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Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Frontier of Search Syndication Is Not Efficient

Efficient Frontier recently published some interesting conversion data on search syndication and traffic quality which conflicts with what they've said in the past about conversions from the domain parking subset of search syndication. I don't think both studies can be true, unless the quality of traffic from the Google network has diminished since Google and/or Efficient Frontier boldly claimed, "Efficient Frontier's automotive clients receive twice the conversion rate as search with domain ads." That's published on

domain parking study

The new study by Efficient Frontier paints quite a different picture:

search syndication traffic quality

If you believe these numbers, then:
  1. You might want to stick to pure search by blocking Google domain parking syndication.
  2. You will find the 250 limit on blocked domains on Yahoo Search Marketing is not sufficient!
  3. You might want to read Aaron Wall's insightful post: How Click Arbitrage & Dirty Ad Syndication Killed Yahoo! Search Marketing.
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Blogger LeeAnn said...

Hi Richard,
A point of clarification: the Google case study refers to ads only on the content network, while the search syndication post refers only to ads on the search network. We manage our clients' search and content campaigns separately, as the CPCs (and thus bids) are so different. This post shares our approach to content targeted campaigns, while this post shows how different content and search CPCs are.
LeeAnn Prescott

Fri May 23, 01:19:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Richard said...

Hi LeeAnn. If the Google case study only applies to the content network, then you might want to have Google edit this headline text:

"Efficient Frontier's automotive clients receive twice the conversion rate as search with domain ads."

Makes it sound like Efficient Frontier is claiming that domain parking ads outperform search ads. Based on your more recent study, I don't think that's what your company believes.

BTW, I've been arguing for a few years that search and content campaigns should be kept separate. Example from 2005 - this article on Search Engine Guide.

Tue May 27, 10:56:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fri Oct 30, 02:16:00 AM EDT  

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