PPC Buzz of the Week – Friday 8/21/09

Welcome PPC specialists, advertisers, enthusiasts, and blog readers. Each week, DragonSearch will be posting the PPC Buzz, a collection of hot topics around the PPC world that can aid in optimization, change the PPC game, or simply be interesting. So without further ado, let’s get to the PPC Buzz of the week!

Microhoo… Strategies to prepare you for the newly agreed Microsoft and Yahoo deal.


As we reported in our blog post Yahoo and Microsoft Agreement – It’s Impact on PPC, Microhoo as it’s being called will change the face of the paid search arena in the near future. With Bing’s search engine market share increasing and the integration of Yahoo paid search into Microsoft adCenter occurring in a little over a year, InhouseSEM.com has prepared 5 PPC Strategies to Prepare for Microhoo, which you can read here. There is no doubt these strategies can get you started in easing the inevitable transition of your Yahoo Sponsored Search campaigns into adCenter. I especially favor the idea of starting to pull Yahoo reports ASAP so you can gauge how the transition will affect your adCenter performance. I’m sure plenty more questions will arise once more information is known about exactly what will be occurring in this transition, but until then you should begin following these 5 basic strategies.

Google Caffeine. Faster than the speed of…Google?

Google just got a little faster. This week Google announced Google Caffeine, a backend change to it search results algorithm. In essence, Google is increasing indexing speed, improving user personalization, and more. Benn Parr, of Mashable.com, did A Detailed Test of the New Google in comparison to the “old Google” and there is no doubt Caffeine is faster, bigger, and more accurate according to his test. Granted more time is needed to do a larger comparison, but as of right now Caffeine looks to be a great improvement.

Google Caffeine

Although these changes will impact SEO greatly, Kevin Lee at ClickZ answers the question of “How Google’s Caffeine Will Impact PPC?” in this article. I personally agree on nearly everything Kevin states in his article, especially the idea of a website losing organic listings turning to paid search in order to keep its level of exposure and traffic. One more thought that is likely running through every search engine marketer’s mind is whether Google Caffeine is the answer to Bing’s improvement in search engine market share. Nick Eaton addressed this thought within this article.  Although it seems quite ironic that Google announced Caffeine only a short time after both the launch of Bing and Microsoft/Yahoo deal, Google Caffeine was probably in the works for some time prior to these events.

Google Sponsored Links Moving in on Organic Search’s Turf?

Has anyone noticed the Google Sponsored Links section on search results pages slowly inching to the left?

Zack MacLean of the SearchAgents certainly has and noted in his blog post that by moving ads to the left, click through rate has jumped by 10%. Since this change occurred very recently, I personally have not seen any large performance changes in any of our PPC clients’ accounts but I’m sure there will be an improvement as time progresses. Nevertheless, the move of Google Sponsored Links to the left should have a tremendous impact on paid search traffic and results. Due to the proximity between Sponsored Links and organic search results that now exists, the user will likely be less inclined to disregard the paid search ads simply because they are closer to the organic results. Only time will tell how much of an impact this move will have on paid search performance.

Google Bid Simulator. Know how much you have to pay for position.

Google keeps rolling out new features and tools to be used in the new AdWords interface. Bid simulator, which Google describes here, allows you to gauge what impact, in terms of impressions and average CPC, an increase in Max CPC bids would have had on your keywords over the past 7 days.  Although hindsight is 20/20 and it’s quite obvious an increase in Max CPC bids would increase impressions, this tool does have its benefits. For one, it provides some evidence into what kind of present and future impact an immediate increase in keyword bids could potentially have on high conversion producing keywords, as well as plenty of other “beneficial” keywords.

Keep in mind though, as stated by Search Marketing Sage, that you should always Check Under the Hood Before Buying. Simply put, bid simulator should be primarily used for Exact match typed keywords since these have the highest relevance to your products and services. If used for Broad and Phrase match, as Search Marketing Sage has so rightly stated, you’re increasing bids and impressions on ALL searches, which may have little relevance to your products or services. Remember, Broad match can attract a lot of irrelevant traffic, so the use of bid simulator should occur in moderation and for those keywords most likely to provide a return on investment.

Google Image Ads Now in Paid Search?

When I first heard people were seeing images within paid search ads I thought it was just one of those rumors floating around the PPC world. After looking into this further, I discovered this rumor had legs. In fact, Google is conducting beta testing of its AdWords Product PlusBox according to Barry Schwartz at Search Engine Land. AdWords Product PlusBox is basically a paid search extension of Google Base, where businesses list products and descriptions that can be searched on Google.com/Products. Although still in its beta stage, and thus very limited in advertisers currently participating in the testing of this product, AdWords Product PlusBox seems like it has tremendous upside for ecommerce websites.

Think about it, a searcher can click on the + button and see some of the products associated with the advertiser’s website without the searcher needing to click on the ad. Not only does this lead to increased usability on the searcher’s part, but it also has the potential of saving the advertiser money that would have been used if the searcher clicked on the ad and not found anything they liked on the advertiser’s website. As more information comes out on this product, DragonSearch will be sure to report on it.

Until next week…Keep on Searching!

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