Microsoft Adcenter

Prevent Previous Buyers From Seeing Your Google Remarketing Ads

Many remarketing campaigns use discount offer banners to try and recapture visitors who abandon the shopping cart.  For example they might ‘remarketing cookie’ bailout users and show them ads offering coupon codes or bundle offers – anything to get them back into a purchase.

The only danger with this however is that you might end up ticking off users who have already bought through the regular sales process at full pop.

To prevent this with buyers who come in via Adwords traffic, you can exclude “Sale” or “Lead” conversion audiences to your remarketing combinations.  Google uses their usual Adwords conversion tracking code that’s likely already on your ‘thank you’ as a ‘pre-configured’ remarketing list:  People who have bought or signed up already.  Handy.

Add Your Converted Visitors as a Remarketing List

Here’s how to create a remarketing list for people that have already converted (assumes you have regular conversion tracking already installed):

While in the Campaigns view in the Adwords UI, open the expandable left sidebar and at the bottom of the sidebar click “Control Panel & Library”, then select “Audiences”.

Now, create “New Audience” then “Remarketing List”.

We’ll want to name this list something that is familiar like “Adwords Buyers” , and we can reuse the existing conversion tracking tags (here called “Sale”) instead of creating a new tag:

Preconfigured Adwords Conversion Tracking Tags

This will allow us to give our remarketing campaigns special instructions about how to handle people who have already converted via Adwords.

Create a Negative Audience to Suppress Previous Adwords Buyers

Now we want to update our existing remarketing adgroup or campaign to exclude these folks.  I already have my Adwords-sourced site visitors in a remarketing list running inside an existing remarketing campaign.

I’m going to add them as a campaign-wide “Negative Audience” to ensure I don’t show discount offer ads to them after they’ve already purchased:

Now we’ll select our “Converted” list to the negatives:

That’s it!

Note:  This example bears out the importance of creating separate Display Network campaigns for remarketing.  The more granular you get in separating campaigns, the more targeted you can get in deciding who sees what ad as you grow out your remarketing efforts.


What About People Who Buy Via Microsoft Adcenter Traffic?

Google’s conversion tracking shortcut for reusing existing tags on your thank you page doesn’t work for suppressing remarketing ads against buyers from other traffic sources.

For that you’ll need to tag buyers from non-Adwords traffic via a new remarketing list and place those tags on your thank you page as well.

To create the tags for this, follow the same instructions above to navigate to your Audience lists.

Again we’ll create a new remarketing list from the “New Audience” button.

This time we need to create a new tag rather than reusing an existing one:

Now we can get the tag code to put on our thank you page:



Now we need to add these buyers are a campaign-wide negative list to our existing remarketing campaign as well (just like we did with Adwords buyers):



Done!  Now both Adwords buyers and those that buy via Adcenter or other traffic sources will be excluded from seeing our special offer remarketing ads.



Final Thoughts

Now it’s true that adding just the “Adcenter Buyers” remarketing tag to the thank you page and adding that list as a campaign-wide negative audience will prevent ANY buyers from seeing remarketing ads from this campaign, this example gives you as a reader a better idea of how Google’s conversion tracking can create list shortcuts as well as helping you not to forget about buyers from other traffic sources beyond just Adwords.

This also goes to show the importance of thoroughly thinking through your remarketing campaigns, trying to visualize who will see your ads and when.  Preventing people who have already bought from seeing your discount ads can save you a lot of grief.

That said, even buyers can come back for more, so you might want to think about what you could specifically market to people who have bought from you already.  Maybe you could create a custom remarketing campaign that just targets the buyers’ lists with ads encouraging them to sign up for a deals newsletter or your general mailing list.  Don’t waste the opportunity to keep selling!

