Announcement: Google Adwords has become almost unrecognizable

For anyone who used google adwords in 2003-5 or even earlier, if you log in today you will barely recognize it. Not only is the interface completely redone, but there are more bells and whistles than ever before. So many settings, it is an incredibly complicated swiss army knife. That is, if you use the real interface. If you sign up for a new adwords account today, you get the “idiot” interface. Its much simplified, but is quite frankly, just brutal for new advertisers. Google doesn’t release statistics on their “churn rate” which is the number of new advertisers that fail, but rest assured it is in the millions.

Not only is the interface totally different, but adwords itself is totally different. The algorithm handles everything. You can’t get anyone from google to talk to you. Google has gone from a billion dollars a year income to over 24 billion dollars a year income, and with it, an arrogance that has been the province of the AIG’s of the world. Unfortunately google owns a huge percentage of not just the search market, but the worldwide advertising market so what to do?

The best answer is you need to hire a real expert if you are going to stay in the adwords game and not get eaten alive. The other thing we have started doing as an agency is venturing away from Google, to Bing and even beyond, to many other smaller players who WILL answer calls, who are only too happy to work with you, and convert just as well or better than Google.

Its very dangerous for any company to be dependent on one vendor for their total business, whether you are a small business with one big customer, or a website depending on Google for your total living. In this age of internet consolidation, its a very good strategy to start your diversification process for advertising.

After you have a few other traffic sources that you know work, you can then look at optimizing your adwords.

There are a few major differences between the “old” adwords of 2003 and now, here are some of them:

1) its not really about bids anymore, its all about quality score. If you don’t get the quality score, it really doesn’t matter how much you are bidding because you won’t get the traffic at any price. There are a number of things you can do to improve your quality score, and the big G is dead serious about every point, such as page loading times, transparency, user experience, relevance, and other issues.

2) the content network which used to be terrible is your best friend. Google has done a lot of work in this area, and its much better than it used to be in tha past.

3) use conversion tracking or get clobbered

4) use separate campaigns for all of your search, content, and mobile efforts. Track them separately.

5) Pay careful attention to the settings tab which has all the settings for your campaigns.

6) Get an expert to at least look over your account and campaign settings. You’ll be glad you did.

 

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