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Non relevancy hurting quality of system?



8:37 pm on Aug 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

I sell products that are very niche... In many cases, no other company produces some of the products we offer. They aren't the kind of things that are everyday household items. In other words, we aren't just offering the exact same brands and items that hundreds of other places are. Most of our ads are very targeted... Virtually every product has it's own ad, and within those, many have multiple keyword/phrase matched ads. When I search using keywords for the specific items we offer... more times than not, the ad for our product is the only one that is truly relevant. There's usually at least 3-4 other ads from the big boy 'biz, 'price', 'shop' type guys that come up with our ad. The only difference is that those big guy ads are completely irrelevant about 90% of the time, and don't offer anything close to what we offer (ie: what the person searching is obviously looking for). Over the last week I've asked 6 non web publisher type people if they ever use the side ads that come up in searches on Google... These are just your average everyday people not involved intimately with how the web works. Two weren't sure what I was talking about. The other four said they didn't usually click on any of that stuff. When I asked why, they said the ads never seemed to have anything to do with what they're looking for. What really bothered me, was that once they told me that, I realized I pretty much felt the same way.

I know the system claims that it controls quality... but realistically, everybody knows non relevancy can be bought for the right price. I have to wonder how much this degrades the whole system to the point where many people simply don't trust the ads, no matter how obvious they may appear. When I can have an extremely relevant ad for a very niche one of a kind product get 50 impressions and not a single click... even though there is virtually no legitimate competition in the other ads... I have to think it's degraded quite a bit.


7:55 am on Aug 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

It is getting worse and worse, at least for us.

We are being outbid on niche terms to the point where some ads won't even show up any more.

Yet the ads that DO show up are mostly totally irrelevant, go to link farms, Adfarm-only sites, or shopping comparison sites.

To find an actual ad for an actual product is getting harder and harder.

If things don't get better soon we will probably drop all but about 5% of our ads/keywords, which is the very small number of really well performing ones.

Lucky for us we show up pretty well in the raw searches for most SE's. But it sure will be hard for a new business unless they have a ton of money to spend to beat out eBay, Amazon, buyfornothingdotcom, and the like.


9:43 pm on Aug 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Yeah, I don't see myself maintaining much more than a basic presence in the future. The return on investment just doesn't seem to be there. Unfortunately, it seems like it's starting to be like everything else... Big business dominates and spends millions to make pennies on each item. But eventually, even they will get disillusioned by the lack of interest, and that can only be corrected by showing better quality ads... That's never going to happen as long as companies are allowed to create completely non-relevant ads. I'm actually doing pretty well on bids... Most of mine average around .13 or .14 per. But frankly, I don't see how anyone can really make any decent money. The consensus seems to be that a 1% conversion is about normal. Well... I manufacture my own products, so our profit margin is pretty good... Probably better than a lot of people. But at that rate, I'm spending about $15 per item sold. That's a pretty big hit to take, and I don't see how the affiliate people, or anybody with low ticket items could ever make any money at that ratio. I guess as long as there's a steady flow of huge start-up companies coming and going, Google doesn't have anything to worry about. Just seems like it would be nice if it was a system that they could be a little more proud of.


4:02 pm on Aug 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

While I don't disagree that type of thing is a problem, there may be more going on here. I regularly get 10-20% CTRs. If your ad is near the top and you get 50 impressions and not 1 click I would suggest that you may be bidding on the wrong terms or your ad(s) needs work. Of course, 50 impressions is not nearly enough to determine any accurate numbers, but if the same ratio holds true over 500 impressions I'd say you have a problem ...


6:24 pm on Aug 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

It's not quite that bad on average, but I'm nowhere near what you get. I'm doing a little over 2% CTR. I'm not disagreeing, but if I'm doing something wrong, I sure don't know what it is. I kind of wish I WAS doing something wrong. I think I'm pretty accurate with keyword choices and I cover myself pretty well. I've used negative keywords and tested a lot. I've seen lists for other people with larger businesses, and I sort of thought I was doing a better job than they were. I also break down the ads to try and match specific phrases to ad titles. I look at my site logs for keyword ideas that I may have neglected. I know my business intimately, so I have a good understanding of the terminology and what people might be looking for. As I said, there's been many times when I've put in keywords for products, and our ad was the only one that looked like a legit biz that actually offered the product, as opposed to the typical shopping ads just trying to reel people in... So I don't know. I think the biggest problem is conversion... The thing that feels natural is to stick with the keywords producing the most impressions, but now I'm starting to wonder if that's a good idea. I think it's easy to use the line of thinking that the more traffic the better, but maybe resisting that urge is a better idea. My keywords aren't that broad, but maybe I should dump some of the ones that are bringing in lots of impressions and stick with the ones that maybe have less impressions, but better CTR. Only problem is that a lot of those get very few impressions, so it almost seems like a bad thing.


7:11 pm on Aug 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I just went through and deleted about 300 keywords with very low conversion rates.

After 5 days I can see no difference in sales. I did up the spending a bit on the ones that had good conversion but too early to get a good idea of how conversions are holding up on those yet.


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