Google Adwords

4 Ways to Leverage Adwords Search Query Reports

2 Comments Written on January 18th, 2010 by
Categories: Conversion, Google Adwords

For the longest time, Google kept searchers’ actual queries close to the vest. Their search term report lumped most actual user searches into “Other Queries”.

In early 2009, Google finally included the details of what make up these “Other Queries” instantly creating a number of highly useful data points.

How can you generate actionable data from Adwords Search Query Reports?

Here’s four quick points to start…

Capture New Keywords from Phrase Variants & Synonyms

See what ancillary terms are triggering your ads via broad and phrase matches. Where else can you get exact click-through and conversion data from phrase variations enabling you to isolate and target these terms more closely?

Look closely for new ideas:

  • Are your customers using acronyms or abbreviations you haven’t targeted yet?
  • Are they using spaces between initials and multiple-word keywords? (“jp morgan”, “jpmorgan”, and “j p morgan”are all different keywords)
  • Are they using navigational queries like domain names or URLs that you haven’t broken out yet?

Why target these individually if your broad matches are already catching them?

  • Well, how’s your quality score for that broad term? Could it improve?
  • Could you be over-paying for matches to these new keyword possibilities?
  • How targeted is your ad text to these new variants?  Could it be better, resulting in more visitors and conversions?

Uncover Missing Negatives

Seeing precisely how Google is matching your keywords, you may notice irrelevant searches seeping in.  These irrelevant terms are easy negatives to add.

Even if impression or click counts for these badly-matched searches are initially low, adding them as negatives immediately to your campaign-level negatives can help the Adwords system improve its matching accuracy:

You’re directly telling Google what’s NOT relevant to your particular campaign.  This saves ad spend and improves your CTR going forward.

Pump Your Keyword Quality Score

Use the Search Query Report to find high-volume variations of your broad keywords.

Next, isolate these keywords and create new, more tightly-knit adgroups consisting of these keywords only and ruthlessly fine-tune your ad text to more precisely match this reduced keyword list.

The result from doing this?  Increased CTR.

Your increased CTR will in turn raise your keyword relevance quality score, lowering your actual CPCs in the process.  Lowered actual CPCs leads to a little something all PPC advertisers want…

Boost Your Campaign’s ROI

Obviously, reduced actual-CPCs helps the pocket book, but the Search Query Report can tweak your ROI even further:

For instance, if you notice that a query variation doesn’t ever seem to convert, add that exact phrase as an exact-match campaign or adgroup-level negative, cutting that particular query while leaving everything else as-is.

There’s no sense beating a dead horse.  If a phrase or keyword just flat-out doesn’t work, dump it.

Anything you can cut without reducing conversions will net you a higher return on your spend.

A couple closing notes for the road: For any of the above to be truly effective, a decent amount of click data spread over a sufficient space of time is required.  Never cut without enough data to make an accurate judgment call.

What actionable metrics do you pull from your Adwords Search Query Reports?  Leave a Comment!

All Your Content Impressions Are Belong to Nexus One

Adwords content advertisers might be left wondering where all their impressions disappeared to today.  That impression vacuum?  It’s Google bogarting a large portion of their content network with Nexus One display ads.

This morning, Adsense publishers were reporting a dramatic drop in Adsense clicks and revenue.

Sadly, many of the sites brandishing Nexus ads weren’t exactly tech-related…

Have a cooking site?  Google thinks the Nexus One ads are a perfect fit for your visitors.  Soccer fan site?  Here’s some Nexus One for you too.

But if you’re a content advertiser looking to advertise pots and pans on cooking sites?  Sorry, no impressions left…

Obviously, search impressions are Google’s to do with what they please, but publisher inventory is a bit different.

Given Google’s big push towards making advertisers provide a more “magazine content-style landing experience”, it’s with keen interest that we examine Google’s Nexus One landing page:


10/10 Quality Score?  As we can see here, the user experience is nicely augmented here by the volumes of valuable ‘magazine-style’ content.

To be fair, Google has a nice little click-to-learn-more interface on the phone and a 3D tour to boot.  Hopefully they were just kidding about the amount of content and navigation they’ve been asking advertisers to incorporate on their landing pages at the expense of conversions.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out.  Chrome ads are also around, but not in anywhere near the volume of the Nexus One units.

Some have also noted the mantra of the ‘clean Google search page’ has undergone some adjustment:


At least Adsense pubs can take solace in knowing that the ads are good enough for, so they should be good enough for them.

