May 25, 2006

Adsense & video ads

Google is releasing video ads which will compete for placement with traditional and image Ads on Adsense sites. I'd love to have video ads on some of my sites, but I doubt that there will be many video options in 160x600 which is the unit display I nearly always use...

Posted by James Trotta at 6:36 AM | Comments (0)

April 25, 2006

Adsense not serving relevant ads on travel site

On my travel blog, I blogged about timeshares a week or two ago. Ever since then I've had timesahre ads (pretty much exclusively) on my homepage despite the fact that the timeshare info is long gone. I'm blogging about Spain and Italy and I have stupid timeshare ads next my content. It seems like they have nothing to do with each other. I hate having such irrelevant ads displayed.

Posted by James Trotta at 5:03 PM | Comments (0)

January 29, 2006

YPN case study - football blog performs better with YPN than Adsense

Most people are finding YPN to be less effective than Adsense. I've heard several people complain about getting kicked out for receiving too much non-US based traffic and since that is so hard to control (blocking YPN ads to non-US IPs seems a bit complicated) Yahoo needs to fix this if they really want to compete with Google.

As for my own experiences, I find I get a simiar CTR with YPN though each click seems to be worth a little more than with Adsense. All in all, it's fairly close (YPN is slightly outperforming Adsense - CPM is higher) so I'll keep testing the Beta and hope I don't get kicked out before I get paid.

I should ad that this was a very minor experiemnt on my part. I took my worst performing adsense site and switched to YPN. I'm pleasantly surprised that CPM is higher now.

Posted by James Trotta at 6:25 AM | Comments (0)

January 23, 2005

Affiliates and Adwords

Google is issuing a new policy regarding the practices of affiliate search engine advertising. A number of changes to their previous policy include:

* Affiliates are no longer required to identify themselves as an affiliate
in search ads with "AFF"

* No keyword may display two identical destination and/or display URLs. If
two ads are identical this way, the ad with the highest Google Ad Rank will
be displayed for the keyword.

Posted by James Trotta at 11:58 AM | Comments (0)

January 12, 2005

Your AdWords Account Has Been Slowed

A surprise email from Google Adwords today told me that one of my campaigns was underperforming and that I had to fix it and reactivate it. Every three reactivations incurs a $5.00 fee.

I logged into Adwords, and couldn't find an indicator as to which campaign had the problem. Sure I can probably guess right, but I don't want to guess. I want to know.

I've emailed support to see if they can help and suggested a red flag next to problem accounts...

Posted by James Trotta at 7:00 AM | Comments (0)

November 21, 2004

Using Adwords to sell text links

My new Adwords ad goes something like this:

Advertise sports/tickets
270 text links on NFL Giants blog.
$75 US dollars/month
The price is there so that only people who are interested in spending money click on the ad. I don't want a high CTR.

Here's my landing page: Advertise your sports or ticket site. Related post: Signing up for Adwords.

Posted by James Trotta at 11:02 AM | Comments (0)

November 15, 2004

Signing up for Adwords

I experimented with Overture, but now plan to try Adwords. This time I'm going to see if I can find some people who want to buy text links from me. Anyway here's a guide to signing up. It's easy.

Go to

1. Choose areas where people will see your ads.
2. Create the ad. Don't take too long or it will time out and make you start over.
3. Choose keywords.
4. Set up your CPC/dialy spending limit.
5. Set up an account (email and password).
6. Verify your email.
7. Give Google money to activate your ads.

Posted by James Trotta at 3:46 PM | Comments (0)

Adwords to market affiliate products

Here are some practical guidelines for using Adwords to promote affiliate products. Guidelines are given for how much money to spend testing new Adwords campaigns, as well as how long to test new ads:

If a particular keyword gets 100 impressions with no click throughs, that is a good sign to erase it. If a particular keyword has over 100 impressions with a click through rate (CTR) of less than 0.5%, erase it. Likewise, if your entire test product has received 100 click throughs and no sales, it's time to end the promotion of that product.

I can't agree with some of the advice. For example a low CTR (less than 0.5%) is not bad if the few visitors who click are buyers. I certainly agree that 100 clicks and no sales would be time to give up!

There's also advice on when to stop testing and begin a campaign in earnest. Basically, if the ratio of "how much you're paying to promote the product verses how much you've made on the product is 0.75 or less, keep promoting the product." In other words, you should be seeing a 25% profit margin (or greater).

Further advice goes something like this: If you can generate more than one sale of the product and still have a good cost to revenue ration, you can stop testing and create a new campaign just for that product.

Personally, I'd like to see more than two sales before creating a new campaign. I'm not a scientist, but I would guess that from a scientifc perspective, two sales might be statistically insignificant.

Posted by James Trotta at 9:14 AM | Comments (0)

Search engine honesty

In an article about a paid search study (in which 15 librarians exmained popular searc engine results fro 6 months), search engines like Yahoo! are being called on to disclose which search results are sponsored and which are natural. Currently, users must click on the "about this page" link to find out which results are paid (through Overture). Google is given credit for clearly differentiating between paid and natural search results.

Posted by James Trotta at 8:57 AM | Comments (0)

Do you want a high CTR?

Here's an article that I completely agree with by Kevin Gold. It discusses (after some elementary definitions) that optimizing your PPC ads for higher CTR is a waste of money. You don't want to pay for surfers, you want to pay for visitors who are likely to spend some money.

Posted by James Trotta at 8:54 AM | Comments (0)

August 26, 2004

New flat rate paid search is giving away free advertising cards.

“The response to the $250 Flat Rate Placement cards has been phenomenal,” says Nick Raba, Tygo’s Director of Technology. “Advertisers feel they’ve been getting gouged by traditional pay per click programs and they really seem to appreciate a more predictable way to advertise.”

Here's how the flat rate advertising system works for Tygo placement: You pay from $1 - $5/month depending on whether you want to be 1st = $5/month, 2nd = $4, 3rd = $3, 4th = $2, 5th = $1. Your ad appears on the right of their search results for the month and key word you paid for. It doesn't matter how many people click on your ad (which will appear to the right of the search results). Even the key word you choose won't matter. As far as I can tell, "SEO" won't cost more that "learn English grammar free".

Or read about it in Tygo's words.

Posted by James Trotta at 9:49 AM | Comments (2)