Three Essential Google Analytics PPC Hacks

13 Comments Written on April 11th, 2011 by
Categories: Analytics, Microsoft Adcenter

Note from Geordie: I asked Google Analytics expert and PPCblog member, Stephanie Brachat, if she would blog three ‘hacks’ for properly tracking PPC campaigns in Google Analytics.  The following are her favourites, Thanks Steph!

Sourcing Your adCenter Traffic as ‘CPC’ and Not ‘Organic’

Are you running PPC campaigns on both AdWords and adCenter? Ever wonder why Google Analytics shows “bing (organic)” and “yahoo (organic)” but no ‘cpc’ traffic data for anything other than Google?

While Google automatically splits out their own traffic between paid and not-paid by default, anything coming from adCenter falls under the organic umbrella. You’ll need to manually tag this traffic to track it correctly.

For anyone who hasn’t used manual tagging, it’s simply a matter of appending your destination URL with Google friendly parameters. The only difference in this case is that instead of static values, we’ll get adCenter to dynamically pass the keyword data.

So, here’s what you need to do:

Head on over to Google’s URL builder and fill out the form as below:

  • Website URL: *my landing page
  • Campaign Source: adcenter *I opt to use adcenter instead of Bing, as some traffic could be Yahoo too
  • Campaign Medium: cpc
  • Campaign Term: keyword
  • Campaign Content: *this field is optional, in my example I left it blank
  • Campaign Name: myCampaignName *pick something relevant

IMPORTANT: AFTER you generate your URL, make sure to add curly brackets around ‘keyword’, as you don’t want these brackets encrypted when you paste them into adCenter… you want your URL to look like the version below as {keyword} is the adCenter parameter that passes your keyword.

In this example, the resulting URL was:{keyword}&utm_campaign=myCampaignName

Now all you’d need to do would be to head back to adCenter and update my destination URLs to ones with the new schema:

and bingo… soon afterward you’ll see adCenter traffic and data showing up under ‘adcenter/cpc’ and accurate info on the paid keywords driving it.

Yes, it’s true you could extrapolate the paid/unpaid traffic ratio directly from your adCenter account stats, but if you’re looking to spot deeper traffic trends and patterns, it’s really invaluable to have this data properly segmented within Google Analytics.


How many times have you been looking back at historical data, only to see a huge spike or valley and not recall what caused it?

Finally, there’s help for that… Google now allows you to annotate your data.

Here’s what it looks like:

To add an annotation, simply select a data point on your graph, then, in the data bubble that appears, select ‘Create new annotation…’


Another pane subsequently appears, allowing you to type a note and choose whether it’s a private memo for you, or shared with other profiles who access the account. Your graph’s timeline is also updated with a little note icon as shown below.

I find it especially useful to use this feature when I make significant changes to our PPC campaigns. This allows all members of our team to easily tie back traffic fluctuations to alterations we’ve made. Beyond that, it’s really a handy way to note any event that impacts your traffic… server issues, the start of a new email campaign, election day… etc.

‘Not Set’ Visitors

I often get people asking me about “not set” visitors that show in analytics, and where that traffic is really coming from. There’s a few possible reasons for this. Two of the most common are:

  1. If you’re looking at keyword or e-commerce data, you’ll often see ‘not set’ for traffic that came in from the display network as that traffic isn’t tied to keywords
  2. Redirections between the ad and your landing page can also cause your Google auto-tagging (and gclid) to be stripped. While Google Analytics still records the visit and the subsequent user activity, it doesn’t have the information necessary to properly attribute the visit to your Google ad.

So, if you suspect it’s redirections causing the issue, how do you confirm if the gclid is being stripped?

1. Grab the ad’s destination URL
2. Create a test link by appending gclid=test to the end of it…

3. When you arrive at your landing page via the test link, is the gclid=test in the address bar?

  • if yes, your redirections are okay
  • if no, you may need to make some adjustments so that the gclid id is passed, and/or try manual tagging

As a side note, the tips above were screenshot on the old UI, but are the same process for the new version of GA. If you haven’t tried the updated interface yet, I highly recommend it! On top of the dashboard enhancements, it’s so much quicker, the date selector finally has some shortcuts for relative dates like ‘yesterday’ and they’ve really beefed up the options for event tracking.

