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View Poll Results: Should you be able to pick exactly which partner sites your ad will appear on?
Yes 40 95.24%
No 2 4.76%
Voters: 42. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-10-2004   #1
Kimotherapy
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Exclamation Protest PPC Engine Content Partner Distribution

Hi all,

If we all make enough noise, Espotting, Overture and Google will sit up and listen.

With Overture and Google and Espotting's content match partners, I have found that there are many sources where I am getting clicks from which are very unlikely to convert. I believe that I'm not alone here and that there are many of us who are paying for clicks which will never convert.

The only PPC engine that offers 'source exclusion' functionality is Mirago, whereby a list of partners is readily available and choice as to who you want traffic from is offered.

I believe that if all the major PPC engines offer this functionality, then it would certainly be a step in the right direction to unlocking the true conversion and ROI potential in 'content-match' type products. It would be beneficial to all.

Please support the protest for this function by posting a reply with a 'hallelujah'.

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Old 06-10-2004   #2
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'hallelujah'
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Old 06-10-2004   #3
sem4u
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I would be handy to switch off certain affiliates.
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Old 06-10-2004   #4
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hallelujah
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Old 06-10-2004   #5
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I added a poll to the top of this thread -- so no need to say hallelujah. You can just cast your votes. Those who've already posted should add their votes to the poll. And certainly expand the thread with more comments about the issues. I think what Mirago has done is great -- it would be nice to see the others give advertisers this degree of control.

Kimotherapy mentioned concerns over content/contextual ads not converting well. Remember that both Overture and Google let you opt out of these programs.

In terms of search-targeted listings, Google will let you choose to run only on Google sites or across its entire network. Overture still doesn't provide that limitation, to my knowledge.

Neither company will let you pick and choose specific sites if you are involved with their network.
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Old 06-10-2004   #6
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This would be a great feature. For example if I am a technology company running a Google AdWords campaign, then I don't necessarily want my ads to run at AOL or Netscape which typically attracts people that aren't as technical as those who would be using Google or Teoma.

I already opt out of the contextual advertising unless a client simply wants lots of exposure in other place beyond search engines.
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Old 06-10-2004   #7
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I would like a feature to stop the ads showing on sites i think are converting badly or look to be a bit suspect - The majority seem ok for us.
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Old 06-10-2004   #8
Alavina
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Post What Is Exactly?

Well, what does exactly mean? Definitely some control about the context... but do we need complete control? I'm just thinking of billboard advertising, you don't have total control there .
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Old 06-10-2004   #9
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Cool

I suppose the 'degree of control' is pretty much down to what the PPC engines can accommodate without the time and cost of R&D for such functionality spiralling out of control. I'm sure they want to help advertisers improve their conversion rates and ROI but obviously not to the extent where it becomes a nightmare for them.

I suppose that a good compromise would be to categorise the content sites somehow and offer the choice of which ones advertisers can have their listings shown in, therefore offering 'some control', as opposed to just being able to use the content partners, or not.

In terms of billboard advertising! billboard advertising??? even they offer better level of control over where your posters are displayed, they let you choose by location etc etc!

We need more control. Clients will always want better results and they are happy to pay for it. As long as the Earth continues to spin that way its in the ppc engines' best interests to improve their products/services.

Last edited by Kimotherapy : 06-10-2004 at 04:46 PM.
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Old 06-10-2004   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dannysullivan
In terms of search-targeted listings, Google will let you choose to run only on Google sites or across its entire network. Overture still doesn't provide that limitation, to my knowledge.
surely NObody would want their ads just to show on Overture, as end users do NOT use that for surfing, and if I remember correctly, Overture do NOT charge for clicks originating from Overtures own sites.

on a slightly different note, back in 2002/2003 , I used to spend some serious s with Espotting and complained about some of their traffic partners, they very kindly made sure that my ads did NOT show on those sites.

so it is possible, just whether they want to do it, or NOT ?

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Old 06-11-2004   #11
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Enabling choice would mean disclosure is required. I think that would be great.
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Old 06-14-2004   #12
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Quote:
surely NObody would want their ads just to show on Overture, as end users do NOT use that for surfing
Yes, agreed -- perhaps one reason why this never evolved on Overture.

More likely, people might think they want to restrict Overture ads to appear only on top tier search partners, such as Overture-parent Yahoo or MSN.
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Old 06-14-2004   #13
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Red face Rebellion

This sounds like the rebellion of the southern states
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Old 06-14-2004   #14
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hmmm

The funny thing about the AdSense program is the publisher can block advertisers... so why can't advertisers block publications?

I have made this comment before... one of the bigs needs to buy Blow Search and use the programming they have in place to do this.
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Old 06-14-2004   #15
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This is a topic that comes up during the Contexual Ads panel at every SES.