Hopefully this is just a one or two day push and when they’re done perhaps Google’s advertisers can have the content network back.

This Thin Affiliate is STILL Killing it on AdWords

1 Comment » Written on January 9th, 2010 by
Categories: Affiliate Marketing, Google Adwords

Seth Godin mentioned it is easier to change with the market than it is to change the market:

Just because you’re good at something doesn’t mean the market cares any longer.

It’s extremely difficult to repair the market.

It’s a lot easier to find a market that will respect and pay for the work you can do. Technology companies have been running this race for years. Now, all of us must.

With that in mind, Google long ago highlighted that they didn’t like certain advertising arbitrage business models. Last year they went one step further by releasing a video claiming how searchers are demanding more for advertisers.

One of the factors among many that will be key for marketers to be successful moving forward is that they’ll increasingly need to think about acting like a content creator, or thinking like a publisher is a way to think about it.

When you walk into a bookstore, a Borders, there’s 500, a thousand magazines on the shelf, and each of those publishers is thinking about not how to stop, shock, interrupt, or detract that reader. They’re are thinking about “what is that I can say in this moment that will be helpful content to a reader”.

The above such claims were, of course, nonsense. They are not what the marketplace demands, but are just a reflection of Google’s desire to sell more keywords and push advertisers toward buying more along the search cycle. But they have enough search marketshare that in the worst economic climate in nearly 100 years they can chose what money they want to take and what they leave on the table.

Thin affiliates are viewed (at best) as unneeded duplication in the marketplace, and (at worse) purveyors of scams and spreaders of fraudulent offers. Most of the affiliate market could be clean, but the 2% of the market operating at scale with shady practices did enough damage that Google would rather flush the business model than spend time sorting through it.

Perry Marshall tied in recent AdWords marketplace changes for affiliates to the above concept that it is easier to change with the market than it is to change the market:

As of today, in some categories, the number of advertisers has gone from 50 to 5. The land has been cleared for people who create original products. A lucrative opportunity for content creators.

But the only way you can survive as an affiliate on Google now is to have a website with a lot of great, original content, and an email list.

If you’re gonna do that…. you might as well have original products too :^>

It is nice to believe that we have Google’s power to change the market or that we can make the market like it once was, but profit is rarely (never?) created by wishing time goes backwards.

If you know how to do targeted advertising it is not hard to take that knowledge and create a niche vertical product around it. Lower margin and higher maintenance (at least off the start) than slinging bits, but over time as you build brand awareness, social connections, get marketplace feedback, and build organic traffic streams you enjoy margin expansion.

Oh, and that thin affiliate who is killing it on Google AdWords… well you already know who they are. Once you own a big slice of media, you can set the rules as you wish. 🙂

Building Ad Groups With Keywords From The Wonder Wheel

10 Comments Written on November 3rd, 2009 by
Categories: Contextual Advertising, Google Adwords

The Wonder Wheel is a great little free tool by Google.

You can use the Wonder Wheel to quickly build keyword lists and Adwords groups in a visual way. With this tool, Google shows you the terms that relate most closely to your chosen keyword terms.

What Is The Google Wonder Wheel?

The Google Wonder Wheel is an interactive graphical application that shows related keywords.

The wheel starts with your keyword in the center, and shows terms related to that keyword in the “spokes” surrounding your keyword “hub”. If you click on a related term, the wheel creates a new hub, revealing more related terms.

Here’s how to find it:

1. Search on a keyword term.

Google Wagon Wheel

2. Select “More Options…”


3. Click “Wonder Wheel”


Let’s say your main keyword area is “culinary schools”. The Google wheel suggests related keyword terms such as “culinary arts”, “pastry schools”, “le cordon bleu”, “top 10 culinary schools”, and so on.


These keywords become your Adwords groups. Next, click on each of those terms, and you get further terms that will make up each group.

Easy, huh.

You get Adwords groups built around related keywords, which come together to form a theme.

Themes And The Content Network

The theme is particularly powerful when it comes to the Google Content Network.

The Content Network is Google’s syndicated advertising network. You can choose to have your ad appear not just on Google search results, but also on sites across the Google’s Adsense partner network. This option is turned on by default whenever you create an Adwords campaign.

Traditionally, many Adwords advertisers have turned off the content network because of perceived abuse and junk traffic. However, attitudes are changing as the network matures and the bid prices on Google’s search engine head into the stratosphere. The ROI from the content network starts to look more appealing.

It all comes down to ROI. If it’s positive, run with it.

