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Old 04-26-2006   #1
Discovery
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Google AdWords & Pop-Ups

OK I know it has a bad rep, but when used properly exit pops really do work.

We found that most of our competitors were using exit pops. We had refrained from their use in the past due to the negative attention they have gained, however we tested them out once again.

Our conversions increased by 8%!

We only deliver 1 pop per session and only upon an exit and only if a desired result had not been achieved.

Unfortunately Google put the kabash on the ad campaign that hits pages with the pop up function. What's interesting is that some of the largest advertisers online use pops.. I'll only call two to the carpet: Lower My Bills and Network Solutions.

I agree that the ABUSIVE use of pops are destructive to the user experience, but when they are used with care they can be an effective way to increase conversions.

Since Google is reviewing the ads well enough to determine if a pop is present, shouldnt they perhaps evaluate if the pop is being used in a legitimate way?

What's your thought on pops - do you use them? have you abandond them long ago or are you using other techniques to achieve the same effect?

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Old 04-27-2006   #2
integramed
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My experience is simple. I tested a carefully crafted exit pop a while ago, and it was very effective. But, I can't place it into production because Google does not allow pops with adwords. I do a *lot* of adwords advertising, so I gotta behave myself ;-)
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Old 04-27-2006   #3
jsmm
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It's a difficult question - which is more important, search engine ranking or conversions from exit pops?

If a website heavily relies on search engines for traffic and needs to maintain a good reputation with the search engines, then exit pops would obviously be more destructive than helpful. However, if a vast majority of sales come from affiliations or links, and if effective search engine marketing hasn't yielded significant benefit, then exit pops may have a legitimate use.

However, business and business models change, and if next year you learn that your target audience has begun to use search engines to find you, you may have shot yourself in the foot by being disliked by search engines.
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Old 04-27-2006   #4
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Some potentially interesting information in the Inside AdWords blog post below, particularly in the linked-to doc entitled "The Most Hated Advertising Techniques".

Why no pop-ups?
http://adwords.blogspot.com/2006/04/why-no-pop-ups.html

AWR
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Old 04-28-2006   #5
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I'm certainly not going to defend pop-ups, in fact I hate them and use the Google Toolbar to block them. Google is right to ban them from landing pages. But, just in the spirit of objectivity, the article "The Most Hated Advertising Techniques" is based on 2004 research (getting old now) and does not consider pop-unders. It specifically asked users if they disliked.. "Pops-up in front of your window". Who could say no to that!
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Old 04-28-2006   #6
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I agree Integramed

There are very few reports about internet marketing over 6 months old that I put any faith in. And opinion polls deliver anything the pollster wants to prove.
-----
I'm not saying I'm a strong advocate for pop ups. Believe me, I fully understand the slippery slope to chaos Google could be on if they accept Pop ups. But my points for objective discussion are two fold.

1. Pops ups CAN be used to greatly increase ROI without annoying a visitor.
2. Can, not they have to, but can Google use technology to differentiate between a legitimate use of pop ups from an abusive use of pop ups.

The pop should be in context with the content of the initial ad and landing page. There should be no more than 1 pop per user session. Perhaps the google tool bar could be used to help enforce this policy?

A point of clearification - If a pop is automatically triggered then it is against G policy, but if the pop is initiated by the user then it is OK... correct?

What about live chat features that many sites use?
These services include the ability to "pop" a window which asks the visitor if they would like to chat. Is this against the rules?

Even vaguer, what about mouse over events that show hide layers?

There are many instances in which a site developer may want to make use of a "pop style" behavior which very well could enhance the visitors experience.

After all I paid for the customer to come into my store, they responded to my very targeted ad and even stayed on my page for a few minutes, then they are trying to leave without purchasing... what went wrong? can't I ask them? Can't I try to help them? Can't I give them recommedations based on activities they did perform? Any good salesperson would do the same.

Again, I do understand that G may be openning Pandora’s Box by saying yes to SOME pops and it may be easier to simply say no to all forms of pops. However, the returns we have seen have shown that when used responsibly POPs could really help the advertiser and the customer. All that is needed is a clear policy and the technology behind it to enforce it.

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Old 05-01-2006   #7
Mel66
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Discovery, we have user-initiated popups on our site, including Live Chat, and (so far) Google Adwords hasn't had a problem with them. We do not use any kind of survey or upsell popups, although that idea has been tossed around.

I thought Google didn't allow automatic popups on the landing page, but that popups elsewhere were ok. Maybe that's not correct though. It would be good to have some official confirmation one way or the other (AWR, can you comment?).

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Old 05-01-2006   #8
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I thought Google didn't allow automatic popups on the landing page, but that popups elsewhere were ok. Maybe that's not correct though. It would be good to have some official confirmation one way or the other (AWR, can you comment?).
Sure thing. You are correct, Mel66.

Excerpting from the Editorial Guidelines (for text ads, in this case), which may be found at https://adwords.google.com/select/guidelines.html:

Quote:
We do not allow links to landing pages that generate pop-ups when users enter or leave your landing page. We consider a pop-up to be any window, regardless of content, that opens in addition to the original window.
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Old 05-02-2006   #9
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How is it detected?

A loaded question I know, but my purpose for asking is this:

If Google doesnt allow it, but many other engines do, I could use some simple coding to detect the google visitors and turn off the pop or keep it on for networks that do allow the pop.

Depending on how google detects if a pop is present they may not see what is happening on the dynamic page. For example, if they just evaluate the code and look for a body tag event, but do not look to see if it is dynamically triggered.

I don't want to voilate Googles terms, but want to be as efficient with our pages as possible.

Thanks

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Old 05-04-2006   #10
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How is it detected? A loaded question I know, but my purpose for asking is...
Discovery, while I both understand and honor your purpose, I'm not really able to be more specific - for reasons that I'm sure you'll understand.

First, I want to protect user experience - and additionally, I want to protect my job at Google.

Sorry to disappoint - and also my apology for the delayed response.

AWA
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