Google Revises Adwords API Terms

The much expected revision of the Google API terms was released today by Rohit Dharwan on their Blog.

It’s going to have a major impact on bid management companies in the Google space, increasing their cost base dramatically. It will also impact the number of bids placed per day, given that there is a charge for every bid placed, in effect.

It also encourages advertiser to build their own systems, instead of tapping into 3rd party tools. My view is that 3rd party bid management companies are going to have to seriously look at the bid management strategies and start focusing on issues like quality score, instead of just price.

I am currently in Munich, Germany, and I spend the day with about 4 groups of people, explaining how Google Adwords is not a price war marketplace, as Overture current is today.

It’s astonishing to me how many companies feel that increasing prices on Google is the best way to increase their rankings. What’s even funnier is that Overture created this mentality amongst advertisers, and they’re jumping ship and going with a Google-esque system very shortly.

The top advertisers will attest that PPC management is not a bid war, it’s a user relevancy war. The more relevant your campaign is, the higher the rankings, the lower the max bid and the higher the Adwords discounter.

Hopefully these new Google API changes will reinforce these facts.

Quick Update

Just arrived in Munich – weather is horrible – luckily I won’t be here for too long and I’ll be off to the land of pain au chocolat – Paris. I hear it’s the Normandy butter that makes them so good!

I just read a scary article on how thieves are stealing laptops in San Francisco!

I’m quite excited to be speaking at the Affiliate Summit in Disneyworld, Orlando, Florida on July 9-11th. It’s selling out quickly, so register now if you’re thinking of going, or else you won’t get in. It was pretty packed in Las Vegas earlier this year.

There is a pretty rough conference circuit on the go for the next few months. I’ll be at Pubcon next week in Boston and I’m looking forward to the eBay conference in June as well, and SES London.

This is my longest trip to date – by the time I get back to Cape Town (25th April), I would have been away for about 21 days. It’s a bit tiring, actually. I also noticed some traffic coming to my blog from Search Engine Watch’s Blog, and realised that I was kindly put onto their Blogroll – thanks to Danny for that!

Vinny, over and out from a cold, wet & miserable Munich!

Yahoo wants to be like Google with Project Panama

Forbes has finally caught up with the industry and confirmed the rumours, which we knew to be true already. In truth (NDA prevented me from saying earlier), I have been involved on some level discussing the new features with Yahoo earlier this year and I’m quite impressed with what they were planning to do. I can only say that they’ve dealt with all the major issues that their existing platform faced, and I’m quite excited about their plans.

The only gripe I have is that they are still using the multiple marketplace approach, where you have to reload campaigns into different geographic regions to target different countries, unlike Google – where it’s a click of a button to add and remove countries. Yahoo also loses out on revenues in markets like South Africa, etc with this approach.

Google Releases Bid Position Filters

As I’ve said in the past, I have to keep my mouth shut, because I learn a lot about what the search engines are doing, whilst under strict Non-Disclosure Agreements. Luckily, thanks to Barry at Search Engine Watch , I can start talking about Google’s new bid to position filters.

So basically, what the filters do, is allow the advertisers to select which positions on the search engine they want to appear on, and if their AdRank does not allow them to earn a particular position (assuming it’s out of range), then their ad will not be displayed lower down.

For example:

I am bidding on [Shoes] for ThatShoe, and I only want the advert to display in position 3 or 4 on Google. If I input this requirement into the campaign with a max CPC of $1, and the bid required for position 4 is $1.01, my ad will not be displayed at all, even at lower positions, as it would normally be displayed, if position 4 was outside my bid range (assume we ignore quality score for now).

The reality is that it is very difficult to tell which keyword convert well, and at which positions, because Google’s report give us an AVERAGE position for a keyword over a period of time, and they do not pass any variables to us, designating at which position the keyword was when it was clicked.

I have requested this functionality from Google, and hopefully they’ll look at it – but I am only one person. Please send them emails as well, requesting this functionality to be included in their Valuetrack tagging system, so that everyone can benefit from positional analysis and positional bidding (which is a nice idea, but impractical without the right data).