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  • NorCalSEM 8:16 am on July 19, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , bid managment, , display, , , interface, microsoft adcenter, , , ppc management, search, , yahoo bing alliance   

    i bing. you bing? 

    Let’s face it, in search, Google is King.  And they have been for a while.  But finally, after Yahoo and Bing struck a deal to work together last year, a Queen has been crowned in search engine land.  Microsoft AdCenter is now a viable play for every serious search marketer and a great way to increase a brand’s share of voice across the web.  But it wasn’t always so.  For years search marketers paid less attention to advertising on (now)Bing and Yahoo than they did on Google’s AdWords.  Usually, marketers who could meet their traffic needs with Google alone would skip Yahoo and Bing.  Clunky UI’s, inept editing tools and small market shares just made the time spent outside of Google AdWords not worth the effort for some. If this is you, it might be time to give things a closer look.  You might just find that Bing is better than ever.

    i bing. you bing?

    Here are some of the reasons why:

    • Larger Market Share

    AdCenter now reaches nearly 30% of all web searchers.  With numbers like that it’s important for marketers to have a strong presence for their brands on Bing and Yahoo.  And remember marketers, not everybody is using Chrome and Firefox like you are.  Yahoo and Bing especially, benefit from being default search engines in web browsers, tool bars, and mobile devices all bundled on the latest laptops through Office and Windows.

    • Greater Control

    The alliance between Bing and Yahoo gives marketers a chance to manage both networks now through one UI, Microsoft AdCenter.  This helps marketers by reducing resources previously used across three separate networks.  With AdCenter, the functionality has been updated to make working in the UI easier than ever before.  Microsoft does offer an offline editing tool, AdCenter Desktop, but larger campaign managers may find this tool’s power, or lack thereof, a bit frustrating.  I’d love to see this upgraded to the quality of Google’s AdWords Editor.  I think this is the Achilles heel at the moment for this network.

    • Quality

    Like Google, AdCenter has implemented a quality score rating.  Where Google uses a scale of 1-10, AdCenter uses a 1-3 rating system.  The basic premise is the same, provide the user with a quality experience, including ad copy and landing page relevancy, load times, and various other factors.  It’s now more important than ever to start campaigns off right and watch them closely while new keywords and ads establish themselves in the network.

    • Mobile

    Device usage is huge and, according to most blogs out there, web searches on mobile devices should be eclipsing web searches on computers any day now.  It’s important to maximize the growing market share AdCenter offers on mobile devices. Bing offers the ability to target smartphones, as well as feature phones.  Tablets and other devices are part of the regular search option for now.  Smart marketers should segment their campaigns for even greater control and flexibility.  Here’s an example from an online retailer advertising on AdCenter’s mobile networks:

     

    • Display

    While both networks have aligned on search, which runs through AdCenter, Yahoo and Bing still compete for business in display.  Yahoo display is more robust than Bing, but both offer you a chance to target the entire network or select specific categories or domains.  Good marketers understand the value display can add to the overall marketing mix.  Display ads help increase brand awareness and drive users to search for your brand.  If users don’t click on your display you don’t pay.  If you look at it as really cheap impressions, it’s essentially free marketing.  Why wouldn’t you do it?

    • Good Service

    I think for the most part, the service is pretty good at YaBing, especially the Yahoo rep I’ve worked with for the last several years.  Because of the clunky UI and unpopular editing tools, I rely on the network reps to handle large tasks for me.  Save your own resources for things that are more important to your brand, like your overall strategy and subsequent micro-strategies.  Push those large uploads and bulk edit tasks to your reps, that’s what they’re there for.

    If you’re not extending and maximizing your brand’s digital footprint, then what are you doing?  If you’re not using AdCenter, now is a great time to start doing so.  Take advantage of the increased market share and traffic quality that AdCenter offers now, segment your campaigns by devices for greater clarity and control, and branch out beyond just search into mobile and display.  Your reps will be happy for the business and your brand will thank you for the exposure.

