Search Marketers: Keep Calm, Carry On

keep-calm-and-market-on Everybody loves progress, but nobody likes change. This adage is particularly true any time Google announces major upgrades to AdWords. If recent comments on Twitter are any indication, Google this morning was gearing up to pull your hair, throw sand in your face and take your lunch money. None of this is true. The Sky Is NOT Falling For whatever reason, search marketers seem to have some sort of an inferiority complex. A lot of us are always on the lookout for new ways that Google is going to screw us over. Seriously, it’s like a laundry list of insecurities: @bigalittlea K [...]


Google’s “Step Inside AdWords” News: Features For App Ads, More UI Tools, No Wild Surprises

new-google-adwords-logo Anticipation has been running high among paid search marketers about what today's AdWords announcement -- dubbed "Step Inside AdWords -- might hold, since Google began teasing the news. However, any fears of drastic changes in the vein of last year's move to enhanced campaigns will be quelled -- to a still calm. Google AdWords product management VP, Jerry Dischler, shared several new initiatives with a select set of customers at the AdWords Performance Forum, being shared via livestream at noon Eastern Time today. The new features and tools will be rolling out of beta to all AdWords user [...]


5 Steps To Leverage Those AdWords Bid Simulations For Maximum Return

Coverage Though the basic concepts have remained the same, a lot has changed since Hal Varian released his bidding tutorial back in 2009 (video autoplay), especially with enhanced campaigns and those new mobile and location bid modifiers. One such change is that keyword-level simulations are now available for download in AdWords. For any search marketer interested in marginal cost and revenue numbers -- essentially how diminishing returns affect your paid search program -- those simulations can be a great source of knowledge. Below are some thoughts on how to leverage them. 1. Pull Those AdWords [...]


Prepare Your PPC Plans For The Search Engines’ Inevitable Pivots

shutterstock_101441059-emergency-preparedness Last week, Google announced some panic-inducing security enhancements, essentially removing search queries in referring URLs for PPC clicks. Plenty has already been written about this topic and, without getting into it too much, I think it's a bit of a storm in a teacup. Larry Kim summed it up well last Thursday: It's pretty much a non-issue for most of the people who actually do paid search work. But you wouldn't know it based on the all the hysteria. However, before we knew the scope of Google's planned changes, the team at Hanapin sat down to prepare an action plan for adapting to (not pr [...]


Google Tests Showing Product Ads In Knowledge Graph Carousel Area

test-experiment-trail-600 About a year ago, Google launched the carousel interface to better distribute content from their Knowledge Graph. Well, now, Google is apparently testing showing ads from the paid Google Shopping results in that user interface. Pete Meyers posted on the Moz Google+ page an image of him seeing Google Shopping listings in the carousel for a search on [laptops]. Here is a picture from Pete Meyers of Moz: Pete said that you should notice that "almost everything above the fold is a paid result." Indeed. Google has experimented with showing product listing ads in the knowledge graph [...]


States Threaten Action If Google Doesn’t Delist “Illegal Sites”

google-legal-cash-featured According to the Washington Post, 24 state attorneys general are trying to pressure Google to discontinue ads and the indexing of sites they argue teach or enable criminal activity. In particular, they continue to pressure Google to eliminate advertising connected to the sale of illegal or fake prescription drugs. The attorneys generals' complaints were initially aired in a December 2013 letter to Google General Counsel Kent Walker and then a follow-up letter sent in February 2014. The December letter lists the following complaints and concerns: These issues include: (1) Google's moneti [...]


6 Steps To Boost The Profitability Of Your SEM Acquisition Program

cpaclvwee Imagine that your job is to stand outside a barber shop and bring in new customers. If a businessman with shaggy hair comes walking by, you give him a big wave and a hello. If a bald man walks by, not so much. This analogy is used by Google AdWords to describe its Enhanced cost-per-click (ECPC) feature. The feature is intended to identify auctions that are more likely to lead to conversions -- and to automatically raise bids to "work harder" for those sales. It's a powerful concept, and one that has understandably gained traction in the SEM community. But imagine if you could take [...]


