Last Week in PPC News and Views: May 10, 2010

This Week in PPC News and ViewsPPC bloggers were busy last week. I’m not sure what caused it, but there was a wave of great pay-per-click content over the past seven days. Maybe there was something in the spring air that put everyone in the writing spirit. Whatever the reason, I love it!

  • PPC Hero – Jessica at PPC Hero shared 36 myths of PPC, this week’s PPC-mega-list. As you might imagine, a lot of ground is covered here. Misinformed keyword strategies, ad writing foibles and even poor business decisions made the cut.
  • Google Analytics Blog – Google has been expanding the relationship between AdWords and Analytics in recent months. The most recent announcement  has to do with additional reporting. Within the Analytics interface it is now possible to break down and review keywords by actual search queries, match types and more. It only took Google 3 years to add search queries to Analytics, but who’s really counting?
  • The Search Agents – I like a good analogy and Bradd Libby at The Search Agents blog has come up with a good one: Quality Score is like a teenager. “Unpredictable. Hyperactive. Irrational.” In all seriousness, this post goes into great detail explaining how volatile Quality Score can be and potential areas where PPC managers should be concerned.
  • Traffick – Google has released conversion performance statistics touting the potential of Content Network targeting. This week, Andrew Goodman questioned the validity of those stats with data from his own clientele. After sifting through all the data, to paraphrase: Google looks at Content performance as an aggregate so it is hard to relate directly back to your niche, but “…for the median account, content targeted works as billed.” For techniques to make optimal profit from Content Network advertising, download your free copy of David Szetela’s book Customers Now.
  • adCenter Blog – All of the PPC search engines have unique rules and editorial guidelines, but it can be frustrating to keep up with all of them. The adCenter Blog has detailed their editorial guidelines for easy consumption. If you advertise with Microsoft adCenter, this is a must-read.
  • Search Engine Land – Split testing ads is deceptively easy. You set up 2 ads, they rotate evenly and eventually one will be the victor. Matt Van Wagner explains in this post how that straight-forward approach has flaws: in the traditional A/B ad testing model, the ads may be displayed to very different audience segments. To gain deeper insights into the results, he recommends you use the “Van Wagner Ad Sets Optimization Model” instead.
  • Inside AdWords – Conversion Optimizer has been available in AdWords for a while. To date, this has been a “Maximum CPA” system – Google required advertisers to specify the highest amount they were willing to pay for a conversion. Now Google has added the option to bid on a “Target CPA,” allowing advertisers to set conversio cost targets using a more familiar metric.
  • Search Engine Guide – This post reiterates one of the most effective ways to stop wasting money on PPC: by utilizing search query reports to mine negative keywords. We all need these reminders from time to time!
  • RKG Blog – Did you know that your negative keyword list can actually go too far and block clicks that you really want? This post explains just that. Due to the nature of negative match types, a broad negative keyword could partially match to a positive term in your account, preventing it from generating impressions and clicks. This sentence says it all: “The ultimate problem is that these occurrences are largely silent, unseen by an advertiser and/or their Paid Search manager.”