• http://www.rimmkaufman.com George Michie

    Great piece, Mona! Those of us who are old timers can talk about the pre-Panama Yahoo/Overture defaults: there was an option to pay exactly what you bid, or another option to pay no more than your bid, but only a penny more than the advertiser below you. Why would anyone pick the first option? Dunno, but that was the default! Also interesting that we now call them “Display ads” instead of “Banner ads”. Too many people heard the mantra of the early 2000s: “Banner ads suck!” I suspect :-)

  • http://www.glynndevins.com SeniorLivingSEM

    Thanks, Mona. Has anyone figured out how to unearth details on “other search terms” in a search terms report, and “all other regions” in a geographic report? If CTR impacts Q-score, which in turn impacts CPC, and the “all others” are dragging down CTR, then it seems that Google should allow us to know which irrelevant searches are triggering ads.

  • http://goo.gl/ZQX5 Michael Dadona

    Awesome article, thank you for providing this note.

    What thing that made me proud of it (lately) as a user is the geographical location option added. Last time, I entered AdSense forum “shouting” out loud about the issue.

    No point displaying my ad to the whole world if my selling product only targeting audiences for one country (only). The logic reason is I am the one who knows where it must be displayed, I mean which country. I can check visitors’ profiles (clickers) by using Google Analytics.

  • http://www.adrianbold.com Adrian Bold

    Excellent article Mona. I think Google have always been inclined to ‘bury’ some options and make it far too easy for novice users to create ineffective AdWords campaigns. The new interface certainly has some cool features, e.g. filtering, but other areas make little sense. Reporting is one area that seems to have taken a backward step.

    They need to be careful not to complicate AdWords to the point where they start turning people off. Not all business owners are going to find a professional to manage their AdWords campaigns.

  • http://www.twitter.com/GregBogdan Greg Bogdan

    Excellent Mona. Defaulting advertisers into the content network and broad match, hiding the keywords that you are actually matching on, and making it difficult to find the negative keywords option all must make Google more money, but are deceptive. Also, not showing the real keyword match in Google Analytics (showing the keyword bid on instead) is also deceptive. There is a filter for exposing the actual searched keyword in Google Analytics but even fewer people know about it. In addition to making Google and content owners more money this also makes for some easy pickings for consultants (very easy to walk into an office with a relatively new in-house person running PPC and show them what is really going on).

    Broad match by default can also be result in a waste of money. Few of the new advertisers even recognize what they are broad matching on or would have the time to monitor, tweak match type or keywords and build a good negative keyword list.

    I can imagine a bunch of AdWords folks sitting around with someone suggesting that the content network become an option and not a default or that the default match type should be phrase match. Next month they would have to explain to Eric why revenue dropped 10%. Site owners would also complain as their revenue would drop.

    I still here people say “I never click on ads”, and though I have data to show that our customers do click on ads, part of the problem is that Google makes it too easy (by these defaults) to display non-relevant ads. You could argue that this hurts Google in the long run. More non-relevant ads train people not to trust ads, which is already the case for many.

  • http://www.48street.nl Kristian van Bockel

    Nice post Mona. I agree with Adrian; hiding valuable options that increase the relevantness of ads doesn’t make it easier for business owners to manage their campaigns. Although the standard settings make it easier/quicker to set-up a campaign, the quality of these campaigns is rather low if kept standard.

  • http://www.andykuiper.com Andy Kuiper – SEO Analyst Vancouver

    Nice points Mona :-)
    As well… ‘having ads that ‘perform best’ as a default rather than ‘rotate ads’ —> “perform best” means higher CTR – it doesn’t mean ‘convert better’. While CTR is very important, one shouldn’t have to search and dig to choose to have ads rotate; allowing for better conversion tracking.

    Andy :-)

  • Mona Elesseily

    Thanks for all the great feedback! There are obviously many many more ways Google “hides the banana”. I look forward to exploring the topic in more depth in future columns. In the meantime, keep your comments coming – great stuff!

  • http://alexavery.com.au Alex Avery – SEO, PPC, Analytics Consultant Melbourne, Australia

    Would love to see a follow up article highlighting the numerous features that have been removed from Adwords over time. IThe #1 for me is the current absence of reports. Impression Share? Estimated Keyword CPC being replaced by “First page bid estimate”? So many ways the product we have today in Adwords is less than it once was.

  • http://www.yonego.nl lorenzomarto

    Nice article, however I wouldn’t recommend to add broad match terms as negatives. When you add negative keywords through the Adwords interface, it suggests to add the keyword as exact match. This isn’t really bad at all. It can be useful when you split generic keywords and long-tail keywords in seperate ad-groups. Adding the negative long-tail keyword as exact match in the generic ad-group allows you to maximize the optimization of your bids on both ad-groups.

    Good luck!