Happy data mining!

Big Changes: Adcenter Trademark Policy Updated

2 Comments Written on February 21st, 2011 by
Categories: Geo Targeting, Google Adwords, Microsoft Adcenter

Image Credit: dropped a big piece of news last week: they’re bringing their trademark use policies closer to Google’s.  In the past Microsoft had a similar policy to Google, but when they took over PPC for Yahoo they adopted Yahoo’s archaic trademark editorial policies.

As of March 3rd, Microsoft Adcenter will once again allow bidding on trademarked terms and use of competitors’ trademarks in your ad text under certain circumstances:

Use of a competitor’s trademark in ads only may be allowed if its use is truthful and lawful, for example, if:

  • Your ad compares your own product’s attributes to those of your competitor’s product, as represented by independent, third-party research. However, you must also do the following:
    • Present the trademark in the context of the research that is cited in the ad.
    • Feature the related research clearly and prominently on the landing page that your ad links to.

When Microsoft changed to Yahoo’s old trademark policies as part of the Search Alliance rollout, they automatically disapproved most, if not all, advertiser keywords that were determined to be trademarks.  I seriously doubt that if you just left these keywords and ads in your Adcenter account  that they’ll just magically go back through and retroactively approve them all on March 3rd.

My recommendation would be to delete all of your old, disapproved ads and keywords and recreate them after March 3rd.  Of course, there’s likely to be a bit of inconsistency when that date rolls around, so it may take some adding, disapprovals, deleting and reloading if you start right away on or near that date.

This brings back to mind a tip I share in our PPC training modules: Keyword or ad disapprovals in Adcenter are often best handled by just deleting the disapproved item and reloading it.  I’ve seen scenarios where doing this as often as 4 times on the same item with get the 5th attempt through permanently.

The ‘delete and reload’ method is annoying to be sure, but at least you don’t have to do something even more annoying to resolve it:  Submit a question to Adcenter support staff (not a fun experience, trust me).

In our members’ community  I’ve posted a number of strategies for competitive trademark bidding, but here’s a couple quick points to keep in mind for Adwords in particular:

  • The trademark will almost always be auto-blocked in ad text if the TM owner has complained to Google or Microsoft directly via their online complaint process.  No complaint from the TM owner? No auto-block when uploading new ads containing the term.
  • The TM claims are country-by-country.  The TM owner must apply for and prove grounds for an automatic TM block in ad text for each country individually.  Basically, they need to have the TM registered in every country they want to block ads from showing in.  If they have a US-only TM, they can’t block ad text containing the TM in Canada et al…
  • Recognizing this, advertisers can create individual campaigns targeting one or more countries where the TM owner hasn’t registered a TM. In some cases where you have countries mixed together in a campaign that have some countries where a TM is restricted I’ve seen Google put a “limited” flag next to an approved text ad indicating they won’t show it in every country targeted in that campaign.
  • Although I’ve seen claims otherwise, it’s perfectly easy to get good Quality Scores on Adwords for a competitor’s trademark, CTR is king, and if users find your ad click-w0rthy, you’ll be fine QS-wise.

Here’s a list of the trademark registration and search sites from various prime PPC markets if you want to find out if a particular TM is registered in a given country:

If you’re interested in internal Google’s thinking on fair trademark usage with Adwords, be sure and read this fantastic interview with Terri Chen, Google’s Chief Trademark Counsel.  Josh Dreller did a great job of asking the tough questions and pinning Google down on specifics.  Josh’s post didn’t get the attention it deserved at the time.

