Is Google Adwords Reaching Critical Mass?

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While creating a fairly simple campaign for a client recently I encountered an error message from the Google Adwords platform that I have not seen or recall noticing in recent memory. “Users don’t search for this term very often on Google properties, so it is not eligible to trigger your ads”. That statement brings several thoughts to mind for me:

  • Who cares if it is not a high-volume keyword. Google should deliver an ad for any relevant keyword / ad combination that an advertiser creates to promote their product / service
  • Is Google now forcing advertisers to use less relevancy  therefore increasing overall ad spend?
  • Recent and documented changes to Adwords has all but eliminated exact match keywords again forcing advertisers to deal with irrelevant keyword phrases including misspellings and close match variants
  • It is now more important than ever to include organic SEO and other forms of traffic generation for keywords that Google is claiming will not trigger an ad

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This brings me to another question that I would love for some of my other Adwords colleagues to weigh in on..

Has Google Adwords reached critical mass? I can’t believe that Google is intentionally forcing Adwords customers to target less relevant terms / keyword phrases to just increase revenues…it seems to go against the very nature of Google trying to deliver the best and most relevant search results possible. Yet, for very local terms that Google supplies search numbers for they force advertisers to compete with broad national terms to get an ad to trigger.

This along with the fact that Adwords has eliminated essentially exact phrase match, misspellings and close variants indicates possibly that the Adwords platform has reached some sort of critical mass and can no longer deliver highly targeted exact match ads that advertisers once enjoyed.

So what does this mean in the long run for Adwords advertisers? If the ability to create highly targeted ads has been diminished advertisers will end up paying more to compete for the broader terms that Adwords is forcing them to bid on.

Again, I’d like to see some other Adwords professional weigh in on this.

Also noted that Adwords is changing URL entered into destination URL field by appending with “www” and display URL is now all lower case.

adwords-changing-url

Note about the author: Currently manage $200,000+ monthly ad budget on Google Adwords, Bing / Yahoo generating 20,000+ leads each month for clients in multiple niches.

 


Honest Video Essence Review – Traffic Essence Review

Honest Video Essence Review – Traffic Essence Review
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Review of Video Essence and Traffic Essence

Lately I’ve been trying to cut back on the number of WordPress plugins / themes that I purchase because I get way too busy to actually implement or use them on a a day to day basis. Yesterday while in a marketing forum I frequent there was some buzz and chatter about a video curation theme and plugin. I decided to purchase along with several other people in forum and see how fast we might be able to set up…I already had an active domain and thought I would simply install the theme and be off to the races as the promotional video for “Video Essence” demonstrates.

Like others in the video forum, excitement turned quickly into disappointment.

Here are some of the issues I have / had with Video Essence and Traffic Essence:

  • The curation plugin never served any video results for anything trending (plugin default) or simple keyword phrases I entered that generate numerous results on Youtube
  • No disclosure up front on server requirements…only after you purchase will you see what server requirements are to use Video Essence theme / plugin
  • The claim of 120 channels with Traffic Essence is based on purchaser manually  creating up to 40 accounts on 3 web 2.0 sites.

After talking with several users this morning in video forum other purchasers are requesting refunds as well. This is a a product where the sizzle definitely tasted better than the steak.

Only after purchasing Video Essence will you discover that you need to run at least PHP 5.4 and Mcrypt PHP extension.

Video Essence Review - Server Requirements

When trying to curate videos with Video Essence I never got beyond this point or could get any results to display.

Video Essence Review - Video Curator Functionality

Traffic Essence relies on the purchaser creating up to 40 accounts on WordPress.com, Tumblr, and Blogger. This should be disclosed up front vs. making potential buyers think the 140 channels are built into the plugin.

Traffic Essence Screenshot

Again, myself and several other competent video marketers were not able to get Video Essence working. If you have better results and some working examples please feel free to comment and share your results here. I hope you found this Video Essence and Traffic Essence review helpful.


Apple OSX Yosemite Outbound SMTP Mail Issues

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If you recently did the Yosemite update on your Mac / Macbook, you might have experienced some issues with outbound / SMTP email. Here is a great starting point in Apple forums to help resolve your issue.

https://discussions.apple.com/thread/6609827?start=0&tstart=0

Unfortunately, I’m still experiencing outbound email issues and will update this post and additional links once everything is finally resolved. It also appears that the recent Yosemite update to Apple OSX is generating numerous issues for Mac users.

 

 

KeywordXP Review | Honest Review of KeywordXP

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Honest KeywordXP Review

I was excited about trying out KeywordXP as I’ve purchased some great products by Paul Clifford in the past. Unfortunately, there was one thing that caught me off guard…the license agreement:

keywordxp review

KeywordXP employs various methods including cookies to track your use of their product and reserve the right to use and sell any anonymous data they collect on keyword searches, volume, etc.

