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Google and Google Search Partners- How They Stack Up

July 1, 2009 4 comments

As a Google advertiser, your ads are being placed on Google’s search results pages AND their search partners.

These search partners include:

* AOL
* Ask.com
* Netscape Netcenter
* Earthlink
* Compuserve
* Shopping.com
* AT&T Worldnet

Until recently, no data on the performance of these ad placements was offered was Google. But last October Google released a feature in Adwords offering more transparency into the results advertisers see from paid search served through Google search partners. Now, Google shows one set of statistics for Google and another set aggregating search partner performance. Yay? How do the results for these stack up?

After accumulating a good amount of data, I found some interesting results.

  1. In campaigns with more generic themed keywords (related to the product) I found Google’s clicks around 80% of the clicks. This seemed consistent, even when geo-targeted, which surprised me. I would have expected the search partners percentage to be much lower when geo-targeted. For the 20% of search partners clicks sending traffic to the site, the CPC was 40% higher. Again, this was consistent even with geo-targeted campaigns.
  2. For individual product campaigns, the specific product keywords typically will have much lower search volume. In this case, I found different results. Google had 60% of the clicks leaving the search partners with 40% of the clicks driving traffic. The CPC was very similar between the two.

In the first example of the more generic themed words, the search partner campaigns are less effective. However in the second example, we can see in terms of both clicks and CPC, Google and the search partners are on a more equal playing field.

Within your own data, also consider the conversion rates. Unfortunately I can’t include this…

Knowing the basic behavior of how these placements can perform for you can be critical in optimizing your campaigns. Feel free to share your findings!