BREAKING: Keyword Research Shows You’re Probably Wrong

8 Comments Written on February 7th, 2011 by
Categories: Google Adwords, Keyword Research, Microsoft Adcenter

Note: This post is an abbreviated version of one of our PPCblog member’s training modules.  Not a member yet? Join Now and get instant access to reams of expert guidance and tips!

Get Ready for Some Humble Pie

Keyword research is as much about uncovering what you don’t know than reinforcing what you do.

Why is that?

Effective keyword research leads to really getting to know your prospects, which usually results in you completely throwing out your previous assumptions about what your customers want or think they want.

This can be a humbling experience as it can reveal holes in your PPC marketing strategy, both in your coverage of high-potential keywords and your landing pages.  Let’s dig into this a bit more deeply with a couple of examples…

Looking Beyond What “You” Would Do…

Many businesses approach Adwords with a pre-set list of keywords in mind, all of which are based on what they would look for if they were the customer.  The assumptions that come out of this approach can be incredibly limiting to the effectiveness and reach of an Adwords search campaign.

Why?  Because we typically jump to conclusions about whether a particular topic strain of keywords will be effective or not at bringing in paying customers.

Here’s some examples:

  • “Customers that are searching for a free product will never actually buy anything”
  • “My customers typically know my industry jargon”
  • “Customer with that particular type of problem won’t pay for a solution”
  • “My customers are well-spoken when searching online for my product”
  • “There’s nothing new in my industry that users would be looking for”

Let’s look at the first assumption: “Customers that are searching for a free product will never actually buy anything”.

Many advertisers shy away from bidding on keywords that include the term “free”, assuming the user will only accept a free solution, product, or advice.  This is typically not the case.  Searchers often start with a query or two including the word “free” even though they may be perfectly willing to accept an appropriate paid product or solution.

One of the biggest advantages of Adwords ads is their ability to redirect a searcher’s attention from organic, natural search results to an advertisement seamlessly.  This works well whether the user is searching for a competitor of yours or a free product.  Same difference.

Here’s an example:

The user may start out looking for a “free” software product, but may also very well end up clicking on and purchasing the IBM or Smartsheet products listed above the SERPs.

Actually, let’s be honest, the IBM ad sucks, so the Smartsheet ad deserves the click. The middle ad from Clarizen, highlights yet another strategy of using the word “free” but it’s a stretch given the fact that their actual landing page offer is a free trial only. One more thing to experiment with.

The big takeaway? Don’t be afraid to test out variants of your keywords that include the word “free”.

Industry Jargon & Buzzwords Are Your Friend

Next, reconsider the thinking that your customers somehow inherently know your industry’s buzzwords and jargon.  If you’re not in an ultra-specialized niche, it’s unlikely that they search for your product using the lingo you are most likely to use around the office.

Try to think past this assumption and envision the “dumbed-down” ways that your customers might be referring to your products or genre.  What would your mother call your niche or product? Stretch out and really think about how others who are not in your line of work would refer to your business, product or service.

The point here is that when you actually start digging into keyword possibilities using the tools out there right now- if you go beyond what you would personally look for- you’ll find amazing opportunities to reach customers who would have otherwise never found you.

Have you had any success testing your assumptions during keyword research? Share them in the comments!

Sweet! Adcenter Lets Advertisers Segment Search Traffic

24 Comments Written on September 28th, 2010 by
Categories: Microsoft Adcenter, PPC Tools, Yahoo

One of the big advancements that made Yahoo advertising profitable again for a lot of advertisers was a new setting that allowed you to exclude the Yahoo search partner traffic and run your ads exclusively on Yahoo’s core search engine.

With the transition to Adcenter, advertisers lost that control, and I personally wondered when/if Microsoft would roll out similar controls.

Looks like Microsoft’s implementation of this went live today (or very recently at least)…

Hat tip to Matt Umbro for spotting this early and tweeting it out!

Bing Core Search Traffic Selection

Sweet Release

Now advertisers can choose option number 2 under the search network to focus on Bing and Yahoo’s core search traffic exclusively, which in my experience yields much higher conversions at a considerably lower long-term cost.

