Google Releases Data to Help With Adwords Confusion

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Google has released a couple pieces of data over the last two days that are worth reviewing for those who use the Google Adwords product.

Google released a white paper to try to dispel some myths when it comes to the subject of quality score. As Ginny Marvin pointed out on Search Engine Land,

There has always been a healthy amount of debate over the importance of Quality Score as an indicator of Google AdWords success and the amount of focus that should be devoted to it.

Today, Google issued a whitepaper called “Settling the (Quality) Score” to help advertisers use Quality Score to guide optimizations. Will it settle the debate? Maybe not, in fact it may just spark more conversation, but if you’re involved in paid search at all, you’ll want to check it out.

Google describes Quality Score being like a “warning light in a car’s engine” as opposed to being a “detailed metric that should be the focus of account management.”

In other words, it’s a signal not a KPI. It’s a mash-up of expected click-through rate, ad relevance and landing page experience, but, as we know, the score we’re shown isn’t the actual score given at any moment during an auction. The score we see represents overall performance in the auctions.

You can view the white paper here

Today Google released a video on the AdWords auction and Ad Rank, this is the scoring system that places ads in the order they appear. The video shows that Google uses a second price auction. I think this was helpful for someone like myself who has spent a limited time running an adwords campaign. It can be confusing/frustrating when you don’t see your ad and not sure why.

 

Ginny Marvin noted:

It’s no coincidence that two resources — the Quality Score paper and this video — are being released in short order. The company started an initiative, spearheaded by Matt Lawson, Google’s Director of Performance Ads Marketing, to provide more resources and best practice overviews with advertisers than it has in the past.

Forget.me Is Launched To Help European Citizens Enforce Their Right To Be Forgotten

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SearchEngineLand.com just covered the launch of another great .Me domain name, Forget.me which is an online service which acts  “as a middleman between an individual and Google…catering to individuals who want to exercise their right to be forgotten”

A recent European Court ruling search engine must provide to its citizens the :right to be forgotten” and allow them to  demand that certain links be removed from search engine results.

Forget.me says:

“Exercise your Google “right to be forgotten” easily.”

“Forget.me is the best solution for efficiently handling your Google removal requests.

Forget.me is a project of Reputation VIP

The company appears to have acquired the domain name Forget.me from the .Me registry directly this month.

According to SearchEngineLand.com, “Once a link has been identified, Reputation VIP claims Forget.me offers more than 30 “predefined texts” to help explain why a user wants the URL removed.”

“According to Reputation VIP:

An incorrectly copied URL or a poorly written text could result in your request being rejected.

By helping you select your URLs, and by providing you with texts adapted to your situation, Forget.me is your best chance for success and ensures that your request is as readable as possible in the eyes of the search engines.”

Here  is some more information on the Forget.me service via the sites FAQ’s:

To whom does the internet right to be forgotten apply?

The internet right to be forgotten applies to physical persons residing in Europe who wish to de-index a web page that pertains to them.

Can an American citizen living in France use a search engine’s “forget me” form to request de-indexing of a web page on this search engine?

Yes, all residents living within the European Union, regardless of their nationality, can use the form. On the other hand, in theory, a French citizen living outside the European Union cannot benefit from this form.

Can I request the “forget me” of web pages found under a company or brand name?

No, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has limited the scope of this measure to apply to physical persons only.

Can a public personality de-index information that pertains to them?

It is not likely. The CJEU has specified that search engines must consider the public’s right to information and that this is of greater importance when dealing with public personalities.

Is it possible to submit a “forget me” request for a picture or a video?

Yes, as long as you have a valid URL that points to the web page to be forgotten. (A URL is the address to the web page to be forgotten, in the following format: http://www.pageto forget.com/xxxxx.html).

How do I remove the search result for a deceased person?

Forget.me does handle this situation. We recommend that you go to the forget me request submission page (Link to the submission page). You will then be guided step by step.

Will the content disappear from the site?

No, it will be de-indexed from the search engine in Europe.

Is it possible to delete a search result that appears on search engines outside of Europe?

No, the court decision applies only to European search engines. For example, the information will always be displayed on the Canadian engine www.google.ca.

Ad Impersonation Is The New Click Fraud

Lori Weiman wrote an interesting piece on Search Engine Land a few hours ago, the article focused on a different type of click fraud.  PPC Ad impersonation occurs when an impostor advertiser takes a well known website address, and uses it as the display URL of their own advertisement.

