Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A carrot on a stick for Google AdWords

(At the end of their online survey regarding the effectiveness of customer support, Google AdWords provides a text box for any comments the AdWords user would like to make. This was my comment.)

You’re not looking in the right place. Support is very helpful, very effective in getting an issue resolved. The problem is with AdWords’ management itself. You should send surveys to users about AdWords’ policies and procedures, not about Support. That is where the problems lie. For example, I’m never told what websites display my ad impressions—except, once a month I’m sent an email that includes a list of the top four websites for my ads. Four websites a month. When there can be 10,000 impressions per day. Almost every time I’ve received the list of four websites, I’ve seen that the impressions were appearing in the wrong types of sites—game sites and sites where the text is displayed in Asian languages. I’ve responded to each email report by changing keywords, adding negative keywords, and filtering out additional countries, but since the language of my site is only English, no impressions should have appeared on Asian-language sites in the first place. This isn’t an issue I need Support’s help with. I need AdWords to show me every site where an impression of my ads is displayed so that I can adjust my campaign appropriately. Why wouldn’t I want to know where my ads are being displayed? Why wouldn’t you want to provide me with that information?

Regarding the whole AdWords paradigm, I have the best suggestion any user could come up with. Change the business model of AdWords so that your revenue comes from actual sales, not clicks. If that were the case, it would be in AdWords’ best interests to focus impressions on the right types of sites. As it is now, AdWords’ job is done when an ad is clicked on, even if a person clicks on an ad only out of curiosity and has no intention to make a purchase. An ad is clicked, you get paid, and you’re done. If the carrot were held a little farther out, AdWords would focus its efforts on getting its users’ products sold so that AdWords could be paid. But would AdWords/Google ever consider a business model like that? I know that Support is directed to respond to comments like this by saying that more money needs to be spent to be competitive with higher bids. Pour more money into the problem rather than fix the leak where the money falls out. But please, don’t direct Support to say that AdWords has no way of knowing if an actual sale is made or not. Tracking is what you do.