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Old 11-24-2004   #1
Gilgul
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Top position? Impossible?

I am trying to get to the top spot in Adwords. Not just the listings on the right but the top above the regular listings (the part that used to be premium).

It seems that whatever I do I cannot get there. My competition does though. I get top spot in the regular (on right listings).

Cannot understand it. When his adds are on only he is on top. When his adds are off no one is there.

Any idea?
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Old 11-24-2004   #2
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A brief overview...

Quote:
I am trying to get to the top spot in Adwords. Not just the listings on the right but the top above the regular listings (the part that used to be premium).

It seems that whatever I do I cannot get there. My competition does though. I get top spot in the regular (on right listings).

Cannot understand it. When his adds are on only he is on top. When his adds are off no one is there...

Any idea?
Gilgul, here is a brief overview of ads at the right vs. ads at the top.


First, here are some details about placement on the right:

* position on the right is determined by your rank number (per keyword) as compared to the rank number of each of your competitors who are eligible to show in the moment of the keyword search.

* The higher the rank number, the higher the position.

* Rank number = Max CPC x CTR. Thus Max CPC and CTR have equal weight.

* Rank number is calculated to a really silly number of decimal places to prevent two advertisers from ever having the exact same rank number.


Now, here are details about how placement in the top one or two spots differs:

* Ads go to the top when they have met an additional performance standard, which focuses on the relevance of the ads to our users.

* This is measured by CTR. So ads/keywords with a particularly high CTR are the ones that go to the top. This also means that CTR is weighted more heavily than CPC in the algo for 'promotion'.

* Actual CPC is more important than Max CPC in terms of going to the top. This means that simply 'bidding higher' is not likely to get one 'promoted'.

* Ads/keywords must first be reviewed and approved, in order to be sent to the top one or two spots.



Quote:
Cannot understand it. When his adds are on only he is on top. When his adds are off no one is there.
Think of it this way:

Remember that there is an additional performance bar, focused on relevance as measured by CTR, that must be met in order for ads to be 'sent North'. If none of the ads on the right meet this additional standard, in the moment of the search, then no ads are sent to the top.

A short time later, though, the circumstances may be different - and an ad may meet the standard and go North.

Hope that helps to make some sense of top placement.

AWR

Last edited by AdWordsRep : 11-24-2004 at 11:15 AM. Reason: Fix choppy writing style, and clarify!
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Old 11-24-2004   #3
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Thanks for the detailed information, and while we are at it...

Quote:
Remember that there is an additional performance bar, focused on relevance as measured by CTR, that must be met in order for ads to be 'sent North'. If none of the ads on the right meet this additional standard, in the moment of the search, then no ads are sent to the top.
Ok, so this means that I will need a certain ctr to qualify for a top spot. Is that a level that can be posted here? I mean considering the top ads cpc is similar, what ctr will I need to qualify?

Quote:
* Ads/keywords must first be reviewed and approved, in order to be sent to the top one or two spots.
Where do I apply to get my ads/keywords reviewed for top spots.

Thanks again,
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Old 11-24-2004   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilgul
Ok, so this means that I will need a certain ctr to qualify for a top spot. Is that a level that can be posted here? I mean considering the top ads cpc is similar, what ctr will I need to qualify?
I think that value changes dynamically depending on how well your competitors are doing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilgul
Where do I apply to get my ads/keywords reviewed for top spots.
your ads are automatically set up to be reviewed if the CTR and max bid are high enough. there is nowhere where you need to sign up.
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Old 11-24-2004   #5
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Nice post AWR - real good clarification without being overly wordy. Thanks.

Regarding timing, I maintain some AdWords ads for a client of mine who recently started advertising on AdWords - maybe six to eight weeks ago or so. His site is very relevant for the types of searches we're targeting, as there is not much competition (at least not much that is well marketed).

He asked me about getting to the top versus the sides, and just as of about a week or two ago his ads made it to the top. It seems to me that in order to accurately gauge a true CTR, your ad would need to be up for a while, with a certain number of impressions and clicks (otherwise it could be skewed with 1 click on 2 impressions or something silly like that).

Indeed, his ads are now at the top, as he's got a fairly generous max CPC set (his in a high-margin business) and his ads are relevant.

If your business/service/product is at all regional in nature, try using the regional targeting in AdWords. If it is a regional product that should significantly improve your CTR and even more importantly your sales/leads per click. The former of these helps get you on the top, thus getting more exposure and hopefully more clicks, sales, and the like.

Also, if it makes sense don't be shy to raise up your max CPC. Remeber its a max, not an average, so in some cases your actual CPC may be much lower.

Good luck!
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Old 11-24-2004   #6
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Quote:
Ok, so this means that I will need a certain ctr to qualify for a top spot. Is that a level that can be posted here? I mean considering the top ads cpc is similar, what ctr will I need to qualify?
Quote:
I think that value changes dynamically depending on how well your competitors are doing.
Gilgul and seobook, I'm sorry to report that this is a part of the algo that is not detailed. Honestly, having worked with AdWords for nearly 2 1/2 years, I still don't know all the nitty-gritty details myself.