The issue here is that transparency risks threatening the network. Its the same basic problem that the original banner networks faced: they didnt want to reveal network details for fear that advertisers would identify the "high value" publishers and go direct, cutting out the network. But if you could "go around" the network once you identified your high-value publishers, you would. Cut out the middleman. Its the way of the web.

Interestingly, this dilemma is not new. Its a similar threat faced by the affiliate networks: its the 80/20 rule. 80% of traffic/value comes from 20% of partners (or maybe its a 95/5 rule; YMMV).

The difference between affiliate networks and ad networks is that it seems to be harder to "lock down" either the advertiser or the publisher in an advertising network. No publisher is going to sign a deal that says "you can't also sell inventory direct". But affiliate networks get away with this type of agreement, because you only have one affiliate program and one affiliate network partner (versus multiple ad campaigns and multiple ad network partners). In fact, the affiliate networks will SUE YOU if you go behind their back and cut direct deals -- its breach of contract.

So rather than lock down advertisers, the channels want to avoid the transparency and build a system that "just works"... if it works, you might want more but you'll tolerate what you can get. There are other issues here besides the "publisher ownership" approach... technology challenges, ever-changing publisher lists, etc. And the ad networks also fear OVERCOMPLICATING things. They are constantly struggling with balancing fuctionality/features with simplicity.

The interesting thing is that it actually IS possible to identify the content sites delivering you traffic; you just have to go through some extra work to do it. If you analyze your referrer logs, and if you effectively using tracking codes for your URLs (eg. Overture Tracking URLs), you can back out the content traffic versus search, and identify referrers for each.

Now, its probably possible for the networks to do something funky and obfuscate this during the redirects, but they aren't doing it now... they just make you work for it.

In the long run, I predict that the majors (Overture, Google) will be forced to offer you site specific distribution choices. Why? Because I expect that new networks will emerge that will give advertisers control over this feature, and that will also offer competitive revshare to the publishers. This will lure in "quality" publishers, and advertisers will follow.

In particular, I predict new self-serve ad networks will emerge that will be focused on serving PUBLISHERS, offering them more control over how they choose to divide up, price, and sell their inventory. This approach would be less like one big ad network aggregating publishers, and more like a bunch of major publishers banding together to aggregate advertisers and manage inventory on their own terms. This marketplace wouldn't care if you knoew the network, because the network would be DE FACTO transparent: the network would clearly be an aggregation of specific websites. Think about it a bit. I'm talking about a true, open advertising marketplace where a variety of products and distribution are bought and sold, and where publishers can have considerable control over managing the value and sales model of their particular inventory. This is very different than the model offered to publishers by any of the current advertising networks.

Once new networks offer site selection functionality and start to get some traction, the majors will be forced to follow suit. But dont expect the majors to take the lead on this one. Why should they, particularly if it may hurt their interests in the long run?

Sorry so long.

Last edited by bradbyrd : 06-14-2004 at 07:29 PM.
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Old 06-15-2004   #16
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> Neither company will let you pick and choose specific sites if you are involved with their network.

And that is exactly the option some clients would like - and pay for. If you can pick the best converting partners you will be ready to pay a higher CPC. It may make sense for the engines in the long run even though some of their distribution partners are doomed to die this way. The worst ones in the network.

I do understand the valid point brought up about not wanting to disclose the network in fear of advertisers going directly. I understand this but I just think that the advertisers need to pick the right targeted users go over this. Engines "just" have to come up with a way to deal with it. Give the advertisers what they require.

And I agree, it will most likely come to that - and good discussions like this will most certainly help.
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Old 06-16-2004   #17
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As bradbyrd says you can easily identify the content site where your ads are displayed using tracking URLs (source=overture, etc) and analyzing your log files. This will only tell you traffic levels though.

We have ROI tracking in place which allows us to identify the referrers as above and find out if they actually led to sales or just poured our money away. Unfortunately with content-based search traffic it's usually the former. However, having detailed information on which affiliates convert and which are a waste is great ammo to use against the engines in getting them to allow us to customise our PPC campaigns a la Mirago. I'll let you know if anything comes of it once we've harvested more data.

(as an added bonus, the tracking URLs can show the stupidity of some content match programmes - a client who was advertising 'china' in the sense of china plates, etc was having ads displayed on www.find-a-chinese.com! (which unfortunately seems to be broken at the moment))
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Old 06-21-2004   #18
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Closed your poll too quickly

I think you closed the poll too quickly. 35 votes won't mean much to the search engine gods. Now, if we were to get 1000 votes, they might pay attention.

The ability to choose which sites your PPC ads appear on, is something that I've been seeking ever since Sprinks was bought out by Google. I know Knoodle (with many former Sprinks employees) was moving in that direction, but I haven't followed up to see if they implemented it.
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