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Anyone else seen this and why would this be when everything is relevant? BTW I don't use analytics or anything else to allow any tracking of conversions from their side, but I can tell you the kw's that got bumped up high were converting.
Anyone who thinks the latest changes have been made in order to create a more positive user experience is kidding themself.
I can not for the living daylights understand why no one has done this already. I would love to do it myself, it's to much of a mouthful for me.
The second aspect would be to have great transparency and much more fine tuned control mechanisms for all parties.
Finally a good API that would allow anyone to plug other ad systems and publishing systems directly into this new system. Like Amazon, Ebay, CJ, ClickBank, AuctionAds etc etc everything and anything plug right in.
The whole thing should ideally be a GNU open source API network hub with some mechanism for clearing money on both sides. Look to the international GSM Telecos, or Swift to find a good financial clearing mechanism. Call it "Open Ad Exchange" or something, use a Peacock as a GNU symbol (for the flair in advertising your stuff).
PLEASE: Venture Capitalist of the world, we need this NOW. Scramble up to get this done ASAP. The first mover advantage to exactly and aggressively replicate AdWords/AdSense will be tremendous. Do it now!
In my World, I offer services to my customers to make their lives easier. My god, if I started throwing up cryptic riddles and wasting their time making them redo their business and ad models to comply with me - I have little doubt I'd be out of business tomorrow!
So why the hell do so many webmasters put up with this crap? On a matter of principal we should all be outraged to be treated this way! I certainly have better things to do than to research some new Google algo, re-author my landing pages, and research keyword lists every 60-90 days!
You know - this is a pretty influential little group we have here ... what if we organized an AdWords strike for 48 hours or something ... we all agree to pause our ads for 48 hours in protest to Google treating us like gargage! Anyone in?
I disagree, I think the worst possible experience is landing on an "affiliate" page and not just directly on where I'm looking to be. It adds no value for me, and provides a horrible user experience. When I click on an adwords ad in the SE results I expect to find a quality site.
So if you were looking to buy goofer shoes, and did a search, you would prefer to have just the normal serps with no adverts, with the first 5 listings being:
1) History of Goofer Shoes
2) What types of Goofer Shoes Exist
3) Goofer Shoes in Prison
As opposed to the same listings, but with an affiliate site landing page advert that allows you to BUY goofer shoes.
You think the prior experience is BETTER for someone who wants to buy Goofer shoes?
How do you figure that?
Why would they not announce this one as well since that is what they did in the past?
They also slappped me with ridiculous minimums over $10, this will drive me to bankrupcy because I didn't get a Yellow pages add this year....
Is it ok to close my Adwords account and reopen again? Will they track my URL and credit card, address and slap the minimums back on me?
Joking aside, I've got way, way better things to do with my time than waste months getting my scores back to great through quality, quality and more quality only to be suddenly told they're poor again.
I'm sick of google pandering to it's big boy clients who complain about competition from affiliates when the truth is that those companies couldn't market their way out of a paper bag and that's the only reason they can't compete unaided.
I can't remember the last time I popped into a travel agency that owned their own hotels and planes and islands or a recruitment agency that owned their own companies to employ you etc etc. The whole world are affiliates. This is a penalty against anyone who understands direct marketing and has the cheek to do anything about it.
I'll bet they're going to be making a lot less money in the short term as well because of all the people they're pissing off. I'll bet Yahoo CPCs go through the roof next week. ;)
PS - I was semi serious about organizing a boycott to make a statement ... but how much you wanna bet big brother would find all my sites and ban me from the organic serps if I made too much noise. sigh....
How hard can it be for some venture capitalist to initiate building an EXACT replica of the AdWords/AdSense infrastructure
I absolutely second your wishes, but...
I feel it's not just a technical problem. If it was, Yahoo! or Microsoft would have already executed a similar strategy.
Related, non-technical problems are:
- Brand Recognition. Google's value is the brand, not necessarily the technical details of the service they are running (though, when it comes to scalability, it certainly is impressive). You can not start "Joe's Open Ad Exchange" and expect anyone to jump on board within a few days or months. Advertisers need first and foremost TRUST that Joe's ad system will be worth the time and money spent. Also, they need to be convinced that it's not some shady business that will just take their money and run away. Same applies to publishers.
- Critical Mass. This seems to be the major problem IMO. You need to get a critical mass of advertisers and publishers. If you have too many advertisers but just a few publishers, prices will be higher than with Google, and only a few campaigns will see clicks. If you have too many publishers, prices will be lower, but publishers will complain about unsold inventory (which is even worse for them, you can not sell an adview again once the page has been seen - the business opportunity for this pageview is gone). Publishers will want to see immediate results, probably better than what Google is offering them. Please be prepared for a few rants when immediate results do not appear. The only way around this would be to pay a higher EPC to publishers (i.e. above market level). This means you would be giving money away. Since the Web 1.0 bubble, investors do not like this story.
