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Old 09-02-2004   #1
The Generator
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Exclamation How to Emergency Pause your AdWords Campaign

My company's server went down early Monday morning and only went back up on Tuesday morning. Realizing soon after that all of my PPC campaigns were being aimed at a dead link, I put all of them on pause. Every search engine reacted to my pause (and afterwards reactivation) request no longer than 1 minute later. However, it took my Adwords account over 2 hours to shut down. During this time my company lost a really considerable amount of money on dead links. My adrep explained that this was due to the system's configuration, that prevented it from immediately pulling my Adwords from the rotation, and that he was basically helpless in accelerating the pause process.

The next day, when our site did get back onto its server, it took until 3:30PM to process the request I made at 10AM to reactivate our account.

Word to the wise, in this situation, you should try placing your MAX daily limit at $1 rather than pause your campaigns, if ever your website is down. HOWEVER, don't take my word for it, as I have never tried this and am not sure of how Google would react to this: I would feel bad if anything like that happened to someone else based on this advice.

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Old 09-02-2004   #2
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A few thoughts on server delays - and an opinion

Quote:
...it took my Adwords account over 2 hours to shut down. During this time my company lost a really considerable amount of money on dead links. My adrep explained that this was due to the system's configuration, that prevented it from immediately pulling my Adwords from the rotation, and that he was basically helpless in accelerating the pause process.

The next day, when our site did get back onto its server, it took until 3:30PM to process the request I made at 10AM to reactivate our account.
Firstly, The Generator, my apologies for the delay - although your rep is correct. There are many thousands of servers that must update for any change you make, and this can take a longer or shorter time depending on activity throughout the system. And there is really no way to 'speed up' the updating of one change amongst the vast number of changes made in any given second.

As the number of advertisers increases, and as advertisers seem to be leaning towards more ads and especially towards more keywords, these delays have unfortunately gotten longer. As you can imagine, this is an issue that is being addressed as a real priority. It is clearly to the benefit of everyone to have changes updated as quickly as possible.



Quote:
Word to the wise, in this situation, you should try placing your MAX daily limit at $1 rather than pause your campaigns, if ever your website is down. HOWEVER, don't take my word for it, as I have never tried this and am not sure of how Google would react to this: I would feel bad if anything like that happened to someone else based on this advice.
I wouldn't really suggest changing your budget, when what you really want is to pause - but not because Google would have a problem with it. The reason I don't suggest it goes back to what I mentioned earlier, which is that any change you make must be updated through thousands of servers. So there is no reason to believe that the change in your budget would be updated any faster than your request to 'Pause' your campaign.


I am also going to use The Genarator's post as an opportunity to express an opinion, based on observation. Caution! AWR now stepping up on a soapbox.

If I may say so, advertisers could do their part towards increasing system speed by not overloading their account with many thousands of keywords simply 'because they can'. In the past few months, I've seen a real increase in accounts with thousands, or even tens of thousands of keywords that are essentially useless. These keyword lists almost appear to have been created at random, and are not related to the product or service on offer. In far too many cases, they rarely get a click - or even an impression.

In my opinion, this is not a good practice in a program that is weighted towards relevance. And although I'm not an engineer I can easily imagine that a list of ten thousand useless keywords requires a bit more processing power to keep track of than a list of 500 excellent ones.

AWR, now stepping down from soapbox.
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Old 09-02-2004   #3
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Thanks for your insight AWR. I think that the best solution would be to have someone from a website's IT department call at any time of day or night to say when a website's server is expected to shut down.

For example, if an Adwords account is set to pause at 4AM EST then it should actually be paused at 6AM EST. Early intervention would significantly cut the losses throughout North America.
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Old 09-04-2004   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdWordsRep
I am also going to use The Genarator's post as an opportunity to express an opinion, based on observation. Caution! AWR now stepping up on a soapbox.

If I may say so, advertisers could do their part towards increasing system speed by not overloading their account with many thousands of keywords simply 'because they can'. In the past few months, I've seen a real increase in accounts with thousands, or even tens of thousands of keywords that are essentially useless. These keyword lists almost appear to have been created at random, and are not related to the product or service on offer. In far too many cases, they rarely get a click - or even an impression.

In my opinion, this is not a good practice in a program that is weighted towards relevance. And although I'm not an engineer I can easily imagine that a list of ten thousand useless keywords requires a bit more processing power to keep track of than a list of 500 excellent ones.

AWR, now stepping down from soapbox.
Shouldn’t these useless words automatically become “at risk” and then disabled?
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Old 09-04-2004   #5
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Interesting post Generator. Since most server crashes etc. are unexpected making a predetermined shutoff is difficult... it takes someone on top of the account to catch it ASAP and pause the bids to save the company money... how did the smaller engines react to this???
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Old 09-04-2004   #6
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Excellent Post! (Note to other Members: Please remember to use the "Rate this Post" feature when you see one like this.)