I have a major issue with this…I love purchasing great tools, but I don’t want my use tracked or usage data sold.

I’m requesting a refund on KeywordXP and unable to write a review on how good or poorly the product performed as I can’t get past the notion of my search activity being tracked whether anonymous or not.

What are your thoughts on software / app developers tracking your activity?

Think about the implications? You invest a bunch of time researching your niche and then all of your search activity can be sold to a potential competitor.

I also feel it is a slight conflict of interest for a software developer whether it be KeywordXP or any other Internet marketing tool to ask me to trust them to use their tool(s) and then sell my usage data.

Sorry Paul Clifford and KeywordXP, I’ll have to pass on this tool for now.

KeywordXP Review

Maybe in the near future Paul will give users the ability to turn off tracking.

30 Seconds Content Curator

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30 Seconds Content Curator – Review and Demo

Follow me as I demo and review several tools created by Patrick Tuttle. I will be building out a new website using “30 Seconds Content Curator” and a new sitemap tool. In addition to  Patrick’s tools, I will list and provide video demos of all the tools I use for the development of “HowToProspectForGold.com” our demo website.

30 Seconds Content Curator Demo Video

Get Your Copy of 30 Seconds Content Curator Plugin

 

Honest Rent A SERP Review – Real Review of RentASERP

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When I first saw the video sales pitch I was thoroughly impressed with the quality of the video and the claims of renting out domains without having to talk with people using the Rent A SERP theme and Rent A SERP plugin. I quickly set up a test domain and noticed that the theme collects some contact details if a visitor decides to try renting the domain for 5 minutes.

My first thought after seeing the theme is what are these guys doing to get a single page website to rank and stay ranked to rent out the SERP / domain.

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(No mention of “The System” or how it can optimize “The Entire Site” and Rank It)

I went to the webinar replay that Devin Zander and Mario Cimmino held… I was hoping to get some more insight into what system they were using to get their one page theme to rank and stay ranked for renting out a domain.

DISAPPOINTMENT – As I started to watch the webinar video replay, my excitement for this product went to buzz kill. They don’t show any methodology for utilizing the Rent A SERP theme and plugin as intended in the sales video…the theme and plugin are designed to collect prospects for SEO clients…not actually renting a specific domain. I find this quite bizarre as the concept of the plugin for renting out a domain is genius, but it seems these guys are more interested in generating ongoing SEO work vs. actually renting out domains using the plugin. There’s also an OTO / up-sell for a mastermind group that costs $497.

I’ve submitted a support ticket asking for more information on specifics regarding just Rent A SERP and will update this post later.

In closing, I think the Rent A SERP plugin has some value to use with a multi-page website that have a chance of staying ranked on page one for local keywords, but looking for some proof that the one page theme can have any staying power. I’m going to keep the theme and plugin. Unfortunately, the plugin cannot be purchased seperately.

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Click Fraud and Click Laundering Pervasive in 2014

click fraud adwordsAfter getting hit with some click fraud hard in December 2013 I had to turn off all of my Bing / Yahoo advertising. I knew there was some click fraud, but I was hopeful that working with my Bing rep would help get to the bottom of the issue. Sadly, myself and several other business associates I know of using Bing / Yahoo advertising also had to turn off advertising.

Here’s a confession…We’ve been managing various types of paid traffic (pay per click) for six plus years and have never implemented any type of click fraud prevention for Adwords or Bing advertising. It was easy not to because our conversion data looked good, but that’s what click fraud scammers do…they make their criminal activity look real by completing forms with realistic looking data. That’s about to change. Furthermore, it’s one more reason anyone looking to jump into pay per click advertising with a budget of $1,000 or more per month should strongly consider having a click fraud solution in place from day one. After doing some homework and reaching out to some trusted online partners we’ve identified several solutions to avoid and will be sharing more information near the end of March on a solution that is saving some fortunate marketers thousands of dollars each month.

click fraud bing adsFast forward to February 26th. We uncovered a click laundering network alive and active on Bing Ads / Yahoo. Unfortunately, most account reps have no idea what click laundering is. What is even more interesting is that click laundering first started making headlines back in 2006 and then Microsoft went on click laundering manhunt and filed lawsuits against several companies in 2010.

So here we are in 2014 and click fraud & click laundering are still rampant. Google, Bing, and Yahoo can barely make a dent in preventing it. I think they actually count on the average marketer not having the ability to monitor or track it on their own accord. If every online marketer used a 3rd party click fraud solution all the major search engines would be sending some major credits back to their pay per click customers.

Once I have a chance to compile all of the data, I’ll be posting it here as a downloadable PDF with regard to the click laundering network we uncovered. Next, we’ll be looking for a good click fraud attorney.

What has your experience been with click fraud with Adwords, Bing / Yahoo pay per click? Share your click fraud examples below and be sure to bookmark or return near the end of March for our follow up on this issue.