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RKG Report: PLAs Fuel AdWords Growth, Bing Ads Spend Rises Sharply In Q4

Paid Search Growth Q4 2013 RKG RKG has released its Q4 2013 Digital Marketing Report, and as other reports have indicated, paid search saw solid year-over-year growth in the holiday quarter. Paid search spend among RKG's retail-heavy client set rose 23 percent year-over-year. Overall click volume increased 19 percent, and CPCs ticked up just 3 percent.   Google Brand CPCs Fall On Ad Rank Change, Non-Brand CPCs Fueled By PLAs Google paid search spending grew 19 percent year-over-year in Q4, with paid clicks rising 15 percent. Google CPCs also rose just 3 percent. Non-brand CPCs, however, rose 6 percent year [...]


At The Digital Crossroads: Shifting To Audience-Centric Marketing

Marin Software Audience Connect Cycle In the first half of 2013, search advertising represented 43% of all digital ad revenue. The primary reason paid search remains so successful is that it creates a direct link between users and their intent. For marketers, the ability to deliver an ad promoting running shoes to users searching for [best running shoes] represents a revenue opportunity that will command an estimated 45.1% share of US digital ad spend in 2014 -- that's more than display, email, or mobile messaging. To date, these channels have failed to match the performance characteristics of search. However, audience-orient [...]


Start The New Year With A PPC Health Check: Part 1

health-computer-keyboard-featured As Group Head at a fast growing search agency, I've carried out hundreds of campaign checks over the years. In my contributions here, I'll be sharing my top tips on things to look out for when reviewing your own campaigns. Some of these things are obvious, while others might have slipped past you because you're not up to date on recent changes or are just too close to the day-to-day running of the campaign. It can be easy to just leave your campaign(s) running and not delve into the detail of things such as the settings of your campaign, especially if your campaign is performing well. But a [...]


Google PLAs May Be Bigger And Better Than You Think

paid-search-ppc-featured As someone responsible for compiling, analyzing and putting narratives to raw marketing data, I spend a good portion of my time reviewing similar material from other sources in our industry. This is helpful for generating new ideas for analyses and serves as a basic sanity check of the results we are finding at RKG. On occasion, I'll find that the numbers we are seeing on a given issue seem to lie outside the norms, and it can be a challenge to determine exactly why, given the limited context that comes with many industry reports. A prominent example of this has been with Google's Produc [...]


Report: US Search Ad Spend Rises 12 Percent YoY In Q4 2013; Smartphone CPCs Drop

IgnitionOne Tablet Smartphone Performance Q4 2013 IgnitionOne released its fourth quarter Digital Marketing Report today, showing that the paid search market in the US continues to grow. Search ad spend rose 12 percent year-over-year in the fourth quarter of 2013. In part as a result of the later kick-off to the holiday shopping season this year, December ad spending was up a significant 27 percent over 2012. Though overall ad impressions fell 16 percent year-over-year, clicks rose 5 percent and click-through rates jumped 25 percent in Q4.  IgnitionOne posits lower impressions are a result of "top of page innovations" including new ad ext [...]


How To Understand And Optimize AdWords Search Partners Data

A pivot table showing search partner performance in AdWords Here at Hanapin, we have a monthly training day. We shut down the office and all the account managers spend the morning researching and learning new tricks and techniques, which we teach to each other later in the afternoon. This month, we spent some time diving into the exciting world of Google Search Partners, and I wanted to share some of the insights our team came up with. What Are Google Search Partners? When it comes to buying clicks from Google AdWords, the Search Partner network remains one of the least transparent and hardest to optimize areas to work with. The official Google help [...]


A Paid Search Christmas Carol: Learn From The Ghosts Of SEM Past, Present & Future

shutterstock_119305342-bahhumbug ‘Twas the night before Christmas in the search marketing department and SEM Director Scrooge was heading out hours before his staff. “Director Scrooge,” said one of the young SEM analysts, Tiny Tim. “It’s Christmas Eve. The gang and I wanted to know if we could get a paid search management tool for the holidays so we can program bid changes and ad scheduling, as well as automate the optimization based on our ROI goals? I promise we’ll check on our campaigns remotely at home.” Bah, Humbug! “Bah, Humbug,” grunted Scrooge as he locked up his office. “We don’t need to sp [...]


