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Old 06-12-2007   #1
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Google to report url info for content network

http://www.clickz.com/showPage.html?page=3626127

This has been in Beta but will be available to all soon. Its a very helful tool to let you know where your ads are showing (by individual page or domain) and what the stats are for each. Most importantly, it shows conversions which will allow you to easily exclude sites that do not convert.
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Old 06-12-2007   #2
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This has been a long time coming and may show up some publishers as not worth advertising on... but in the long run this will benefit everyone.
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Old 06-12-2007   #3
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Originally Posted by AussieWebmaster
This has been a long time coming and may show up some publishers as not worth advertising on... but in the long run this will benefit everyone.
More transparency of the Content Network is a good thing. But I would still like to see google break out sub-networks in the Content Network and give advertisers sub-network level control, not just another report. An example would be parked domains, which might have very different characteristics than the rest of the Content Network (see the thread on "Parked Pages").
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Old 06-12-2007   #4
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The report is broken!

We've been beta-ing this report for a while and it's been great.

Unfortunately, Google has broken / changed something which has rendered this report almost useless. Instead of showing the individual domains and URLs where the ads appear, 80% of the clicks in the reports I just ran for our accounts are lumped into Domain Ads, Error Page Ads, and Other.

Needless to say, this is useless for me in determining which sites are performing and which aren't. And I can't go and site target or site exclude "Domain Ads" in my account, either.

I am hoping this is a glitch and not a permanent change. I've got calls in to my Adwords rep to clarify.

AWR, I know you're off today, but can you look into this and let us know what happened to this used-to-be-great-but-now-worthless report?

Incidentally, I find the timing on this interesting -- I just got an email from Inside Adwords saying this report is being launched to the masses. Could that have something to do with the change??

Melissa
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Old 06-12-2007   #5
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Mel - we have been beta testing it and loving it as well... until today.
Our deep and highly detailed reports have been rolled up into summaries with the categories of "error pages" and "domain ads". Virtually useless.

Another issue is that we attempted to exclude about 93 sites this morning and all but 9 were rejected. Stating we are not allowed to exclude those sites.

Sites included:
porn sites
Sites from Germany, New Zealand and Japan
as well as many other ad nework sites

I love that Google had the OOs to launch this type of reporting, so I dont want to slam the door on them. YSM and MSN are hiding in this area. With that said, man oh man do we see a lot of adsense sites running our ads that are highly irrelevant, are from foreign counties (ours are US targeted) and or are from a very dark side of the neighborhood.

A double edged sword. They needed to show us the dirty laundry in order for us to clean it. I'm sore because I know how much we spent on this junk in the past, but happy that they have finally come clean because it gives SEM a more optimistic future.

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Old 06-13-2007   #6
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Angry It's not a glitch

I got an email from my AdWords rep on the "new" Placement Performance report. It's long, but there is good information in it, so here it is:
-----------------
There are two possible reasons as to why you see less data in your report than previously. In addition, I'd like to explicate the different category names you mentioned in your voicemail. Please feel free to review the outline below that addresses these topics:

LESS SITES REPORTED

A. Data available after June 1

If you are viewing a report in order to view data prior to June 1, 2007, this is currently unavailable due to the external launch of the Placement Performance report to all of our advertisers in June. This is due to the vast amount of data associated with the content network.

To make this consistent across our entire advertiser base, data dating back prior to June 1, 2007 will not be available in the Placement Performance report.

When viewing the Placement Performance report, you may see a line item labeled 'Other' or even your own web site in the URL or Domain column of the report. Below are some scenarios to help illustrate why this may occur.

B. Unavailable data

In some cases, statistics provided by the Placement Performance report may not be exact. Due to the large volume of data a Placement Performance report can include, there are several factors that can affect reporting accuracy. These factors are listed below.

1. Impression cutoffs

Sites that have accrued a negligible amount of impressions per day may not be included in your report.

2. Property exclusions

Statistics from some properties that are a part of the Google Content Network may not be included by the Placement Performance report, such as Gmail.com.

3. Unidentifiable URLs

Although rare, there may be technical reasons that a specific web site does not properly pass back a domain or URL to us, resulting in an unidentifiable web site address, resulting in them not being included in your report.

4. Reporting delays

Reporting delays may also impact the accuracy of the Placement Performance report, depending on the time of day you run a report. We recommend you run this report after 3pm PST the following day to ensure you get the most accurate metrics for the previous day.

CATEGORY DEFINITIONS

You may see an 'Other' URL or even your own website in your Placement Performance report. Below are some scenarios to help illustrate why this may occur.

I. Your website's URL

At the time the user types your website address into the browser address bar, Internet service gets temporarily disrupted and your site's server simultaneously goes down. The user is directed to a page of ads that are targeted to what he entered into his browser address bar. The Placement Performance report attributes this impression to your website based on what the user typed into the browser address bar, which is why you may see your website appear in the report. This does not mean that your website is hosting ads as an AdSense partner.