You can see this new option (provided it’s completely rolled out) by clicking “Create Campaign” and scrolling to the bottom under “Adgroup Settings”.

Update: Switch Your Existing Campaigns to Core Search Only

By default you’ll see that Adcenter has opted you into “All Bing and Yahoo! search networks and syndicated search partners” for your existing Adcenter campaigns.

To change this setting in the Adcenter online UI:

  1. Drill into your campaign and check the box next to “Adgroup” to select all of the adgroups in that particular campaign.
  2. Then click the “More” button and select “Bulk Edit”
  3. From the drop down selector box in the blue area choose “Distribution to Networks” and you can bulk edit your adgroup’s search configuration.

Change Adcenter Campaign to Core Search Only


MicroHoo Adcenter About to Drop Big Changes for Affiliates

1 Comment » Written on July 16th, 2010 by
Categories: Landing Pages, Marketing, Microsoft Adcenter, Yahoo

If 2009 was the year of Google’s Great Affiliate Massacre, Q3 2010 is about to go down MicroHoo’s kick at the can.

Microsoft Adcenter sent a nice little reminder email out yesterday suggesting that the transition to Adcenter for Yahoo search ads is progressing quite quickly, and you may want to pay attention to impending changes if you’re an Adcenter advertiser.

Then they slipped in this little nugget:

Updates in editorial guidelines
Microsoft and Yahoo! have created joint editorial guidelines that will begin taking effect for search advertisers in early August. The guidelines can make your ads more effective, while helping to create a safer search marketplace. We encourage you to review these now, so that you understand any potential impact to your ads or keywords.

Yahoo’s Trademark Policies Have Won Out

Here’s some of the parts that deserve special attention:

You may not bid on as a keyword, or use in the content of your ads:

  • Any term whose use would infringe the trademark of any third party or otherwise be unlawful or in violation of the rights of any third party.
  • Use of a third-party trademark may be allowed if its use is truthful and lawful, for example, if:

    • Your website provides information—product reviews, for example—about goods or services that are represented by the trademark, and your principal offering is not any product or service that competes with the goods or services represented by the trademark.

    So basically, MicroHoo doesn’t have the resources that Google has to handle trademark bidding or with the same level of sophistication, so they’re going to adopt the old-school approach used by Yahoo for years.

    Given that the transition for ads has been scheduled for early August, it’s reasonable to expect the automated trademark sweeps and manual review flagging to start in Adcenter accounts soon, with the new guidelines generating mass disapprovals for advertisers that bid on trademarks the most: affiliates.

    The Other Side of the Coin

    No doubt, Microsoft’s goal here is to make their ad network a comfortable place for large brands to dump their spend, and the “we don’t allow your competitors to bid on your trademark” bullet point in the pitch deck is going to be helpful to this end.

    If you’re a paid search manager constantly fighting with PPC engines to prevent your competitors from appearing when users search for you, then this is a big win, and it seems Microsoft has your back.

    The Rest of the “Relevance Guidelines”

    It turns out Microsoft is also taking a page from Google in some ways as well by creating new terms in their Relevance Guidelines that give them a fair amount of latitude in deciding whether or not they think a particular ad or landing page is “relevant”.

    Wiggle room here makes it easier on their reviewers to apply their judgement, however only time will tell how they get applied.  But the smart money is having a look at these new guidelines yourself now and seeing what may or may not apply to your account.

    Yahoo! Publisher Network Dies

    2 Comments Written on March 31st, 2010 by
    Categories: Contextual Advertising, Microsoft Adcenter, Yahoo

    Just got this via email:

    Yahoo! continuously evaluates and prioritizes our products and services, in alignment with business goals and our continued commitment to deliver the best consumer and advertiser experiences. After conducting an extensive review of the Yahoo! Publisher Network beta program, we have decided to close the program effective April 30, 2010. We expect to deliver final publisher payments for the month ending April 30, 2010 to publishers no later than May 31, 2010. All publishers eligible for 1099s for the 2010 tax year will have those mailed by January 31, 2011.

