Google announced on the AdWords blog that they would be rolling out a number of changes and they are all happening this week.
First we saw on Monday the line next to the keyword that says something like you will need to pay $16 a click to be on the first page of results. It is interesting that some of the keywords that this phrase had been placed next to already showed an average placement of 1 to 3.
Next we saw on a number of account Tuesday and Wednesday a significant drop in ad position causing us to increase the CPC across the board and by keyword depending on the situation.
I have not yet seen a significant rise or drop in impressions yet in accounts. Some accounts I have started to notice that there is more activity on more keywords, but not across the board on all accounts.
Clearly Google is working to tweak AdWords. To find out exactly what AdWords has announced, please visit this post on the AdWords blog.
In a nutshell here is what the changes are about:
Quality Score is now more accurate — because it is calculated at the time of each search query
Keywords are no longer marked ‘inactive for search‘ — all keywords are active because they are evaluated for every relevant query
‘First page bid estimates’ replace ‘minimum bids’ in your account — providing a more actionable and useful metric to advertisers
Remember when Google recommends a budget or a cost per click this is called add-on selling. It does not mean that you need to act on the advice!
Clearly from what we are seeing across many sectors there is an upwards price adjustment happening, but will this impact an account with more impressions and a lower CTR. It is all too new to know exactly, but one thing for sure is that CPC is moving up and strongly on some accounts.
Some very important changes are coming to AdWords. But that being said, you may not see them appear in your account just yet, Google is rolling out some of these changes to key contacts first.
Here are the changes in a nutshell:
- Quality score is not predetermined. It will be determined on the fly as each search query is done. This allows advertisers in local areas to possibly be a better match for local queries. This will also help keep your ad showing. For poor performing accounts this means that you will not be eaten alive by a bad history as your quality score can and will change more rapidly. This is a good change.
- No longer will we have keyword disabled with the phrase “not eligible for search”. I have just hated that when a keyword, which is good for an account is disabled arbitrarily by Google based on their algorithm. Low search terms could simply not get traction in an account. The phrase Google will now use is “first page bid”. As Google now shows options to view more ads this is also a good thing for advertisers. Not only will advertisers have more assistance in regards to ad placement, but if you really want to spend less you can and then appear in pages other than the first page. This change also gets rid of the minimum bid.
- Keywords will no longer be disabled. This really ties into number two as these two changes work so closely together minimum bid and not eligible for search. Many keywords that were either low search volume terms, niche terms Google did not understand and for some accounts aggressively disabled them in accounts literally shutting down and ad group. You may still have issues with impressions with this roll out, but at least the advertiser feels more like they are in charge than Google’s money making ad apparatus. I have had some advertisers simply feel like they were getting squeezed for money and it appears that Google has addressed some of these very important issues in these upcoming releases.
The changes from my point of view are good and welcomed. Keep an eye out for these changes in your own AdWords account in the upcoming weeks.
Read the full article here: http://searchengineland.com/080821-210012.php
On the Google AdWords blog this past week, Google announced that it was dropping its pay per action program. If you never used pay per action, here it is in a nutshell.
With pay per action, you decide what you will pay, amount and action – you cannot do an action for a sale if you do not have access to your shopping cart code. Then publishers can pick up your code to show ads on their sites and can get paid when the action happens.
I found from using the program for a client, that pay per action was just not embraced by the publishing network. If you were only offering under 1 dollar or so for the action, publishers did not pick you up. Publisher came and went and so the ads were on and off again.
Although it sounded like a good idea, publishers really want to be paid for clicks as it simply was easier money.
I would not have believed this if I did not manage so many accounts, but in week three of June, that is 6/15 to 6/21, nearly all businesses (nearly 40 AdWords accounts) crashed in regards to the number of impressions on Google AdWords. In fact, the problem has impacted so many accounts in such a big way that June is sure to be considered a poor month when tracking results in the long run.
When reviewing the statistical data of a conglomeration of accounts, impressions and also clicks dropped from a whooping 75% on some accounts to 15% on others with an average decrease expected by month end of around 20% to 33%. Google will really have to serve ads strongly this next week in order to pocket their full 30 day click budget.
As a result we have started to see some accounts be served way, way, over their daily budget, even more than the stated and authorized 10% over per day by Google to make up for the third week’s loss. One account we manage with a $9 a day click budget yesterday had a $20 spend. According to Google’s policies, they can only spend 10% more than the daily budget in a period of several days, but with really bad results in traffic this last week, I am sure that we will see particularly strong impression and click activity to help Google end the month back on schedule.
This does not let Google raise prices for advertisers. Google does not set the prices manually for ads; rather, advertisers themselves determine prices through an ongoing competitive auction. We have found over years of research that an auction is by far the most efficient way to price search advertising and have no intention of changing that.
Just how is Google making so much money from Google AdWords? Well based on the comment taken from this Google blog post speaking about Google now showing ads on the Yahoo network, it is the advertisers who are soaking themselves not Google.
Yes that’s right, but escalating prices in your own industry in an effort to own the number one spot for your ad by price and not by quality advertisers are jacking up the prices on themselves. According to this quote by Google, we have no one to blame but ourselves!
If you understand the supply and demand curve, this is economics in action. If people decide to pay less, prices will decrease due to a lower demand and the cost per click will drop. What I have found is that in some cases dropping the cost per click will actually generate more impressions and clicks and not significantly hurt the page position in the Google AdWords advertising results. This tactic has crashed some accounts in very competitive large metro markets, but is a workable approach for many. So take a stand and decide to pay less for Google AdWords, what you pay now impacts what Google charges. They didn’t make billions last quarter for nothing!
I see this too frequently to think of it as a fluke; clients using extremely general keywords for programs and then spending their whole budget on a term like gas or American sound. Wow, Google is really getting rich at the expense of some clients who are tickled to death at the volume of totally untargeted clicks they are getting.
I have now seen two clients in less than seven days who were spending $100 to $175 per day and did not have website statistics or AdWords conversion tracking set up! If you are going to spend serious money on AdWords, you must make Google accountable by having metrics to determine the program’s success in place. You should be using Urchin or at the minimum Google Analytics – AWStats doesn’t cut it! You should have conversion tracking installed and a scripted contact form that has a thank you page (not a return to the same form page) so that you can install the AdWords script in the code of the thank you page to be able to track micro-conversions or completions of your lead form.
Google AdWords can really work for some businesses, but you need to be a smart consumer or Google will allow you to spend and spend and spend and spend without any conscience of your real success or lack thereof.