Search Ads: Big Buys Last Month

    January 15, 2007

Interesting Netratings data on ClickZ for the month of December 2006.

Of note, a company called SoulMate Calculator shows up in #12 spot for search ad impressions bought, just behind Yahoo. Not clear on what it is exactly but I see a couple of negative reactions to the ad in the blogosphere. Not that the blogosphere is something you should be condoning or paying attention to! Anyway, I thought Google was clamping down on low quality offers? Must have been temporary insanity, or they fixed whatever it was they were doing.

SoulMate had zero such impressions in previous months. That’s quite a campaign.

The usual suspects in terms of search ad impressions are well represented in the list: eBay, Amazon, Shopzilla, Nextag, and the “AOL of 2006” (I dub them, for their mass marketing moxy), Vonage.

John Wiley & Sons had a big surge, which appears to be attributable to ads for Cliff Notes. “Cramming for Christmas” – it’s one of my favorite carols/carrels. (???)

Netratings/ClickZ ought to clarify if they’re including contextual ad impressions or not. Stats are so frustrating when they’re widely disseminated and you don’t know what they refer to. In Netratings’ methodology notes it almost hints that this might include contextual, which would make a real mess of things, because impressions can be extremely high on some contextual campaigns. And the rules for placement apply differently, so the minimum bid placed on low-quality campaigns/keywords may not hurt low-quality ads showing up in the contextual space (as much, as far as we know).



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Andrew Goodman is Principal of Page Zero Media, a marketing consultancy which focuses on maximizing clients’ paid search marketing campaigns.

In 1999 Andrew co-founded, an acclaimed “guide to portals” which foresaw the rise of trends such as paid search and semantic analysis.