Google Introduces Significant Enhancements To AdWords

    June 17, 2005

Search engine-based PPC advertising is probably the hottest technique of advertising in the marketing available, largely because it is the most employed method on the Internet. With an estimated 40% of online advertising revenue being spent on search engine ad, the numbers bear this out.

Google Introduces Significant Enhancements To AdWords
Google Introduces AdWords Site Targeting

Editor’s Note: Today, Google announced the launch of Site Targeting, giving AdWords members the ability to target their ads towards specific sites. Site Targeting operates on the recently adopted CPM model. Will any of you consider this new method of search engine ad targeting during your upcoming campaigns? Discuss at WebProWorld.

So, when Google or Yahoo (the two biggest PPC search ad suppliers) add or subtract something to their respective services, everyone in the industry looks up and takes notice. Such is the case with Google and the introduction of some enhancements to AdWords, specifically the ability to target users by site, or Site Targeting, as it’s being called.

As the name implies, Site Targeting gives members the ability to just that: target their ads to specific sites by selecting the appropriate sites using the AdWords control panel. A feature such as Site Targeting gives vast amounts of control to the advertisers and their campaigns. By controlling which sites your ads appear on, targeting a campaign becomes much easier.

According to Google, however, site-targeted ads will not by appearing in search results. These are reserved for ads targeting keywords. As the service name and option it provides disclose, site-targeted ads will only appear on the sites selected by the user.

Google’s Site Targeting service makes use of the recently introduced CPM (Cost per thousand impressions) advertising model. After users select the sites they are interested in targeting, they then have to select the maximum price they are willing to pay for every thousand impressions, or the ad’s max CPM. Unlike keyword campaigns, CPM means you’ll pay even if your ads aren’t clicked; of course, you’ll only pay once every thousand impressions.

For more on Google’s approach to CPM, click here.

Interesting tidbit: on Google’s about site targeting page’, they indicate this tool is still in beta and not available to everyone right now:

Site targeting isn’t available yet. We’re currently running a beta test of site-targeted campaigns with just a few advertisers. We expect to make site targeting available to all AdWords advertisers in the near future.

Google also anticipated what to do if a CPM site targeted ad and a keyword-targeted ad is competing for the same spot. In cases like these, Google has the following measures in place to ensure members are treated fairly (and to promote competitive bidding):

they compete equally for ranking. The AdWords ranking system takes into account the max CPM prices of all site-targeted ads, compares them to the combined cost-per-click prices and clickthrough rate of keyword-targeted ads, and then displays the highest-ranked ads.

The obvious benefit of site targeting is controlling which audience your ad is exposed to. If you kick off an AdWords campaign for digital music player, targeting music-related sites that are part of the Google Content network can be extremely beneficial to your bottom-line.

To further assist in a successful campaign, site targeted ads can be in multiple formats, not just a PPC text ad. Site Targeting supports both text and image-based advertisements. AdWord members also have 5 ad sizes they can choose from:

  • banner (468×60 pixels)
  • leaderboard (728×90)
  • inline rectangle (300×250)
  • skyscraper (120×600)
  • wide skyscraper (160×600) New!
  • The final “significant enhancement” has to do with a tweak to the CPM bidding. To fully support Site Targeting, Google introduced new max CPM bidding options. Google describes this as:

    With site-targeted advertising, advertisers simply set a max CPM-that is, the maximum price they’re willing to pay for every thousand impressions their ad receives on a particular site. Their ad, along with other site-targeted ads and keyword ads, compete for advertising space.

    Google’s technology ensures that advertisers pay no more than the minimum price needed to run an ad on the site. In many cases, they pay a price lower than their max CPM. This model is different from other CPM models, where advertisers must pay a fixed CPM.

    If you are an AdWords member, be sure to check their new site targeting options. However, Google’s wording indicates the service may still be in testing mode, and therefore, not available to all members just yet.


    More of an oversight, really; Google has set a minimum CPM bid amount, for those interested in targeting ads. From their FAQ:

    What is the minimum allowable max CPM for site-targeted ads?

    $2.00 USD, or the local currency equivalent, is the lowest max CPM that advertisers can set

    Chris Richardson is a search engine writer and editor for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest search news.