Google announced today that it will be discontinuing the paid search advertising deal that has been brewing between the search giant and one of its chief competitors, Yahoo, for the past several months. The abandonment of this partnership could mean the loss of millions of dollars in potential revenue.
Antitrust investigations by the U.S. government are cited as responsible for giving Google “cold feet” even after the magnitude of the partnership agreement was scaled back significantly last week.
Chief legal officer at Google, David Drummond, wrote, “After four months of review, including discussions of various possible changes to the agreement, it’s clear that government regulators and some advertisers continue to have concerns about the agreement.”
Now that the agreement is off, it appears that the U.S. government will be discontinuing its antitrust investigation.
Assistant Attorney General, Thomas O. Barnett, said to the New York Times, “The companies’ decision to abandon their agreement eliminates the competitive concerns identified during our investigation and eliminates the need to file an enforcement action . . . The arrangement likely would have denied consumers the benefits of competition — lower prices, better service and greater innovation.”
Yahoo’s stock shares are trading at around $14 today, and there is speculation that in light of these events a similar offer from Microsoft’s previous one of a buyout for $33/share may again be brought to the table.Read More
As you may have noticed, with our switch to Rackspace dedicated hosting, QualityScores has launched a new company website and added some outstanding options to our PPC management service.
semvironment’s previous slogan was “Turning Clicks Into Customers,” and whereas this continues to be a primary focus of what we do, we have changed our corporate slogan to “Empowering Advertisers Worldwide.” This is demonstrative of our new focus on giving companies the tools, knowledge, and expert agency management they need to maximize their online marketing efforts and branch out in terms of profit growth.
A couple of our new services include:
- Website design testing and full-site redesigns.
Our creative team is now offering more than landing page design for our clients. Now, you can put their creative talents to use in employing a site-wide redesign in order to enhance your users’ experience at your site. The key advantage to a site redesign from QualityScores is that before building a whole new site, you can see the results of various design tests that we perform through paid search test campaigns. This way we can ensure that the new design we roll out maximizes your conversions, both organically and through PPC efforts.
- Increased Analytics Capabilities
If you AND all of your competitors use Google Analytics, then you are all receiving the same data. Seize an advantage by utilizing our professional analytics and event tracking systems, which we deploy with dual intensity. Using both Google Analytics and another system, such as AWStats, we empower you with more information, so you can come out on top of your PPC competitors. Additionally, we enable you to track specific page and form events, goals, and variables, so you can discover how much of your form users complete before they abandon them, or what specific things cause visitors to leave before the conversion happens.
- Free PPC Education and Knowledge suite.
We’re going to be releasing several series of educational manuals, tutorials, case studies, and white papers in the coming weeks in order to empower you with the facts and knowledge you need to create and manage your own campaigns. Of course, we are still offering full-service management for larger clients, but we’re shifting our focus to helping the start-outs and the smaller companies effectively manage themselves, while we invite advertisers with expansive campaigns and large ad budgets to take advantage of our management, design, and analytics services.
- Custom PPC Management Consulting For In-House Teams.
Planning on having your own in-house marketing team manage your paid search efforts? Let QualityScores train them in the best practices in account setup, management, reporting, and testing. We work with your team by showing them our step by step process as we create your accounts and get your PPC campaigns up and running. We build a customized blog with the step by step procedures that your team will follow for your specific campaigns in your specific industry, and we let them follow along as we manage your account for 2-3 months before handing everything over to them. In this manner, your team will have the best mentorship and training it can receive and gain a competitive edge on your competition – even those that are hiring full-service agencies.
We invite you to check out our new website and comment on the new services we are offering, as well as our sparkling new design. We hope to hear from you soon!Read More
You might not see any new stuff on the QualityScores blog for a week (give or take a few days), as we’re switching all of our sites over to Rackspace. The company is expanding rapidly lately, and we feel the need to get a dedicated server for maximum support and protection for our site, our clients, and our partner sites that we host.
Wish us luck as we make the big switch!Read More
As we recently reported, Google AdWords hasÂ announced three big changes in its pay per click advertising program concerning quality score and bidding. The AdWords Team said today that Google is now ready to roll out the changes to all advertisers across Google’s entire network.
So buckle up, and watch your accounts for the changes this week.
On the Inside Adwords blog, Google explained that quality scores will still be calculated using the same factors, only now several of those factors will be calculated instantaneously at the time of the search query. Google explains:
“We will still consider your account’s history, which consists of the clickthrough rate (CTR) of all the ads and keywords in your account. We will also consider your landing page quality. Although your overall Quality Score is evaluated at the time of each query, landing page quality is evaluated less frequently.”
The AdWords Team also explained that the new ‘first page bid’ metric that is replacing the old ‘minimum bid’ does not mean that it will now cost more than it used to to have your ad appear on the first page of search results. The only difference is now AdWords gives you a reference point regarding what it will cost you to get on that first page, whereas before it only told you how much you’d need to pay to have your ad show at all. Of course, now that everyone will know how much to pay to get on the first page, those costs may go up as the competition for the first page gets fiercer.
These quality score changes, increases in paid search advertising competition, and the constant innovations in the pay per click advertising industry make it necessary to lean how to maintain the top quality scores for your keywords. It may even be important for seasoned PPC managers to brush up on their skills.Read More
Google AdWords has announced the introduction of three quality score improvements in its pay per click platform. The changes include dynamic, real-time quality scores for keywords, a removal of the “inactive for search” label on low-bid keywords, and the replacement of minimum bids with “first page bids.”
The following are some screenshots of the new quality score changes, photo credits belong to The PPC Book:
Quality scores will now be calculated at the time of the search query, which means that different queries that would normally trigger the same keyword will now have distinctly calculated quality scores based on the location of the searcher and other variables. All this is done in an effort to increase relevancy for both searcher and advertiser.
This dynamic calculation of quality score allows Google to rescind the “inactive for search” keyword tag, so even keywords with very low bids (when compared to quality) can be shown, albeit in less competitive locations.
Additionally, in an effort to help advertisers know with more certainty where their ads will be showing, AdWords is removing the minimum bid metric and adding a first page bid metric. Now advertisers will be shown what bid is required to show up on the first page of search results, giving them a more accurate picture of their ad placement with their current budget/bid.
AdWords is rolling out these updates slowly, but all AdWords advertisers are expected to see them in place shortly.
James: I hypothesized about quality scores being dynamic back in January 2008…I haven’t noticed and I don’t expect to see any abnormal changes with our client accounts as they relate to their quality scores in the coming month or two because I am confident this has been going on for quite some time. I believe AdWords is simply becoming more transparent but I have no way of confirming that. I was simply noticing a ‘test’ or some sort of long tail abnormality given the unique query.Read More
A new geographic report is now available in Google AdWords, according to the AdWords blog this morning. By reporting the geographic distribution of where clicks are coming from, the report allows advertisers to hone in on profitable locations in which to target ads.
To access the report, log into your account (or client account) and click the reports tab:
Create a new report, selecting the geographic report radio button:
Add advanced filtering settings if you like, and view the report. Here is an example of what it will look like:
At present, the geographic report only shows daily statistics “to ensure that impression counts and clickthrough rates (CTR) for your geographic data are aggregated accurately,” according to AdWords help.Read More