In Google’s whitepaper entitled “CPA Perfomance Trends on the Google Content Network“, Google found that:

…..half of the advertisers had a Content Network CPA at least 2.6% lower
than their average Search Network CPA. In total, 51.6% of advertisers analyzed had an average Content Network CPA equal to or better than their Search Network CPA

It has taken a while, but it looks like Google and advertisers may have got Google’s content network figured out. As the report suggests, it is important that the advertiser pay close attention to landing page optimization and site exclusion.

How does this all relate to the Wonder Wheel?

When Google looks to place your ad across the network, it does so based on themes.

If you use terms that are defined as being related in the Wonder Wheel throughout your text, particularly in your ad groups, you’re more likely to show up on relevant sites across the network.

Google describe this affect on their Adwords Agency blog:

One particularly useful application of the tool is to identify new ad group themes for content campaigns. Since your ads are matched to publisher pages at the ad group level, creating different ad group themes helps you target your ads more precisely on the Google content network…..

You can then use the Google keyword tool, and your other favorite research tools, to flesh these groups out further.

As the blog notes, this is no guarantee of better performance, however the Wonder Wheel is a great – and fun – place to start.

Other attempts at keyword clustering can also be useful for campaign creation. Such features are offered via search suggestions on major search services, via synonym search (using ~) on major search engines, and as keyword clusters on many meta search engines. Specialty search services like the Quintura keyword map, Microsoft Search Funnels, Google Sets, and Google Squared can further help you come up with relevant keyword ideas.

Google AdWords Testing New Flat Rate Local AdWords Ad Pricing Model

7 Comments Written on October 9th, 2009 by
Categories: Geo Targeting, Google Adwords, Local Search

Local businesses tend to be easy to service (because of limited competition), but tend to be hard to service profitably (due to big demands and small budgets).

Such companies are still spending billions of dollars advertising in yellow page directories across the United States because it is easy and flat rate. Search advertising makes advertising more granular and trackable, but most small businesses could not be bothered with it. While the dead tree advertising model is in decline

Only the local interactive segment will show growth throughout the forecast period. All other local media will experience marginal to rapid declines in the next 18 to 36 months. A small number of traditional media will rebound with a revived economy beginning in 2011, though most traditional media will continue to decline, albeit at a slower pace.

…Google is looking to help transition small local business advertisers over to search by employing familiar flat rate advertising services, as highlighted in AdAge:

In a bid to get more local advertisers to buy search ads, starting this week Google is trying out a new type of search ad and pricing system in the San Francisco and San Diego markets.

Rather than ask businesses to set up a campaign and bid for keywords, they’re offering local advertisers (or non-advertisers) a search ad for a flat fee. The fee is set by Google and based on the average that similar businesses are paying for a given keyword in that market.

Lets go ahead and take one more look at that last sentence

The fee is set by Google and based on the average that similar businesses are paying for a given keyword in that market.

So Google is using your keywords and your bid prices to automate setting up accounts for competing businesses. You pay them for traffic and they arbitrage your efforts by using you as a free market research tool for competing businesses. And imagine if/when Google has 5 companies in your market all bidding based on the same flat fee average strategy. Some keyword prices could fluctuate wildly as the house decides to arbitrarily bid up or down a particular keyword or basket of related keywords.

In an earlier piece Mona Elesseily mentioned a recent Nick Fox keynote where he mentioned the idea of keyword-less paid search accounts, and how Google could run them:

Nick mentioned that keywords were used as a proxy for relevance. Conceptually, there is no reason an advertiser couldn’t achieve the same results without having to directly manage a keyword list. Down the road, Google wants to state outcomes and have machine-based learning and algorithms come up with the best method of achieving specific outcomes. In the case of no keyword search, an advertiser (like a retailer) would provide information on products, product descriptions, pricing, etc. and Google would use the information to find the most effective way to place ads in front of potential customers.

Those machine-based learning algorithms need input to become efficient. What happens if you share your conversion data with Google? This is one of the areas of opportunity on the web for 3rd party analytics providers. As Google continues to make advertising easier (and seemingly cheaper – at least up front) there will be added value in operating outside of their ecosystem and/or limiting how much data you hand over to the borg.

Presumably as this gets easier to automate and test it will increase the value of related services like website design and conversion testing (until those are automated and commoditized as well). But some smart business owners who enter the search game via these automated technologies will likely eventually want more granular control of their strategy, as it is hard to build a long lasting sustainable business based on market averages – especially when the fox is guarding the hen house. Over time those who evolve their model to increase lifetime customer value, increase conversion rates, and build distribution outside of search will eventually make the average price too expensive for an average business to be able to afford advertising.

