Big New Changes For Google AdWords and MSN

Wow this has been a big day for announcements, Google first then MSN.

First Google has announced a new bidding strategy that you can now use instead of max CPC, it is called Preferred Cost per Click. With this new bidding strategy instead of telling Google AdWords what is the maximum you would be willing to pay, now you tell them the average price that you would like to pay or your preferred cost per click. Over the next week or so, this option will be turned on in Google AdWords accounts. I am not sure as to how this will impact performance, but I will certainly be testing it out.

Preferred cost per click bidding will be set at the campaign level so just be aware of that.

Second, Microsoft adCenter has just announced that it is spidering landing pages and assigning a quality score to programs much in the same manner that Google AdWords and Yahoo Sponsored Search Marketing already do. This will help to increase profits for them and improve the ad quality for readers.

So two big changes in the pay for performance arena have happened today!

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Important MSN adCenter Beta Advice

If your account is being migrated to the new MSN adCenter beta program so that you can take advantage of content here are some important tips.

  1. Make sure to log in right after your migration. I have found with two different clients that some of the geotargeting for specific city regions was dropped. This was not across the board, but in several ad groups. So be careful to check them all.
  2. Now you can finally see and easily delete your problem keywords that MSN has been pestering you about every time you have made a change in your ad. Review your keywords by page and delete (finally!) the rejected keywords.
  3. Make sure to ad separate bids for content. This is done on the keyword bid page and you must click advanced options. Update your search clicks by clicking the button to bring all of them into line and solve the problem of some defaulting back to ridiculously low figures that will garner no traffic, and then change the figure to about one half of your search cost and click the content bid button. I am recommending at this time to pay more than I would typically recommend in the content network as Microsoft does not have a developed content network yet with independent publishers and so the content ads will be showing on high value Microsoft property sites.

Overall the beta interface is a huge improvement over the previous one. Make sure to check out the easy drop down navigation on the bread crumb trail at the top to go to different ad groups and campaigns very easily Yahoo and Google should do this too.

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Google Pay Per Action Clarified

I have just set up a customer in Google AdWord’s new pay per action program. Here is some additional clarification about it.

  1. You may only target at the country level. So if you are going to advertising, it is US or full country or multiple country only.
  2. You should select lead only unless you are selling a product on e-commerce. You can not pay for an action such as a mortgage completed as there is no way to track this. You can however track a sale with a price that doesn’t change and one that is variable, but it must be trackable through your store with a special conversion tracking script added.
  3. You can only have pay per action ads appear in the content network. Your ads will never show on Google when it comes to pay per action.

Hope this helps as you consider if you want to try Google AdWords pay per action. Google is taking sign ups but only inviting a limited number of advertisers at this point, but if you want, here is an invitation to sign up and get on the queue.

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Yahoo, MSN and Google Embrace Sitemap Robots.Txt Notation

This is big news and for sure you will want to update your website with the new sitemap Robots.txt tag that points the top three search engines to your sitemap with auto-discovery features.

You simply need to add this little snippet to your robots.txt file with your correct information inserted:

Sitemap: http://www.example.com/sitemap.xml

It’s simple and the big three are all accepting it! You can click my blog post title to read the full article on the Yahoo Search blog that is acting as the press release.

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Microsoft adCenter Changes Coming

Click the link in our blog post title to go to Microsoft adCenter’s beta control panel. Microsoft is revamping the old adCenter control panel and there are some very welcome changes.

No you won’t see the magic yellow carat that Google uses to carry changes to the bottom of the page, but you will see new bulk editing options. That alone is one of the biggest improvements. adCenter is also touting new bulk ad upload features, though I have not tested this one yet, that will allow you to migrate programs easily from Yahoo. Migrating from AdWords takes a bit of work as AdWords ads are done with two line descriptions and Microsoft adCenter has one, like Yahoo. But truthfully any improvement there will be welcome.

I am testing out the Microsoft content network tomorrow and will let you know what happens with that in the next few days. I feel like I will ride that train until they add a publisher network and quality goes into the trash basket. Right now content will be on top dollar, high value Microsoft property sites, so it won’t be cheap, but the quality for the time being may be as good as the MSN and Live Search vehicles.

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