II. 'Other' URL

There are two types of sites that are categorized as 'Other' in the Placement Performance report:

- Although rare, there may be technical reasons that a specific website does not properly pass back a domain or URL to us. Because these websites are not identifiable, they are aggregated under the 'Other' line item in your report.

- All pages that served your ad through our AdSense for Errors program will be categorized as 'Other' in the Placement Performance report. These pages serve users with targeted AdWords ads when they enter a search query in their browser's address bar instead of querying it through a search engine (like Google). Instead of displaying an error page, users will see a page displaying ads and relevant information.

We may not be able to identify the specific URL that displayed your ad through AdSense for errors. This is because the URL or search term users typed into their browser may not be a valid website address. With AdSense for Errors, when a user types a non-functional URL into their browser's address bar with the intent of reaching a website or conducting a search, the user will get redirected to a page with relevant content with or without ads. This improves the user experience because the user will see a page relevant to the content they were looking for instead of seeing an error page.

In these cases, because the domain is not a registered domain or functional website, a URL or domain is not passed back to Google. Instead, we will accumulate and report traffic from these AFE sites under the 'Other' line item in your Placement Performance report.

You can see whether the 'Other' line item is a result of error page ads under the 'Special Category' column in your report. The column will read 'Error page ads' in these cases. To include this column in your report, select the 'Special Category checkbox under 'Attributes' when creating your report from within your account.
------------------------
I'm very disappointed in the changes that have been made to this report since G rolled it out of beta. I'm furious that we were not told ahead of time that data prior to June 1 was going to be purged from the system. If we had known about this, we could have downloaded everything and saved it for posterity. As it stands, I'm now missing a few weeks' worth of data that I now cannot access. That's crap.

Furthermore, lumping traffic into the Domain and Error categories sucks, plain and simple. First off, I didn't even know there was such a thing as "error page ads." Looking at my reports, our conversion on these ads sucks. Yet I cannot opt out of it as far as I can tell. And I cannot believe that Google does not know which Domain sites are sending traffic. How do they know which sites to pay Adsense fees on, then? I just cannot believe that 60% of our Content traffic (which is the percent that fell into the Domain category on the reports I ran yesterday) cannot be identified beyond the fact that it's "domain."

Bottom line, we were getting WAY more data in this report than we are now. It *was* actually a critically useful tool. Now, it's a waste of time to even run the darn thing.

Melissa
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Old 06-13-2007   #7
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Adwords needs enhanced network management

Thanks Mel. Very interesting. I've not seen the new Placement Performance report since it's not yet active on any of my accounts, but I'm hoping that this is just the first step in a real solution viz: to split out all componets of the current Content Network into independent networks with their own controls and reporting.

We already have at least 3 very different components inside the Content network (regular sites, parked pages, error pages) and other will probably come soon as google continues to build new ad distribution channels - web feeds being one example.

I hope the adwords architecture will be upgraded to manage multiple networks in a full and comprehensive manner. Advertisers need that in order to truly manage their ads and track performance. Google needs it as they acquire new ad distribution channels.
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Old 06-13-2007   #8
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Quote:
AWR, I know you're off today, but can you look into this and let us know what happened to this used-to-be-great-but-now-worthless report?
Lots of folks at Google read this forum, Mel66, even without my pointing them to it (well, maybe at least partially because I've pointed them to it dozens of times - I'll take that much credit).

Anyway, today, I arrived back at work and found that a colleague had already noticed this thread and had emailed to ask if I'd post the following information by way of answer to the concerns expressed here. So, without any edits (except for a paragraph break that I've added) I've quoted her message below. I do apologize to you all (and to my colleague as well) that it has taken me all day to get caught-up enough to post this!

Quoting:

Quote:
Since our network is comprised of hundreds of thousands of sites and millions of pages, information reported in the Placement Performance report consists of vast amounts of data. To provide this information in a scalable way to all our advertisers as soon as possible with the full launch in June, we are providing reporting for certain segments of our network in a consolidated way.

This includes sites that are participating in our AdSense for domains and AdSense for error pages programs. We realize that advertisers would like to see site-by-site metrics for all segments of the content network to be able to effectively optimize their campaigns. For this reason, we are working on ways of providing this information on a site-by-site basis as soon as possible.
AWR
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Old 06-14-2007   #9
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Thanks, AWR. I understand the data overload issue. What I'm upset about WRT that is the fact that those of us who have been in the beta for some time were not told ahead of time that data prior to June 1 would be purged. If we had known this in advance, we could have downloaded the info and saved it. But since we didn't know, we're out of luck. That's what I take issue with.

