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Saturday, June 14, 2008

4 Steps to Avoid the Google AdWords Ignorance Tax

After writing Automatic Match and the SEM Tax, I thought it would be helpful to explain how to avoid this tax. I like the term ignorance tax, described succinctly via
Yahoo! has the syndication that can't be opted out from, and by default Google opts advertisers into everything. And then there is broad match which might be a bit broad for some advertisers. It seems the networks almost have an "ignorance tax" which hurt many small advertisers who do not know any better.
Since Yahoo will be outsourcing paid search to Google, I'll limit the scope to AdWords only. Whether you're launching a new campaign using Google AdWords or editing an existing one, follow these 4 steps to avoid the ignorance tax:

1) Turn OFF the Content Network
Content advertising has its place but not blended with search advertising campaigns. Keep them separate. For any search advertising campaigns, turn off the content network at the campaign level:

adwords content network off

Now, when you opt out of the content network, ignore any warning Google might issue to try to convince you to remain opted in:

adwords content network warning

2) Block Domain Parking Distribution
To avoid this tax, you'll need to use the site and category exclusion tool. You can't block this traffic via the campaign settings. Follow these directions to block parked domains for search advertising campaigns.

block adwords domain parking

3) Bid by Match Type
To avoid the expanded broad matching tax, adopt a bidding strategy that employs multiple match types.

google adwords keyword match types

4) Turn OFF Automatic Matching
This is a new ignorance tax, currently in beta. If Google automatically opts you in, opt yourself out via the advanced options section when editing campaign settings:

automatic matching

That's it! Follow these 4 steps and you'll save your company a great deal of money. If you found these AdWords tips helpful, pass them on to someone else.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your PPC advice is great. It's educated us, and saved us a lot of money on our campaigns. Thank you. Now, if only Yahoo would only allow pure search, the world would be a great place.

Sat Jun 14, 02:30:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Parked pages may do really well, don't be so quick to remove them without data.

If I'm looking for "paper baskets" and I go to "" - an ad click from that page will be no worse than an ad click from (in many cases).

Fri Jun 20, 12:21:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Richard said...

In theory, parked domain advertising could be more effective than search advertising. I've actually argued that case. The reality, though, is that the traffic from the AdSense for Domains program being routed through the AdWords *SEARCH* network, is of very low quality. The domain names are not equivalent to searches.

I have plenty of data about Google AdWords and parked domains. Unfortunately, it's not pretty. In fact, Google ought to be ashamed of themselves. Seriously.

Sun Jun 22, 09:49:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Andrew said...

With regards to domain parking, yes there is fraud and some sites offer poor conversion. But I'm finding the channel to perform very well for me, even the ads on the search feed that show up on parked pages.

Wed Jul 23, 01:39:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Richard said...

Hi Andrew. FYI, I subscribe to your blog via NetVibes. I left a comment on your post. Here's part of what I said:

Unlike content sites on the content network, you can’t weed out individual domains. That’s the problem with Google’s implementation. It’s binary - either AdSense for Domains is ON or it’s OFF. What advertisers need is a domain network, separate from the existing search and content networks. Just like site exclusion works for the content network, that new network needs to have some kind of granular control.

In the meantime, it’s simply safer for advertisers to simply opt out of the parked domains. For advertisers bidding high on some competitive keywords on the search network, the risk of click fraud from parked domains is simply too high. The only choice is to turn it off.

Thu Jul 24, 10:47:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your advice sounds very authoritative, but you don't actually give any data to support the actions you're asking people to take. I can't even see a mention of what type of industry this advice worked for, and how well it worked. Also, you give no examples of how not doing these things would waste money. I think this post would be a lot more effective with those details.

Fri Jul 25, 01:16:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Richard said...

Thanks for the feedback, Anonymous. I've found that shorter posts tend to be read more than longer ones. These 4 tips are all topics I've written about in the past. This post is pulling all of that information together into a single post. For each tip, I did link back to a previous post for those who want more details. Here are those links:

1) Turn OFF the Content Network - PPC Tip: Don't Mix Contextual Ads and Search Engine Advertising (from February 21, 2007)

2) Block Domain Parking Distribution - AdWords Advice: Ban Parked Domains in Search Advertising Campaigns (from March 20, 2008)

3) Bid by Match Type - Purple Flowers Are Not Pink Despite What Google Might Think (from July 16, 2007)

4) Turn OFF Automatic Matching - Automatic Match and the SEM Tax (from June 02, 2008)

Sat Aug 16, 02:56:00 PM EDT  
Blogger jhon said...

What advertisers need is a domain network, separate from the existing search and content networks. Just like site exclusion works for the content network, that new network needs to have some kind of granular control,that's great.

Mon Dec 29, 12:41:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Studio said...

A very interesting article!
I liked!
I would be here now go more often!

Fri Jan 30, 05:28:00 PM EST  
Anonymous karel said...

Have you seen the garbage traffic being routed through the AdWords *SEARCH* network that originates from AdSense for Domains? It's not very Googley. Much of the traffic is clearly not genuine direct navigation.

Mon Apr 06, 10:39:00 PM EDT  
Blogger rrichard said...

Hi Richard, I think I need your advise as I am not using adword correctly. I want to be able to add keywords so that when a customer enters that word into a google page my website will be shown, is adword the only tool for this?

many thanks


Mon Jun 15, 04:12:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Richard said...

Actually, rrichard, universal search has created many options for showing up on a Google results page.

Tue Jun 16, 10:09:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous gamer said...

Your PPC advice is great. It's educated us, and saved us a lot of money on our campaigns. Thank you.

Sun Aug 09, 08:17:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Belajar Bisnis Online said...

Hii Richard, thanks for sharing this to all of us. Your blog very reach information, I love it and I will check here every day. The first I knew about you When I read your article in about "Meta Keywords Advice - Don't Use This Meta Tag!" and using your FREE KEYWORD RESEARCH TOOL..all of your articles and tools was helped me
Thank you richard...I hope you will come and share in my blog


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Tue Dec 29, 01:14:00 AM EST  
Blogger Khuram said...

PPC is growing and Growing. As Google is making it tough to be on Top of Organic Search.

Sun Mar 07, 11:48:00 AM EST  

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