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Old 10-04-2004   #1
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Overture PPC Advertiser Center Changes

What's everyone think of the upgrades done over the weekend??

I love that daily budget has been added, but none of my click data from previous day seems to be showing correctly at this point.
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Old 10-04-2004   #2
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I'd love to hear what others think of this. I am sensing several substantive changes and maybe some change in focus is lurking under this. The stuff *I* saw when I logged in today looked a lot different than it did on Friday. Then again, I'm an Overture doofus so I want a second opinion.
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Old 10-04-2004   #3
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I also like the daily limit, but I wish there was a way to set it to require an approval before charging upon depletion (or did I miss this option?). But this makes budgets much easier to manage...
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Old 10-04-2004   #4
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so far

I am getting a few "errors while processing request" come up. Hopefully this will be resolved soon. Yesterday evening I could not even adjust individual bids, so I had to shut down a couple accounts. This seems to be ok now, with the new "manage bids" appearing at the manage listings page.

personally, I prefer the way it was before, then again, I do not have any accounts with more than 50 or so keywords, so I enjoy the hands-on bidding. perhaps this will be mostly beneficial for those advertisers with hundreds of keywords.

I still think that hands-on is the only way to manage an Overture account. Good software to track the results of clicks is IMO the most important part of a larger campaign. I would be less likely to allow automatic bidding or "max cost for all keywords" even with a thousand keywords to manage. How long does it really take to scan each page of keywords for irregularities anyway?
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Old 10-04-2004   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Opie1Canopie
I also like the daily limit, but I wish there was a way to set it to require an approval before charging upon depletion (or did I miss this option?). But this makes budgets much easier to manage...
I agree, upon me digging in there further to set my daily budget, i found out the only way to take advantage is to change it to automatic fund refill - which is silly, i'd rather make one LARGE deposit for the month and manage it by daily budget.

I've always hated that about Google, and clients find it more difficult when the engine is charging their credit card every two days - not because the funds aren't there, because they are, but it adds to accounting headaches, and in one case, I've had the credit card companies suspect fraud - which suspended ads until we OK'd all charges from Google & Overture.
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Old 10-04-2004   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Boggs
I am getting a few "errors while processing request" come up. Hopefully this will be resolved soon. Yesterday evening I could not even adjust individual bids, so I had to shut down a couple accounts.
I agree, it took way too long for them to do the swap over - much more than normal, and I definitely burned through some serious budget without great ROI b/c I was high on several competitive terms, before the weekend, and couldn't turn them down since the DTC was offline.
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Old 10-05-2004   #7
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slow swap

Why would a swap take so long? I am not a programmer, but shouldn't Overture have been able to create a development version and simply flipped the switch? Perhaps the database that supports each individual account's information is what prevents this kind of swap...

I was lucky that some clients were bidding mostly third and fourth positions when the system went down; in these cases, some competitors simply turned off their account during the interim and I actually got some extra clicks because of higher position, which is nice.
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Old 10-05-2004   #8
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personally - i think the directTraffic Center is as bad as it ever was. Here are my complaints currently (in case OV is lurking)

1) excruciatingly slow. if you have thousands of keywords, it is almost imposible to utilize the direct traffic center for anything more than bid adjustment.

2) when you turn ON or OFF a keyword, or series of keywords, the system resorts back to a complete list of ALL keywords. For example, i want to see all my "astros" keywords and phrases. i do a search for 'astros', select the items i want to turn 'on' and upon closing the verification window, all search criteria is gona and i am presented with an exhaustive list of my campaign.

3) in this day and age, we should be able to see reposrts of the same day. it is impossible to manage a campaign that is running amok if you can't see what terms are causing the onslaught of clicks. i can't fix it, if i can't see it.
GOOGLE, does give day stats and while they are lagged by 3 hours, it's certainly better than 24 hours. (....or more.)

4) did i mention how sloooooow it is?

5) the main navigation should have hovers. one must wait for 'categories' to load before clicking 'manage bids'

6) i am sick of typing the 'image text' to login to my account. doesn't everyone know by now that anyone wanting to circumvent the image text protection does so with OCR tools and software?

7) you can't delete more than one category at a time. LAME. couple that with the slowness and trying to remove 5 campaigns will take 15-20 minutes.
again, google's app rock in this area.

8) Advanced match caught me by surprise. i knew it was coming, but man - making tons of my words all of a sudden "broad match" (which in essence is what advanced match is...) caused my click costs to double.

9) Is there a way to get a daily aggregate per word instead of ordered by 'click cost' for that word? i see 15 different click costs for the same word and have to do the math myself. i assume this is just an oversight on my part but does demonstrate the odd logic of the system.