The other big thing I take issue with is the fact that this new report does not resemble the report we were beta testing. It's completely different. All through the beta, the feedback I sent to Google was specifically singing the praises of the level of detail we were getting in the report - the domain-by-domain and page-by-page reporting. It was incredibly useful data. I even made budget and marketing plans based on increasing our presence in the content network, which I now have to do a 180 on. I had begun the process of increasing my Content network bids, and even adding ad groups back to Content where it was previously turned off - knowing that I could always identify poor performers and exclude them. Now that the report has been rendered so generic, with the majority of traffic lumped into "error pages" and "domain ads," I'll be reducing my bids and removing ad groups again. It's very unfortunate, because in general I found that it was only a few sites that were sending us bad traffic. But without specific data, I've got to price things for the lowest common denominator, which ultimately means we all make less money.

And the question remains in my mind: Why did we beta test one thing, only to have it turn into something completely different when it rolled out?

As always, AWR, we appreciate you passing our opinions along to the group in Mountain View.

Melissa
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Old 06-14-2007   #10
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will this report feature include Pay Per Action ?
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Old 06-14-2007   #11
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will this report feature include Pay Per Action ?
Yes. Even the new, stripped-down version has PPA data. Very cool.

Melissa
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Old 06-14-2007   #12
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Mel66, I do apologize for the lack of communication on the June 1 date. I notice that you've mentioned your AdWords Rep - and I think it'd be a good idea to communicate to him or her that you'd like to be notified of changes to betas in which you participate, wherever possible.

I've also phoned and emailed a trusted colleague on the team who created this tool - and have asked her to read this thread and to take note of your feedback.

I've talked to her again since then, and she has done so. So please know that you have been heard, and by the right team.

Again, my apology.

AWR
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Old 06-14-2007   #13
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Thumbs up

You rock, AWR. I sincerely appreciate everything you've done in communicating this thread to the Google gang.

Melissa
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Old 06-15-2007   #14
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Left at the Alter

Well surprise surprise Mel has said it all again, but I want G to know she is not alone in this. We to have been compiling sites to target, exclusion lists and have been building up for a huge content network campaign push in July. We had our budgets adjusted, pulled money from other engines to put into G content and had done the same for a few of our clients. We unfortunately also praised G and told these clients just how much this will mean to their bottom line. We were SO very excited about this.. you should see the YouTube Videos we made praising Google Adwords...

And then came the launch and the dummied down reports.
Then came the in ability to exclude certain sites or target others.

This past week's report shows that 18% of our traffic came from non descript error pages and domain pages and these were among the worst performers in regards to conversions. This represented 20% of our ad spend for that period.

I fully expected G to not just launch the groundbreaking beta version we were using, but perhaps even add a better UI to it as well. One that would allow us to skip XL and quickly view referring sites and exclude them, or quickly build a campaign targeting them with just a few clicks.

But beyond all that, what got us really excited was we knew that this new feature would light a serious fire under the seats of MSN and YSM forcing them to double their efforts provide the same.

If this current version is the benchmark G has set then all our excitement was for not. The dream of being able to create a peer reviewed publisher network for our businesses is fading. Content is out once again.

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Old 06-22-2007   #15
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I've just copy/pasted your comment into this week's Advertiser Feedback Report, Discovery, in it's entirety. It took up a lot of space, to be sure, but (along with Mel's quotes from last week) it really makes the point.

Thanks for the very thought provoking feedback.

AWR
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Old 06-22-2007   #16
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AdWords future..

Quote:
Originally Posted by abbottsys
Thanks Mel. Very interesting. I've not seen the new Placement Performance report since it's not yet active on any of my accounts, but I'm hoping that this is just the first step in a real solution viz: to split out all componets of the current Content Network into independent networks with their own controls and reporting.

We already have at least 3 very different components inside the Content network (regular sites, parked pages, error pages) and other will probably come soon as google continues to build new ad distribution channels - web feeds being one example.

I hope the adwords architecture will be upgraded to manage multiple networks in a full and comprehensive manner. Advertisers need that in order to truly manage their ads and track performance. Google needs it as they acquire new ad distribution channels.
Well, it's not often you get to quote yourself, but I just ran the new "content url performance" report for the first time and was *very pleased* to see that parked pages and error pages performed really well for us - and that's all the way down to the cost/conversion level. So, more reason to consider the above quoted adwords upgrades. I hope they happen.

Last edited by abbottsys : 06-22-2007 at 03:50 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 06-22-2007   #17
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I suppose it all depends AS

Our reports show dreadful returns on the error pages - like zilch and poor on Domain ads.

Unfortunately, as we continue to aggressively remove poor performing or absolutely offensive sites from running our ads, the % of domain "content" clicks coming in is growing higher and higher. Soon I believe Domain ads will represent over 50% of the "content" traffic making the report only 50% effective.

I don’t mind using the domain ads if we could see who they were and it was not part of content match. Again a call for better categorization of traffic sources that more accurately reflects the intent of the visitor.

And one polite request to Google, would you be so kind enough as to write me an excuse note for my IT department explaining my frequent visits to Russian nanny, porn and foreign pharmaceutical drug websites? I would greatly appreciate it. Currently they don’t buy my Pete Townsend excuse - "Hey I was researching!"

The trench coat placed in my office this morning really wasn’t that funny.

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