Archive for March, 2008

Enquisite Pro Now Available

March 17th, 2008 by Richard Zwicky

I’m happy to announce that Enquisite Pro is now available to all Enquisite users.

You’ll see lots of great changes and updates. Tons of new features, enhancements, and additions, including of course the Long Tail reports, completely flexible date ranges, custom reporting (build and save your favorites), the ability to group terms, or engines, and an advanced comparison report.

We’ve spent a lot of time building or rather re-building from the foundation up. We’ve got the most accurate web based logging system available, and the fastest one too. We engineered for scale, and built based on your feedback and requests.

We’ve got a lot more to come, but it’s already superb, so let’s start here.

Just log in as usual, and enjoy.

We will be migrating to a paid version; but we’re still going to keep portions free. It’s a commitment we made. In the new reports the first two tabs are going to remain free, as long as possible. They’re your summary reports, and your trends over time. We’ve enhanced them substantially from the Enquisite Beta, so you’re getting more information than ever in these free portions. Features like the Long Tail and advance comparison tools will be paid features, but you’re getting them free for a few weeks. Try them out, tell us how you like them, and what else you’d like to see. We’re building a lot more cool elements in, and completely new reports, but we can only build the features we know people will want…

Thanks, and I look forward to hearing from you.

Search Engine Market Shares 2007

March 16th, 2008 by Richard Zwicky

So I arrived at Search Engine Strategies New York today, and I was asked by a couple of people about search engine market shares. After pulling out the Ask numbers last week, I had all the data ready to go for the other engines. Remember, this data reflects the search referral data we’re seeing across the entire network of sites that Enquisite is tracking, so thousands of sites’ data contributed to these numbers. When I actually graphed the data, it looked quite interesting.

I had to break the data into two parts. In this first graph we see Yahoo have its customary summer spike, which generally seems to relate to the end of school. During the summer months students spend less time online, but when they go online it’s to fetch mail and the like. During this period, Yahoo! generally goes up in market share, as most students appear to use Yahoo Mail. Normally, we also see Google drop during this period.

What’s interesting is that MSN is slowly but surely gaining traction, and moving up. It’s gone from 2.9% in January 2007 to just over 5% at the end of January 2008. Still small, but almost 100% growth, and anyone in business know’s 100% growth does matter.

Meanwhile however, Yahoo’s actually losing market share, and at a greater rate than MSN’s growing.

Now take a look at what happens when we add Google to the mix.

Google’s actually over 80% of all search referral traffic we’re seeing across our network of sites. In fact, the data I’m looking at for March has Google reaching 83% of all search referrals we’re seeing. This data is culled from well over 250 million referrals in the last year.

So, is search getting more competitive? Not really. Is Microsoft buying Yahoo going to make much of a dent in Google’s lead? Nope. But (as Rand pointed out) if you look at their combined reach in the display ad business that’s a different matter.

Search Engine Strategies (SES) New York 2008

March 15th, 2008 by Richard Zwicky

I’m off to SES New York this evening. No, I don’t particularly enjoy red-eye flights.

On Monday at SES, I’ll be speaking on the Click Fraud and Click Auditing panel. Jeff Rohrs, Shuman Ghosemajumber, Tom Cuthbert and myself are the only carry-overs from the Click Fraud panels at SES Chicago last December. As Tom didn’t have a powerpoint last time, I look forward to him bringing forward some new data. I’ve got an entirely new presentation, with perhaps only one holdover graphic. I hope those of you who will be there will enjoy it!

Two weeks ago, Shuman and I had lunch at the Googleplex. We discussed a lot of things, and I only realize now that one thing we didn’t discuss was this panel at SES NY, other than to say “see you there.”

On Wednesday, I’m also moderating a late session on Searcher Behavior. I’m looking forward to moderating this particular session as I’ve spoken on it a few times, and the change from speaker to moderator on this topic should be interesting.

If you’re at SES New York, please do say hello, come check out the sessions, and ask lots of questions.

Search Stats Update - Search Market Share -

March 11th, 2008 by Richard Zwicky

I haven’t made a Search Statistics update in a while. No excuses. Just haven’t. I’m going to rectify that now, and I’ll put up some more numbers later today or tomorrow.

With all the uncertainty around Ask, and a lot of people discussing how it’s looking like it’s dropping out of the race, I thought I should should post some numbers which reflect what we’re seeing for their share of the search marketplace over the last year and a bit. We used data representing more than 250 Million search referrals since Jan 1 2007.

2007-01 2.50%
2007-02 2.99%
2007-03 1.74%
2007-04 1.68%
2007-05 1.67%
2007-06 1.26%
2007-07 1.02%
2007-08 0.94%
2007-09 1.15%
2007-10 1.23%
2007-11 1.17%
2007-12 1.19%
2008-01 1.25%
2008-02 1.03%
2008-03 0.90%

If a tree falls in the forest, does anyone hear?

Getting Refunds from Yahoo! and Google for PPC Campaign Errors

March 11th, 2008 by Richard Zwicky

A lot of people focus in on how to get refunds from Google or Yahoo for Click Fraud issues. Google doesn’t always call it click fraud, they often call them invalid clicks, and when they catch “invalid clicks” they pro-actively discount your bill accordingly. They don’t catch everything, but they do try hard. Yahoo! does the same thing, but less obviously. They don’t actually show you how many invalid clicks you’ve received, they just don’t appear to bill you for every click.

In both cases there are defined processes for requesting refunds or more commonly, credits.

