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It was only a matter of time before someone took the problems associated with click-fraud to court. In February, a group of advertisers quietly filed a lawsuit against Google, Yahoo, Time Warner (AOL), Ask Jeeves, Disney, Lycos, LookSmart and FindWhat. Read more…

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Wednesday, March 16th, 2005

MSN Enters Paid Search Market

MSN has added a second pillar to its new search division and a new threat to rivals Google and Yahoo with today’s introduction of its own paid-advertising program, MSN Paid Search Solution. Read more…

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Friday, January 21st, 2005

Adding Value to AdWords

This is a breaking story about Google AdWords based on several rumours, readings and conversations. There is a fair likelihood that some information here is erroneous. In an email, Google Advertising PR Michael Mayzel stated, “We are not providing comment.” If correct the implications are huge and might provide Google advertisers critical protections they’ve been asking for.

Google is about to announce significant changes in the way it does business with its advertisers. Read more…

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Friday, January 14th, 2005

Is There a Future for LookSmart?

Former search giant LookSmart has reissued investor guidance numbers for the last quarter of 2004. Posting lower revenues than expected, the beleaguered firm admitted it overestimated potential revenues by about $2million and underestimated quarterly losses by about $700,000. Read more…

Internet advertising has evolved significantly over the years. In the beginning pop-ups were just that – pop-ups. When they open, you close them and move on. The original pop-ups are still there, but they have also evolved into interstitial ads – you know, those annoying versions that require some level of interaction to make them go away. Some times it’s a video, sometimes a static ad, but it’s always right in your face.

When PPC ads started appearing in search engines they were simple text ads separated by the non-paid listings – they were non-intrusive and un-offending to the searcher. Over the years they have significantly evolved, but to the searcher they, for the most part, remained the same. Most of the changes have been in the realm of the advertiser in terms of ad management and specific targeting abilities, in particular local targeting.

Google has its Local Targeting Options and Overture has its Local Match. A variety of other pay per click engines are offering Geo Targeting based on country, and soon, will likely offer very targeted city and precise searching by radius.

Now both Google and Overture offer the ability to target very specific locations, within 20 miles from a specific point by using the physical address or longitude and latitude. This precise method of targeted PPC advertising is still quite new, but will likely shift over to the second tier engines in time if it proves to be beneficial to both advertisers and searchers.

Such local targeting gives localized business the chances to advertise online with the chance of receiving qualified business. A small craft shop in Vancouver that does not offer online sales, can now place an ad online that will be directed to only local qualified traffic – no more wasted leads from searchers in Toronto.

Hacking The Locals

In Many cases, creating a successful Ad Campaign requires a look at the competitor’s ads. If you are targeting specific countries outside of your own, in many cases it is either near impossible, or extremely difficult to view the competition – until now.

If you are an advertiser in the US and also place ads targeting the UK, it is difficult to see your direct competition unless you are located in the UK. Although it may have been around for a long time, today I just learned of a Google hack that gets you around this.

After you perform your search in Google, go up to the address bar and at the end of the URL add the text ‘gl=uk’; (or instead of uk, any applicable country code), hit enter and you will now see a listing of AdWords ads that are targeted towards the UK.

FeedBack

Have you have an experience with Local Targeting for any of your PPC campaigns? I would love to hear about your positive and negative experiences! Email me at scott@StepForth.com.

If you are looking to spend some of your advertising dollars on Pay Per Click (PPC), but don’t care for the high prices of Google and Overture, you may want to take a look at some of the other PPC engines out there.

Many PPC Engines charge set up fees and have minimum click through rates of 5 and 10 cents, along with minimum monthly spends. For a small business on a limited budget testing the PPC waters, this may prove to be rather expensive. goClick offers no set up fees or minimum monthly spend, and click rates as low as a cent. Read more…

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Thursday, May 27th, 2004

Just The Stats Ma'am

Promoting a website can entail multiple forms of marketing from Pay-Per-Click (PPC) to banner ads to search engine placement. While this is often a great way to go as it helps safeguard your business from fluctuations in any one area, it does lead to additional issues. A main consideration with these multiple facetted promotions is determining exactly which are producing a good ROI and which ones are just costing money with little or no value returned. Read more…

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Thursday, May 20th, 2004

PPC Tips : Google and Image Ads

For some time now Google’s publishing partners and advertisers have been requesting image based advertising through the AdSense and AdWords programs, and Google is listening.

Currently still in Beta, Google has introduced image ads into its AdSense / AdWords program. Read more…

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Thursday, May 6th, 2004

Are your Clicks for real?

As Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising becomes more and more popular so does the art of fraudulent clicking. Companies are springing up overseas with the sole purpose to click on advertiser ads. How does this affect your PPC Campaign? Read more…

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Thursday, April 29th, 2004

PPC for Local Brick and Mortar?

With Google’s new Local Targeting features, it is possible for a small brick and mortar business with a website to achieve relevant internet traffic from within their local area. For some time now Google has allowed for ads to be country specific. Now not only can an advertiser target specific countries and states/provinces but they can also focus on actual target cities. Read more…