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Managed placements and "Relevant pages across the entire network"

Is what I'm being told by AW customer service true?

     
8:05 pm on Sep 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Just had a 40 minute phone conversation with Google customer service about content campaigns.

Here is what she told me.

If I have a content-only campaign with "Relevant pages across the entire network" enabled, with keywords, without placements:

The contextual targeting would work based on the keywords in my ad groups.

If I add managed placements (domains) to some ad group in such campaign and change it to "Relevant pages only on the placements I manage" then:

The contextual targeting would continue to work based on the keywords, but would only show ads on relevant pages on the placements I pick.

That's as expected.

But!

If I have placements and keywords in the ad groups and the campaign is set to "Relevant pages across the entire network" then:

The placements I picked would be used as run-of-site advertising without any regard for the keywords.

Let's say I have keywords about, say, "flowers". And some website has pages about flowers and about car engines.

With "Relevant pages across the entire network" and only keywords (no placements), my ad would show on that site, but only on pages about flowers.

Now, if I add that website to managed placements (while keeping the flower-related keywords), then all of the sudden, it would start showing ads on all pages of that site, not just the pages related to flowers.

And if I change the campaign to "Relevant pages only on the placements I manage", then the contextual targeting would kick in, and my ad would only be shown on that site's pages about flowers.

This doesn't make any sense to me.

I thought adding a domain to managed placements (while maintaining keywords) would only serve to change CPC. Yet, I'm being told that it also "disables" the contextual targeting.

I asked to speak to a supervisor, but was told that there is no one else I can talk to about it.

Am I wrong, or is the customer service rep giving me incorrect information?

12:38 pm on Sept 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I posted here about this before, it's horribly constructed as a control mechanism. They just need to add a select box to the placements that says "use keywords to filter traffic" or not. The way it is now, for sure, many people are getting it wrong, and their campaigns are misconfigured for their goals. I hope a tech policy wonk on the backend of things gets to listen to phone calls in support where they try to explain how this works - then she'd go back and add my idea.
12:42 pm on Sept 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

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and in a perfect world, i'd like to have that selection at the site level...

for some huge site like about.com, i'd like to choose to filter by keyword so i target relevant pages... but some site that's a forum that sits squarely on my theme, i'd like run-of-site aiming ability.

in any case, the "if it's set this way elsewhere and if you've added keywords then it's one way, but if blah, blah, blah..." reminds me of a Rube Goldberg machine.

2:06 pm on Sept 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I've had such a difficult time trying to explain this to clients that I've given up.
2:25 pm on Sept 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Let's say I have keywords about, say, "flowers". And some website has pages about flowers and about car engines.
....
Now, if I add that website to managed placements (while keeping the flower-related keywords), then all of the sudden, it would start showing ads on all pages of that site, not just the pages related to flowers.

This is the kind of targeting that drives AdSense publishers crazy.

Thanks for explaining it.

3:28 pm on Sept 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

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So which way is it? Does anybody know?

If a campaign is set to show across the entire network and has both keywords and placements, does it treat placements as run-of-site?

4:34 pm on Sept 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Have you actually experienced this? Or is this what customer service said? Our rep has explained it to us as the exact opposite (as does the help section).

Adding a site to "Relevant pages across the entire network" should only provide addition CPC control.

AdWords Help: How do placements and keywords work together in an ad group?

[adwords.google.com...]

8:25 am on Sept 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Have you actually experienced this? Or is this what customer service said? Our rep has explained it to us as the exact opposite (as does the help section).

I experienced it. Then called the customer service.
She pointed me to that help page.

We read it together and I too got the impression that it means the complete opposite of what she told me. While she told me she thinks the help page means exactly what she said.

It was actually weird. We were reading it together and disagreeing on what the words mean :)

I talked to another rep and we both read the same help page again. The second rep confirmed that she thinks I'm correct.

Now I'm waiting for response for my original ticket with the first rep.

Either there is some huge glitch in the system (or just in my account), or it's a case of major miscommunication.

I paused all placements for now, until I hear back from her.

12:09 pm on Sept 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

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bcc1234 - the rep is correct; and I personally like the way it's done.

You can reach the entire content network, and add placements and set separate bids by individual sites; and use the general content bid if you haven't chosen a bid for that specific site.

You can do specific placements w/ keywords and your ad only shows if you choose the site and your keywords match the article (if you're worries about RoS then add keywords to the ad groups w/ the placements).

You can do specific sections of certain websites (for instance, only the business section of the NYTimes.com). Many larger sites are broken down into sections. In the placement tool, look for things like: NYTimes.com (22). The 22 means there are 22 sections you can place your ad within the site.

Even within website sections, you can also add keywords. So you could target only the business section of the NYTimes.com when the article matches your keywords.

There are many combinations of how you want you content and placement ads to run (CPM by keywords for large budget product launches). The trick is to map out who you want to reach, and then figure out how to target that reach.

10:25 am on Sept 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

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bcc1234 - the rep is correct; and I personally like the way it's done.

I think you missed my explanation a bit.

You can do specific placements w/ keywords and your ad only shows if you choose the site and your keywords match the article

She said that only happens if the distribution is set to "only placements I select". And if it's set to "across entire network", then keywords are no longer used and it becomes a run-of-site.

What you described is how I believe the system works, but not the way the rep explained to me.

 

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