Did you see a drop in your PPC traffic yesterday?

I was interested to see the post on Google’s Blog yesterday that the Google AdWords system was down for 3 hours yesterday at 9.15pm (GMT) and there were no ad’s shown in Google search results or in their search partners.

I’ve never heard of the Google AdWords system being down before in all my years of PPC and especially not for 3 hours! Google has apologised for the downtime but does not mention the cause of the problem.

If you have seen a dip in traffic yesterday from your PPC campaign, then this could be the reason which is why I thought I’d share this with you.

I will keep this blog updated if/when we hear anything more from Google regarding this issue.

For more information check out Google’s Blog at http://adwords.blogspot.com/2010/06/adwords-ad-serving-issue.html

Google’s Latest Innovation: Google ACE

At Net Media Planet we make sure we keep up with the latest developments from Google and I am pleased that we are now one of the preferred partners to test out Google’s latest innovation: Google ACE.

Google ACE is Google AdWords Campaign Experiments (ACE) which is a tool that allows you to test different strategies for keywords, ad groups and placements within your Google campaign and then allows you to measure the performance of your test. This tool is very useful for the optimisation of our PPC campaigns and at the team are thrilled to  have been accepted on the beta programme for this latest innovation.

For more information on Google ACE  check out the Google ACE video below…

How does it work?

When you are confirmed as being part of the Google ACE trial you will see a new option appear in the advanced settings of your Google campaign settings….

Google Experiment Tav

This then allows you to name the test you are trying out as well as putting in start and end dates for how long you want the test to run. Once you have set the test up you then go back to your campaign and make the changes you want to the keywords or ad groups and select the tick box ‘add as experiment only’…

Google Ace Settings

Once you have added the keywords or ad groups you want to test you will then see a new ‘test tube ‘symbol next to the keywords or ad groups you are running the test on, to highlight where you are running the test…

Even though the team here have only recently started running tests,  we have are all very hopeful that Google ACE will be a great help in maximising the performance of our PPC campaigns in the future. We will continue to test ACE on different PPC campaigns and I will keep you posted on any further developments.

For more infomation on Google Ace visit: http://www.google.com/ads/innovations/ace.html

Big Changes in Google’s PPC Yesterday!

At Net Media Planet we pride ourselves on always being up to date with the latest new developments and innovations in the Search Marketing Industry. In light of this we would like to draw your attention to a raft of new updates from Google that relate to their PPC ads.

What are the updates?

1. Google has introduced sitelinks on generic keywords.

Generic Sitelinks

2. Google has introduced sitelinks on ads in position 2.

Sitelinks in P2

3. Google now shows ‘related to’ ads on branded keywords.

Google Related Ad's

As we reported in our post yesterday…Google are now showing related to ad’s on branded keywords. For more information go to Google ‘Related to’ Ad’s Appearing on Brand Terms`

So what does all this mean?

1. Showing sitelinks on generic keywords means that there will be a premium on position 1 for generic terms.  Having sitelinks on your keywords can improve your click through rate (CTR) by up to 30% (in our research.) This means that there will be more aggressive bidding from advertisers who want to appear in position 1.

2. Showing sitelinks in ads for position 2 means that there will be a greater amount of real estate taken up by PPC ads in the search engine results page (SERPS.) As a result there will be more people clicking on PPC ads as opposed to the organic listings, which will be pushed further down the page.

3. Google displaying ‘related to’ ads on branded keywords means that it will be showing more PPC ads than would appear normally. This means people have more choice of where to click.  As a result of this there will be fewer clicks on the organic listings.


The effect of these new changes will be even greater importance on PPC advertising, as opposed to SEO and the natural rankings. These look set to suffer as they begin to take up less real estate within the search result pages.

As a result of this, Google stands to benefit from the increase in PPC clicks over the natural result clicks and more aggressive CPC bidding by advertisers. This will lead to greater revenue generation for Google through advertisers’ PPC ads.

Net Media Planet will continue to monitor the effect of these Google updates, which were released on 24 June, and we will update our blog if and when we have more news.

