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Thursday, November 6th, 2008

This Week at Google

 

Well, this has certainly been a busy week at Google. One thing I can say for Google, they are very energetic and we’re never wanting for good writing material.

Yahoogle Deal Abandoned
Yahoo - Google
Right on the heels of revising the scope of the agreement between the two search giants, Google announced this Wednesday that the deal will not go forward. This came to pass after the US Department of Justice decided it would file an anti-trust suit if the agreement was implemented.

Many thought this would be a disastrous alliance and the effects it would have on the industry were very difficult to predict. We’ll never know, but I for one am glad we won’t have to find out.

Adsense Publishers Blocking Ad Display
Adsense
While searching around for article content, I came across this forum thread and it’s a real eye opener. Some advertisers are jamming in last minute political ad displays that are getting placement on completely irrelevant sites. While this isn’t exactly new, what most incenses site owners is the controversial, issue based advertisements that are not relevant and could offend large numbers of visitors to their sites. More information can be found in this article.

Google is aware of this and has posted on their blog the means to block unwanted ads, but apparently, the ads get displayed well before the AdSense publishers can review them to block.
This delay in the system has caused many site owners to turn off AdSense altogether as it is the only means of getting unsuitable ad display off immediately.

I am not really surprised by this, as I’ve always been pretty skeptical about how effective an automated system is at determining relevancy. The wide variety of sites that are complaining of this reinforces my opinion of general content display.

Regardless, the time lag involved is something Google really needs to take a look at.

Quality Score Change is a Go


Google has been doing a lot of work on overhauling how their ad ranking system works and last week they announced upcoming changes to QS. This has been made live as of Monday.

There were two major changes made:

1. They have adjusted their algorithm to take into account the effects of ad position on click through rate. Presumably this means if your ad is not always in a high position or on the first page, you will not be penalized for a low CTR (Click through rate).

2. They have also made an algorithm that allows promotion of lower bidding ads to the top slots on the basis of meeting a certain (unspecified) Quality Score threshold. The use of the term “threshold” implies that it may be a fixed score point i.e. 8/10 QS, but they haven’t made this clear.

I’ll be interested to see what effects these changes will have on existing campaigns.

Google says, “Keep in mind that these enhancements may cause changes to your ad position, spend, and performance.” “While we don’t believe that any immediate changes are needed on your part, we encourage you, as always, to watch your key metrics and to make adjustments as appropriate.”

You betcha! I’m going to have to plow through all my accounts over the next little while and make sure to compensate for this.


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