RKG: Q1 US Paid Search Up 17 Percent, Fueled By PLAs; Smartphones Drove Just 7 Percent Of Spend

RKG Paid Search Spend US Q1 2014 RKG is out with its first quarter Digital Marketing Report today, showing US paid search spend increased 17 percent year-over-year. This echoes positive Q1 global growth trends reported by Covario (25 percent) and IgnitionOne (8 percent). Mobile devices and product listing ads (PLAs) both drove growth. Paid search spend growth slowed slightly after the holiday-fueled Q4, which saw 19 percent year-over-year growth. Clicks rose 11 percent, while CPCs were up 6 percent compared to the previous year. Google's growth trends reflect those of the overall market, with year-over-year growth slowi [...]


Google Teases April 22 AdWords News, More Than 10 Announcements Coming

google-adwords-numbers-featured On April 22, Jerry Dischler, VP of Product Management for AdWords, will unveil a slew of new features and tools that are coming out of beta during a livestream from an AdWords customer event. Google has given Search Engine Land an exclusive early look at a blog post going up later today (now live here) that gives a few more (albeit subtle) hints of what's in store. The latest tease is short on specifics other than to say Dischler will announce "10+ new AdWords products, features and research studies" developed over the past year. But, with a closer look, there are some hints of what migh [...]


Report: Google Running Another Test To Map In-Store Sales To AdWords Ads

Google-Wall When Google introduced Estimated Total Conversions in AdWords last September, the company made clear it was working on ways to measure the impact of online advertising on in-store sales as it outlined the initiative to give advertisers a complete view of the effect their search advertising has on purchases. At the time of the announcement, the company rolled out Estimated Cross-Device Conversions as the first new conversion type and said phone call and in-store conversions would be coming soon. The company has since integrated call conversions, most recently giving advertisers the abili [...]


Google Analytics Adds “Smart Lists” To Automate Remarketing List Optimization

google-analytics-featured Earlier this week, the Google Analytics team announced the release of Smart Lists, a new remarketing list type that automates list creation and management in Google Analytics. Smart Lists are primarily powered by all that anonymized conversion data that comes from the millions of Google Analytics-enabled sites opted-in to share data with the company. Smart Lists make use of signals like visit duration, page depth, location, device, referrer and browser. Applying machine learning to the conversion data, the lists predict which users are most likely to convert when they come back to a site. [...]


10 Surprising Facts About “Keyword (Not Provided)” For Paid Search

referral-url Earlier this week, everyone went bananas over a rumor that paid search query data was disappearing and that third party tools providers would be slammed. In my article, I’ll clarify fact from fiction. Here are ten things you need to know about the Keyword (Not Provided) for paid search issue: 1. Can I Still Access My Paid Search Query Data? Yes! You can access your paid search query data, using the search terms report in AdWords. Just go to your keywords tab, and select the view search terms option. (Try it out yourself!) 2. Is The Search Term Report A New Feature In AdWords? No. [...]


The Aftermath: Clarifications & Expert Reactions To Google’s Move To Secure Paid Search Queries

no-keywords-not-provided-featured Yesterday, Google announced it is expanding secure search to clicks on paid ads. The change means that the search query a user typed in before clicking on an ad will be dropped from the referrer string in the URL and won't be passed to analytics or other software other than AdWords. The move is aimed at bringing parity to the treatment of search query referrer data from search ad clicks and organic clicks, which have had search query referrer data stripped from all Google secure search queries since last year. This Not A Huge Disruption As Jeremy Hull, director of bought media at iProspec [...]