Google ‘Related to’ Ads Appearing on Brand Terms

It was unveiled recently that Google have been testing ‘related to’ ad’s in their result pages. We thought this new innovation was a great idea from Google when we saw these related ad’s appearing on keywords such as ‘World Cup,’ where people were offered ad’s advertising tickets for the World Cup.


However, we have seen that Google are now rolling out these ‘related to’ ads on a companies brand terms. An example of this can be seen below for P&O, where competitors such as Sea France and Eurostar are appearing…


This raises the question of Google actually promoting other brands competitors on a firms brand terms and whether this is something advertisers would be happy about?

We feel this is a bold step from Google and can imagine a potential backlash as a result of this new innovation. Google opened up its trademark policy for brands, in the UK, back in May 2008 and many prestigious brands, most notably Louis Vuitton, filed legal action over their concerns about websites selling fake copies of their products and bidding on their brand keywords.

These ‘related to’ ads take trademark bidding to a new level where Google is actively promoting competition on a brands trademark and as such brands could see a decrease in click thru rate (CTR) on their own brand terms and potentially an increase in the cost per click (CPC) for their brand keywords.

Net Media Planet will be monitoring this closely and will post any updates.

Net Media Planet competes in the Crisis Square Mile Run

Net Media Planet runners before the Crisis Square Mile Run

The Crisis Square Mile Run

Last Thursday evening six members of the Net Media Planet team took part in Crisis’ annual Square Mile Run.

The seven kilometre route criss-crossed the Thames and weaved through central London’s skinny side streets on an overcast summer’s evening.

Overall 2,000 runners took part in the event which was won by Paul Martelletti in a time of 23.20. The fastest of Net Media Planet’s entrants was account manager Matthew Ncube who finished in a time of 31 minutes – doubtless propelled along by a sharp dose of Maximuscle.

All of the Net Media Planet runners are pictured above. They are (left to right) Tomas Mowlam, Jamil Beerahee, Leo McIntosh, Xavi Esteve, Matthew Ncube and Peter Moore.

All funds raised from the Square Mile Run go to supporting Crisis, the national charity for single homeless people.

Net Media Planet become Google Certified Partner

Net Media Planet gain Google Certification

Net Media Planet are awarded official Google Certification

This week Net Media Planet met with the criteria to become part of Google Certified Partner scheme that was launched in May 2010 to replace Google previous Advertising Professionals Qualification Scheme.

As a Google Certified Partner, Net Media Planet are now certified to carry out the following tasks on behalf of clients…

  • Top to bottom review of client websites, business models, and industry.
  • Analysis to determine client’s core keywords.
  • Creation of ad copy to promote client’s website on Google AdWords.
  • Determination of appropriate daily budget, ad scheduling, network targeting, and match type(s).
  • Determination of appropriate maximum cost-per-click and landing pages for specific keywords.
  • Appropriate follow-up and campaign monitoring.
  • Maintain a billing & mailing address in a country where company qualification is available.
  • Employ one Qualified Individual in the program.
  • Attain a specific level of total ad spend (varies by country) within the company’s My Client Center account during the previous 90-day period.

The latest developments in the search industry

Net Media Planet prides itself on keeping up to date with all of the latest developments within the search marketing industry and every two years have to retake the Google AdWords fundamental and advanced exams for all of it’s campaign management team to ensure we are familiar with new developments within the Google AdWords program.

For information regarding Net Media Planet’s Certified Partner Qualifications please visit http://tiny.cc/NetMediaPlanet

Harnessing the World Cup Effect in the Workplace

Are you ready for the World Cup?

Are you ready for the World Cup?

Now the interest around the election and the coalition government has died down, we’ve moved on to the next media frenzy – the World Cup. And the papers are, as expected, full of the effect that the competition will have for retailers in a number of sectors. Of course there will be a predicted rise in sales of new flat screen or high definition TVs – during the last World Cup, Curry’s said it was selling one TV every minute. And during the tournament in 2006 sales of beer, sausages, pizza and barbecue meats increased by £120 million for every week that England remained in the tournament. Hard hit pubs, clubs and off licences will be hoping that this tournament will deliver the same kinds of incremental revenue as it did in 2006 – over £250 million.

