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Double Serving Adword Ads

to provide a better user experience.

11:15 pm on Jun 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Note: Widgets will not cut it in this example, so I will subsitute for something outlandish to get my point across.

I have two websites that sell weapon grade fissionable material.

One of the site, only sells weapon grade uranium.

The other site, only sells weapon grade plutonium.

As it stands right now, I have one adwords account, however I wish to promote both weapon grade ore equally.

Therefore I have a landing page (yes its really a bridge page, but it is approved by google), where the customer can go to the uranium website or the plutonium, or better yet both.

The problem with the landing page, is it is about four clicks away from a page you can buy something (landing page, to home page, to thumbnail page, to product page).

This is resulting in a 30% bounce rate over if we sent them directly to the product page. We get some back from those that visit both sites, but it is still a net loss.

By double serving, we can direct the user directly to the page that is most relevent to what they are searching for, which will improve the user experience, and better conversion.

We had ask Google permission to double serve, and we are waiting for a response, however our ratiional is:

We are in a niche market, with few sources, and few google advertisers. Our product is highly branded, and our customers have a strong afinity for one brand over the other. Each brand has it's own price structure, and comes from totally different suppliers.

We are hopefull that Google will come back with Double serving permission, but they could say no, and that we are just selling WMD like the next guy.

Which leads to plan B:

We sell each of the websites to two holding company (each holding company is owned by differnt partners), which will manage the adwords for the operating company on a cost recovery basis.

Since each corporation is technically "a person", this should not be a problem, however Google Double Serving policy suggests.

However Google Common Owership Policy is rather unclear. I may suggest that if the partners control one or both companies, via the operating company, I could still be in violation of the policy"

Our corporate structure has several owners, does google refer to controlling interest (more than 50%), substantial interest (25% by most banks) or some other formula.

Also the whole paragraph on Common Ownership could mean neither by ambiguity in where they put the word "or" in the sentence.

If I buy one share of Google, I technically have ownership in Google.

I figure the best course of action if they deny my double serving, is to state exactly what I am going to do in transparent manner, give them the corporate stucture, and tell them by our interpretation, that we are in compliance, when we double serve from two separate companies; and we believe we are in compliance, until told we are not by either

a) clarifing the definiton of common ownership, which would put us out of compliance.

b) told to stop by google (we are not stupid, we don't want to be banned)

Since front end Google Analysts are not experts on the finer detail of corporate structure, we are hoping that this will go up the ladder, where it will eventually be forgotten about; until some other advertiser complains; which will be unlikely.

After all, the whole purpose of double serving is to provide a better user experince, than using the landing page approach.

Suggestions or Opinions?

Got to go, those black vans are pulling up :)
4:29 pm on June 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

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yes, be completely transparent, best road to take. G is reasonable, have covered this ground with them - but do realize that the users experience is their main concern, so if you're told "no", live with it, adapt to it.

sitelinks can help you tell your story, so can your ad text. if you feel restricted, stay the course - if the situation is as you describe, one account can get the job done if you focus your messaging properly. being able to double serve, when the overlap is indeed close, is over rated.

and know that G looks at the experience for the user most, the criteria aren't looked at as line item conditions, but more a combination of conditions, that G wants to lead to a good user experience. they will at times, consider the overall scope and not bind their decision based on a single criteria. that said, if it's a clear case to them, a single criteria will be used to justify a "no".

full circle then - be transparent and brief, they're smart folks with a mission, and it's all about the user experience, not anything else.
6:55 pm on June 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I always assume that your site link must point to the same site as the display url.

If the adwords ad, asks the customer to choose between two site links, one pointing to a each differently branded website, this would be a partial solution.

However my experience with site links, is yes it improves conversion, but 90% of customers will click on the main ad, not the site link.
5:43 pm on June 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

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My experience is that they'll typically let you do this so long as the products are different and you're obviously pointing traffic to separate domains. I think they also typically require that you set up separate accounts (can fall under 1 MCC) for each line. I imagine they'll come back and say it's okay if all of that applies.
12:01 pm on June 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Actually, Google came back with a response and said they can't really decide, as it is borderline. I guess that the Google Team that makes the final decision, only works on cases with a complaint is made.

The email, did not say outright, but reading between the lines, I beleive they are suggesting that I split the sites between two separate corporations, to tip the balance in my favor.