Depending on how successful this test is, there are all kinds of implications for advertisers like…

  • building and maintaining sustainable profit margins in an environment where machine learning algorithms see your max bids and work against you with every search and click
  • deciding how much data to share with Google
  • deciding if it makes sense to mix together multiple regions on 1 site to make it harder for search engines to use your campaign as a seed for competitors
  • deciding if new business lines (and perhaps some longtail keywords) should be bid on for different websites that are not bidding on keywords associated with the obvious core industry keywords

And the general theme for online service providers is that if you are not thickening out your service prepared to be commoditized. Google does not need to create more value than you can, they only need to make businesses believe that you don’t add enough value to justify the additional expense, and that it is just easier for them to go with Google. Time to invest in brand building! Sometimes the SEO and PPC markets seem like mirror images. 😉

Banned From AdWords? How to Improve Landing Page Quality Scores

12 Comments Written on September 29th, 2009 by
Categories: Google Adwords, Landing Pages

Over this last weekend, some Adwords users have received a warning email from Google stating that their landing pages are of poor quality and do not comply with Google’s landing page and site quality guidelines.

Some users have already been banned outright.

Here’s an automated response from one user who queried the ban:

As the email you received on Friday explained, your account has been suspended due to multiple submissions of poor quality landing pages. We are unable to revoke your account suspension, and we will not accept advertisements from you in the future

Check out the discussions at Webmasterworld and the Google AdWords Forum. Has there been a change in quality standards? A new rule? Perhaps a harder enforcement of a previously lax guideline?

Naturally, webmasters are irate. There appears to be no official comment from Google, but we’ll keep you posted.

In the meantime, let’s take a look at Google landing page quality standards.

Adwords Landing Page Guidelines

Google introduced a quality score back in 2005. This quality score covered various data points, including the ad text and click through rates, and helps ensure the user finds what they’re look for.

Soon after, Google added a landing page score to the mix.

This score evaluated the landing page in terms of relevance i.e. the page should reflect the promise made by the ad.

The text also must be original, so that users aren’t seeing the exact same landing page if they click on different ads. There should not be excessive pop-ups, or any means to “trap” the user i.e. disabling the back button.

In many ways, these policies mirror the type of sites Google ranks in the organic serps, relevancy to the keyword term being the primary requirement.

Here are Google’s official landing page standards.

Now, Google uses an automated bot to determine compliance, yet Google doesn’t provide a means for webmasters to test their pages, presumably because they want to keep their scoring mechanisms a secret.

How Can You Tell If Your Landing Page Is Optimized For Google’s Quality Standards?

Dave Davis has an excellent tutorial on SearchEngineJournal.

Check out W3 Semantic Extractor and the Google site related keyword tool. What better way to get information about what Google thinks your site is about then using a tool designed by Google to figure out exactly what your site is about?

In summary, you need to ensure your page contains the same or similar terms as appear in the Adwords ad, and these terms need to be displayed prominently on your landing page in order to comply in terms of relevance.

If you go one step further and test your pages using the site related keyword tool, and the semantic extractor, you stand a good chance of achieving a high quality score.

Google’s Tips to Improve Quality Score

Google, as usual, require you to read between the lines. Let’s examine some of their guidelines more closely:

Link to the page on your site that provides the most useful and accurate information about the product or service in your ad.

Ensure the landing page and the ad are identical in terms of subject matter. Click-backs can affect your quality score, so make sure you repeat the keyword term high up on the page, in bold, in your copy. This also helps reaffirm to the user that they’ve arrived at the right place.

If your site displays advertising, distinguish sponsored links from the rest of your site content

Your page can’t consist mostly of ads. I’ve seen a lot of pages getting away with this, however.

Try to provide information without requiring users to register. Or, provide a preview of what users will get by registering

Pretty obvious. Users typically don’t register for something unless they desperately want what you’re offering. There is a high likelihood they’ll click back if presented with registration as the only option.

In general, build pages that provide substantial and useful information to the end-user

That’s a big one. Google don’t want just an ad, and certainly not a misleading one. They want information, much the same as they require in the organic search results. Focus on providing user utility and you can’t go too far wrong.

If your landing page consists of mostly ads or general search results (such as a directory or catalog page), you should provide as much information as you can beyond what your ad describes. For example, if your ad mentions <’Free travel information,’ your landing page should feature free travel information (versus links to other sites that do).

