“A keyword advertising system in which ads appear as “sponsored links” on the Google results pages as well as the results pages of Google’s partners, such as AOL and Ask.com. The advertiser chooses keywords and a short one- or two-line text ad, which is displayed on the results pages when the ad keywords match up with the search keywords”
The Beginnings and the History, Google,
1998 – Google was born, originally named as “Backrub” Google was created by two students from Stanford University, Larry Page and Sergey Brin.
2000 – Google introduces AdWords, keeping in the trend of others like ASK by listing them in the right hand side under the banner of “Sponsored Links”
2008 – Google started to factor in the loading times of the main landing pages of those ads/links that appeared in the searches. The over all quality score of the ad/link also influenced the position of the ads/links on the Google pages in addition to the calculation of the keywords minimum bid.
2010 – Google Renames the “Sponsored Links” to “Ads” it is rumored that this change from Sponsored to Ad’s increased the CTR (click through rates) by approximately 11.4 % – http://goo.gl/7gg8j Monday, November 15th, 2010 by Alec Green
2010 – Google’s total revenue from AdWords was rumored to be in the region of 28 Billion US Dollars (“Financial Tables”. Google Investor Relations. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
How It Works
Google’s search engine works on the criteria that the user query’s it with, these search criteria will generate what Google call “MOMMENTS OF RELEVENCE”
The Google Adwords service allows webmasters to search for keywords that will enable the products, services or sites to appear in the sponsored links/ads sections. Google provide a simple web based program that will help and enable webmasters to find keywords or phrases with very little difficulty in order to find the keywords that will increase the sites exposure.
Considering the keyword choice is a factor that can improve the quality scoring of a site, which in turn can reduce the costs of the adverts.
Google uses a system to display Sponsored Links/Ads, this operates similarly to an auction, the sponsored links that are due to be served up to the user searching, are entered in to a bidding process where a number of factors are taken in to consideration, the primary one is based up what known as a quality score. Some of the criteria that affect the quality score are, The relevance of the advertisement to the search criteria, i.e. Hats on a search for Cakes shaped like hats, The relevance of the keywords to the Sponsored Link/Ad, the relevance to the landing page to its Sponsored Link/Ad, historical Pay Per Click (PPC) Click Through Rate (CTR) of the Sponsored Link/Ad.
Figure 1. Google Auction cycle, http://goo.gl/e0jxm
The Costs of Poor Keywords in Quality Scores.
The cost to company’s that use a poor keyword strategy is that they could find that the quality score that they receive is very poor. An example of poor keyword selection would be along the lines of the following, A Cake shop that wants to sell cakes used the keyword “Cakes” isn’t going to do very well, however if the webmaster was to use “Popping Candy Christening Cakes” this would. If this Sponsored link/Ad was to appear in the top of the page the person is more likely to click on this as it is more specific to their search and because of this it could convert to a purchase.
- Use keywords 2-3 words long, – try not to be too specific,
- Use negative keywords, – don’t include the ad if some one was to include the word cheep
- Use the Keyword tool – the free tool provided by Google.
What’s the Cost?
How much will it cost, who gets paid! It is important for the Webmaster to understand the costs per click (CPC) made on any sponsored link/ad that is displayed and clicked on as this is what is going to cost the owner of the site actual cash. The Owner of the site is able to set the levels in what they are prepared to pay for every click through that is made, this can be set through the Google Adwords account that the webmaster and owner has access to.
The CPC option available allows the Webmaster to enter a “Maximum CPC bid” this is representative of the highest amount that will ever be paid for a click through made.
Google’s Helping Hand
The associated cost implications for the PPC (Pay Per Click) can be a deterrent to some small business, however Google are very helpful and offer to people/companies the sign up a £60.00 credit in their account to try the system out.
The Final Result
Once the auctions have been won
Organic Links Vs. Sponsored Links
What are Organic Links? Why use Sponsored Links over Organic? The previous questions are what most people new to optimizing their web performance results ask.
The organic listings are based around the content and use of keywords related and contained within the content, the uniqueness of the content, the frequency of update’s made to the information on the site, the number of inward bound links to the site.
Obviously this takes time for a new site to achieve and therefore move up the listing on a search engine, especially Google. Over time, yes this is very important top achieve but for a new site it is harder, especially when establishing the inward bound links between sites.
The cost of the organic listings are low as this is more about time invested rather than actual pounds shillings and pence, whereas sponsored listing are
Yahoo Sponsored Links
Yahoo like Google offers the facility of having a sponsored link. Yahoo operate a very similar system of displaying the ads/links to the visiting/searching user but with one difference, Yahoo use three areas of displaying sponsored links and ads this is spaced above the organic listings (similar to Google) to the right of the organic listings (again similar to Google), but however Yahoo unlike Google place sponsored links and ads at the bottom of the organically listed results. This increases the opportunity for the company’s that have used the service to be displayed on the results pages. However this could lead to a negative result as this will mean that there is more competition on the sponsored results and organic results. This would also mean that the webmaster on implementing this service would need to carefully select “Killer Key Words” to enable the pages to be listed often to give a more substantial chance of receiving a click through.
Yahoo’s steps for creating a sponsored link is as follows, (as recommended in the instructional video supplied by yahoo)
- Selection of “Highly Relevant Key Words” to the site.
- Creation of the ad which consists of a Title, Description (this is a short description that best matches the company’s products and services) and finally the URL (Uniform Resource Locator)
- Set the price for the ad, this is the PPC amount, which is the maximum that the Webmaster is prepared to pay.
As with Google, Yahoo do not charge the owners of the sponsored ads if they are displayed on the results pages of some one searching for a particular item, they only get charged if the user clicks on the ad.
Not Just Yahoo!
The service supplied by Yahoo doesn’t just relate to Yahoo! Yahoo are in partnership with Bing and other search engine, this enables the Webmaster and the client the ability to cover a number of popular search engines and services that are used.
How It Works
As mentioned before the Yahoo system uses ad’s that comprise of, Title, Description and Url, and these are served to the person searching based on the keywords used in their search. However the ad that is served can change from time to time as the web master can create “ad groups” the Webmaster can create upto 20 unique ads that meet the guidelines, these ads will then be rotated for the keywords that related to that ad group. One option available to the Webmaster is that the most successful ad from the group be displayed more oftern. Another option availble is that the bidded keyword that featured in the users search criteria be dynamically insterted in to the ad that is dispayed, in its title and or description.
Not as Clear as It Seems
Yahoo’s pages relating to the sponsord links are not very intelegable for any prospective Webmaster or client, this could be inpart due to the colaboration between Microsoft and Yahoo and the links between the systems. After doing some searching it appears that you have to sign up through Microsoft, once registered the screen below is presented to the Webmaster.
This is very similar to that of the Google dashboard allowing the user to create their own campaigns and use tools to search and test keyword popularity.
And again, as with Google, Yahoo allow the Webmaster to set their own budget requirements for each ad and campaign.
To evaluate the Sponsored link/Ad topic, these systems will enable the client/organization to market themselves and their company through the strategic selection of keywords relating to their product and services and connecting these to created ads and sponsored links that will be positioned on search engine results pages.
Though this system small and new business’s can improve their corporate presence on the internet and increase their market brands to new and potential customers and suppliers.
There are many systems available, such as Google Adwords and Yahoo’s Sponsored Search, both offering similar schemes but with some differences. It would be suggested that to raise an organizations image and brand that the Webmaster would use both these systems as this would cover a extremely wide range of individuals that use these search engines, as they are in the top 5 of those used.