AdWords Scripts Grows Up With MCC Level Scripts

google-adwords-featured1 So far, many have dismissed AdWords scripts as a toy that you can only use for small AdWords account setups. There are some ways to build out larger script frameworks that span multiple accounts, but it is clunky and still requires you to install a snippet of code into each account. Worse yet, if you find a bug in a script that you've copied to 10 or 25 accounts, you'll need to log into each one and update them manually to apply the fix. This breaks one of the fundamental rules of software development: "Don't Repeat Yourself." Welcome to MCC Level Scripts My Client Center (MCC) level sc [...]


Not Provided Comes To Paid Search: What Will The Impact Be?

Not Provided If you're reading this, you probably already know that Google is making changes that will bring the much-maligned "(not provided)" to paid search. The AdWords world has been abuzz about the change for the past few days. The gist of the development is that when people using secure search click on AdWords ads, the user's search query in the referrer string -- the actual words that people entered into the search box -- won't be passed to analytics packages and third-party software. This is an annoyance, but in the great scheme of things, it’s not a major problem. I'll explain more, b [...]


Official: Google Brings “Not Provided” To Ads, Will Withhold Search Query Data From Paid Clicks

not-provided-600 As suspected, Google is moving to secure search for clicks on paid search ads. In an announcement posted by Paul Feng, Product Management Director, AdWords on the Ads Developer Blog, the company states, "Today, we are extending our efforts to keep search secure by removing the query from the referrer on ad clicks originating from SSL searches on Google.com. Advertisers will continue to have access to useful data to optimize and improve their campaigns and landing pages.  For example, you can access detailed information in the AdWords search terms report and the Google Webmaster Tools Search [...]


Marin: If Google Applies “Not Provided” To PPC, Paid Search Management Platforms Will Still Work

no-keywords-not-provided-featured Yesterday, we reported that it seems likely Google will soon stop passing search query data on paid search clicks, as it already has for clicks on organic search results. With the news came questions -- among them whether paid search management platforms such as Marin, Acquisio and Kenshoo would be done in by such a change. In response, Matt Ackley, CMO of Marin Software has issued the following statement clarifying that its capabilities -- and those of most other paid search platforms -- would not be affected if Google does opt to keep search query referrer data from passing through on pa [...]


Strong Start: Paid Search Grew 25 Percent In Q1, Mobile Shot Up 135 Percent YoY [Covario]

Mobile Paid Search Growth Global 2014 Covario released its Global Paid Search Spend Analysis for the first quarter of 2014 today. Its client set -- made up of enterprise technology, consumer electronics, and retail advertisers --increased paid search spend on mobile devices by 135 percent year-over-year and 35 percent over the previous quarter. Mobile now accounts for 25 percent of paid search spending, with 60 percent of that spend going to tablets, 40 percent to smartphones. Cost-per-click (CPC) on smartphones rose 9 percent compared to the previous quarter, while tablet CPCs remained flat. Surprisingly, however, Covario h [...]


Report: Google To Block Paid Search Keyword Data With Not Provided; Like Organic “Not Provided”

keywords-not-provided-featured There are reports we are receiving from a few sources, including AJ Ghergich who posted it on his blog, that Google will soon stop passing keyword data to analytics software, even for AdWords advertisers. We expected changes to not provided in the near future, and based on these reports, the likelihood of advertisers being stripped of keyword data is high. When Google moved to secure search in October 2011, it was a major setback to publishers, who began losing data about the keywords used to reach their sites. That opened up Google to claims of hypocrisy, in that advertisers continued t [...]


AdWords Editor Version 10.4 Arrives With Bid Strategies Support

adwords-editor-icon The PPC Twittersphere lit up today with word that Google dropped the latest version of AdWords Editor today. Here's the lowdown on what's new in Version 10.4. Bids and Bid Strategies: Much awaited, AdWords Editor now supports flexible bidding strategies. Users can update bid strategies down to the keyword level, apply flexible bid strategies from the accounts' shared library and copy or move items along with their bid strategies within an account or to a different account. You can also edit bids in ways that fall outside of the campaign bid strategy -- for example adding CPM bids to a CP [...]


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