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Old 10-10-2005   #1
Heidi9771
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Exclamation Why do you think this could be happening?

Hi folks,
I am wondering if you had any ideas as to why this could be happening...I have been slowly dropping my bids by $0.05 periodicaly when the CTR is decent to lower my costs (this optimizations happened over several weeks.) Then all of a sudden...my impressions dropped 75%, all of which after doing some reporting, was mainly from content targeted impressions. I didn't see any new adwords turned off or inactive...what gives?

Do you think the new content target option where you pick your own URL within your site has anything to do with these decreased impression levels I am know getting from content targeting? It is over a 1,000,000 a day impression loss for us.

Thanks,
Heidi

Last edited by Heidi9771 : 10-10-2005 at 07:46 PM.
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Old 10-10-2005   #2
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...Then all of a sudden...my impressions dropped 75%...
Although there is a pretty good chance you already know this, Heidi9771, I'm going to mention it anyway:

If you make any change at all to your ad copy (even a very tiny one) your ad will no longer show on either the search or content networks, until it has been reviewed and approved.

Big drops in impressions can result, since this amounts to the the difference between showing on Google alone, and showing on potentially hundreds of other sites as well.

Could this be it? If not, it may be time to contact AdWords support, who can review the account and thus give you a much more informed opinion.

AWR

Last edited by AdWordsRep : 10-10-2005 at 10:48 PM. Reason: clarity
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Old 10-11-2005   #3
Heidi9771
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Thanks AdWordsRep. I did get on the phone with google, and the best we could come up with after reviewing my changes was that perhaps a drop in bids could have resulted in a lower positioning beyond 3, and that resulting in our ad not showing up on some content sites that dont employ ads beyond this position...

By the way, what is usually the turn around for approving ads?
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Old 10-11-2005   #4
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Presumably any change in bids could drop you below some kind of major threshold for a handful of high-volume content partners.

I've been experimenting with content for one client and while the experiment in question doesn't involve minor .05 increments, it does illustrate the point.

We were getting virtually no clicks on content with the bid around .50 and then after increasing it up to 1.10 or so we were flooded with clicks from content. This got us onto sites like About.com and a variety of other sites that have advertisers competing for fairly scarce positions. We are talking about an increase from 5 clicks to 600 clicks per day. (In this case, the conversion rate was good even after the flood of clicks, though these are leads and not sales, so the jury is out on lead quality.)

Google determines which ad to show on content sites partly based on your bid, but it is not a strict "ranking" issue, Heidi, since Google's content targeting program uses a matching technology that may or may not show ads depending on your keywords & ad copy and how well they match any given content page in the network. But for all intents and purposes you are competing with other advertisers for "rank," page by page.

I suppose it is possible to lose a million impressions by dropping just below the threshold where you're likely to show up often on high volume pages on high volume sites (your ad gets replaced by someone else's, en masse, essentially)... even if you're doing this in .05 increments.

Although I must say AWR's hypothesis of an editorial delay is more likely.
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Old 10-11-2005   #5
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I am stunned...

As I mentioned we noticed huge decrease of impressions and visits (in excess of 1 million) in our campaign, without warning.

After several days of talking to various Google reps trying to resolve the issue, we were given various potential reasons as to why this might have happened, and were asked to increase our bids. We did this and still not movement in the account. Now days later, still in a panic, we call Google again to try to seek a solution. I was told that our account was on review, but was placed off review this morning, and that was why our campaign had been slowed. I am not sure what being on review means and why we were not told this earlier. I am also not sure if being on review could mean nearly a 75% decrease in volume to our account.

I have been asked to present to our executive board why this has happened. My bosse's boss wants answers, and I just want to make sure I have my facts straight.

This was an established account for nearly a year. The effect was devastating and left us with hundreds of dollars of lost revenue.
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Old 10-14-2005   #6
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Heidi, let's assume for a minute that the impression drop was indeed due to your reduced CPCs. Did you reduce CPC to bring your campaign in line with ROI goals? Asked another way, was your original CPC too high to justify, and that's why you lowered it? If so, I think that's your answer to the bosses - you lowered CPC to bring the campaign's economics into line, with an unfortunate and unexpected result. Then let them decide which scenario they prefer - less than favorable economics, or a drastic reduction in traffic and sales (but at an acceptable ROI).

If you were just lowering CPCs to try to save money unrelated to ROI, that's also an admirable pursuit in business - we all want to save a few bucks in marketing. In that case, chalk it up to experience - you had no way of knowing the effect it would have. Then work with your Adwords reps to get your campaign back up to speed. In my experience, the reps really do want to help, and can make some excellent suggestions to expedite things. After all, if you're not getting the impressions and clicks, they're not getting your money.

HTH, I feel your pain. I had these type of conversations regularly with management under the old "disabled keywords" system.

Melissa
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Old 10-17-2005   #7
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Originally Posted by Mel66
Heidi, let's assume for a minute that the impression drop was indeed due to your reduced CPCs. Did you reduce CPC to bring your campaign in line with ROI goals? Asked another way, was your original CPC too high to justify, and that's why you lowered it? If so, I think that's your answer to the bosses - you lowered CPC to bring the campaign's economics into line, with an unfortunate and unexpected result. Then let them decide which scenario they prefer - less than favorable economics, or a drastic reduction in traffic and sales (but at an acceptable ROI).

If you were just lowering CPCs to try to save money unrelated to ROI, that's also an admirable pursuit in business - we all want to save a few bucks in marketing. In that case, chalk it up to experience - you had no way of knowing the effect it would have. Then work with your Adwords reps to get your campaign back up to speed. In my experience, the reps really do want to help, and can make some excellent suggestions to expedite things. After all, if you're not getting the impressions and clicks, they're not getting your money.

HTH, I feel your pain. I had these type of conversations regularly with management under the old "disabled keywords" system.

Melissa
The Max CPC will not be the actual CPC and as the CTR improves the price will go down even further
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Old 10-17-2005   #8
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Very good clarification AussieWebmaster. Our max CPC is set at roughly double what our actual overall CPC is. Someone once suggested to me that we try setting max CPCs very high to establish CTR, then gradually lowering until we hit the sweet spot as far as ROI is concerned. This worked very well for most keywords and ad groups.

Melissa
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Old 10-17-2005   #9
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Another idea which worked for a recent client was as follows: setup a mirror campaign and use only Content match on the second one. Turn off Content match on the first. You should be able to dedicate a certain budget for each campaign, as well as bid far lower for the terms contextually, depending on their popularity.

For this particular client, they were paying much more when the content ads were tied into the same campaign as the standard/broad match. One day samples: September 18 yielded a .1% CTR for 49 clicks at $1.59 per. On September 25 the new Content-only campaign for the exact same terms yielded 987 clicks (still only .2%) but for only 25 cents per click!

Has anyone else experienced this before? Is this a no-brainer?
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