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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

PPC Tip: Don't Mix Contextual Ads and Search Engine Advertising

In 2005, I wrote Mastering Google AdWords Marketing: Contextual Advertising for Search Engine Guide. Since then, the Google AdWords PPC advertising platform has evolved. Accordingly, an updated version of the article is available here. What's interesting is that Google is also now suggesting that separating content ads (contextual advertising) from search ads is a good idea. In a recent blog entry about click fraud, a Google employee writes:
Traffic on the Google content network can also fluctuate from day to day as your ads match new sites. To better control your spend on the content network, make sure that you implement content bids or set up a separate campaign that is targeted just to the content network.
While Google's addition of separate bidding for content ads was a welcome change, that's not a very good solution. Since the budget is controlled at the campaign level, it's important to manage search ads in campaigns independent of content ads. Otherwise, a large fluctuation in traffic from the Google content network could, effectively, disable search ads (by spending the entire daily budget). Here's a screenshot of the ad distribution network choices:

google ad network distribution preferences

Notice that this particular campaign is configured for search ads only. A contextual advertising campaign would only have the "Content network" box checked. For more detailed information about effectively managing a Google AdWords PPC advertising account, read the updated contextual advertising article or my update to a click fraud isolation strategy.

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Blogger annalaura said...

That is a very interesting and helpful point. I had never even thought about that.

Thu Feb 22, 07:36:00 AM EST  
Blogger Richard said...

Glad you found this blog post useful, annalaura. I do try to be helpful. ;-)

I think it's poor that Google blends search engine advertising with contextual advertising. Sure, it's nice to be able to use the same ad text and same keywords for both, but they're really not the same thing.

Fri Feb 23, 12:54:00 AM EST  

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