Your page should be an informative destination in itself. Of course, you need to balance the commercial imperative – making a conversion – with an informational one.

You should have unique content (should not be similar or nearly identical in appearance to another site). For more information, see our affiliate guidelines.

As mentioned, earlier, Google will want to avoid showing the same page to users if they happen to click multiple ads. It’s not hard for Google to spot duplicate content, so make sure your text is original.

Increase value & customer satisfaciton through using different strategies. To avoid duplication, consider various angles. i.e. instead of talking about the product itself, provide a “how to solve a problem” page for users. This how-to, of course, will recommend the product in question. Tell a story about using the product, provide unique testimonials, etc. Avoid cutting and pasting from the suppliers website.

What Service?

Finally, a lot of the emails concerning the banning appear to have been sent to affiliates, both direct-to merchant and otherwise. There are some big spenders in there, so it looks like Google is tightening the noose on the middle man, once again.

It’s easy to understand the frustration, given the vagueness, and neatly summed up by a WebmasterWorld poster:

You buy a laptop for $1K from HP,DELL, or IBM. This laptop has much lower margins than sending a few bytes over the wire. Yet, if you have a problem you expect, and you will be able, to contact someone in support via toll-free phone, live chat or email to resolve the problem. If the result is not satisfactory, you can get the problem escalated to a case manager or eventually executive support. At some point someone with sufficient *authority* to fix your particular problem will respond.
But, if you spend $100K on ads, the best you can get is a vague automated email.

Heh. Makes you wonder what some of these pages look like? Anyone got an example of a banned page they care to share?

What is the Best Google AdWords Ad Rank Position?

7 Comments Written on August 18th, 2009 by
Categories: Google Adwords

The Google AdWords blog shared some research on conversion rates by ad position:

We have used a statistical model to account for these effects and found that, on average, there is very little variation in conversion rates by position for the same ad. For example, for pages where 11 ads are shown the conversion rate varies by less than 5% across positions. In other words, an ad that had a 1.0% conversion rate in the best position, would have about a 0.95% conversion rate in the worst position, on average. Ads above the search results have a conversion rate within ±2% of right-hand side positions.

The bottom line: conversion rates don’t vary much by position.

I suspect in some instances the ad position may have a larger influence than others (areas with news spikes, lots of curiosity clicks, and broad matching that goes to broad). But its nice to get confirmation that in general the conversion rates are fairly flat by position in most cases.

Looking For Credit Cards? Google Creating New Search Inventory

6 Comments Written on November 29th, 2008 by
Categories: Contextual Advertising, Google Adwords

Search monetizes so well because there is so much implied intent in a search. But some have claimed slowing search volume and lowering ad costs.

The search box is perhaps the most profitable ad unit because consumers feel some level of control as they request ads about whatever topic they search for.

To offset slowing online adverting, Google is looking to “create” more search volume by using AdSense ad units to suggest consumers search for expensive keywords – like credit cards.

In the past Google has ran ads asking the consumer to “search for ads about ______” but this is the first Google ad unit that takes searchers directly off the publisher site and directly onto a Google search result with organic search results. It is one thing if Google asks for you to search for ads because they don’t understand the theme of a page, but it is quite another for them to have pre-made ads to siphon off the visitor to a Google search result without guaranteeing publisher payments (or is the first click paid, but at a heavily discounted rate?).

How much does Google pay AdSense publishers for this ad unit, when conversion happens after 2 clicks rather than 1? What percent of the end ad spend goes to the publisher when Google arbitrages the click through How does smart pricing come into play when Google discounts the original click and then marks up the second one?

This sort of advertising allows Google to water down their search traffic slightly, but without advertisers knowing how it got watered down, or why their conversion rates lowered slightly.

Google Adwords Trickery – Be Relevant

20 Comments Written on October 2nd, 2008 by
Categories: Google Adwords

On the face of it, Adwords is a pretty simple system. You bid for keywords, visitors pay per click, and the aim is to get the most visitors for the least money.

However, as anyone who has used Adwords will know, there are a number of tangles and traps, mostly designed to maximize revenue for Google.

The Google business model for Adwords must simultaneously achieve two – seemingly contradictory – goals. It must keep the bid prices high, whilst also keeping the relevance of the advertisements high. Google will not relegate relevance for higher bid prices.

