ppc

Google’s Ads Updates in Search Results

We manage a number of Google Ads campaigns for clients. We’ve definitely noticed an uptick in desktop CTR’s since the updates (same as what happened with mobile last year). But a Google Ads campaign is only as good as the conversions it drives. If the quality tanks b/c of more junk clicks, ad spends will go elsewhere. All that to say, I don’t view this as cynically as the article here states:

Last week, Google began rolling out a new look for its search results on desktop, which blurs the line between organic search results and the ads that sit above them. In what appears to be something of a purposeful dark pattern, the only thing differentiating ads and search results is a small black-and-white “Ad” icon next to the former. It’s been formatted to resemble the new favicons that now appear next to the search results you care about. Early data collected by Digiday suggests that the changes may already be causing people to click on more ads.

Source: Google’s ads just look like search results now – The Verge

Open Sourcing PPC Policy Creation

I noticed from one of brianlittleton‘s tweets that ShareASale is putting together an “open source” PPC policy creation template…

Open Source the PPC Policy Creation – ABestWeb Affiliate Marketing Forum: “One of the things that we will be doing is providing a list of things that a Merchant should and must consider when generating a ‘good’ PPC policy. For example, some Merchants consider things like their ‘domain name’, or ‘TM’, but don’t consider that same word in conjunction with another term such as ‘special’ or ‘vs. a competitor’ …

So – I am here offering and asking for a collaborative effort to generate a template/wishlist/helpsheet for Merchants who want to generate a policy.”

Lots of great stuff going on in that thread at ABW and it’s awesome to see a network reaching out to both affiliates and merchants in such a manner. Go over and participate if you have thoughts on the issue (and who doesn’t?!).

As always, nice work, Brian.

AvantLink Throwing Email and Search Affiliates Under the Bus

EB07E6B3-D6AB-4BE2-9983-3E3E32C5B203.jpgAvantLink has a post on their blog addressing the now effective (as of June 1) New York state “affiliate tax.”

While most of the post does a good job of laying out the issue with practical examples, this part at the end of the post caught me by surprise:

New York Sales Tax, Merchants and their Affiliate Programs · AvantLink’s Affiliate Marketing Blog: “To prevent falling into the scenario of Example 2 we propose adding the following terms to your Merchant program terms:

‘New York State Affiliates may not solicit New York State residents by using flyers, newsletters, telephone calls, e-mails, PPC ads, or any other type of Internet marketing techniques besides web site advertising links.’”

That’s well and good for some affiliates who still just do banners, but I’d argue that many (if not most) affiliates doing more than $50 a month now utilize some sort of PPC or email component as a part of their campaigns or traffic generation. To amend merchant terms saying that affiliates can only use banners seems more than heavy handed and follows the same draconian logic as employed in the actual NY state law.

If you look at the “Top 10 Affiliate Programs” from last month, at least 7 (probably 9) of them rely (some heavily) on PPC and email. To lop off those channels of traffic generation within a network doesn’t solve the NY problem.

Affiliate marketing has become a much larger umbrella than just banner ad placements on static html websites. In addressing this issue, we need to make sure we’re letting both merchants and NY state know that.

What am I missing here?

[Update] Gary from AvantLink adds this in the comments on their blog post:

4Gary M on Jun 3, 2008 at 6:30 am:

Our recommendation does not disallow email marketing and PPC altogether. Rather, email and PPC targeted at New York residents.

While that’s a good point and clarification of the suggested terms, I still don’t think it’s a fix for many/most affiliates doing business in NY state or with their residents. Geo-targeting is an expensive proposition and this seems to be putting yet more responsibility on the affiliate and further alleviating the merchant from responsibility or diligence.

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