- Targeting. This is linked to the critical mass. If you have the wrong number of partner sites (i.e. too few advertisers or too few publishers), your targeting is out the window. If all the ads are selling red widgets, but a publisher has an excellent page on trips to Elbonia, what shall the system do? Probably put the red widgets ads on the Trips to Elbonia page! Be prepared for rants from both sides (advertisers: "My ads were running on a 'Trips to Elbonia' page. No wonder I had zero conversions. This sucks." - Publishers: "How am I supposed to get clicks if Joe puts ads for red widgets on my quality page dealing with 'Trips to Elbonia'? This sucks.")
- Internationalization. If you want to be a competitor to Google, you simply have to think globally. Not even Yahoo! and Microsoft could do this so far. Why? Because it takes tremendous efforts to get this thing going across the world. If you just focus on the U.S. or North America, then you have already three competitors, if not more (GOOG, YHOO, MSFT). Going global means exploding cost (Product Localization! Local Sales! Local Marketing!) with the same slow start as for your U.S. product.
As much as I wished for such a system to appear on the stage presto, I am quite realistic when saying - it will not be as easy as it appears upon the first glance.
The problem with Yahoo MSN and the others is that they have all done it slightly different. The ads look different, the formats vary etc. You need to start out with EXCACTLY the same as AdWords/AdSense in order to populate the system with us just copying what we already got. (It will be interesting to see Google trying to prevent that by saying Google "owns" our own ad copy... just wait and see.)
Also, if you make it open ended with a good API you have arbitrage people quickly populating the system with revenue sources based other systems. You will then have to work it from there.
This system might not become fully as good as AdWords/AdSense in the beginning. Google is moving upmarket and has decided to compete for the big corporate bucks with Yahoo and MSN on the high cost corporate ads. That leaves a huge market behind, this system might replace therefore Google AdWords/AdSense on what AdWords/AdSense has been for us, as we knew it, the last 2-3 years - still very good business.
I think that AS/AW has turned out to be an exercise in keeping out the scammers as much as in providing an advertising service. Probably if it weren't for the scammers, some of whom bleat loudly here, AS/AW would be a much more pleasant and simple service to use. It might be salutary for those complaining about how bad the pond smells to realise that it does so because in large part they've been pissing in it...
Any competitor to AS/AW would have to spend 99% of its effort on these anti-fraud measures along with the 1% on making a better ad system. That's possibly one reason that no venture capitalist worth her salt wants to step into to this market (or pond!).
And note that those who funded Google did fund at least one competitor, AdBrite (IIRC), and for me it values ad space at ~1% of what I get from AS...
[edited by: DamonHD at 7:16 am (utc) on June 11, 2007]
I think that AS/AW has turned out to be an exercise in keeping out the scammers as much as in providing an advertising service.
This is only because Google is not providing adequate tools to both advertisers and publishers. Google relies on algos to police their system, and this clearly has failed so far.
They should let publishers block advertisers just as they let advertisers block publishers to create a balanced system. Throw in tools to see who does what (e.g. which ads were shown, which sites were advertised, which pages are the ads running on, and so on) then noone can complain (some will do anyway) and you have a self-policing system.
Clearly, Google is not interested in transparency of any kind. Otherwise they would not be so secretive about anything. But without transparency such a transparent system will remain wishful thinking.
I agree with newsecular that there is a huge business opportunity for this, but as I laid out a few posts back, success will be hard to achieve as the expectations (both from advertisers and publishers) will be quite high.
I am surprised that none of the other smaller networks like AdBrite or Azoogle have not done this, for some reason they think they can come up with something else better than what has proven to work (AW/AS).
CJ could at least make a dynamic system based on their advertiser base, that would be a start. Something like AdSense Links should be very easy to implement for them. A banner rotation system is a no brainer I do not understand why they have not already done.
There is some hope that Ebay or Amazon might get something up and going. Amazon is to some extent on their way with some new stuff and A9. Ebay has PayPal that will integrate well on the fraud prevention side. They both have the customer base that would allow them to have a kick start.
MSN, well... I am pretty confident that MSN will not allow us small players to seriously tap into their revenue stream. They are by default where Google has begun heading. They are for the big fish only. They could however do a IE and MSN download thing like Google has the USD 1 per Firefox download scheme.
Yet - my greatest hope is for a complete newcomer to go after this strategy explicitly.
I find it really interesting when I hear people say that you can be an affiliate as long as you offer some good unique content. I have a lot of unique content (and no aff links showing) but that doesn't seem to matter. I personally believe what one poster reported an adwords rep saying, "this is an ongoing process that will affect more people over time." (not an exact quote) In other words if you haven't felt it yet - they'll get to you eventually.
That's not to say there will be no affiates in adwords. Google will always have affiliates that advertise but they will have to be super affiliates or big name companies that make Google too much money to boot. (ebay, dealtime, etc..)