Thursday, May 18, 2006

Blogger and Moderating Comments Mishaps

I would like to first apologize for everyone that has been leaving comments to my blogs that I have not even acknowledged. About a month ago, I was getting a lot of stupid splog comments (or spam-blog) that I could not erase. You can still see some of them on under my first few entries. I kind of got pissed off and turned on comment moderation and sort of forgot about it! I came across it last night and activated the legitimate ones. I do appreciate the feedback and questions and I plan to start addressing these questions in my upcoming blogs.

One other final note about splogging...Being an affiliate marketer myself, I understand the importance of put your "brand" (or website links) within your signature on a comment response. I do it and I have no problem if others doing it on my blogs. It is the comments that add no content or relevancy to my current blog that annoys me. A signature alone will provide the backlink you need. We don't need a sales pitch. I will talk about this again more in the future.

Again, I really appreciate all of the great comments and questions (that are not splog!). It gives me the motivation to continue writing this blog! Until tomorrow...

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Understanding Adwords - Part VIII: GoogleAd Last Words

I promise to continue to comment on Adwords in the future, but for now, I feel that I need to move on a little bit! I do want to bring up a few other minor points about Google Adwords:

1) The payment system for Adwords is a little bit different than many of the other types of PPC sites such as Overture and Miva. Overture and Miva charge you prior to activating your ads and keywords. This means that you need to fork up usually about $50 just to begin. It will then debit from this account until it reaches a threshold where it will either automatically replenish this account or deactivate your ads. Google, on the other hand, charges you $5 to sign up and then will charge you for what you owe at the end of each month. Personally, I prefer to pay for my clicks after the fact, not up-front.

2) Join and use the GoogleAds forums ( to help answer some specific questions and learn some of the tricks of the trade. It is an excellent resource!

3) Don't be afraid to contact GoogleAds support. There are times where their software robots really can screw you over. Sometimes Google needs a little bit of a kick in the butt. In all, though, they are pretty good program and harassing them a lot will not solve all of your problems.

4) The Psychology of Adwords: I want to stress the one the most! Using Adwords can be a very addictive and compulsary venture. Patience can definitely be a virtue when using this program. Prior to any campaign, you should really draw up a game plan and stick with it! You may be tempted to up your maximum bids beyond your planned limits...Don't do it! Sometimes, it takes a few days to get Adwords to drop bid prices for activation. If you are asked to pay beyond your limits, spend a few days trying to optimize your ads...they may require review, be patient!

5) I have wasted hundreds of dollars learning many of the lessons I have written about throughout this blog. Some lessons you need to learn on your own and just like anything worthwhile in this world, understanding Adwords is no exception. I do still highly recommend Perry Marshall's The Definitive Guide to Google Adwords to anyone who is really serious about making affiliate marketing work. Many of my (costly) lessons learned where spelled out right in this book. I was kicking myself quite a bit for not getting this book sooner.

I will continue to add Google lessons learned throughout my upcoming blogs, so stay tuned for more!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Understanding Adwords - Final Notes on Content Searches

Something that I forgot to mention about content searches...

If you choose to use content searches, please be aware of what they are! For normal google searches, you are guarenteed positions on Google Searches or some of their direct affiliates (like AskJeeves). Again, these are very targetted searches based on the keywords that you are bidding on. Content searches are a bit different. These are the ads that can appear on any website. Specifically, the ads that are generated when using Google Adsense. This blog, for example, has ads on the right column from Adsense that come from content searches. Keep in mind that the ads that are placed are based on the content of my website, not necessarily from a specific searched keyword. Therefore, your ad may appear on a website that is unrelated to your topic audience.

Unlike Google Searches, though, are you not penalized for this! The CTR of your content searches has no bearing on your content search position nor does it affect the CTR of your campaign related to google search position. So if you have a Google Search CTR of 5% and a Content Search CTR of 0.01%, you are not being penalized for the 0.01%. It is what it is!

Getting back to the topic of click fraud, you can probably guess that some idiots on the web take advantage of links they have placed on their website by clicking them. This, of course, makes them money and costs you the price of a click (or many clicks) with no quality at all. Google works fairly hard to prevent this and a lot of their software is smart enough to detect fraudulent clicks. They will banish you from Google Adsense if they suspect you are clicking your own ad links. Don't be stupid, just play the game fairly!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Understanding Adwords - Part VII: Content Searches Beware!

Let me tell you a story about when I first started affiliate marketing. One of the very first campaigns I tried dealt with PSP downloading services. I got my links, went into GoogleAds and started a campaign. This was about the fourth campaign that I had tried and with the three previous, I was not getting any clicks with 0.05 per keyword. With this one, I thought, I would be adventurous and set my bid price to 0.30 per keyword! I was feeling really good about this plan! I even set my maximum daily budget to $15. And away I went!

The first few days, nothing really happened that was too extraordinary. I got about 10 clicks per day through google searches. $3 per sales. Then one afternoon I went to check my account and it showed about 500,000 impressions and 50 clicks (and I had reached my max for the day.) WOW! I must have found a winning strategy! So I checked my daily sales. Hmmm...well, they say that some products get a sale for 1 in every 100 clicks.

The next day I changed my maximum daily budget to $30! Sure enough, at the end of the day I had over 1,000,000 impressions and 100 clicks! DOUBLE WOW! I'm rich! sales. Maybe this was just a fluke day! One more day!

On the third day, again, 1,000,000 impressions and 100 clicks! And STILL NO SALES! At this point, I had over 250 clicks and not one single sale. So I paused the campaign and did some study: I went to a variety of web forums and told my story and everyone told me: SHUT OFF THE CONTENT SEARCHES! Further digging brought me two conclusions:

1) Click Fraud - Yes, it exists and I do honestly believe some of this mess was caused by this.

2) Content Searches provide low quality clicks

So what to do? I have two suggestions:

1) Disable Content Search completely from your campaigns. At least at the beginning until you become more familiar and advanced at GoogleAds.

2) Change the max bid price explicitly for content searches. This one I am still up in the air about. Right now, I set my max bid price on content searches to 0.03 per click. Believe it or not, I do get clicks and impressions from this. I have yet to determine if they clicks have any quality to them at all. Then again, it doesn't come at much cost.

In summary, I spent over $75 just to learn that content searches can really bite you in the rear if you are not careful. This is another instance where Perry Marshall's eBook would have saved me time and money on this stupid campaign (the lesson learned here cost me 150% more than the price of the eBook...again, it is money well spent if you plan on trying to learn Adwords).