This is also a good reminder for all website owners that are in the Florida region that might be at risk from the hurricane. Take necessary precautions if you feel that your server will take a serious down time.
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Old 09-06-2004   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AussieWebmaster
Interesting post Generator. Since most server crashes etc. are unexpected making a predetermined shutoff is difficult... it takes someone on top of the account to catch it ASAP and pause the bids to save the company money... how did the smaller engines react to this???
Glad you asked AussieWebmaster. Actually, a smaller search engine informed me that my site was down early in the morning. 7Search provides very cheap clicks. The only disadvantage is that there's a maximum cap on the traffic volume they can provide, offering a very small percentage of the visitors you can get from Adwords. However, b/c of its small size, 7Search can pay closer attention to what's going on in its accounts. Early in the morning, they shut down our PPC campaign, and informed my company that our server was down.

To summarize, just about all small engines, as well as Overture (for Yahoo and MSN), react immediately to a pause command, because their systems are not as advanced as Adwords.
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Old 09-06-2004   #8
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To summarize, just about all small engines, as well as Overture (for Yahoo and MSN), react immediately to a pause command, because their systems are not as advanced as Adwords.
I don't think it's fair to say that Overture is less advanced than AdWords. After all, didn't Google just pay Overture/Yahoo a load of money for using their technology?
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Old 09-06-2004   #9
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How about less complicated?
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Old 09-06-2004   #10
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hehe, yes, thats could be true
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Old 09-06-2004   #11
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AWR, thanks for the valuable insights.

I notice this is the second forum on which you've stepped on your soapbox to lament the excessive keyword dumping that has become de rigueur in the PPC account management game. I couldn't agree more.

Can we read into this post that Google is going to have to begin performing triage, forcing delays on accounts which insist on jamming hundreds of thousands of keywords into operation for relatively simple campaigns where 1,000 would do, and leavingthe more responsible, less bloated accounts running relatively unfettered, with quicker response times?

Is Google going to actually "penalize" the most bloated accounts without really publicizing this fact?

Or by stating as much on this forum, would you actually be publicizing this fact?

If you don't plan to take action in some fashion, is it realistic to expect that these soapbox requests will have an impact?


Quote:
Originally Posted by AdWordsRep
Firstly, The Generator, my apologies for the delay - although your rep is correct. There are many thousands of servers that must update for any change you make, and this can take a longer or shorter time depending on activity throughout the system. And there is really no way to 'speed up' the updating of one change amongst the vast number of changes made in any given second.

As the number of advertisers increases, and as advertisers seem to be leaning towards more ads and especially towards more keywords, these delays have unfortunately gotten longer. As you can imagine, this is an issue that is being addressed as a real priority. It is clearly to the benefit of everyone to have changes updated as quickly as possible.





I wouldn't really suggest changing your budget, when what you really want is to pause - but not because Google would have a problem with it. The reason I don't suggest it goes back to what I mentioned earlier, which is that any change you make must be updated through thousands of servers. So there is no reason to believe that the change in your budget would be updated any faster than your request to 'Pause' your campaign.


I am also going to use The Genarator's post as an opportunity to express an opinion, based on observation. Caution! AWR now stepping up on a soapbox.

If I may say so, advertisers could do their part towards increasing system speed by not overloading their account with many thousands of keywords simply 'because they can'. In the past few months, I've seen a real increase in accounts with thousands, or even tens of thousands of keywords that are essentially useless. These keyword lists almost appear to have been created at random, and are not related to the product or service on offer. In far too many cases, they rarely get a click - or even an impression.

In my opinion, this is not a good practice in a program that is weighted towards relevance. And although I'm not an engineer I can easily imagine that a list of ten thousand useless keywords requires a bit more processing power to keep track of than a list of 500 excellent ones.

AWR, now stepping down from soapbox.
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Old 09-06-2004   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdWordsRep




I am also going to use The Genarator's post as an opportunity to express an opinion, based on observation. Caution! AWR now stepping up on a soapbox.

If I may say so, advertisers could do their part towards increasing system speed by not overloading their account with many thousands of keywords simply 'because they can'. In the past few months, I've seen a real increase in accounts with thousands, or even tens of thousands of keywords that are essentially useless. These keyword lists almost appear to have been created at random, and are not related to the product or service on offer. In far too many cases, they rarely get a click - or even an impression.

In my opinion, this is not a good practice in a program that is weighted towards relevance. And although I'm not an engineer I can easily imagine that a list of ten thousand useless keywords requires a bit more processing power to keep track of than a list of 500 excellent ones.

AWR, now stepping down from soapbox.
The problem is I am constantly being sent lists of more keywords from your account reps... it is their job to make you money also.
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Old 09-06-2004   #13
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One of the problems with the many keywords is the lack of good keyword data from Google - especially if you work in non-english languages. We need better data to give you better accounts

For Danish accounts, that I do quite a few of, I have to rely on keyword data from other sources, set it up in AdWords and hope it preform well. And yes, as you say AWR, often some of the keywords turn out to produce no or very few impressions and clicks. That is, I agree, a waste of your resources - and my time (not the least). So I don't want that either. The problem is the data you give us to determine what will work and what will not is insuficcient - to say the least.

