How Adwords Counts Ad Impressions with Google Instant

20 Comments Written on September 8th, 2010 by
Categories: Analytics, Google Adwords

Today’s announcement from Google of their new seizure-inducing “Google Instant” search-as-you-type invention immediately made me stop and wonder (after rubbing my eyes from the headache of using it) how Adwords would count impressions on ads as they flash by in milliseconds.

Hat tip to David Szetela for tweeting out the update Google has just posted in their Adwords support section.

Basically, those fly-by impressions as your ad flickers across the screen aren’t going to destroy your CTR.  Looks like they (fortunately) gave this some thought ahead of time:

What changes

New predicted query

Although Google Instant won’t change the way ads are served, ads and search results will now be shown for a new “predicted query.” For example, if someone types “flow” into Google, an algorithm predicts that the user is searching for “flowers” (the predicted query) and therefore displays search listings and ads for flowers. Those results will continue to show unless the next letters that the user types lead to a different predicted query.

How impressions are counted

When someone searches using Google Instant, ad impressions are counted in these situations:

  • The user begins to type a query on Google and clicks anywhere on the page (a search result, an ad, a spell correction, a related search).
  • The user chooses a particular query by clicking the Search button, pressing Enter, or selecting one of the predicted queries.
  • The user stops typing, and the results are displayed for a minimum of three seconds.

We recommend monitoring your ads’ performance the same way you usually do. Google Instant might increase or decrease your overall impression levels. However, Google Instant can improve the quality of your clicks since it helps people search using terms that more directly connect them with the answers they need. Therefore, your overall campaign performance could improve.

So as usual, if they stick with this as a default option and too many people don’t opt out, they think they’ve got it covered but “monitor your campaigns’ performance just in case it screws up”.

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20 comments “How Adwords Counts Ad Impressions with Google Instant”

Thanks guys…

I was thinking of this effect too. Just as well Google did some forethought on the AdWords side of thing but hell, all the reports suggest that this was a bad idea…

Honestly, since everyones CTR (also leading to quality score) will be affected, I don’t think there’s a whole lot to worry about.

Google Instant is just not necessary.

Google Instant is annoying at times, however as I’ve continued to use it I’ve found that I get to my answers faster. Instead of typing in a bunch of queries to find what I’m looking for, I can use the suggested terms and flip through results pages much faster.

Overall, I expect to have to modify my PPC campaigns, but I believe Google instant will increase the conversion rate overall (just as they stated here).

I have almost given up on adwords. Changing to other non PPC traffic streams. I’ll watch Google Instant to see if conversions increase.

Regardless of the effect it has on PPC it is absolutely wrecking my head. I just hate the way the screen bops about like a flickering pinball machine every time I add or remove a letter. This thing could give you a brain freeze!!

Honestly, since everyones CTR (also leading to quality score) will be affected, I don’t think there’s a whole lot to worry about.

Google Instant vem como um novo desafio para os profissionais de SEO, ainda é cedo para tirar qualquer conclusão final á respeito.

Wir machen beides, SEO und Adwords, obwohl unser Schwerpunkt beim klassischen SEO liegt. Das bringt für unsere Kunden am meisten.
Viele Grüße
Doctor SEO

You have to keep on top of them as they are in business to make money even if it means at the expense of those advertisers that use their service. At the prices of ppc it is getting difficult for the small business man.

The price increases fast. It could be good to know how they count

Thank you
as an advertiser i would like to know how they count

As a concept, Google Instant has changed the emphasis on what to bid for as it now gives significant priority to major organisations.

If anything it potentially reduces ad impressions unless you can build effective campaigns based on primary words rather than phrases. Assuming the average web user is fairly impatient, Google Instant distracts them from completing their search string and undermines niche marketing campaigns.

I think the distraction leading to niche markets is a good thing, Im just wondering what Googles thought when they did it was…. I kind of lost trust a long time ago…

When you know how they count, your can adjust your marketing tactics.

This is good to know because I just knew impressions were about to become meaningless! To using the impressions models is a better way to drive traffic at first. From there you can then analyze things to decide the best way in going about a proper ppc campaign.

I agree with Laurence Michael – it does make search faster.

But it can also cause my eyes to hurt… Maybe our brains will all adapt to it…

When you know how they count, your can adjust your marketing tactics.

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If CTR is affected, won’t your PPC bids increase, and be nigh on impossible to bring down?

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