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Thread: Google Instant And Adwords

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    Google Instant And Adwords

    Suppose I'm advertising on Adwords, and targeting the phrase "wordpress themes". I'm using the negative keyword "free" to avoid the freebie hunters as I'm selling paid premium themes.

    Suppose a searcher is in the process of searching for "wordpress themes free". At the point they type "wordpress themes", my ad pops up and gets a click. My visitor actually wants free themes but never got as far as typing out "free" because they were seduced by my ad.

    I imagine that often negative keywords come last in a phrase, giving the searcher ample opportunity to get sidelined before they complete their full search phrase.

    More money for Google? Fewer satisfied visitors for me?

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    I would always type the word 'free' first but that's a good point mate. The answer is that if they were looking for free themes then it's unlikely that they'd stop typing before they got to the word free to click on an Ad for paid themes (and clearly doesn't use the word free in the Ad copy) and if they do then you got a click from someone who is interested despite their original intention of sourcing free themes.

    They either have to click on a result or the search button or stay on the page for 3 seconds for it to count as an impression so to stop and click implies an intention. This is certainly going to change the way impressions are viewed/used though. I don't think they'll be as reliable as an indicator of interest as they were before but on the other hand your Ad might show and get clicks from more people than it would have done before. I'm watching my campaigns to see how the impressions stats change.

    Google's official response:
    As a result, Google Instant changes the way we think about impressions. With Google Instant, an impression is counted if a user takes an action to choose a query (for example, presses the Enter key or clicks the Search button), clicks a link on the results page, or stops typing for three or more seconds.
    It's possible that this feature may increase or decrease your overall impression levels. However, Google Instant may ultimately improve the quality of your clicks since it helps users type queries that more directly connect them with the answers they need.


    Inside Adwords - Google Instant: A More Innovative Approach to Search

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    This is a very important point, hooperman, and an extension of what I said in the original Google Instant thread
    I see this having a major impact on advertisers. The ads keep changing as you type which means your ad could now be showing for a term you never bid on.
    As you've pointed out, it goes further than getting traffic on terms you haven't bid for but actually now gets you traffic on terms you've taken the trouble to exclude.

    More money for Google? Fewer satisfied visitors for me?
    It's highly unlikely that Google didn't consider the impact Instant would have on their sole big earner - Adwords.

    I saw this blog post today. They did an eyetracking study of people using Google Instant and concluded that users don't stop typing just because some search results have appeared. I admit they used a small sample. Touch typists are likely to complete their typing before choosing a result to click on, but the eye tracking for slow one finger typists may reveal a completely different picture and they could be clicking on your ads even though they aren't the type of visitors you want.

    There is another implication for advertisers - the sheer additional screen space devoted to ads (as a percentage of the above-the-fold estate). Overlay that with Google's own heat maps and you can expect a big shift in clicks.
    Last edited by Clinton; 14 September 2010 at 7:14 am. Reason: typo
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJMcClure View Post
    The answer is that if they were looking for free themes then it's unlikely that they'd stop typing before they got to the word free to click on an Ad for paid themes (and clearly doesn't use the word free in the Ad copy) and if they do then you got a click from someone who is interested despite their original intention of sourcing free themes.
    People will click on ads that they are only curious about if they are compelling enough. Maybe the "free" example wasn't a good one. If the second portion of a search phrase contains negative keywords, then the searcher will get ads presented to them that the Adwords manager didn't want them to see. I know they won't necessarily count as impressions, but that wasn't my point.

    Consider an ad that targets "secondhand toyota" but wants to exclude MR2s. By the time the searcher has typed ""secondhand toyota", the ad has appeared and there is the risk of a click that the Ad manager didn't want (if the searcher wants a secondhand toyota MR2). The ad manager loses money (less targeted visitor, and he has no MR2s!), Google gains money (the searcher has to search again).

    Boo. Hiss.

    The above probably wouldn't affect me as a searcher though, as I have to finish typing my sentence before I look up!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clinton View Post
    They did an eyetracking study of people using Google Instant and concluded that users don't stop typing just because some search results have appeared. I admit they used a small sample. Touch typists are likely to complete their typing before choosing a result to click on, but the eye tracking for slow one finger typists may reveal a completely different picture and they could be clicking on your ads even though they aren't the type of visitors you want.
    This surprises me, I thought it would be the other way round.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hooperman View Post
    Consider an ad that targets "secondhand toyota" but wants to exclude MR2s. By the time the searcher has typed ""secondhand toyota", the ad has appeared and there is the risk of a click that the Ad manager didn't want (if the searcher wants a secondhand toyota MR2). The ad manager loses money (less targeted visitor, and he has no MR2s!), Google gains money (the searcher has to search again).
    Yeah, I think that the point of Instant is to help people find what they're looking for by suggesting things they might not have thought of, whereas someone who knows exactly what they're looking for would just complete their search phrase without getting sidetracked by the results being displayed and since the results wouldn't be showing for 3 seconds, because they change so rapidly (generally), it wouldn't count as an impression. So someone searching specifically for an MR2 wouldn't stop typing to click on a result that doesn't mention MR2s, they'd just keep typing until the results start to mention MR2s. IMO

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    Quote Originally Posted by JJMcClure View Post
    So someone searching specifically for an MR2 wouldn't stop typing to click on a result that doesn't mention MR2s, they'd just keep typing until the results start to mention MR2s. IMO
    I'd love to know how often this was true. I reckon there's a good chance that a MR2 searcher who gets to "secondhand toyota" might be overwhelmed by a really good ad.

