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Old 09-04-2005   #11
andrewgoodman
 
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I did some checking on the "Google in the ad title or text" situation.

I'm guessing Google virtually never permits the inclusion of that particular trademark in an ad.

I don't like to air dirty laundry, but the problem with this is that it might be particularly hard to get an ad up on the page (no matter what you bid) under the new "quality scores" regime, which appears to have drifted ever so slightly away from past CTR requirements. I am getting an ad position of like 19 and 25 for my new book, which I am attempting to advertise in part using the publisher's funds.

I realized my quality score (for whatever reason) must be very low, so I tweaked the ad to include the title of the book, which includes the word Google. This change however was rejected, and I was specifically directed to remove this trademarked term.

As a result I can get very little search traffic on this term, so the paid search traffic for that book is mostly coming from the content targeting program, which I suspect isn't converting. We are talking about $1.20+ per click to generate content clicks; this is unlikely to pan out.

Yet ironically there are many ads for ebooks costing more (including mine), as well as services and other companies that work in the Google ecosystem, running on the same keywords, doing quite well. But advertising an inexpensive new book on the subject seems to run up against both editorial and quality score issues.

I can only imagine that quite a few advertisers find Google's systems maddening and that this example emphasizes certain drawbacks in non-transparent editorial and relevancy criteria. One thing does seem to be transparent, though: Google can use Google in its ad text and title and we can't. This drives up Google's quality score. Given the vagueness of the component of the algorithm called "other relevancy factors," the fact that the ad is "about a Google service" could well drive up Google's quality score by a factor of 100X. Ergo, Google can claim top spot on the page.

Editorial policy in general is coming to the point of needing a systematic review, IMHO. Disrespectful and sensationalistic ad styles have been creeping in, where in the early days these were rejected. In some industries they seem to garner good response rates, thus increasing quality scores, thus making it hard for conscientious advertisers to compete without completely throwing their brand out the window. Double and triple serving is another trick many are using to get an unfair advantage. This isn't a major trend, but I believe it's one worth watching. There are ways that certain advertisers can ruin the playing field for the rest. But that's the subject of another thread, maybe.
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