CEO at Greenlight
13 April 2004 10:50am
I think the winner here is the media owner, or in this case Google.
The biggest limitation in syndicating search, is that it can only be syndicated to a search related environment. After all if no one suggests a keyword ....how can you match an ad to it. This caps its growth form the start, so adwords is quite a boost for SE’s. The semantic background matching of general page content to specific keywords gives the search engines a new ability to target their advertisers listings, extending their reach out of the search environment, and into the seething mass of content that is the www.
But what is it really? Is it an extension of the highly effective search engine marketing medium we all can’t get enough of? Not really no. Adwords after all are sought. Triggered by explicit real time active demand, and served right up to the user at that all important moment of truth.
Lets face it, Adsense is text banners by comparison. Distractive stock advertising…albeit contextually matched for improved targeting. It’s an age old principal, tweaked and tuned, and done up to serve Google’s aims of extended reach.
I imagine it’s the only saving grace of some PPC engines that have fallen from grace having lost their big search engine distribution deals, and are only left with only their 2nd tier content targeted ad partners left to reach an audience.
So what is the advertiser going to get from adsense?
From all our tests so far, the only thing we’ve seen it do is contribute a hugely significant volume of extra impressions, which created an amount of clicks on par with a half decent banner advert, that didn’t really convert. Quantity increases, whilst quality takes a nose dive.
The biggest criticism for me is that you can’t opt out of it. Which to me, smacks of putting quantity over quality, and will likely ruffle the feathers of advertisers who see their ROI decline week on week from the dilution of their targeted keyword audience.
Google to its credit through does seem to have acknowledged this, with their new click price discounting mechanism, acknowledging the realisation that that not all clicks are created equal, and paying for a distracted browser, is clearly not worth as much when paying for an active qualified search targeted user. Although I have yet to see this in action to make a real difference.
Advertisers want more reach from search targeted ads yes. But do they want it at the cost of quality? I doubt it.
<Blatant plug> My advice to anyone looking for more reach out of search having already hit their PPC limit, is to look at Natural SEO or trusted feed. Natural results receive as much as 4 times as many click through’s than paid for listings, meaning there is 4 times the amount of inventory to be had just a few inches to the left on the very same page. And from my experience in running both activities side by side, it’ll likely be around 1 third of the price too. </Blatant plug>
Warren Cowan | Managing Director
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Marketing Consultant at Email Marketing Solutions
17 April 2004 11:43am
>The biggest criticism for me is that you can’t opt out of it.
Opting out takes all of 2 seconds - just uncheck the box.
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