I have had countless conference calls with people in te platinum group and while they always admit that is sloooow, they all promise a better experience after this upgrade or that upgrade. I have been here since GoTo and it's been slow and getting slower ever since.

thanks

christian "sebastian"
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Old 10-06-2004   #9
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Sebastian

Excellent laundry list. I agree with your criticism of the image text "security," especially as that seems to get me all the time (for some reason I still hit Enter half the time after typing in the password-old habits, I guess...).

The slowness aspect gets compounded by the change of navigation. It will take a few months before I am comfortable with the post-bidding activity return to the "main" Manage Listings page. I agree that the Manage Bids page should be the default return page when adjusting a campaign.

Perhaps, like when Coca Cola unveiled "New Coke," Overture will bring back "Classic" navigation
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Old 10-06-2004   #10
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quite honestly, i wish they would simply concede that google has a much better, faster and "current" campaign administration web app., and perhaps develop theirs to match. sure would be easier for us (the advertisers)

here the advantages of google vs. overture for management (as i see it ...please correct me if i am mistaken somewhere):

1) google is fast. screen-to-screen is as fast as expected most of the time

2) creating a campaign and THEN the words to associate with that campaign is, by far, the best way to handle a PPC program. Plus, you still have the ability to apply different CPC/URL requirements per word if you want to ...KEY HERE IS "IF YOU WANT TO"

3) you can do many more functions per screen with Google. with OV every little edit is another click to another screen

4) you can see same-day stats on Google. This is huge ...especially for big spenders

5) Google campaign changes appear MUCH MORE quickly than OV

6) Google does not require DAYS for an editor to approve your ad; moreover, Google approves ads almost always within minutes (if it's even required for your term or phrase)

7) OV is wishy-washy about it's direct traffic center. Google has NEVER, in my experience, had any issues with admin usability. they do go down and have technical glitches sometimes - as was the case in the beginning of september - but all-in-all, pretty top-notch.

the one shining star, at least for me is customer support. i do like speaking with overture reps much more than google reps. ...also, ROI tends to be higher with overture. i equate this with Yahoo being around longer and more business people use it ...where google is a cult favorite with newbies and people who drive VW bugs with a flower in the cup holder.

:-)

cheers.

sebastian "christian"

Last edited by sebastian : 10-06-2004 at 10:54 AM.
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Old 10-06-2004   #11
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HA! ...ok, talk about 'timing', as of 10:50 a.m. EST Overture has an outing and folks cannot log into the direct traffic center.

the estimated time of fix: 30 minutes. [according to Platinum Specialists]

...need i say more about the NEW DTC?

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Old 10-06-2004   #12
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Ok submitting a campaign this morning, I had two issues - it wouldn't accept my 'category' when going through the console and IE exploded when I tried to download the upload template (could have been operator error, but I reported both to OV anyway).

One big feature I wish OV had that I'm sure many of you have already discussed is the ability to pull reports beyond a 95 day period. Even if I could pull data for ALL campaigns at once, instead of going through one-by-one would be helpful. I absolutely love that I can go into Google and pull data on all of my campaigns since their start dates.
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Old 10-07-2004   #13
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more thoughts

Sebastian I also agree with many of the points your redesigned laundry list "V 2.0"

Google is without a doubt faster.

Any programmers or Overture reps in here to offer a glimpse into why this is the case? I mean we are talking what seems like years in processing time difference. I just quickly went through 3 campaigns in each, and the Google took about half the time overall...including a couple Title/Descritpion changes that are already in effect. I will wait until this afternoon to find out if the changes I made in Overture were even accepted (Gasp...heaven forbid that I use a marketing term-but that's a whole other issue).

On the bright side, also as Sebastian pointed-out, ROI (not to mention CPC and CTR) does seem to be better accross the board in Overture.
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Old 10-07-2004   #14
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chris, it only seems to get worse, as i yet discovered more aggravating problems with OV. the list grows, and i hope someone from Overture is lurking and taking notes...

1) MAKE ABSOLUTE SURE that your 'term' urls stay static and do not change. if they change, and perhaps change often, OV is the worst of two for management.

with Google, you get to provide one master url and it is applied to as many keywords as you want. RIGHT AWAY.

with OV, the process is maddening. If a url changes, you must first search through all keywords to find the 'old, non-working' url string. you can't rely on categories, because before the DTC change, you couldn't specify a category at the time of 'add listing' and if you never went back and added it to the category, well - you see the problem.

anyway, once all those terms with the 'bad url' have been found, you have two options, calling platinum and explaining and hopefully they can get you fixed in a "couple of hours" or send a spreadsheet of everything that needs changed ...both resulting in more and more bad clicks until the problem is resolved.

LAME!

2) there is no real way to 'test' a url to make sure it is still working. Google shines in this area. all one needs to do is click the 'Adgroup title' and a new window pops up with the resulting page right there. in one campaign i have over 60 adgroups and it might take 20 minutes to test every single one of 'em...

with OV you must copy the url, assuming it's short enough fo the system to allow you to view the entire string, and then paste it in a new browser window...