Completing the documentation to request a refund isn’t simple, trivial, or a speedy process, (unless you have PPC Assurance where it’s a one click process). In fact, it’s quite complicated. Rather than confusing matters by outlining processes for both Google and Yahoo!, I’ll focus on Google. They’re the 800lb gorilla which everyone cares about.

In Google’s case, to file a request for credits for clickthroughs you believe you were improperly billed for, you need to identify all the original referrals, which means figuring out which entry in your log file is the original referral, and isolating the unique Google Click ID (gclid). You then need to document everything possible about that click, as in the course of an investigation, Google’s team might ask you for a lot of data. Be prepared. They are just trying to be thorough.

One issue you’ll face is how to claim what. The obvious documentation on the web deals with “Invalid Clicks” Unfortunately, invalid clicks don’t always mean the same thing to you as they do to Google. Not all invalid clicks are Click Fraud. To you an invalid click might be a referral for an incorrect keyword match. These do happen, but you’re unlikely to notice them in a large campaign, as too many terms are flying across your screen. This type of mistake actually gets handled by a different department at Google. Challenging to navigate, that’s for sure.

It’s not that Google actually sets out to make it difficult to claim back a refund, or to get a credit for mistakes. Simply put, Google’ a big organization with responsibilities for different issues assigned to different groups. They are trying to be as efficient as possible, but these efficiencies don’t necessarily make processes simpler for you, or your clients. They simply need to be thorough.

Is it worth your while to manually track down all the errors? It depends on your cost per click, and your volume. Is it worth doing so automatically? Definitely. At a cost of 1% of campaign spend, knowing what’s going on, when things go wrong, and how to deal with them is invaluable. Knowing you can recoup more than that means the ROI is pretty simple to work out.

PPC Summit - Vancouver, and More!

March 10th, 2008 by Richard Zwicky

For the first time, the PPC Summit is coming to Vancouver B.C. later this month. It should be a great event. I’m hoping / expecting to be there, and in that expectation, the organizers of the conference have been kind enough to extend a special offer to people who want to attend. This is a bit special, as for most people the cut-off was March 7, but here, you get the access until the 12th!

I learned from David Szetela over at Clix Marketing that someone who attended one PPC Summit showed up at a second one later and recounted how his sales had gone up over $1 Million dollars, just based on the campaign management skills he’d picked up at the conference. That’s high value.

So here goes - for the PPC Summit in Vancouver, use the promo code: ENQ and save $200 off the two-day rate, plus get your 10% discount Apparently, this discount code is supposed to be good for all PPC Summits to get 10% off the two-day early bird registration. If it doesn’t work, or you have any questions, call 800.507.2958 ext.703 or email [email protected]

Better Pay Per Click Results in 2 Days!
Dallas, Feb 4 - 5 | Boston, Mar 3 - 4 | Vancouver, Mar 31 - Apr 1
London, Apr 14 - 15 | San Francisco, May 19 - 20 | Los Angeles, Sept TBD

Ways to Minimize Click Fraud

March 7th, 2008 by Richard Zwicky

I was reading yet another article the other day which referred to Click Forensic’s Click Fraud Index, and was particularly interested in their threat map, pictured below.

I’m not going to bother dealing with the numbers quoted, or commenting on which countries are more threatening, but if their threat map is real, what an easy problem this is for you to start dealing with, at least as far as Google, and Yahoo are concerned. That’s right, using their information, it’s relatively easy to minimize your exposure to Click Fraud, and to make your campaign much more effective at the same time.

How about that? Advice which won’t cost you a penny, but will save you a bundle in your PPC campaigns. The best part of it is, you’ll not just limit your exposure to Click Fraud, but you’ll also increase campaign ROI in innumerable ways.

Here’s how you go about it. If you are a retailer selling only in specific countries, why aren’t you simply geo-targeting those countries? If you only sell, or want to reach customers in the U.S., why would your campaign not have geographic parameters? Simple, isn’t it? But you can’t just simply choose U.S. only in your geo targeting. If you do that you’re simply limiting yourself to people accessing .com, .net, and .org sites. People in India (fiery red hot problem spot according to the Click Fraud Index), and Canada (a much bigger problem than the U.S., with only 10% the population), who use, or go to read will still see your ads. Why?

Well, if all you do is select “U.S. only” then you’re limiting your ads to anyone in the world using the U.S. default engines. Same thing if you’re running a UK only campaign, people in Argentina (another hot spot!) looking for information about the Falklands (err… Malvinas) on, or will see Google ads set to “UK Only.”

The good news is that it’s easy to keep those nasty Argentinian click fraudsters away from your ads, (actually I know and like quite a few Argentinians, and their wines!), so you never need to worry about them causing you grief.

The solution really is simple, go into your campaign settings, and instead of choosing “U.S. only” choose each of the 50 States, plus D.C. individually. Now you’ve just limited your campaign to people located only within the 50 States & D.C. Much better, isn’t it?

So what happens now when Google (or Yahoo or anyone else) serves out your ad to a viewer in Argentina, India, or Canada? Well, now you can go back to them, and file a claim for incorrect billings. These clickthroughs should now be labeled as “invalid”, and you should not be responsible for them. After all, if you rent a billboard in Las Vegas, and the company instead erects it in San Jose, you wouldn’t logically be required to pay would you? Same principal should apply here as well.

So, it’s really pretty easy to cut back on your exposure to potential click fraud, isn’t it?