From the article:

When you first hear about PPC fraud rings, you tend to think of click fraud where an automated system, not a real person, is generating fake clicks on an advertiser’s ad. However, PPC impersonation is actually a much larger problem than click fraud, and marketers need to be watching to ensure their brand isn’t negatively impacted.

Click fraud was a bigger issue in the past, but now is mostly dealt with by tighter controls from the search engines. Ad impersonation has overtaken click fraud and is now the prevalent form of fraud on PPC advertising. The search engines are only just beginning to work with vendors like The Search Monitor (full disclosure: my employer) to identify it and take it down.

In May 2014, The Search Monitor detected fraudulent PPC ads running on Bing, Yahoo, and Google. The fraudsters impersonated more than 300 advertisers on a global scale.

The fraud was not confined to any particular type or size of company. It spanned several industries, including leading businesses in automotive (JC Whitney), home furnishings (Joss & Main), software (MobiStealth), printing (Tiny Prints), home & garden (Ace Hardware), travel (BookingBuddy), firearms (Brownell’s), and services (Deluxe).

Read the full article to see some real life examples that Weiman discovered.

eBay: Search Ads Have No Measurable Benefit

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eBay study warns search ads have ‘no measurable benefit

The Guardian did a story on the efficacy of paid search based on a study conducted by eBay

From the article:

Customers are just as likely to click on natural search results as paid ads, a US study has found, raising questions about the efficacy of the multi-billion dollar search advertising market.

The researchers found that most search adverts on most search terms had very little affect on sales at all – and warn that the medium may be “beyond the peak of its efficacy.”

Many companies buy adverts on searches for their brand. eBay, for instance, may buy adverts on searches for the term “eBay”, as well as for terms such as “eBay shoes”. But confirming what customers have long suspected, those adverts do little other than encourage users to click on the advert where they would otherwise have clicked on the normal search result to the same site.

“The results show that almost all of the forgone click traffic and attributed sales were captured by natural search,” the researchers found.

Read the full article here

83 comments with the general consensus that none of the commenters ever click ads and they believe no one ever does or has. The billions of dollars in Google’s bank account may say otherwise.

One commenter did point out a possible eBay agenda, Interesting eBay are currently recovering from a manual penalty from Google for poor practice on the organic front: http://searchengineland.com/google-hits-ebay-manual-penalty-search-results-192454

I would say eBay ads suck they are not for anything particular, they run the cheapest priced ads they can and a lot of times show up for things that are not relevant to them and their sellers.

Counterfeiters Using Google Adwords is a Big Problem

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Randy Pickard made a guest post on Search Engine Land that took a look at all the counterfeiters buying ads on Google that trick consumers into buying knock off goods.

The article looked at a few categories, one being prom dresses.

From the article:

Among the websites buying AdWords sponsored ads for [prom dress] related terms, approximately half of these websites are filled with copyright-infringing photos of designer dresses.

The prom and special-occasion dress product categories are target rich for counterfeiters. A common occurrence is for a teenage girl to come into a boutique, look at a designer dress, and then “showroom” the boutique by searching on Google. There, they discover links to offshore online stores with photos of (what appears to be) the exact same dress — selling for less than half the price.

Of course, the result of buying a cheap prom dress from an offshore retailer is fairly similar to that of buying a “rolex” from a New York street peddler. When the dress arrives (if it does arrive), there are lots of tears flowing from the naive teenager buyer who wanted a special dress for her special night.

The consequences of counterfeiters utilizing AdWords to rip off naïve buyers is having a ripple effect that is hitting special-occasion dress retailers particularly hard. Google’s lax filtering of counterfeiters victimizes both teenage girls preparing for prom and fashion retailers’ whose businesses are losing hundreds of thousands of sales per year.

Read the full story here

Pickard summed it up asking,

Going back to the original question in this post: Is Google “evil” for not doing a better job filtering out counterfeiters? The search engine giant proved that they have the capability to do so in the case of counterfeit pharmaceuticals. Should Google be expected to put a stronger effort into blocking counterfeiters in order to meet the standards set by their code of conduct?

Google actually has a place where you can check on what is being reported as far as copyright takedown requests.

The Google Transparency report shows stats such as the top reported sites The domain names for URLs that were requested to be removed. Each request can specify many URLs and many URLs may have the same domain name.

It also shows the top companies doing the reporting. You can check out the page here