    Because our content will no longer be delivered to your ad unit spaces after April 30, 2010, we recommend removing all YPN ad code from your pages by that date.

    For the opportunity to continue earning revenue, we suggest using Chitika, a leading advertising network that syndicates Yahoo! Content Match and Sponsored Search ads. Chitika has set up a special process for YPNO beta publishers to participate in its platform. Click here for more information.

    Sad to see Yahoo! either bowing out from and/or outsourcing so many of their businesses. Given Yahoo!’s huge reach as a publisher and the idea behind audience matching at the likes of Quantcast, Yahoo! should have been fairly well positioned to run a distributed ad network. But since they sold off search they just keep cutting pieces. I would have thought that running a contextual network would have been additional free volume Yahoo! made while creating optimization algorithms for their own properties.

    Given their pending tie-in with Microsoft, it is a bit surprising to see them recommending Chitika (though the recommendation is a nice win for Chitika). Part of selling the search tie up deal with Microsoft was the idea of economies of scale driving increased yields. And now AdSense (which is already probably at least as dominant in contextual ads as Google is in search) just lost another competitor. For as saturated as online ad networks are, it is surprising that AdSense has such a big lead and that Microsoft didn’t make catching up with PubCenter a higher priority.

    Creating a distributed ad network would give Microsoft 5 big weapons in the search game

    • collecting lots more data about the web
    • more direct relationships with many webmasters
    • forcing Google to cut their margins on the distributed ads (if they want to bleed you dry on Office then reciprocate the favor on their AdSense ads)
    • the ability to have a network to re-target searchers on
    • having a backfill set of inventory to do some home cooking, promoting new releases and the Bing brand for pennies on the Dollar, just like Google did with Nexus One

    One strategic positive for Yahoo! is that they have pushing harder into the original content development, but if they become more profitable with that will some of their content licensing partners start increasing their rates?

    And if there is any sorta sustainable economic rebound (doubtful), then I would give it 2 to 1 odds that Yahoo! buys Chitika in the next 3 years 😀

    Is Display Advertising Getting the Shaft?

    3 Comments Written on September 20th, 2008 by
    Categories: Contextual Advertising, Microsoft Adcenter

    Should Circuit City bid on their own brand? How much does Google estimate that daily cost at?

    That estimate may be high, but even if it is off by a factor of 10 Circuit City would be spending a quarter million dollars a month on brand equity they already built up! Given the amount of organic exposure currently enjoys for that specific query they should be able to get their ad messaging in the organic search results without paying Google.

    Exclusively focusing on ROI has advertisers bidding on their own brands and giving Google a large sum of money for the brand equity and user demand that the brand has already established. But they should be able to get that ROI without paying Google a cent. If the above area in the organic search results is not enough space for Circuit City’s brand related search ad strategy, they could always use subdomains and/or launch or

    Look at how some of the web only retail and marketplace comanies like, Yahoo! Shopping, and eBay dominate brand searches on Google through the use of subdomains. Buying brand related searches is only a must if

    • your brand is generic (, Credit, PPC Blog, SEO Book, etc.)
    • you let your affiliates bid on your brand related phrases
    • Google puts competing ads above the fold for your brand

    Google has long pushed the value of tracking the direct ROI of ads as a way of driving their AdWords search ad marketplace, while simultaneously giving advertisers a good deal on content ads (by lowering the perceived value of content ads).

    The Wall Street Journal published Rallying Cry for Display Ads, an article which makes the case that the value of display advertising is not being adequately measured and search is getting too much credit. The article promises that next week Microsoft will offer evidence “that it says proves display ads are actually better than searches at triggering consumers.”