Why not give us a tool like Overtures suggestion tool - or even better, something like WordTracker. Or maybe even something better... I know you can make it and I am quite sure it will lead to better campaigns and more money spend with you.
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Old 09-07-2004   #14
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Face Value

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I notice this is the second forum on which you've stepped on your soapbox to lament the excessive keyword dumping that has become de rigueur in the PPC account management game. I couldn't agree more.
Yes, and I'm speaking as an individual who is committed to AdWords, and to advertiser success - and as one who has listened to folks lament that the speed of the program has gone down over time, while time-to-review for new and edited ads has gone up.

And I'm completely delighted that you agree, andrewgoodman!


Quote:
Can we read into this post that Google is going to have to begin performing triage, forcing delays on accounts which insist on jamming hundreds of thousands of keywords into operation for relatively simple campaigns where 1,000 would do, and leaving the more responsible, less bloated accounts running relatively unfettered, with quicker response times?
Absolutely not.

andrewgoodman , I am a very straightforward person, so I'd ask that you not read anything into what I say on this forum. Instead, please, simply take it at face value. In this case, my post was identified as my opinion, and it is just that: an informed opinion from someone who cares, and who sees the results of this trend, up close and personal, every single day.


Quote:
Is Google going to actually "penalize" the most bloated accounts without really publicizing this fact?

Or by stating as much on this forum, would you actually be publicizing this fact?
Please see above.


Quote:
If you don't plan to take action in some fashion, is it realistic to expect that these soapbox requests will have an impact?
Heheh. Good question. But being sort of a romantic at heart, I can certainly hope! And I do.

AWR

Last edited by AdWordsRep : 09-07-2004 at 06:01 PM. Reason: Changed one word: I can never leave anything alone!
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Old 09-07-2004   #15
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Quote:
The problem is I am constantly being sent lists of more keywords from your account reps... it is their job to make you money also.
AussieWebmaster, I hope and trust that they are sending you lists of useful and targeted keywords!

I have no issue with long lists of excellent keywords. Hey, if they are good keywords, then the more the better!

On the other hand, I think a list of 100 really excellent keywords is better (for the advertiser, for the user, and for Google) than a list of 100,000 lame ones.

AWR
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Old 09-10-2004   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdWordsRep
AussieWebmaster, I hope and trust that they are sending you lists of useful and targeted keywords!

I have no issue with long lists of excellent keywords. Hey, if they are good keywords, then the more the better!

On the other hand, I think a list of 100 really excellent keywords is better (for the advertiser, for the user, and for Google) than a list of 100,000 lame ones.

AWR
LOL... I would take lame ones every time - I want to get the price of my Google shares up to recoup what I have lost on bad PPC decisions.
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Old 09-24-2004   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdWordsRep
AussieWebmaster, I hope and trust that they are sending you lists of useful and targeted keywords!
Only problem there is is that you have to look for them among the not so targeted ones. i.e. mp3 is a very wide keyword. I would use mp3 readers instead (which was also on the list) to get a narrower and more targeted audience.
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Old 10-02-2004   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewgoodman
Can we read into this post that Google is going to have to begin performing triage, forcing delays on accounts which insist on jamming hundreds of thousands of keywords into operation for relatively simple campaigns where 1,000 would do, and leavingthe more responsible, less bloated accounts running relatively unfettered, with quicker response times?

Is Google going to actually "penalize" the most bloated accounts without really publicizing this fact?

Or by stating as much on this forum, would you actually be publicizing this fact?

If you don't plan to take action in some fashion, is it realistic to expect that these soapbox requests will have an impact?
Although Adwordreps response was "absolutely not" and Google say they have no intention of penalising 'bloated' accounts - Google has made some changes recently (in the last week or so) that do have an impact on large Accounts that exceed their recommended 'limits'.

I acknowledge the stated limits that Google reps (whom I have spoken to, at least) that always recommend no more than:

25 Campaigns per Account
100 AdGroups per Campaign and
750 Keyword per AdGroup.

However, these limits have always been flexible (to some extent) - particularly when uploading ads using bulk uploads to get Accounts up-and-running. Over the last year or so we have 'pushed' at these limits and, on the whole have not had any problems. However, in the last week or so, for those Accounts with more than 25 Campaigns, if they have been 'paused' for any reason - when coming back to 'resume' them Google does not allow more than 25 Campaigns to be resumed - presenting a message saying that the limit has been exceeded.

Speaking with our reps I am told that similar messages are likely to occur of we exceed limits on the number of AdGroups or Keywords too. They also say that legacy accounts may well not be affected by this 'hardening' of limits but that Google is becoming much more rigorous with new Accounts that are created.
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