Paid Search from Apple, Google Analytics Certification, & AdWords Loophole

PPC Buzz of the Week – Friday 1/29/10

The Sleeping PPC Giant: Apple

Think hard for a second about what could possibly bring Google to its knees and reshape the paid search landscape. First thought that came to my mind… an act of God. In all seriousness though, I couldn’t really answer this question prior to reading this post by Laurie Sullivan. If Apple would exhibit the same technological savvy with a paid search platform that it is conducting with the iPhone and iPad, the possibilities for paid search could be endless. Would it bring Google down though? Probably not right away but it would be one heck of a battle and not some 3 round fight. I’m talking Ali – Frazier, Tyson – Holyfield (minus an ear of course), and other great bouts in history. But this is all speculation at this point.

Passing the Google Analytics Test Just Got Harder

Apparently Google thinks the Google Analytics certification test is too easy or maybe they just want people to fail so they have to retake and pay for another test. According to this post on the Google Analytics blog, test takers now have to achieve a passing score of 80% or higher rather than 75% which was the previous minimum passing score. I understand Google is trying to legitimize its certification test and make sure only those individuals most knowledgeable and worthy receive certification, but is there another underlying reason too? Prior to January 26th, a score of 78% would result in certification. Now a 78% results in retaking the test and shelling out another $50 to Google. Maybe their trying to get all the money they can before Apple launches a paid search platform.

Conversions per Impression: A New Metric for PPC Analysis

I had never personally heard of the new metric going around the PPC industry “conversions per impression” before reading this post by Matthew Umbro. After reading this post though, I agree with Matthew that this relatively new measurement should be considered by all PPC managers when analyzing performance and optimizing accounts. That being said, click through rate and conversion rates still have higher priority than conversions per impression at this point in my mind for the simple fact that there is no benchmark for a reasonable CPI percentage, as Matthew also states in his post.

World’s Scariest… PPC Tactics

Google allows the use of competitor names as keywords, but disallows the use of those brand names in ad copy most of the time. But what about driving traffic to a competitor’s site? Sound stupid? Alex Campbell’s post suggests otherwise with perhaps the largest, and most unethical, AdWords loophole ever thought of up to this point. Prior to reading this post, let me say that DragonSearch and nearly every SEM agency in the world would never use this tactic. Also, you shouldn’t either unless you want to pay a huge fine or possibly go to the slammer for a few years.

Anyway, these tactics may work for a short amount of time and hurt a competitor’s reputation but ultimately is it really worth the costs involved? Probably not unless you have Bill Gate’s money to go along with a classic long and thin handlebar mustache like most cartoon villains. I will have to admit though that this loophole is very thought provoking and makes me wonder if any advertiser has ever done or been affected by this type of tactic. Finally, I suggest reading the example ad copy Alex provides carefully. It’s pretty funny.

Until next week…Keep on Searching!

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2 comments on “Paid Search from Apple, Google Analytics Certification, & AdWords Loophole

Matthew Umbro

Hi Andy,

Glad you found my post helpful. CPI is a new metric, but I believe it will become highly relevant going forward. Always glad to hear fellow PPC’ers feedback!

-Matthew


Leon Dimartino

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