Report: Google PLAs Deliver 4X Revenue Lift For Retailers In Early Holiday Season

google-shopping-products-featured It's probably not too surprising to hear that retailers have doubled their year-over-year spend on Google product listing ads this holiday season thus far. After all, the paid format of Google Shopping had just rolled out in the fall of 2012. What is stunning, however, is the four-fold increase in revenue that retailers have realized from PLAs versus 2012, according to a holiday retail report from Kenshoo out this week.   ROAS reached $8.62 in the 26 days ending with Cyber Monday that were analyzed for the study. Yes, PLAs delivered a nearly 9 to one return on investment in the [...]


It’s True! Bing Ads Allows Use Of Exclamation Mark In Ad Titles

bing-ads-new-240px After reading the news yesterday that Bing Ads has made a change to its Editorial Guidelines prohibiting third-party sellers from appearing as an original brand, I noticed this notation in the change log from November: We have removed the restriction on use of exclamation points in ad titles from the Content and Style Guidelines. A single exclamation point is now allowed in the title of an ad. Really, exclamation marks in ad titles? The actual guidelines are a little fuzzy on this point, stating just that "One exclamation point or question mark is allowed per sentence in ad text." with no me [...]


Bizible Adds Google AdWords ROI Reporting For Salesforce

salesforce adwords logos Bizible, a marketing analytics app for Salesforce.com, has launched a feature to enable Google AdWords cost data to be imported and tied to actual revenue posted in Salesforce. The AdWords ROI Dashboard enables revenue tracking against keywords, ads, ad groups and campaigns. The AdWords ROI Dasbboard was released generally last week. The company says beta testers have used the dashboard to track AdWords' ROI based on closed opportunities in Salesforce, quickly visualize the sales pipeline of AdWords leads, and project future performance of AdWords campaigns by looking at open opportunit [...]


4 Surprising Ways CPG Brands Are Using Paid Search For Brand Marketing [Study]

Retail Shopping Consumer packaged goods (CPG) manufacturers have been spending an average of $6.2 million monthly on Google AdWords in the US over the past three years, according to a new AdGooroo study which looked at ad impressions between August 2012 and July 2013.  All of the CPG companies engaged in brand marketing, but AdGooroo found that several brands took surprising approaches in their targeting to reach their desired audiences in search. Here are four examples of CPG companies using search to broaden their share of voice in surprising ways: In a departure from the standard tactic of promotin [...]


Google Ad Rank Study: How The New Formula Is Impacting AdWords Performance

google-adwords-square-logo In October, Google changed its Ad Rank formula which determines the position order of AdWords paid search ads. The revised formula now factors in the expected impact of ad extensions and ad formats, in addition to the bid and quality score. The Search Agency has released its latest findings on the impact of this significant change. The Search Agency looked at roughly 3,500 campaigns across a large client set and isolated preexisting ads that included one of the following ad extensions: location extensions, call extensions, review extensions, offer extensions, app extensions, or sitelinks, t [...]


10 Things RTB Rookies Can Learn From SEM Vets

ppc-paid-search-200px If I were to describe to you a digital media channel in which marketers bid on ad inventory in an auction-based model, would you think of paid search? Of course! But this also describes the relatively new online display category of real-time bidding (RTB) in which banner impressions are sold in a similar fashion. eMarketer recently released Programmatic Advertising Forecast and Future Growth Trends, in which it projects that RTB digital display ad spending in the US will reach $9.03 billion by 2017 and will represent 29.0% of total U.S. digital display ad spending. Although RTB has been [...]


