(Insert Search Engine) Launches/Upgrades PPC Program

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Sounds and looks familiar, huh? It seems these days you can’t get through a day without reading about an upgrade or launch of a new Paid Search Program from the likes of Google, MSN or Ask (Yahoo, where are you?). As an advertiser, especially in interactive, change has become a constant, as innovation in technology, ad platforms and ad units bring about a more controlled environment for delivery of your advertising to the right person at the right place and time—and in the right format.

Here’s a quick re-cap on the most recent big changes in the Paid Search world:

The Upgrade
Google
has recently made a few enhancements to their AdWords program aimed at simplifying their campaign keyword status and establishing a Quality Score methodology for determining ad quality. Keywords will now be listed as either active or inactive, removing old keyword states such as “on hold”, “in trial”, “normal” and “disabled”. The benefit of this change is that keywords that had once been “disabled” due to low CTR (0.5%) will now be reactivated as long as your bids are above the minimum. So those advertisers that had a hard time hitting that minimum CTR and constantly saw their ads disabled now have the ability to keep them active and running. This is especially beneficial to those brand marketers who may not necessarily be in Search for the click, but rather for the impressions and distribution.

As previously mentioned, Google has also established a Quality Score methodology for factoring AdRank, which determines the position of your ad. Their Quality Score is comprised of variables such as keyword CTR, relevance of ad text and historical keyword performance, among other factors. Ad position is now calculated based on maximum CPC and this Quality Score.

A few things to keep in mind regarding these new enhancements: first, review your disabled ads. If Google now finds them to be in good standing, they will be moved from disabled to active, and you may start to see clicks. Second, continue to fine-tune and optimize your ads to boost your Quality Score. The higher the score, the lower the cost.

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