Free AdWords Credit Vouchers for Search Engine College Students

Hey everyone

We were accepted into the Google Engage for Agencies program last month and as part of that status, we are now able to distribute vouchers for AdWords credit to all our Search Engine College students.

If you are a current or past student of Search Engine College and you would like to receive a Google AdWords credit voucher to the value of USD 75 – please contact me either via the in-course message system, or via our online Contact Form quoting your name, your student number and/or the date you signed up as a student.

There is a catch though – vouchers are only redeemable for new AdWords accounts or accounts that are less than 14 days old. If you are a PPC student, the voucher can be applied during the AdWords account set up process that you go through as part of your lesson material.

If you are not yet a Search Engine College student, never fear – sign up and you will be issued with a voucher at some point soon after your enrollment.

Happy spending!

 

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Match Types to Change in Google AdWords

When I first heard this news, I was incensed. Now I know that advertisers can opt-out of the changes, I am a little calmer, but still pissed.

Here’s the deal: Starting next month, Google is changing the way match types work in AdWords. From mid May onwards, misspellings, plurals and variations of your Exact Match and Phrase Match keywords on Google AdWords will trigger your ads. In the past, if you wanted your ad to appear for variations, abbreviations or misspellings, you would use Broad Match targeting. If you wanted your ad to appear for plurals or word stemming, you would use “Phrase Match” targeting. If you wanted your ad to appear only when searchers typed in a specific phrase/keyword, you used [Exact Match]. Now, by default, using Exact Match or Phrase Match targeting will ALSO trigger your ads for each of the described variations.

Despite Google calling this change *an improvement*, for all intents and purposes, this means Exact Match is dead. Yes, advertisers can opt-out of this so-called feature, but it is switched on by default, which means that new advertisers selecting Exact Match as a match type will wrongly assume their ads will only be triggered by exact matches of their keywords. It’s a pretty logical assumption! I don’t know about you, but I think that Exact Match should remain, you know, an EXACT MATCH. At the very least, they should change the match type to IN-exact Match so it is less misleading.

According to Search Engine Land, Google has already been testing the new functionality with advertisers and claims the change has resulted in a 3 percent rise in clicks, at comparable CPCs. In the same sentence, Google states that individual results will vary. No freaking kidding. Variations can account for a LOT of searches and for advertisers on a tight budget, this could spell disaster. Here’s an example: if you are an artist selling color prints of your artwork and targeting [color prints] as an exact or phrase match, would you want your ad to be triggered if someone types in *color printers*? No. But it seems this is a distinct possibility under the new rules.

With this move, it feels like Google is taking away some of the minimal control advertisers have over how/when their ads appear in their increasingly annoying quest to make more money for shareholders. I say hands off our Exact Match Google!

What do you think? Do you feel like the changes are reducing the control you have over your campaigns? Please add to the discussion in the comments.

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Article: Making Sense of Trademarks in AdWords

The issue of trademark usage in Google AdWords ad text and keyword bidding was raised on this blog recently thanks to a question submitted by Dom.

As I discovered when I resarched the topic for Dom, AdWords trademark usage rules are different for advertisers in different countries and they differ also based on the use of trademarks in ad text and bid keywords. The subject proved so complex that I decided to write an article about it in order to clarify the issue for confused advertisers.

Coincidently, a landmark case about this very issue was playing out here in Australia while I was writing the article and the Federal court made their decision just in time for me to add the outcome to the article.

The article is called Making Sense of Trademarks in AdWords and was published today by SiteProNews.

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Q and A: Can competitors use my company name in their AdWords ads?

QuestionHi Kalena

I have a question. I talked to my Google rep who once said that putting my company’s name in an ad violates Google’s terms. However, in another post on here, you seem to suggest bidding on a brand name is also a violation is that correct? I was under the assumption that was common practice. Is it not? If I could report that to Google, that is important information.

