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Will Google’s decision to introduce an algorithmic element into its Adwords ‘Quality Score’ spell the end for sponsored keyword arbitrage and add further pressure to affiliates to clean-up their act?
The results of two pieces of research based on comScore data show how important it is for marketers to build their knowledge of the role played by online research - and Search - in the buying process.
Google has responded to calls for greater transparency on click fraud by introducing a new tool for Adwords users that displays "invalid clicks".
Google business product manager Shuman Ghosemajumder explains: "The metrics of 'invalid clicks' and 'invalid clicks rate' will show virtually all the invalid clicks affecting an account."
This should provide advertisers with an overview of how Google is dealing with clicks already identified as possibly fraudulent, aka 'invalid', though for many marketers this might not be enough.
Research by the Atlas Institute shows that the conversion rate from Search advertising is 22% better when used in conjunction with Display advertising.
The study demonstrates that there is a quantifiable "synergy" between these two channels and will hopefully encourage advertisers to take a more integrated approach to their online marketing.
The research is welcome because there are still companies out there who are shifting their budgets from display advertising into Search without a full understanding of how this might affect their conversion success or long term prospects.
Click fraud remains a growing problem for search engines and online advertisers, according to a study by US-based consultancy Click Forensics.
If you’re a user of Digg, you should know that it recently redesigned and relaunched its website. This in itself is not that interesting since we always knew that was coming soon – however, what is interesting is that new categories have been added which make the site more useful to a wider audience.
The online advertising market seems to be on an inexorable path of steep growth.
No less an advertising authority than Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of the advertising behemoth WPP, was yesterday reported as saying that he expects online advertising to double in a few years.
"About 15% of our business is internet, and this will be 30% in 10 years," he told the New York Sun.
Wow, Google’s Quality Score is really starting to bite hard on some PPC budgets. I’ve just taken a call from Auctioning4U, a UK-based firm that helps people sell goods on eBay, and they are reporting that average click costs have risen by almost 2,000% in just one week.
Trevor Ginn, Head of Consulting at Auctioning4U, told me that one keyphrase has jumped in price from 12p to £2.75 in the last week.
In another example, the price went up from his default of 30p (which paid for an average Adwords position of 1.3) to £5.50. “Feel my pain,” he says, not without reason.
Naturally, Trevor is wounded and reeling, and puzzled as to what he’s done wrong. He’s not really done anything wrong. It is simply a case of Google shifting the goalposts.
Yup, this PPC hyperinflation is linked to Google’s newly-enhanced focus on ad quality. It could be a case of too much, too soon.
Last week we reported that eBay has banned Google Checkout, something that is likely to backfire on the auction giant, which owns rival payment processor PayPal.
Silicon has today published a timely analysis of why eBay is more likely to suffer than Big G.
Meanwhile, I have been looking for the smoking gun that might force Google to retaliate, leading to the possible banning of eBay from its search results. Hard to imagine it could come to that, but who knows?
Google CEO Eric Schmidt has played down calls for the search industry to tighten its grip on click fraud by declaring the problem "self-correcting".
Quoted by ZDNet from a speech at Stanford University earlier this year, the Google CEO said clickfraud could ultimately be solved by market forces, and that PPC firms should "let it happen".
The Guardian’s Jack Schofield has written a thought-provoking piece on the power of Google, specifically referring to the case of a website called sprayonmud.co.uk which was delisted from the almighty search engine in December 2005.
Jack asks whether it is ‘fair’ for Google to act as judge and jury in these cases, even suggesting that it should finance an ‘independent ombudsman’ to address complaints. He warns: “If Google’s management don’t find a way to temper the company’s power, legislators will eventually do it for them.”
The whole article seems based around the weird notion that Google owes you something. The fact is that Google owes you nothing, and everything you get from it is a bonus (either by accident or design).