Quote:
Where do I apply to get my ads/keywords reviewed for top spots.
Quote:
your ads are automatically set up to be reviewed if the CTR and max bid are high enough. there is nowhere where you need to sign up.
Sorry if I didn't make this clear. I was referring to the review process that every single Ad Group goes through, as quickly as possible after it is submitted. This is the same review that gets your ads running on partner sites.



And, also, I agree with ephricon, who said:
Quote:
Good luck!

Now, on another (entirely unrelated and completely self-serving) note:

WoooHooo! I finally made it to 100 posts! (About time, eh?)

Hey! I think I'll take the next four days off!

AWR

Last edited by AdWordsRep : 11-24-2004 at 02:20 PM. Reason: Added comma. ;)
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Old 11-24-2004   #7
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In my experience:

1) being in the top two generates a lot more click-thrus, but you get killed on conversion rates (unless you are the only one selling the item and/or a drastically different prices than others)

2) being 3rd, or i should say, somewhere on the right has proven to be much better in my experience. not nearly as many clicks, but allows more freedom for experimentation with other campaign ideas and conversion rates (i.e. ROI) tend to be much, much better

Here's how i see it: If you sell something, being #1 or #2 will get you a lot of clicks, but most shoppers, especially internet shoppers, like to shop around. If they actually click sponsored listings, they will probably check the prices of the top 5 or so and choose accordingly.

If you believe you are competitive in pricing, it pays to be one of the last sites the 'shopper' 'shopped'. (hope that makes sense)

Also, a ton of clicks will make your ads show less because you will be getting closer to your daily ad spend limits. If the item is generating a lot of interest, you could burn up all your activity in the a.m. and then lose all the evening, "after work" shoppers who will probably be more likely to spend as opposed to "at work" shoppers who may want to browse, but who do not want to appear to be "buying" while at work....

i know google "spreads out" the clicks ...but again, in my experience it pays to do that yourself.

think about it.

:-)

happy thanksgiving.

Last edited by sebastian : 11-24-2004 at 02:52 PM.
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Old 11-24-2004   #8
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sebastian,

Excellent points - especially as related to the "after work" shopper and the likelihood that they are more ready to buy than the user that is searching while at work (who's likely gathering info or shopping around and not yet in the purchase stage).

However, your post seems to imply to me that you are speaking of AdWords for e-commerce sites (i.e. any site physically processing a sale online). I would argue that things are a bit different for sites that use AdWords (or any PPC) to attract visitors either as a source of generic traffic or with the conversion being a lead form or phone call or something of that nature.
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Old 11-24-2004   #9
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Quote:
your post seems to imply to me that you are speaking of AdWords for e-commerce sites
yes. if i have any expertise at all - it is in the commerce area. i have zero experience with sites just hunting referrals or newsletter signups ...or anything other than "selling something"; so, yea - you are correct, my post is geared towards sellers.

in fact, one could probably go as far as to say 'commerce' is the hardest of all the business types utilizing this technology. here's why:

- with commerce, you must first 'bait' the user in a sea of competing ads.

- 'hook' the user with compelling enough copy for the click (i.e. trust)

- 'keep' the potential customer on the site with a proper landing page, professional design and interesting, relevant information

- 'assist' the customer through the commerce process by having a simple and easy to use e-commerce UI and fast processing.

If all i was looking for was a phone call or a newsletter signee, well - that would be much simplier.

:-)
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Old 11-26-2004   #10
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Lightbulb About googleadwords

Hello everyone!
When getting at the "top" of the list is not the issue, but rather getting the most clicks on the already at the top listing is your concern, how do you go about it? You can think as a consumer, but you can't click the adds for them. You would imagine that if you have your client at the top of a search engine you would be getting the most clicks out of all your existing clients that are not ranking so high on the list. The point I am trying to make is that some clients seem to do better than others even if you develop the same campaign for two different clients with the same product. Is their own individual marketing campaigns (meaning your client's tv adds, newspaper adds, or popularity) what really makes the difference?
I am new in this area. I have just started working for a company that works with programs such as overture and adwords. I am in the marketing (Spanish) development team, and as you can imagine just started learning about the process and dynamic. I am thrill and excited about this new(for me) type of marketing, yet I find hard to understand the process. How to develop campaigns is still a mystery to me (an I haven’t even started to really develop them in Spanish yet)
I was wondering if somebody had some suggestions o recommendations for companies that are dedicating themselves at optimizing your campaigns and teach you strategies so that one can get their own client's to be happier with this kind of service.
Thank you for your time, consideration and wonderful forum you have going here.
Pilar
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Old 11-26-2004   #11
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Thanks for explaining how the top spots work AWR.

