Google recently released a new version of its interface that allows advertisers to now see stats split by Google vs. Search Partners (AOL, Ask, Google Product Search, Earthlink, Shopping.com, etc) vs. Content. Until now, advertisers have had visibility to the Content aspect, but not to the Search Partners.
Why is this helpful? For this particular client below, for example, I was able to see that the traffic driven from the Search Partners is converting at a much greater cost per conversion when compared to the traffic driven from Google itself. Armed with this new knowledge, I’ve turned off the Search Partners for this client and am focusing efforts primarily on Google.com:
Some advertisers ponder whether Google Adwords is shooting themselves in the foot by providing this level of visibility. In my opinion, no they are not. AdWords ongoing commitment to providing advanced levels of reporting, such as Search Query Performance reports and Placement Performance reports for example (which the other PPC engines do not currently provide), has yet to cause our clients to spend less with Google.
I mean, sure, the Search Query Performance reports provided us with some startling insights into the pitfalls of Broad Match, resulting in us tightening up our match type strategies and applying more negative keywords in our account. And, yes, Placement Performance reports have shed light on underperforming sites within the Content Network, resulting in us setting up more Site Exclusions. And yes, now we are even excluding Search Partners in this instance highlighted above.
But do these exclusions mean that we are ultimately going to spend less each month with Google? No way! We’re not going to spend less, we’re just going to spend smarter – by shifting funds to better performing keywords, better performing Content sites and better performing distribution channels within AdWords, in turn increasing our clients’ ROI.
In fact, I’d strongly argue that in the long-run the added visibility that these reporting enhancements provide will actually result in many advertisers spending more with AdWords. Why? Because, Increasing ROI = Increased Justification for More Search Budget.
Kudos once again, Google! As far as I’m concerned, this is brilliant and your feet are quite safe (as if you were concerned). Much thanks for providing this level of transparency and accountability, and for giving advertisers the tools we need to manage PPC intelligently.