Posts by Geordie:

The New Google Content Network – Placement * Keyword Targeting

4 Comments Written on July 17th, 2008 by
Categories: Contextual Advertising

The Google content has had multiple forms of content targeting available for years.

  • Keyword Targeting: this uses contextual matching algorithms that align your ad exposure with keyword themes inside your ad group.
  • Placement Targeting: formerly called site targeting, this allows you to target particular websites and subdomains.

We have generally been more of a fan of keyword targeting than content targeting because it does not require you to buy the backfill inventory and irrelevant inventory that you often buy when doing site targeting.

Today Google announced the launch of a third type of ad targeting – a hybrid of site targeting and keyword targeting blended together. Google’s blog post on the topic mentioned 2 ways advertisers can use this to refine their ad campaigns

  • setting custom bids on specific sites: useful for sites that have good inventory, but have an intrinsic value much higher or lower than other sites in the Google Network
  • creating hypertargeted ads: if much of your exposure on a site comes from content about a specific attribute you can create ads that are specifically targeted to people interested in that feature or attribute

Here are the two examples Google gave…

  • Set custom bids for specific placements. Let’s say you’re selling laptops, and you’re using the content network to advertise on pages relevant to the keywords ‘laptops,’ ‘laptop computers,’ and ‘laptop accessories.’ After checking your Placement Performance report, you see that you’re getting sales at a great ROI from three technology review sites. You also see a few sites where you’re getting sales, but your costs are too high to advertise effectively on them.If you currently have a $1.00 bid for the content network as a whole in this ad group, you can now add the high- and low-performing sites as placements into your ad group with custom bids. For example, you might set a $2.00 Max CPC for the three high-performing sites, and a $0.50 Max CPC for the low-performing ones. Meanwhile, you’re still using the keywords in your ad group to target relevant pages across the content network, but now you’ve adjusting bids for the sites in the network that perform better or worse than average.
  • Show your ad only when both keywords and placements match. Suppose you check your Placement Performance report again and see that your laptop ads are showing often on sites that discuss how to make laptops more energy efficient. You know that you sell some of the most energy efficient laptops available, and you’d like to write an ad that highlights the power-saving benefits of your products. But you don’t want to show this ad on pages whose readers aren’t as concerned about energy conservation.Now you can create an ad group containing the same ‘laptop’ keywords you’ve been using and add each of the energy efficiency sites as placements. Next, change your campaign settings so that your ads show only on the sites you’ve added, and only when their pages are relevant to your keywords. This gives you the freedom to write an ad highlighting the energy-saving benefits of your laptops to this unique audience, since you know that your ad will appear only on relevant pages on the placements you’ve selected.

In the next few weeks, I will try, test and collect data from this new hybrid platform. I guess this indicates how Google is trying to attract advertisers to its network. Search is synonymous to Google and that itself is a huge marketing accomplishment. However, us advertisers know that they want so much more.

Free Self-Hosted Analytic PPC Tool and More

7 Comments Written on July 10th, 2008 by
Categories: PPC Tools

This giving away a fully functional, leave on your server, analytic software started with a hosted program called tracking 202. I guess the fact that tracking 202 was hosted caused a bit of confusion at one of the marketing forums. It really sucks to create tools from your own pocket and then get accused of potentially stealing keywords.

That’s when Wesley Mahler, CEO of prosper 202, listened to his user-base feedback and immediately developed a free self hosted analytics software. I liked tracking 202 because it’s easier to set up. However, after playing with the self hosted program on Wesley’s Mac, I was instantly sold on the product. The weird thing is that the product is free. You can download here. This is not mandatory but if you like the product you can help out by donating here.

Aaron did this something similar to this two years ago by creating an entire suite of search marketing tools and not charge a penny for it. I honestly feel that our seo tools and prosper 202 are better than some of paid and expensive products in the market.

Take advantage of these tools. They will save you time, money and help you gather the right data so that you make more.

Google Affiliate Network to Replace Pay-Per-Action Beta

1 Comment » Written on June 30th, 2008 by
Categories: Google Adwords

Google sent out an email to pay per action advertisers announcing that the program is being phased out at the end of August.

