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Drastic drop in clicks and impressions?

The has probably been answered too many times.

     
1:36 pm on Aug 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I'll keep this short and sweet:

I didn't go through the whole 'increase min bid to some extreme price' like a lot of AdWords users went through. Maybe 2 KWs at the most we're raised to a reasonable price.

The thing that is bugging me is that the number of clicks in July is much lower than the number seen in June or May or April...

Or maybe the real thing that is confusing me is that the number of impressions dropped 53% from June to July?

Not quite sure which one is confusing me more...

Care to share your thoughts on this baffling subject?

Feel free to make me look like a complete amateur. It's the only way I'll learn.

2:26 pm on Aug 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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When google started this last algorithm, it chased away a lot of relevant google adwords users. Those adwords users were also google users. So google has chased away many of their own customers.

Adwords advertisers are also more likely to purchase products over the internet. Since google has chased a lot of them away, that would explain the recent low conversion rates many of the adwords advertisers that are left are experiencing lately.

2:44 pm on Aug 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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It makes sense but I mean, this is a huge decline in impressions. Impressions! There has to be more than just the fact that Google scared off some customers.
3:07 pm on Aug 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Presto,

If you search Googles adwords blog, you will find that over the last several months they began the process of removing ads from searches where in Google's estimation the users are unlikely to want to see advertisements. The blog articles about that go into details. The net effect could be that if you were running ads that where appearing on those types of searches, they may no longer be running.

3:17 pm on Aug 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Every site I've ever worked on has had a significant slump in traffic in the summer months. May not explain the trend, but this may exacerbate the effect.
3:26 pm on Aug 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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...Or maybe the real thing that is confusing me is that the number of impressions dropped 53% from June to July?

Presto, the most common reason for a drop in impressions is that one's ads have been edited. This pulls the ads from the search and content networks until the new ads have been reviewed and approved.

This can amount to the difference between your ads showing in potentially hundreds, if not thousands, of places (when approved and showing on the search and content networks), and showing in only one place (when unreviewed, and showing on Google.com alone).

So, if you edited your ads (especially multiple times) in July, this could easily explain it.

If this does not reflect your actual situation, a more comprehensive answer would require a look at the account - so I hope you'll contact AdWords support.

AWA

4:05 pm on Aug 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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AWA, how long would you say it takes these days for full distribution to be restored?
4:22 pm on Aug 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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the most common reason for a drop in impressions

Another common reason is seasonality for the search term. Google trends for sun screen, cough syrup [google.com] is an obvious example, but many keywords have seasons that are less obvious.

If you have over a years worth of data for your specific search terms, you can compare impressions during the same time period of different years to rule out seasonality. :)

4:16 am on Aug 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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AWA, I'm not on Google search partner or content networks. Yet I'm seeing the same plunge in impressions as Presto.

Is this a "quality page penalty" as some has speculated? Which means even if you're not asked to up bids, you can still get slammed by a drop in impressions?

4:56 pm on Aug 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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What kind of changes did you make during this time Presto?
Have inactive keywords increased?
Have positions dropped (meaning if you moved to page 2 instead of being on page 1 - impressions might drop)
Dont believe that landing page quality score would have a direct impact on impressions - they might make more words inactive though.
Also as someone stated, it could be google showing your ad on fewer words, looking at relevancy. I dont remember all details but I remember the example 'dog friendly parks in Mountain View'.
2:41 pm on Aug 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Is this a "quality page penalty" as some has speculated? Which means even if you're not asked to up bids, you can still get slammed by a drop in impressions?

In a word: No

AWA

7:09 am on Aug 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Since January overall impressions in all campaigns have made an incredible downward slide of more than 90%. Also comparing with last year at this time the impressions are also down over 90%.

CTR has also slid from an average of 3.4% down to 0.43%.

This was all on ads/campaigns that hadn't been changed at all because they'd be tweaked and optimized out the wazoo and were very profitable.

Support says that all ads are running normally.

So why the precipitious drop in impressions and CTR?

I found two things that had temporary effect.

1- I limited my ads geographically to where most of my buyers are. This made a temporary (2 day) increase in CTR.

2- I deleted about 1000 old KWs from old campaigns and also any KW with a CTR of less than 1%. I hoped that this would increase my average CTR and might do some good. (I do still have some KW getting 15-25% CTRs.)

Within a couple of hours some ads had gone up two positions. But then the next day they were back where they were before.

I tried increasing the bids but the conversions just weren't there. My ROI used to be 300%-400% with AW. Now they are borderline break-even to negative.

I've racked my brain trying to figure it out but I've not had any luck improving anything. Now that impressions/CTR are so low I've tried changing landing pages even though support said that was not an issue.

I'd be very happy to give google more of my money again if they'd just tell me what the problem is.

Frustrated... :-(

8:20 am on Aug 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

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We've spent close to half a million dollars on the PPC engines over the last few years, fluctuation is simply a part of business.

The same question your asking right now is what I get asked by the execs every single day...
everyone expects consistency in a world based on chaos.

Don't put all your eggs in one basket...
manage PPC campaigns on more than ONE engine, practice SEO on MULTIPLE lead-generation sites (yeah, run more than ONE site),
print ads in real world magazines (even classifieds), develop word of mouth viral campaigns, even television.

If your not doing at least 2 of these things right now...
your pretty much doomed to shoot yourself in the foot at some point.

 

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