Pity those poor writers who’ve written books on Paid search and Google Adwords. There have been so many modifications in search over the last couple of weeks that it makes those authors scrambling to update. Well, change is normal; just ask Google and Facebook. Many of the paid search changes are welcome; others are drawing controversy. Our challenge as lead generators is to stay abreast of the changes and action what makes sense for our clients.
Here, then, is a roundup of what occurred, with my own thoughts and grades of the changes (1-5, with 5 being highest approval).
Ad Rotation Changes
- What: You no longer can rotate ads evenly long-term. After 30 days of even rotation of ads, Google will start displaying ads that are most likely to get more clicks.
- The Good: Ads that perform better should be displaying more frequently anyway.
- The Bad: Limits testing options. Allows Google to make ad rotation decisions rather than yourself.
- Suggestion to Google: At least have us choose between 30, 60, or 90 day testing periods before “settling”
- Grade: 3
Improved Keyword Tool & Traffic Estimator
- What: The Keyword Tool is now better integrated with the Google Traffic estimator. Keyword ideas can now be grouped by themes and added to campaigns as adgroups. With the Traffic estimator, performance estimates can now be graphed; ad groups drafted, and added to Adwords accounts.
- The Good: Adds more functionality to keyword and traffic research. Love the Idea saving options as well.
- The Bad: None seen yet.
- Suggestion to Google: One of these days, they need to have a negative keyword tool. My Concept- Based on chosen keywords, Google shows most popular words that are included in queries, which then gives us an option to add those additional words as negatives.
- Grade: 5
More Details on Quality Score Calculation
- What: Google has given us more transparency on how they are determining quality score. By hovering over keyword status, you can now see Google’s rankings (below average, average, above average) for three key attributes: Expected clickthrough rate, ad relevance, and landing page experience.
- The Good: The feature allows you to troubleshoot and optimize keywords a little better to improve Quality Score.
- The Bad: The formula is still a mystery. Many of Google’s ratings are not consistent.
- Suggestion to Google: Would like to see more detail on Google’s ratings and why one keyword is a 7 quality score and the other a 5, and a specific suggestion to improve the 5, especially when two keywords are closely related to each other.
- Grade: 4
I covered this in an earlier blog post.
- What: A labeling feature that allows you to categorize groups of words, ad groups, ads, and even campaigns.
- The Good: You’re able to analyze keywords and ad groups by specific groupings based on themes (labels)
- The Bad: I’d like to be able to add multiple labels to keywords, as some long tail terms may fall under multiple labels or themes.
- Grade: 3
Near Matches for Exact and Phrase Matches
- What: Now you have the option to cover plurals, misspellings, and other close variants for exact and phrase match keywords.
- The Good: Saves time by allowing for slight variants for these matching options.
- The Bad: Sometimes plurals and singular terms mean two things entirely. I run “Paid search” for many clients; not “paid searches”
- Suggestion to Google: Rather than having this option across the board, Google should add a settings exception feature, to exempt certain keywords from certain global settings options.
- Grade: 4
Promote Mobile Apps
- What: If you have a mobile app, Google has improved how to promote those apps on mobile devices.
- Grade: Incomplete. I am still reviewing this, but looks like a great way to promote custom apps for audiences to download.
Google Adwords for Video
- What: A self-serve video ad campaign that can complement text ad campaigns. Pricing based on Pay-per-view rather than pay-per-click.
- The Good: Contributes to branding as well as direct response. A multitude of targeting options- YouTube, Google Display Network, keyword targeting, channel targeting, topic targeting, and a variety of unit options.
- The Bad: The power of video is undeniable, but the jury is out on using video under this program as a lead generation strategy.
- Suggestion to Google: Do a better job of explaining strategy as compared to tactics. Perhaps include a button within the video for CTA offers.
- Grade: 3
- Note: Stay tuned for a more detailed post on how to promote videos on Google and YouTube, and how to generate leads with them.
The above covers paid search changes/improvements the last few weeks. A look at my Google blogs showcases many more potential features in the works, currently in limited release or beta. It’s all about improving the search experience. As digital lead generation and internet marketing continues to evolve, we need to keep evolving with it, and continue to optimize and tweak.
What do you think of all the recent Google Adwords changes?