     

     
  • NorCalSEM 12:40 am on January 21, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , click fraud settlement, content networks, miva, , ppc management,   

    MIVA sets fire to 2nd Tier 

    miva_logo-thumbUnless you just haven’t been paying attention,  you already know that there’s a fire burning in the 2nd Tier.  These are the search firms that are outside the Big Three (Google, Yahoo, and MSN – who also syndicate search results) like Looksmart, Marchex, MIVA, Kontera, eZanga, etc.   Yes, I’m talking about the knee-deep web, land of bots, spiders and Indian sweat shops.  Second tier engines are more vertical, niche, and include things like local search sites.  If you’re a publisher looking to optimize your page views, then chances are you’ve probably tried the 2nd Tier by now.  Purchasing ad space on more than just Google makes good sense if:

    1. You need volume.
    2. You need low cost traffic.
    3. You have a CPM model in place.

    Good deals can be secured on these low cost, high volume traffic providers but only for the proper business model. I’ve used this traffic to monetize a CPM model, and it works great.  But at the end of the day, you are expecting that traffic to be legit, and so are your advertisers.   But at $.01, .02, or even .03 per click, you know you are taking the good with the bad and if you don’t, well…you’re just naive.  So for some it can be a necessary evil, with the power for good.  And to some, it can be a lifeline to riches – dirty deeds done dirt cheap.

    Here is an excepert from a former MIVA employee…

    “I used to work for Miva. The problem lies in the sub affiliates. if they have an affiliate that is supplying lets say 200 good clicks a day; they likely have a sub affiliate supplying another 150-200 bot- clicks. When you remove the sub affiliate from the net work.. it takes the primary affiliate that was supplying some decent clicks along with it.

    “Once you do get a campaign to convert; it has been optimized down to the point where there is simply put, no traffic, i.e. not scalable. aside from the management team being a joke; most of the players they are generating traffic with are disreputable and the type of guys you would like to kick the shit out of at the pub. I was there 7 months before resigning.”

    steamenginerobot1

    How do you think they fulfill large traffic volumes?  Well, if you are willing to pay $.03 and someone else can create the traffic for $.01, everyone gets paid.  To do this nefarious publishers and affiliates create bots that simulate real clicks, even performing actions once they land on your site so they appear to your analytics as human in nature.  As you can imagine if you are a spammer sending bots out and they are clicking on Google AdSense, which is a popular revenue stream for many, then money is exchanging hands at an alarming rate.  In other cases, there are reports of actual sweat shops where people are getting paid pennines to generate traffic by clicking on ads.  And also, your competitor can be clicking on your ads in order to spend your money.But some do their jobs very well, causing “spikey” activity, like abnormal high CTR on things like Google AdSense or banner ads.    On the surface everything looks copacetic, but an analysis of variance reveals the source.  A best practice is to channelize your traffic, so you can isolate sketchy activity.

    All of this is called click fraud, and we all know that your at risk of getting burned when you leave the Big Three.  And the content networks just can’t say no to money (who can these days?).  So they fill the requests, and then get busted.  Like MIVA – which ignites the whole tier.  MIVA’s $4MM click fraud settlement has sounded the alarms – We’ve got a full blown mess up here! (And this isn’t the first for them.) Now the engines will tell you that they are working to curb this type of activity, but the fact of the matter is they aren’t really.  Any smart player knows that these types of content networks are in the business to provide traffic, any which way.   If you spend significant money, you may not get the cold shoulder when you ask for a refund, but don’t count on it.  And since the people who profit the most from the fire are the internet lawyers, every engine that doesn’t start with the letter G better start forming a bucket brigade right now, because fires spread really fast.

     
    • Mike 5:23 pm on March 2, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Just passing by.Btw, you website have great content!

      ______________________________
      Don’t pay for your electricity any longer…
      Instead, the power company will pay YOU!

      • norcalsem 4:10 pm on November 22, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks for stopping by. New content coming soon. Come back now, y’hear?!

  • NorCalSEM 11:47 pm on May 28, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: adwords editor, , , google editor, , ppc management   

    PPC Management Tools 

    The Google AdWords Editor is a beautiful thing. I rarely work on AdWords from within the AdWords UI anymore. The current company that I am managing PPC for has over 14 Google accounts, so the Editor is the only real way to get any work done.

    My colleague and business partner, Jeff Lane, is currently working on specs for a PPC management tool that will allow us to operate Google, Yahoo, and MSN from one, single UI. There are other applications out there already, such as Aquisio, but we have too many accounts for most applications to manage. Also, most companies want to charge a percentage of spend and a licensing fee.  We are simply interested in an outright purchase.   Perhaps we will have our own custom editor at some point.

    The opportunity costs of not properly advertising on MSN and Yahoo are huge.  But Panama and AdCenter leave a lot to be desired when it comes to usability and efficiency.   Perhaps we will have our own custom editor at some point and can leap this hurdle and open up even more traffic volume!

     
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