    The major conclusion of this research: By the time consumers search for a product or service, they’ve often already made up their minds to buy it. And display ads are often an important factor in their reaching that conclusion.

    Even if the research is true, will Microsoft be able to use it to persuade advertisers to spend more on content ads that they have become accustomed to getting for next to nothing?

    How to Find the Best Traffic for Your First PPC Campaign – Part 1

    11 Comments Written on July 23rd, 2008 by
    Categories: Google Adwords, Microsoft Adcenter, Yahoo

    The web has a wealth of information (and misinformation) which makes it tough to filter out the noise. PPC is also tricky because most of the time, there are no definitive answers and everything varies. The results of campaigns are hardly the same even if a landing page is stolen and re-used. Note: There are ways to reduce web copy theft which I’ll cover next week.

    If you’re new to PPC and want to start out properly, you may get overwhelmed with the amount of research and execution involved. After finding your niche, keywords, keyword organization and landing page, the next objective is to determine the main sources for traffic.

    Yahoo Search – Good Overall Starting Point

    I see this tip shared quite a bit online. A lot of folks start with Yahoo because of its traffic converting slightly better than Google. In most circumstances, Yahoo’s CPC is lower than Adwords which is an incentive to new advertisers. The downside with Yahoo is their lower quality, spammy search partners. These are mainly domainer pages or junk, spyware infested sites. They finally allowed advertisers to exclude search partners but only upto 250 sites. I have an Adwords campaign where I have over 1000 sites excluded so 250 is a bit stingy.

    So if you want to collect data for a test campaign, Yahoo is good if you limit to search and exclude spending money on their search partner program. Here’s $25 of free credit to help you get started.

    Microsoft AdCenter – Less Risky, More Free Money

    Vista is a vicious program that caused me tremendous grief and pain but other than that, I give Microsoft AdCenter a high approval just like XP. It is excellent for the new, super cautious advertiser on a limited budget. The two downsides are lack of market share which means fewer data and a weak content network. But if it’s your first campaign, the content network will provide little value anyway because you have very little control over it.

    Microsoft is working really hard to attract advertisers and have released some of the best free tools available. My favorite is the Ad-Intelligence Office Excel plug-in and it’s compatible for both 2003 and 2007 version. The free keyword tool is the best of its kind because you access real live data, not cached like all the major tools. Aside from the cool tools, they’re also giving you a generous $75 worth of adcenter ads to get you started. Aaron and I tested Ad Intelligence back in January of this year – here’s our review.

    Google Adwords – Cutting to the Chase for Immediate Results

    Lots of mixed opinions from seasoned advertisers if Adwords is the best traffic source for initial testing. Advertisers in favor of Adwords as the entry point knows that Google delivers some of the highest traffic quality online. Google’s king-size ownership of the market allows advertisers to test campaign performance, keyword efficiency and landing pages with fast, accurate data to influence any changes. You’ll know in a shorter period how your offer will fare.

    The other team knows Adwords as the most competitive channel on the market. A lot of new advertisers are easily discouraged if they’re not prepared for the fierce competition ahead.  Expect incuring higher costs, complete lots of quality score requirements and face that risk of getting slapped around.

    Again, there isn’t a right or wrong answer and agree with the logic of both sides.

    Summary to Help Alleviate Confusion

    Everything varies with PPC so choosing which platform to advertise in will depend on your product/service offer, competition, market size and campaign structure. Now that you’re familiar with the ups and downs of the major engines, here’s a quick summary of my baselines:

    1. If you’re in a competitive market such as insurance, mortgage, male reproductive organ enhancements, payday loans and etc, Yahoo or Microsoft could be a smarter choice because you’ll get the data you need at a fraction of Adword’s budget requirement.
    2. If your product is really niched with little traffic and competition,  Adsense can be prioritized. This will help you extract data faster, from a very rich source without exhausting your budget.