Dom

Hi Dom

I’m not sure if you are referring to your own ads or those created by your competitors, but putting your own company name in your ad is certainly not a violation, it’s encouraged, particularly if yours is a well known brand/name. If you follow this link about Use of Trademarks in AdWords, you’ll find an authorization form you can submit to be able to use your brand / trademark throughout your account.

Now use of your trademark by competitors is where things get complicated. It differs between region and differs again between ad text versus keyword bids. Google actually opened up trademark keyword bidding two years ago, however AdWord’s trademark policy is now dependent on the region your trademark is registered in and the region/s your billing account is located in. So here are the main regional trademark policies:

  1. In certain regions, Google allow some ads to show with a trademark in ad text if the ad is from a reseller or from an informational site. There is a separate trademark policy for resellers and informational sites.
  2. For regions that are NOT included under Google’s trademark policy for resellers and informational sites, if their investigation finds that the advertiser is using the trademark in ad text, Google will require the advertiser to remove the trademark and prevent them from using it in ad text in the future.
  3. In most regions covered by the Trademark policy (including UK, USA and Canada), Google will investigate ad text only. They will not disable keywords in response to a trademark complaint in these regions. Furthermore, their investigation will only affect ads served on or by Google rather than those served on partner sites.
  4. In EU and EFTA regions, Google does not prevent the selection of trademarks as keywords. However, in response to a complaint, they will do a limited investigation as to whether a keyword (in combination with particular ad text) is confusing as to the origin of the advertised goods and services.
  5. In some limited regions, Google may investigate the use of trademarks in ad text, in keywords, or in both ad text and keywords. These regions include: Australia / Brazil / China / Hong Kong / Macau / New Zealand / North Korea / South Korea / Taiwan

Because Australia and New Zealand are included in the above list (and these are the countries in which I operate), I have witnessed a few keyword trademark infringements and represented some clients who lodged complaints procedures based on this policy.

So the short answer is, unless they have your explicit permission, your competitors generally aren’t allowed to use your brand/name in their own ads, but if you’re located outside the limited regions mentioned above, they ARE allowed to bid on your brand/name as a keyword. But it’s not all bad news – it means that you are allowed to bid on their brand/name as well.

Hope this clarifies things!

Kalena

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Q and A: Which is more important, the number of clicks on each ad or the CTR of each ad?

QuestionHi Kalena

I have some questions about Google Adwords campaigns.

When evaluating ad performance in a Google Adwords campaign, which is more important: The actual number of clicks on each ad or the Click Through Rate (CTR) of each ad?

What is “% Served” and should we be paying attention to the “% Served” of our ads?

Finally, I read in the PPC101 reading material about Google’s “Average Position” but I’m a bit confused by this because the ads running in my campaign that have the lowest Average Position are not the ads that are performing the best. In fact, there seems to be no correlation between the ads that are performing best and their Average Position. The ads that are performing the best are not the ones with the lowest Average position. I don’t understand how to utilize this “Average position” if it’s not indicating how the ads are performing. So, I guess the question is: How should we utilize an ad’s “Average position” in the grand scheme of things?

Thank you,

Wendy

Hi Wendy

To answer your questions briefly:

1) The CTR and conversion rate are always the figures you should be looking at when it comes to measuring the effectiveness of your ads. So ads that attract more clicks will have a high CTR, but this doesn’t mean much unless the clicks end up converting to customers / sign ups.

2) % served shows the rate each ad is served compared to other ads. So if one ad has 70% served against it, that means 70% of the time one of your ads is shown, it’s this one. The other ads make up the remaining 30% of ad displays. Google only show the best performing ads over time, so they will gradually phase out ads that don’t attract many clicks in favor of the ones with a higher CTR. That’s why the percentages seem much higher for some ads.

3) Average position relates to your ad position within the search results. So if your bid is high enough, your ad will appear in a higher average position. Ads that don’t perform well or don’t have a high enough bid rate on their trigger keywords will show in a lower average position. You don’t control this particular metric – it is controlled by your ad positions as determined by Google.

Hope this helps!

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