What's Missing from the Google Content Network Guide?
The end of the guide includes a link to an About AdWords for Content mini-site which is also quite informative. For instance, there's a list of content network partners. Unfortunately, that list only includes 18 sites. It's more of an advertisement for the content network - "Look at all these great sites! Don't you want your ad to run on these sites?" Yes, there are some great sites. What's missing, though, are all the blogs that exist solely for the purpose of displaying ads and all the sites that are of a very low quality, in general. Reminds me of a brochure for an ocean view hotel that's really miles from the beach. Tracking Google content ads for clients, I can tell you there's a fair amount of garbage on the network. What's missing, too, are the parked domains. Yes, if you're using the content network (and even the search network), you need to be aware of Google's AdSense for Domains program. This should have been included in the multimedia guide. It's a blatant omission.
The guide does a good job explaining the two options that are available on the content network: contextual targeting and site targeting. Unfortunately, the nomenclature isn't consistent with what's in the AdWords interface. This might help clarify:
- contextual targeting == content targeting == keyword-targeted campaign w/ content network on == CPC pricing
- site targeting == site-targeted campaign == CPM pricing
I'm not so sure I agree with slide 10 of the guide which contains content network tips for success:
That slide suggests using content-targeting (a keyword-targeted campaign) with text ads to drive conversions but rich ad formats to increase brand awareness. I'd argue that anything on the content network is really about increasing brand awareness. To drive conversions, buy search engine advertising. Still, it's useful to think about how to use the different ad formats and the different targeting options.
Despite some obvious omissions like parked domain ad distribution, the new Google Content Network Guide is essential reading for all AdWords advertisers. Do you know where your Google content ads are being displayed?
Technorati tags: google adwords, adsense domains, parked domain, contextual advertising, content ads, search engine marketing