LAME!

how .can you possibly keep up with all url strings and make sure all are still valid?

Since the Overture system is so very clunky, there should be a URL report that will run through all unique urls in your campaign and identify ones that 'may' not be working as intended.

perhaps even allow the user to specify a landing page that is the result of a bad click. this way, whenever the 'URL Sweep' ran, it would know what page is considered a 'bad' landing page and alert the advertiser...

It all comes down to this (again):

- it takes a very small amount of time and effort to maintain a big google campaign. the interface is slick, fast and current with the keyword/campaign object model very efficient.

OV is horrible, slow and reporting is too far behind reality (real-time) ...plus editing any aspect of a campaign is comparable to performing digital surgery.

the DTC has a long, long way to go.

Last edited by sebastian : 10-07-2004 at 11:37 AM.
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Old 10-07-2004   #15
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Tips from OvertureRep

Hi Sebastian,

Wanted to say thanks for your detailed feedback and let you know that this thread has been forwarded to our senior product and customer service folks.

I also have some tips that I hope everyone will find useful…

PAGE LOAD TIMES: If you haven’t already, go into your "Personalize Pages" section and turn off the top 5 max bids. If you only turn them on when you need to review them, your page load times should be much faster.

URLS: A way to track them down faster would be to go to "Manage Listings," Click on the "Advanced Search" link and type in the URL you're looking for. You'll immediately get a list of all of your listings that include that URL. From there, check off the ones you want to edit, modify one, then copy the changes down to the rest if you want to. I know that doesn't address the testing issue, but it might help make finding the URLs a little easier.

I hope this helps. Will try to pass along more helpful hints when I can.

- OvertureRep
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Old 10-07-2004   #16
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hi OvertureRep. thanks for responding. concerning your tips:

1) PAGE LOAD TIMES - What exactly does "turn off top 5 max bids" do? i plan to investigate; however, on the surface it seems to me that Overture should build a better, faster and more robust server farm as opposed to expecting clients to manipulate/hide information and results just to speed up the system. would turning this off remove valuable information for marketers?

again, while i do not know actual numbers, i would suspect google has a comparable number of clients ...why is it sooo much faster and more intuitive?

furthermore, much of the perceived slowness is due to the amount of clicking to get here and there. for one, it's maddening to turn a group of listings on/off only to be retro'd back to a complete list of keywords.


2) URLS - understood, although, as you say - that's not really a fix. it's more of a work-around for faulty user interface design ...but thanks for the suggestion. anything helps.

incidentally, as i was adding new terms today, the buttons would not work that copy the title, body and url to the item boxes below it. this was the case both in IE and in Firefox. i had to copy-n-paste. i'd be happy to walk you through it...

i really hope this thread can spark some action. i have had countless conference calls with Overture staff and managers all promising a better system - and all promises over the last 3 years have been flat on delivery.

(except campaign-wide negative words, which i am sooooo happy about.)

cheers

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Old 10-07-2004   #17
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another quick point:

the google adwords admin is all text based. no images at all. all text, CSS and forms.

overture utilizes images in navigation. perhaps removing these useless components would help speed up load time as we all know text loads faster than images....

thanks

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Old 10-07-2004   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sebastian
again, while i do not know actual numbers, i would suspect google has a comparable number of clients ...why is it sooo much faster and more intuitive?
I have no idea how we could possibly speculate on whether they have comparable advertisers/volumes of KW data, and I wouldn't necessarily call google adwords more intuitive. there's plenty of flaws in their system too. But this thread is not about Google vs. Overture features - that I think we could start independently as discussion in the
Search Engine Advertising Forum -

I definitely want to see this discussion continue to steer Overture towards fixing bugs in the system and working better to suit advertisers' needs. I'm sure they find that the most valuable.
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Old 10-07-2004   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sebastian
another quick point:

the google adwords admin is all text based. no images at all. all text, CSS and forms.

overture utilizes images in navigation. perhaps removing these useless components would help speed up load time as we all know text loads faster than images....

That is, however, an excellent point - i've definitely noticed some lag since I started using Firefox - it takes longer to render the CSS
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Old 10-08-2004   #20
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Onwards...

Elizabeth: well steered... this should remain about Overture... hey they're getting free user-experience research here...

So I keep getting a run-time error on Line 662 when I run a "Search term Summary" Report...anyone else?

But I have to say that the system seems to be smoking this morning compared to the last few days. perhaps we have had an impact!

I am curious how we can get a "Current Day" (yeah right) but no "yesterday" choice at the main "Account" Page. Obviously the "Manage Listings" and "M. Bids" pages cannot provide same-day stats.

Is anyone else not getting stats on the "categories" (Manage Listings) Page? I'm getting zeros there but can get stats in the "Manage Bids" Page...user error??
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