I never knew it actually worked like that, I’ve experimented and came to conclusion that the top spots were awarded when our spend was over a certain amount. – silly me, all i had to do was ask

For me the top spots work very well. I’ve tried ads in various positions, and although earnings vs spend is better for the lower ranked positions, overall daily profit is higher when occupying the top spots - Despite our site not being the best designed site or the cheapest.
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Old 12-13-2004   #12
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Another thing to consider is that if your competitor was bidding on a certian keyword well before you, there's a good chance that his CTR is 5X or more than yours. There's one keyword that we just absolutely can't get on the left for. Even though we sell the same product and I know that we convert better and can afford to pay more for clicks, the fact that he has been displaying on the left since before we were advertising in Google makes it so that we can't compete. His historical CTR is probably around 6-10% while ours is about 1.5%, even though our ads are basically the same. I have increased my bid from about $.60 to $3.50 in the past and I got the #2 spot behind him, but there's just no way I can afford to pay even close to that.

Just another flaw in the Google AdWords system. Google might do organic search stuff better than anyone, but Overture has a much better system for PPC.
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Old 12-13-2004   #13
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I've officially paused my google adwords account today. Im sick of it. I was getting impressions and clicks before they changed to this new keyword handling TRIAL, ON HOLD, ETC and now I cant even get impressions unless I click my own damn ads.

What good is paid ads if you have to WORK to get your ranking AGAIN? I agree, overtures PPC seems to work better, but its a pain to setup and use compared to adwords.
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Old 12-13-2004   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sebastian

If all i was looking for was a phone call or a newsletter signee, well - that would be much simplier.

:-)

I'll have to challenge you here. My experience is almost entirely in lead-generation. My clients pay me to get leads to come in their door - primarily via contact forms although there are certainly some phone calls as well that come via their sites...

I won't debate the newsletter part - I don't know much about trying to get newsletter signups... But with regard to getting someone to pick up the phone or fill out a contact form - the difficult part here is that you have to convince someone to take a much more personal action. If I'm buying a $5 product online, I'm not hesitant at all. If it looks good and trustworthy I'll buy it and that's the end of it - no big whoop - its a small action in my day.

However... I have a couple of tax attorneys. Success here involves getting someone to put their name and contact information into a form and admit that they are having serious tax or debt-related issues and they'd like to have someone they've never met call them and discuss this with them. This requires a greater level of trust in many cases than saying buying a CD online.

I think the type of product and/or lead being developed is the primary gauge of "difficulty" rather than sale vs. lead. Certainly most sales require more steps, but generating a couple of leads for a lawyer or other high-priced professional can also require a great deal of trust and be a real tough conversion overall.
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Old 12-13-2004   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Broker
I've officially paused my google adwords account today. Im sick of it. I was getting impressions and clicks before they changed to this new keyword handling TRIAL, ON HOLD, ETC and now I cant even get impressions unless I click my own damn ads.

What good is paid ads if you have to WORK to get your ranking AGAIN? I agree, overtures PPC seems to work better, but its a pain to setup and use compared to adwords.
I'll let the others (esp the Google reps) grill you on this one. Unless I'm suffering from a severe blow to the head I believe there are like a million places where Google says you should not click your own ads to artificially inflate your CTR.

I used to very much prefer Overture, as I prefer their admin system. However, I hated having to wait to get my changes approved in Overture - and in truth once I tried AdWords I just really didn't see nearly the same impact on my clients' sales with Overture as I did with AdWords. I would say this is b/c of Google's huge market share plus a generally higher CTR. All those Overture ads on sites that have 200 sponsored listings before any organic listings can't bring much of a CTR - or so I'd have to speculate.
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Old 12-13-2004   #16
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Yes, I was being sarcastic

Overture displays correctly and gives me really good targeted traffic, however the number of times my ads display compared to the way google WAS, was much smaller.

Now Ill just focus on overture since that traffic converts much better. I also tried kanoodle of which I let THEM generate 100 keyword phrases. Hundreds of clicks on a very targeted text ad and probably 99% of that traffic never clicked another link on my site or stayed more than a few seconds or so.

I know my site and its conversion per unique hits cause all my traffic is targeted, and the kanoodle traffic makes me wonder if someone is doing some extreme cheating.

Anyway, back on topic. google. im frustrated with adwords recent changes.
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Old 12-13-2004   #17
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Kanoodle has its ups and downs... Google can be a very solid market but you do need to be aware of what is working... similiarly with Overture... I find that since you can run multiple creatives (ad text) and with the right tracking code do comparisions of CTR and conversion that Google makes it much easier to get a deeper feel for their traffic.
It can be done at Overture but the process just takes so much longer. What I generally do is test on Google and confirm on Overture.
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Old 09-11-2007   #18
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Re: Top position? Impossible?

Quote:
I am trying to get to the top spot in Adwords. Not just the listings on the right but the top above the regular listings (the part that used to be premium).
It's hard to think of any idea, all this sounds quite weird. You are not allowed to have access to top spot but the competition manages to do it. You should contact someone responsible whit this, the way I see things, you can't afford to wait.

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Old 09-11-2007   #19
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Re: Top position? Impossible?

Wow.

I just have to comment, as this is kind of a landmark. This is the oldest thread I have ever seen revived in my four years posting on AdWords forums.

AWR
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Old 09-11-2007   #20
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Re: Top position? Impossible?

Isn't this History month?
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