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Sunday, October 12, 2003

Approach to Ad-Tracking Sets Google Apart

Not only is Google's AdWords program superior to Overture's in many ways, but Google's new conversion tracker unveiled last week puts them on an even higher plane.

Once again, Overture "got there first," but they fumbled the ball by charging for their Conversion Counter. That caught many observers, including yours truly, by surprise. You'd think that Overture would want to make this feature available to as many advertisers as possible, with the theory being that once advertisers know where their bucks are coming from, they're more likely to spend more bucks on PPC ads.

Well, I guess that theory was wrong, because although Conversion Counter is free for a limited time, you'll have to pony up 50 bucks a month to keep using it after the grace period ends. Hmm, that's 600 bucks a year for something that really should be a free, value-added service. But no.

And, once again, Google "got it right" by offering their conversion tracking feature free. I'm sure there was a mad rush of advertisers logging in to get their hands dirty with this delightful data. I sure did. Of course, it will takes some time to actually see the results of conversion tracking; but after enough data is accumulated, thousands of advertisers will finally learn which ads are generating the best clicks.

I've thought quite a lot about this information the past few days, and have ruminated on what this information will mean for the PPC engines. Yes, it will show us which keywords are generating the conversions and enable users to spend money more wisely. But, from the PPC engines' standpoint, will these features actually encourage advertisers to spend more money? I'm not so sure.

As it is now, most advertisers are blindly throwing money at any and all related search phrases. But, when advertisers know exactly which terms generate the clicks, will they scale back all others and focus instead on those that generate the most clicks? Only time will tell, of course, and it will be interesting to see what the PPC community decides.

Posted by Cory Kleinschmidt




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