Google is constantly working to offer features that will provide a better experience to our users. As part of Google’s recent acquisition of DoubleClick, the Performics affiliate network is now a part of Google and has been renamed Google Affiliate Network. To consolidate our offerings, we will be phasing out the AdWords pay-per-action beta in the last week of August 2008. As an alternative to pay-per-action advertising, Google offers two products that allow you to manage your advertising on a CPA (cost-per-acquisition) basis: the Conversion Optimizer and the Google Affiliate Network. To learn more about these options, visit

How aggressively will Google market their new affiliate network? It seems the current integration plans are a bit haphazard, requiring AdSense publishers to sign up different affiliate accounts, and forcing users to sign up under If you login to an AdSense account Google warns “Referrals is being retired during the last week of August 2008, so we recommend that you do not implement referral ad code on your site at this time” yet they do not tell you to sign up to promote affiliate offers.

Review of Google Ad Planner: Site Targeting Cheat Sheet

15 Comments Written on June 29th, 2008 by
Categories: Google Adwords, PPC Tools

I recently spent hours playing with Ad Planner Beta, Google’s newest Adwords tool. If you thought Adwords Editor made your life easier, consider being spoon fed with Ad Planner. The program is amazing, especially if you site target on Google’s content network. It’s a lot like Quantcast, only much more accurate.

Google Does the Work for You

Demographic Filters

Just type in any URL and the tool will group it with other relevant sites. To get even more laser targeted, there is a demographics option where you choose:

  • location
  • language
  • age
  • education,
  • income and
  • gender


Site & Category Filters

After getting the results, you can sort through the data according to

  • impressions
  • page views
  • unique visitors
  • index
  • category

You can find sites with audiences related to any particular site. Here are sites related to

And for any particular site you can find audience details, similar to those provided in Google Website Trends, but with the addition of demographics information.

Filter by AdSense Formats

Here’s the fun part – You can easily handpick relevant sites that are involved in the Google content network. It even allows you to choose the types of media available.

Tons of Great Opportunities

While site targeted advertising tends to be less profitable than keyword targeted ads, if you’re using the content network for brand exposure or e-commerce, the Ad Planner can help you research and reach your target market.

And there are a variety of great non-AdWords related uses for this tool

  • compare your traffic levels to competing sites
  • find sites worth doing direct ad deals with
  • find affiliate sites worth emulating
  • find sites worth pitching stories to or writing guest columns for
  • find sites worth buying links from or buying outright

Know Your PPC Geography

5 Comments Written on June 28th, 2008 by
Categories: Conversion, Geo Targeting

Geo-Targeting AdWords

To improve tracking and save on a cost per click basis, I separated one of my campaigns into countries where English is the main language. I used Adwords editor to carbon copy each campaign from the main one and everything were kept the same except for the target area. The countries all seemed to fare well when grouped in one campaign but when separated, the numbers returned to me were disturbing. I realized that the countries expected to outperform did so-so and very poorly, ROI wise. I would have never known this if I didn’t test on a regional basis. The ratio of ROI was 4: 2.5: 1 where the best campaign did 4 times better than the worst.

Optimize Your Account For ROI, Not Clicks!

Another note is that my CTR was highest at the region that converted the lowest. I’m going to study this further and see why some countries did better than others. I had an entire week to collect data and will now dissect the Google reports. At least my quality score increased from the higher CTR.

The lesson I learned is to never assume anything with PPC advertising.

What Exactly Are You Marketing?

1 Comment » Written on June 28th, 2008 by
Categories: Affiliate Marketing

Do you think it’s possible to sell a product you don’t know about? I guess in the offline world, aggressive salespeople can get away with it but not in the attention starved Internet. It’s important to assume your website visitors as having an extremely short attention span. If they’re not happy with your site-design or if your headline is irrelevant to what they’re looking for, they will leave your site in a heartbeat.

This is why knowing your product plays an important role. If you sincerely understand the problem your product solves, you will understand the mentality and buying behaviors of your target market. You will then customize your landing pages including the headlines and content according to their needs. In addition,  familiarizing yourself with your products will help magnify your keyword list. Knowing your product will open doors and broaden your scope for promotion.