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  1. #1
    Grandma broke her coccyx! Uncle Rico's Avatar
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    What the Heck Google!
    So I was working on starting a new adword campaign today. I used the Keyword Tool Google has under the Tools menu. I went through and found a keyword phrase that had almost a half bar full for June Search Volume AND almost no bar for Advertiser Competition.

    I make my ad and then put in my estimate. Initially, it estimated my ad position at 1-3 for my $0.19 bid. After 30 minutes, my ad wasn't showing up. I go back in and check my ad position estimate and I am now at 7-10.

    What the hell?

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador
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    I've never taken that estimator seriously. Just so many factors that can influence something like that. I just try them out and watch them.

  3. #3
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Completely agree with Trust. I rarely use that tool - it'll lead you astray if you give it too much credit to accurately forecast things. View it with a healthy level of skepticism / doubt and it'll serve your keyword exploration needs a little better. It's not a precise planning tool, in my opinion.

  4. #4
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    In all the years I've used Google and Overture/Yahoo, I've never found any of their "estimating/predicting" figures to be very accurate. When I'm using the Google AdWords keyword tool to identify keyword variations, I certainly "notice" the estimated traffic and bid competition info, especially for terms I hadn't considered before.

    Likewise, any time I'm presented with an estimate of my likely position with a bid, I "notice" it but don't assign much value to the estimate because these are also quite often wrong.

    Don't forget that your competitors may also be using one or more automated tools to protect their position; if you add a campaign that brings you into the top 1-3 positions, some of the other competitors may adjust their bids to remain in positions 1-3; others may actually have higher bids but with "position preference" set to 2+, so that if the prior #3 advertiser gets pushed to #4 and raises his bid, the PP2+ bid may kick in at a higher value, pushing you back down. And there may be other advertisers paying for position preference 4+, or others who just increase their bids whenever they see an average position higher than 4 or 5. I've seen some crazy "auto-bidding wars" kick into play for some keywords, and generally I just sit aside while they burn through budgets and then drop out.

  5. #5
    Full Member 212TomTom's Avatar
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    I use that tool mainly as a guide to help me think of additional keywords only. After that, I turn on the Quality Score column on the keyword view to see how my site ranks for that keyword and what the minimum bid is.

    The best indicator of where I need to set my bid comes from actually doing a search on the keyword in Google!! I've had keywords with an "ave pos" of 10, and in a search, they come up 2nd in a resulting list of only 3 or 4 sponsored links. For some keywords, there just aren't that many people bidding on them, so even if Google indicates a bad "average position" it may only be "bad" relative to the 1 or 2 other people bidding on the keyword.

    Doing the searches yourself will increase your "impressions" count, which negatively affects your CTR ration, but IMHO it's well worth it to see how "real world" Google searches react to your bids. And of course, like Mark said, there's always the possibility that your competitors will change their bids as soon as yours affects theirs.

    FYI, I don't know how quickly Google reacts to a changed bid, but I've at least noticed results from morning to afternoon checks. I would imagine it actually takes effect much faster than that.

    *** These have been my observations only and should not be taken as fact until you've proved them to yourself. *****

  6. #6
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 212TomTom
    FYI, I don't know how quickly Google reacts to a changed bid, but I've at least noticed results from morning to afternoon checks. I would imagine it actually takes effect much faster than that.
    If you mean the searches at G, the effects take less than a minute for me.
    Takes a few more minutes to ripple into G search network.
    And takes longer still for ads in content network.

    Speed also seems to depend on volume, but i'm guessing here. It could also be that your CTR goes up and other factors are moving you simultaneously with your bid changes - it's not easy to observe and know... like guessing what my wife's thinking and doing by looking at her...

    See the improvements they've made to the ad preview tool!!!! LOVE THEM!

    If you're a merchant and you wonder what sneaky shit people are up to, suggest every once in a while you observe the ppc outside of your geographic location... if you're in california, look at the ads showing in cleveland. Doing that used to require a proxy server or proxy service like proxify or anonymizer, but G added the preview tool - which was clunky at first, doing a cinncinati search meant you needed to append data pairs to your urls for the adpreview tool, now there's a drop-down interface. This preview tool also removes the effects of cookies and your google account personalization features - so you see the ppc ads as most people see them, not as G has decided you might want to see them.

    www.google.com/adpreview

  7. #7
    Full Member 212TomTom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donuts
    See the improvements they've made to the ad preview tool!!!! LOVE THEM!


    www.google.com/adpreview
    Donuts, you rock!! Thanks for the information on this tool. This makes testing searches even easier and quicker.... and every little bit helps when you're testing literally thousands of keywords.

  8. #8
    Affiliate Manager cbsturg's Avatar
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    Thanks Donuts! A very useful tool indeed!
    Chris Sturgill
    "All my life I've had one dream, to achieve my many goals." - H. Simpson

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