Because Google Adwords works this way, this provides the bidder with opportunities to maximize value from the system, without bidding excessive amounts. One of the best approaches to Adwords is to simply “be more relevant”.

Here are five tips to help you, keeping relevance in mind.

1. How To Increase The CTR Of Individual Keywords

If you’ve got a keyword that matches the following criteria:

  • High number of searches
  • The Ad text is too general

You can quickly raise the CTR of the keyword by simply moving it into it’s own new group and writing an ad specifically for it. This makes the ad more relevant for the keyword, as opposed to getting lost in more general group. Experiment with the Ad copy until you hit the sweet spot.

2. Play To The Known, Not The Unknown

You’ve got to get your message across very quickly, and you only have a few words to do so. To make matters worse, many others links are competing for visitor attention, and the SERP results display more words than you advertisement is permitted.

So go with the familiar. Be hyper-relevant to the visitor by talking about concepts they already know and understand.

If you need to introduce a brand new concept with a test ad, you’re going to find it tough going. Instead, repeat the keyword term in your ad title, and then use ideas and concepts that the searcher is already familiar with. If your concept takes a lot of explaining, then the place to do it is on the landing page.

Focus your efforts on getting the click first.

3. Significantly Reduce Your Bid

Not getting much, if any, response from campaigns with high bids?

Drop ’em.

This will refocus your attention on the campaigns and ads that actually do work – the terms that are most relevant to your bottom line. If you put most of your effort into what is working, rather than what isn’t, you stand to benefit more. It’s the old 80/20 principle at work. Focus on the productive, not the non-productive.

Secondly, your poorly performing words might not be worthwhile, in terms of ROI, at $2.00 per click, but might do just fine a 0.20 cents per click. Traffic numbers might drop, but so too does the cost of acquisition. If you can make that equation work for you, then it can often pay to get out of the bidding war.

4. Watch the Time

Do you monitor the time of your conversions? You should, mostly because many other advertisers won’t bother.

Use Ad scheduling to display your ads at times of the day when you’re converting the most. This technique works because chances are you’re addressing slightly different needs at different times of the day.

For example, people might not feel comfortable pulling out their credit card in the office to pay for a personal online purchase, but they will do so at home. The relevance of an ad might differ for the same visitor, depending on the context – in this case, at what time of day – they see your ad.

5. Hang Out Where Your Customers Do

A lot of advertisers have problems making the content channel work for them. But this is mostly because the content market requires more effort. The advantage are that the click prices are substantially lower.

Search on the keywords you target, and look at the top sites in the main search results. You want to make a list of all those sites that run Adsense.

Next, you need to isolate those sites where the visitor is likely to have commercial intent.

For example, if site A is about buying electric guitars, as opposed to, say, the history of electric guitars, site A is more likely to deliver real buyers. The advertisements are appearing in a more relevant context for purchasing.

Google Checkout is Everywhere!

9 Comments Written on August 27th, 2008 by
Categories: Affiliate Networks, Google Adwords

Google Checkout offers AdWords advertisers free sales processing for up to 10X their monthly AdWords ad spend. In addition, merchants using Checkout get a nice graphic near their ad which helps increase the clickthrough rate of their ads, effectively lowering their click costs while driving more traffic to the merchant sites (in exchange for giving Google an excuse to market Checkout).

More recently Google has added coupons to some of these buttons, making them even more appealing to click on.

I saw one competing site (in the retail vertical) using this coupon ad for their own brand. How silly is it for the advertiser to pay Google per click for AdWords ads targeted to their own brand AND give their customers a discount for going through Google rather than going direct?

I have been seeing a lot more Google shopping results in the organic results, which also act as an advertisement for Google Checkout.

Some AdWords advertisers have a “show products from” plus box that goes with their PPC ads

Once that box is extended the search results look like a thin affiliate site

Currently a lot of these extras appear on brand related searches, but that will change as Google…

  • gains experience and confidence
  • gets merchants to give away more data

Google has their own affiliate network through the Doubleclick Performics purchase. While Yahoo! is busy signing a deal to syndicate Google ads and Microsoft is playing catch up, Google is quietly setting themselves up as an inventory management system with more interactive ads…offering merchants convenient “free” extras each step of the way.

3 big questions from the competitive landscape

  • How long until somebody buys Valueclick?
  • When will one of the big 3 start offering publishers feeds that can be bolted onto newspapers and other large trusted sites?
  • When will one of the big 3 offer a Chitika-like AdSense ad unit that charges advertisers on a per conversion basis rather than a per click basis?