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Old 01-29-2008   #1
abbottsys
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AdWords and Error Pages - Why So Cold?

I know many folks don't like AdWords on error pages and parked domains, but for us these distribution channels perform really well.

So that got me to thinking. Is AdWords getting the most from error pages (i.e. the 404 "page not found" error.)

You don't need to look far to find missed opportunity. Consider Google's cold, bare and unfriendly error page..

http://www.google.com/pagename.html

I mean, all they need do is parse the user's requested "pagename" and show a few AdWords ads that match. And looking around the web, some really big players have equally chilly error pages.

Why so cold? This is prime real estate. Use it, warm it up!

Last edited by abbottsys : 01-29-2008 at 05:13 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 01-29-2008   #2
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Re: AdWords and Error Pages - Why So Cold?

If I correctly remember, at least for AdSense publishers, display on a 404 or similar page is a no-no.

Also, at one of the PubCons in the past couple of years I suggested to one of the AdWords/AdSense engineers that they parse the search terms used to reach the page when serving ads; they appeared to be very recpetive, but apparently nothing came of it.
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Old 01-29-2008   #3
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Re: AdWords and Error Pages - Why So Cold?

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Originally Posted by jimbeetle View Post
...Also, at one of the PubCons in the past couple of years I suggested to one of the AdWords/AdSense engineers that they parse the search terms used to reach the page when serving ads; they appeared to be very recpetive, but apparently nothing came of it.
Pity. You were way ahead of the curve. The Google 404 error page is not just a lost opportunity, it's totally neglected. They don't even use their own correct logo. It looks like something left over from the early days. Valuable real estate unattended.
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Old 01-29-2008   #4
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Re: AdWords and Error Pages - Why So Cold?

While we, as humble publishers, might think of it as valuable real estate, it's probably just static to Google. I hardly suspect that a prospective Googler reaching a 404 page will not eventually find their way to where they meant to go. For the rest of us, a prospective visitor ending up at one of our neglected 404 pages almost always translates into a lost visitor.
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Old 01-29-2008   #5
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Re: AdWords and Error Pages - Why So Cold?

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... For the rest of us, a prospective visitor ending up at one of our neglected 404 pages almost always translates into a lost visitor.
Maybe, but don't be so tough on yourself. Your 404 handler is way better than most, including Google's
Daniweb 404 handler http://www.daniweb.com/page.html
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Old 01-30-2008   #6
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Re: AdWords and Error Pages - Why So Cold?

Maybe, but the point I'm trying to make is that it NEEDS to be better than Google's.
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Old 01-31-2008   #7
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Re: AdWords and Error Pages - Why So Cold?

Well, it seems that Google's 404 error page is one of the absolute worst on the web.
http://www.google.com/loans.html

Microsoft mentions a ton of products on their error page:
http://www.microsoft.com/loans.html

Apple does the same:
http://www.apple.com/loans.html

Yahoo and Ask have a search box on their error page. A search box on a search engine error page, now there's an idea
http://www.ask.com/loans.html

And Google even fails with their sub-domain error handling:
http://loans.google.com

They could at least show me some adwords for loans.

Last edited by abbottsys : 01-31-2008 at 03:49 PM. Reason: typo
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