A positive spin – work and the World Cup

But perhaps the least documented (and most interesting) effect of the World Cup Effect is likely to be the increased positivity (and productivity) in the workplace. A survey commissioned at the time of the 2006 World Cup discovered that 70% of men and 62% of women in England said the World Cup would make an impact on their working lives – boosting morale, creating a team spirit and providing opportunities for social interaction. 47% of women and 40% of men said that sporting success lifts their mood and makes them more productive in their jobs. Not only this, but talking sport at work is seen as a great leveller, helping to break down barriers between managers and staff. The ups (and inevitable downs) of England’s performance in the forthcoming competition will create shared moments that will pull together even the most disparate individuals on the team.

And after the penalties?

So, rather than seeing the World Cup as a bit of a diversion from day to day business, smart managers will be using these 4 weeks to improve staff relations and create better team dynamics: building social occasions around key games and encouraging conversations and opinions around the event. Embracing the positivity created by the World Cup will create an atmosphere in the workplace that will last well beyond England’s exit from the competition.

The Importance of Relevancy for Google PPC Ads

Keywords to describe digital objects

Case study: researching the effect of keyword relevance on ad copy performance

We recently did a test to discover what effect relevancy has in Google’s algorithm, as we wanted to see what difference a ‘good’ PPC campaign has with relevant keywords and ad copies as opposed to a ‘bad’ PPC campaign where the keywords and ad copies did not match.

We created a Mythical Brand to demonstrate the differences in the ad copy and then analysed how effects on Click Thru Rate (CTR) Average Cost Per Click (CPC) and Quality Score (QS).

The keyword we were looking at was ‘Mythical’ and below are the ad copies we used.

Ad copy one

Mythical brand keyword test

Ad copy two

Mythical brand second test

You will see how in the ad copy 1, the keyword ‘Mythical’ is used in both the Headline, Description Line 1 and the Display URL. In ad copy 2 the keyword ‘Mythical’ is only used in the display URL.


The table below shows the differences in CTR, CPC and QS from the two ad copies. You will see that when the keyword is not included in the ad copy then CTR drops dramatically, CPC’s increase and Quality Score drops from 9 to 4.

Effects of relevance on ad copy click through

Net Media Planet Tip – make sure you are using the keyword in the ad copy in order to get the best results for your PPC campaign.

Best way of doing this?

Try setting your campaign structure so you have 1 keyword per ad group on your top traffic terms, to ensure that your headline is bolded in the ad copy which will improve overall CTR for your keyword.

Image credit: Cambodiaforkidsorg

Paid search marketing and business startups discussed at a4uexpo conference in Munich

Sri joins panel discussion on paid search and presents on startups

Last week I was at the a4uexpo in Munich. It was a good 24hour event which was most welcome after days of flight cancellations. I powered through almost every session of the day and had some excellent meetings with clients and partners.

I was invited to speak at a panel discussion around paid search marketing, particularly the question of where paid search marketing is heading with the rise of social media. We discussed some interesting points, particularly on engaging consumers on Facebook, and the future that is ‘social search’.

I have some particular ideas about where all this will go and a future blog post will definitely follow. Joining me on the panel were Tina Judic of Artemis8 and Duncan Popham from Total Search Solutions.

I also presented on business startup strategy and explored the lessons I have learned over the last 6 years of launching Net Media Planet. I’ve included my slides below so I hope its useful reading.



Net Media Planet speaks at Internet World 2010

Sri speaks at Europe’s leading digital marketing event

We recently attended Internet World 2010 at Earls Court, where we sponsored the Search Theatre. Being Europe’s definitive event for digital marketing and online professionals I opted to speak about two different topics: Paid Search Strategy and Integration Strategy.

Addressing what proved to be a packed out full-house of an audience, I looked at real ways to improve results, with real life examples, right from creating brand saliency through the Google content network to customer journey analysis, optimisation and value attribution to improve sales results.

Thanks to everyone who attended for your positive feedback and, as promised, here are the two presentations from the event.



Image Credit: Internet World 2010