2all for the 'first alert'. ;)

...i have some content-only campaigns that are showing up in my logs as clicks coming from google search results on google itself (not search or content partners).

in other words, the campaign is supposed to be showing only on the content network, but i'm getting clicks from google...

ukstages, this is actually normal - as all ads show on Google. So if you have a campaign set for content, it'll show on Google and content partner sites. You'll see wording to this effect on the 'Edit Campaign Summary' page of the campaign.

AWA

8:23 am on Mar 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Well no news yet...I am seriously considering pulling all of my campaigns until the issue is sorted.

I also expect refunds for all the the clicks generated via the content network as the option was switched off!

8:27 am on Mar 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I can confirm this too. I had some content impressions counted in a campaign with content switched off. Totally 31 impressions on 10th March only.

Thanks for posting this, I wouldn't have noticed it otherwise.

As many have said, prior to November, there was a very predictable system where questions had easy answers, less 'pinging' of the tech team and 'show us specific examples'

I agree, I'm having some other strange issues with Adwords support right now, "Please send a screenshot" bla bla...
8:52 am on Mar 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I'm still getting content impressions this morning so I have now paused my campaigns.
2:35 pm on Mar 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Well I turned my ads back on after an hour and my stats are still showing impressions on the content network.

I have had absolute silence from the AdWords team for over 24 hours now. What is going on? What do I do with my ads over the weekend?

First we had the on hold/in trial mess (I have keywords with over 4% CTR & in trial status), then we had the embarrassing cloaking issue, and now we have content ads running when they are not even selected!

4:59 pm on Mar 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I'm not opted in to content, and my account is not
showing any clicks or impressions from content, but
my traffic has been much higher than normal the past
couple of days, I had to shut my ads down for a while
yesterday because I was getting so much traffic that
wasn't converting into sales. Now I'm wondering if
some of my traffic is coming from content, and just
not showing it in my account.
10:19 pm on Mar 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Who knows? It's all gone really quiet about it now.
10:28 pm on Mar 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I was getting lots of impressions but no clicks so rather than see my CTR go to .1 I paused my ads until I hear anything.

This has been bad two ways. My CTR is trashed and there were clicks involved. Not cool.

10:52 pm on Mar 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Atomic,

Good News:

Impressions on the Content Network do not affect the CTR for your keywords. The CTR is calculated strictly by the keyword's performance on the Google Search pages.

So Google does not take your performance (or lack of) on the Search or Content Networks into account when determining your CTR.

Bad News:

My normally very consistent CTR and sales have been in the toilet yesterday and today. Since yours is too, I suspect something else is broke right now too.

patient2all

11:53 pm on Mar 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for the info. I should have looked closer because if I had I would have noticed the CTR wasn't affected. The clicks are another matter.
2:34 am on Mar 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Might not have anything to do with this problem, but I can't get reports to finish tonight on Adwords. It's almost like they have been turned off for some reason. If they are working on this problem, that might be a sign.
2:34 am on Mar 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

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It's been a pretty busy day, and here I am posting for the first time at 6:30. This may be the latest ever for me.

Anyway, I'm posting with good news. I've just heard that engineering has resolved this issue, which was affecting only a very small percentage of content traffic.

Please remember the three hour delay in stats, however. Because of this delay you might see a few impressions and clicks straggling in yet.

I know the question of credits has already come up, and I'll have to wait until I've heard more before I can address how that'll be handled. I do think, though, that we have a really good history of doing the right thing in cases like this.

I'll keep you updated - and your patience is much appreciated.

AWA

3:51 pm on Mar 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Had the most dismal day since early January. Anyone else?

patient2all

4:07 pm on Mar 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Hmmm....

Profits now back to near average for yesterday.

patient2all

8:38 am on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I am still waiting for support to get back to me.... :(
 

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