Thursday, 19 July 2007

Google Add Read-Only Access to Adwords Accounts

Google have finally given advertisers the ability to assign different levels of access to users of their Adwords accounts. The new Roles and Permissions Beta being introduced across all countries and languages, allows advertisers to offer three levels of access to users - Administrative, Standard, and Reports. Google explain the Beta in the below email, which I received this morning.......

Roles and Permissions Beta

We are excited to test a new Beta Feature for the Google AdWords
Program that helps you manage your AdWords account security and

With this test, advertisers and agencies will have the ability to
assign three different user access levels for each AdWords account -
Administrative, standard, and reports. These new access levels increase
security by allowing you to assign or remove the level of access from
anyone you want. Also, these new access levels maintain privacy by
ensuring recipients get email appropriate to the user's access level.

This is a positive move by Google, although it's not before time. Yahoo, who have traditionally been the slower of the two engines to offer innovative features to advertisers, included this feature in their new Panama interface. Google have been quite slow in offering a feature that many advertisers, particularly agencies whose clients often request access to their accounts, feel is vital to the smooth running of a campaign (and harmony between clients / account managers!!). Still, Adwords now has read-only account access, and this can only be a good thing.

Friday, 6 July 2007

Innovations in PPC Advert Copy

Something caught my eye today on Google. It was a PPC ad with what looked like weird symbols in the advert's title. After a quick double-take, I realised that is pretty much what it was! Check out the ad below:

It seems what they've done is add ASCII characters into their Adwords ads, and somehow got it through editorial. I saw another add for this same company with a ">" in the title.

So is Adwords now allowing people to add symbols and weird characters to their ads? Probably not. You can get some through editorial (especially easy if you upload using Adwords Editor), but eventually they'll get pulled. It would be interesting to see what effect these symbols have on CTR. I would imagine it might have a positive impact on CTR, but not conversion rates.........some say it would serve these cheeky advertisers right, too ;-)

Thursday, 5 July 2007

Yahoo SmartAds - A Privacy Concern?

This week, Yahoo announced the release of its SmartAds system - ads that will tailor their delivery, both timing and appearance, to users depending on certain demographic and behavioural factors. The ads will be tailored to each unique web surfer depending on age, sex, occupation, geography, search history and other factors.

Already there have been complaints about SmartAds potential impact on our privacy. They say Yahoo will know too much about us, and that they'll somehow take advantage of this by, I don't know, "selling us stuff we don't need". I personally find this a little insulting, as I feel we as adults can make up our own minds about what we buy - a persuasive ad isn't going to force us to do anything.

Besides, aren't SmartAds just an extension of what MSN are already doing with their demographic targeting in AdCenter? Well, yes. MSN uses information such as age, sex and location to profile its searchers, and allows advertisers on AdCenter to tap into this info and better target their ads (e.g. only target searchers of a certain sex or age). SmartAds are a slight enhancement on this - particularly their "on the fly" ad creation - but it's certainly not a quantum leap. Yet there wasn't half as much dissention about MSN's targeting revelation - in fact, it was largely welcomed as a great potential aid to advertisers.

So why isn't SmartAds being received in the same way? Perhaps because image ads are involved? Perhaps because Yahoo drives greater volume? Perhaps because everyone's scared of Bill Gates? No - I think it's because certain people don't care for Yahoo. Particularly Google people. Catch my drift? Perhaps I've been reading too many conspiracy theories...!

I personally welcome any innovation in advertising. If it gives the consumer more relevant messages, more likely to meet their needs and desires, then it's fine by me.

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