    The whole reason that people use negative keywords is to cut down the audience to the most targeted. With this Instant stuff Google are opening up the audience to include people who aren't as targeted.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hooperman View Post
    I'd love to know how often this was true. I reckon there's a good chance that a MR2 searcher who gets to "secondhand toyota" might be overwhelmed by a really good ad.
    If that happened and they actually converted to a sale for the advertiser that would be good thing for Google because they'll have done their job and satisfied the needs of their users, which is the philosophy that drives everything they do. They won't make any extra money because the user ended up never clicking on the MR2 Ad they would have seen if they hadn't been shown the result that got their click, and if they do carry on and end up buying an MR2 from you then nothing was lost by them being slightly sidetracked. If the buyer was so easily distracted that they ended up buying something they hadn't intended to then how likely were they to convert to a sale for the MR dealer?

    Seems to me that this scenario ends up with the Google user getting a better range of options from Google and someone somewhere ending up with a sale. People who are serious about buying tend to click on more than one PPC Ad anyway, it's something I count on happening as I mentioned earlier in the thread.

    As always, it's up to us to adapt to how Google works to use it to our favour and I think that understanding why Google does what it does really helps in that. In some ways it's kinda like SEO. In the early days we had it easy, you could rank well just by spamming your keywords meta tag but now it's evolved, thanks to 'Instant', PPC is doing the same thing I guess.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JJMcClure View Post
    If that happened and they actually converted to a sale...
    I don't think I was clear enough with my example. I am a toyota dealer and I don't sell MR2s so I deliberately add the negative keyword "MR2". I don't want people searching for MR2s to come to my site. A searcher wants to buy an MR2 and starts typing "secondhand toyota MR2". But, at the point the searcher types in "secondhand toyota", my ad pops up and it's such a compelling ad that the visitor clicks. They don't buy anything because I don't sell MR2s, I've spent money on a click that never would convert, and the searcher has to click on another ad. That's the cost of one extra click that Google pockets, and the price of a click that would never convert that I have to pay.

    I'm not saying that this is going to happen a lot or a little. Just that I think it will happen and that it will have a detrimental effect on some advertisers.

    It's a difficult problem for Google. They only know what the negative keywords are when the user has finished typing, but they are showing results before then.

    Quote Originally Posted by JJMcClure View Post
    As always, it's up to us to adapt to how Google works...
    That's an interesting perspective on software development Most (good) developers strive to make the software fit the customers' needs, not the other way round.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hooperman View Post
    I don't think I was clear enough with my example. I am a toyota dealer and I don't sell MR2s so I deliberately add the negative keyword "MR2". I don't want people searching for MR2s to come to my site. A searcher wants to buy an MR2 and starts typing "secondhand toyota MR2". But, at the point the searcher types in "secondhand toyota", my ad pops up and it's such a compelling ad that the visitor clicks. They don't buy anything because I don't sell MR2s, I've spent money on a click that never would convert, and the searcher has to click on another ad. That's the cost of one extra click that Google pockets, and the price of a click that would never convert that I have to pay.
    I do get you mate, maybe I'm failing to explain my point well. (I'm following the thread on UKBF about this btw)

    I don't think people are going to click on Ads that aren't relevant to them no matter how compellingly they're written, and if they are relevant/interesting to them and they wouldn't have even seen them without 'Instant' search then the service has only improved for the Google user and that advertiser gets a click they'd have missed otherwise. Anyway, I can think of two pretty compelling reasons why Google will have found a way around this negative keyword issue too:

    1. Pissing off their PPC advertisers isn't smart, that's where the money comes from in the first place.

    2. Showing their own users irrelevant results/Ads only decreases the quality of Google search and that is a total anathema to Google, eveyrthing they do is about keeping their users happy so they come back.

    There's an answer to this somewhere, just need to track it down but I have to pop out now.



    Quote Originally Posted by hooperman View Post
    That's an interesting perspective on software development Most (good) developers strive to make the software fit the customers' needs, not the other way round.
    I think you misunderstood me, I wasn't talking about that from the perspective of being a Google user but someone who uses Google to make money by targeting Google users and since they're trying to make their own user's experiences as good as possible there'll be a constant stream of potential clients for me and all I have to do is figure out how Google works so I can best take advantage of them being around and doing what they do. MSN have a PPC engine and yahoo used to, I don't offer either of them it as a service because they suck(ed). I'm not worried about Google vanishing since someone would replace them very quickly but if all the search engines vanished I'd lose a significant percentage of my income.

    (Besides, even in a relationship between myself and a client where Google isn't involved at all, what you say isn't always true. I have a new client who's on a limited budget which precludes having a custom solution developed so we're working with a third party software and fitting what he wants into what the software will do, not the other way around. It's a necessary compromise. But that's totally different thing from me piggy backing Google's success to make money.)

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