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Old 10-26-2004   #1
Juan Lam
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Time to launch an Overture PrecisionMatch Ad

This story is something a friend from some seminar sent me. Unfortunately, I think it's very true...

Quote:
Overture sent a couple of representatives to the seminar to give a presentation, and things started going downhill when a woman who's relatively new to this stuff asked a rather innocent question:

Attendee: 'Let's say my business does window screen repair and there's suddenly a hailstorm in Sydney, and I want to get on the web right away and advertise that I repair hail-damaged windows.
How long does it take before my ad appears?'

Overture: 'Why would you want to do that?'

Attendee: 'Because I'd like people to come to my website right away and have me fix their screens because of the hailstorm.'

Overture: 'But that's not what you do; you just fix screens. Your business isn't about hailstorms.'

Attendee: 'Yes it is! And if there was suddenly a hailstorm, I'd like them to find my website right away and ring me up.'

Overture: 'But if your website doesn't have any pages about hailstorms, we can't approve your ad. Your website would have to be about wind screen damage from hailstorms, because we have very stringent relevancy requirements so that people who search get only the best results.'

Attendee: 'So if I put up a page about hail storm damage repair, how long does it take for my ad to show up?'

Overture: '3-7 days.'

Attendee: '3-7 days??? Whatever for? People want to fix hail damaged windows today, not 7 days from now.'

Overture: 'That's why it's really important to already be advertising with Overture, even if your bids are really small, so that if something like this happens, you can increase your bids and become more visible, which only takes 2 minutes. We only charge you a minimum of $25 per month. Otherwise your ads would need to be approved by our content editors, which takes 3-7 days.'

Attendee: 'OK, so let's say my ads are already running and I just want to change them to say I repair hail damage, how long would that take?'

Overture: 'Why would you want to do that? Your ads already say that you repair windows.'

Attendee: 'Because if a hailstorm just happened, and people would be thinking about hail damage.'

Overture: 'Why would you want to do that?'

Attendee: 'Because we're marketers!'

Overture: 'You need to understand, we have a very stringent editorial process to make sure that only ads that meet our 80 pages of content requirements are approved, and people who search only see the most relevant possible listings from our advertisers.'

And so it went. 'Overture, we want your service to be instantaneous, not take 3-7 days.'
'Oh no, Mr. Customer, our editors know better than you and we're not going to let your ads show up right away.'

Needless to say the conversations in the terrace after that particular session was over were... um, pretty humorous. There was mirth and laughter at Overture's expense.

Frosted with more than a touch of annoyance.

This was accented by the fact that on Friday I had just built a Google campaign for a brand new product, live in front of our audience, in about 10 minutes. The ads started running immediately.
Looks like Yahoo! continues looking at Google as their #1 benchmark in technology.

Efficiency Rules!!!

Yahoo!, can you please give us this small convenience?
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Old 11-04-2004   #2
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I'm glad I found that post Juan. I think that the time for ads to get approved on Overture is unreasonable, and dare I say, sometimes even disrespectful. I sent Overture a list of low cost but high sales producing words that were only uploaded a week later. Based on my experience with these keywords, I realize that Overture's editorial board cost my company a week of solid results.
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Old 11-04-2004   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Generator
I'm glad I found that post Juan. I think that the time for ads to get approved on Overture is unreasonable, and dare I say, sometimes even disrespectful. I sent Overture a list of low cost but high sales producing words that were only uploaded a week later. Based on my experience with these keywords, I realize that Overture's editorial board cost my company a week of solid results.
And they lost the chance to make money... every day they don't have an extra advertiser is keeping their prices down.
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Old 11-09-2004   #4
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This is great, I enjoyed reading the discussion, as I have had similar ones pertaining to the why they have delays on so many things. However, for most of the new ads I send through in the past 3 months in Overture, it usually only takes 24-48hrs to get approved. Maybe I am special, but I doubt it, or maybe they are good ads, dont know. But then again nothing beats Google instant results...that makes even working with the interface 10x better.
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Old 11-10-2004   #5
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From my most recent email to Overture UK. (FYI, if you've ever received service correspondence from them you may have noted that their corporate style is to say "I would like to inform you...")

Quote:
Thank you for once again for replying.

I would like to inform you that, contrary to what you've just written, the that original reason given to me for declining these listings is not T/D specificity, but T/D: Description Quality. Consequently, once again, this response fails to address my question.

I would like to direct your attention to my original question, at the very bottom of this now-long email, where you can view my actual question.

I would also like to inform you that you are wasting my time and annoying me tremendously. This is really a very simple matter. I am not changing the titles nor the descriptions. I'm just changing the URLs. The description copy says "one of the leading". It conforms -- as it always has -- to your editorial guidelines. Please end this nonsensical email correspondence and just process the URL changes.

I am not going to quit bothering you until you either do this, or have the courtesy of giving me a sensible, non-boilerplate answer that actually addresses my question.
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Old 11-10-2004   #6
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I had to negotiate to have the rep I wanted stay with my account... committed to spend 50k a month on the international traffic.
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Old 11-16-2004   #7
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sad but true - you get what you pay for. if you are a "significant" advertiser (i dont know tiers off the top of my head, but its probably in the $10k/mo ballpark that Google sets) you receive the option of bulk uploads through the DTC. as an SEM agency that manages many high volume accounts, we also have a dedicated account rep that we interface with. as you would expect, both approaches are significantly faster than 3-7 days on average.

in addition, overture basically "pre-screens" terms that you push through your bulk upload interface. low volume keywords (lower than some, but not so low as to be ignored altogether) are generally approved immediately, while higher volume (more competitive) terms are sent to editors for review...which can take awhile.
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Old 11-16-2004   #8
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Because of the time factor I liked the suggestion made by one of the Exec. level Overture people - have a variety of terms and creatives preapproved and bring them out as needed.

I know this is a bit of a pain but it could help in situations where a particular situation arises that can be used for a short period to gain CTR sales etc.
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Old 11-22-2004   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AussieWebmaster
have a variety of terms and creatives preapproved and bring them out as needed.

Given the time Overture takes to process requests, this seems like the best solution so far. It's just a question of having the foresight to come up with keywords and creatives, perhaps irrelevant now, but that may become profitable topics in the future.
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Old 02-27-2005   #10
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While the delays on Overture can be annoying, at least it keeps them from having all the spammy ads I see on Google these days. Which I think is one reason the ads on MSN and Yahoo! get clicked at a much higher rate and are much more profitable, for us anyway. I'm willing to cut them a lot of slack for that...
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Old 02-27-2005   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschulma
While the delays on Overture can be annoying, at least it keeps them from having all the spammy ads I see on Google these days. Which I think is one reason the ads on MSN and Yahoo! get clicked at a much higher rate and are much more profitable, for us anyway. I'm willing to cut them a lot of slack for that...
I can deal with the spammy but they both have the offers by nonregulated companies that grab a high CTR and impede you.
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Old 02-28-2005   #12
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There is a delay on Google, but slight

I agree with the majority here, Overture's response time is lousy and has a serious negative impact on our ability to create, analyze and refine campaigns effectively.

You should know that there is also a delay on Google, but only for their content network. If you make a change to your ad creative and you use the content network you can expect to see that traffic stop for about 24 hours. The google search ads have no delay.

However, 24 hours is very reasonable, Overture's 3-5 day lag is negligent.

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