US Mobile Search Revs To Hit Nearly $4 Billion This Year

Google iOS Search App A new report from Forrester Research projects US mobile paid search will be worth $3.8 billion by the end of 2013. Analyst forecasts are often aggressive, but this turns out to be a very reasonable estimate. US mobile ad revenues were slightly below $3 billion according to the IAB for the first six months of 2013. That means, assuming higher mobile spending in the second half, mobile ad revenues should come in around $7 billion for the full year. PC-based paid search was 43 percent of all digital ad revenue in 1H 2013. However paid search is a somewhat larger percentage of mobile ad reve [...]


Consumer Watchdog Says Google Shopping Costs Consumers, Complains To FTC

perfume-google-shopping-product-listing-ads Consumer Watchdog has lodged a new complaint about Google's "search monopoly" with the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), this time saying Google Shopping results don't pass the sniff test. The group calls the way the search engine displays its Product Listing ads "deceptive and unfair", adding that Google Shopping's paid listings are price gouging consumers. In addition to competing shopping engines being shut out of top listings, consumers are "actually being harmed because the featured results from Google Shopping more often than not return higher prices than can be found elsewhere,” w [...]


Paid Search Spend Surges 27%, Mobile Grabs 40% Thanksgiving, Black Friday Spend

black-friday-cash-mouse-featured Amid reports that brick and mortar sales were lackluster over the Thanksgiving weekend, ecommerce is looking like a bright spot this holiday season, with mobile devices playing an increasingly important role. Mercent, which powers major retailer campaigns online for brands including Brookstone, Office Depot and HSN reports same seller online sales increased 40 percent on Thanksgiving Day compared to 2012. Black Friday same seller sales hit a record high, increasing 35 percent Paid search saw big increases in click volume and retailer spend. Retailers spent 27 percent more on paid search [...]


Now “Undo” Google AdWords Changes From Change History Reports

google-adwords-square-logo Taking action after a completing a test in Google AdWords may just have become a whole lot easier. An new "undo" button was spotted last night in the Change History reporting by Heather Cooan, director of client services at Clix Marketing. Here's a screenshot from Heather's account after she clicked on the "undo" button next to one of the line items. Heather notes that a new line item is created when the change is marked as undone, and the "undo" button is made available in case you want to revert back again. The feature doesn't appear to have rolled out to everyone yet, so you're not al [...]


Google Trusted Stores Now Integrates With AdWords, Shows StellaService Ratings In US

google-trusted-store-icon Today, Google formally announced several updates for Google Trusted Stores, the free ratings service Google launched in 2011, just ahead of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. AdWords Seller Ratings Integration Google Trusted Stores is now among the services that help to power seller ratings, which show on AdWords text ads as well as Product Listing Ads. Here is an example of how the ratings details display for a Google Trusted Store: In most cases, businesses must have at least 30 unique reviews from the past 12 months and an overall rating of at least 3.5 stars. Retailers participating [...]


Will Big Retail Rule Paid Search On Black Friday, Cyber Monday Again This Year?

holiday-shopping-featured Here we go, just over a week until Black Friday and Cyber Monday. All hands are on deck, budgets are ready to be unleashed. The big box retailers appear poised to yet again dominate paid search results for queries related to these all-important retail days. Over the last two years, the big box retailers have been squeezing coupon and deals sites out of paid search leader boards for "Black Friday" and "Cyber Monday" queries, according to research from Adgooroo. In 2012, big retail dominated paid impressions for "Black Friday" search queries: Just two deals sites managed to infiltrate the [...]


Bing Ads Introduces Refined Broad Match Keyword Targeting

bing-ads-featured In an effort to help advertisers attract more click volume from the Yahoo Bing Network, Bing Ads has rolled out Broad Match keyword targeting. The company says that with refinements and ongoing updates the "Bing Ads platform is able to deliver Broad Match conversion metrics that are 85% of the percentage of Exact Match". The new Broad Match is designed to eliminate the need for endless keyword variations set on Exact or Phrase Match, while still maintaining quality control. Some 30 percent of daily searches on Bing are new, so Broad Match is meant to help cast a wider net to catch new, rel [...]


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