Hi Alan, this post reminds me of that post on another forum that was like the top 10 or 50 annoying things about YSM. That guy was really on fire! Which makes me wonder why you were so easy on them and subsumed all the gripes under one sentence.
Anyway, since Jill asked us all here from her newsletter, I feel like playing along. Some comments below.
QUOTE(Alan Perkins @ Sep 13 2006, 11:29 AM)
Apart from all this, PPC is great fun... Google
Editorial processes are going down the toilet e.g.
- A Car Ad is manually (i.e. by a human!) denied for using the word "Saloon" ... did you mean "Salon"? No I ****ing did not mean Salon!
- 3 weeks to review new creatives that were suggested by Google, while they are served with slowed delivery and a lower quality score, leading to lower placement, lower spend (but a higher CPC), lower ROI and a resultant loss!
Some of this seems to be UK-centric. I know the editors would probably mess up "saloon" here, but three weeks? Looks like there are some issues with workflow there.
QUOTEHundreds of examples like this (although these were the worst!)And they are going to start charging a fee for using the API. Allow me to pay you for the privilege of spending my money with you, Google. Thanks!
That being said, individual businesses using the API may be able to get the fees waived. I think there is an issue here that Google decided: third party software firms are building a profitable model around frequent bid checks and changes, and other campaign operations. It's one thing to "spend money," quite another to make a business out of spending other people's money more efficiently by putting as much of a load as possible on Google's resources. There is no "API" for a radio advertising schedule, for example. You can't log in and tweak ads throughout the day. Obviously the point can be reached where Google's price is unfair, but I think there is a real effort here to separate out large scale interaction from firm-level interaction. Also, you should get some tokens for your ad spend.
Oh, and their trademark policy is stupid! You can't use the word "Toyota" when advertising ... a Toyota? Try telling that to your local newspaper.
The law, and thus the policy, is more lenient in the US, so I wouldn't want people to get the idea it's straightforward. It does seem to keep changing.
That being said, Google is trying to dissuade advertisers from using trademarked words by making the quality score hurdle higher for new additions of those words - they basically admit that some types of words may have inherently lower quality scores at first.
One way or another, trademark issues are a pain. Sometimes that's an issue between the trademark holder and their dealers, however - Google doesn't make the law and they don't come up with some of these threatening legal situations on their own (i.e. it's companies like Toyota that drive it).
Expanded broad match - I don't want it. But I do want broad match! Let me have one without the other.
True dat. Nothing quite works the way it's supposed to, anymore, it seems.
The DTC is full of the same problems that people have been complaining about for years! And it's slow. And their API stinks - get some SOAP, Yahoo!, and quickly.
I'm surprised you didn't come up with other specifics to touch on, but I think you were getting tired.
How about strange billing policies. I try to keep out of those YSM accounts
but a colleague did a little adjustment to the budget and the client gets billed *in advance* for a whole hypothetical month's worth of clicks. That's fun when the client calls at 5 a.m. your time to freak out about a $2,000 credit card charge that inexplicably Yahoo hits you with when you make a little budget tweak (well before that budget is spent).
The adCenter is not even worthy of the moniker "Beta".
- The UI sucks and is full of usability holes
- Keywords are rejected for nonsense reasons (fix - delete them and resubmit the exact same keywords )
- Prices are modified by the system! (Fortunately all keywords I have seen that have been modified have also been rejected! Still, this is very worrying).
- No API!
We've had good results with MSN but the nature of their service is so boilerplate. They reject whole groups of words for an ad that doesn't conform to guidelines, but the reasons are so vague you need to go back and request the real actual reason. It's a hugely inefficient system. It reminds me of YSM, or should I say GoTo. But if the goal is to get your ads up and running and you are willing to be hamstrung on actually managing the campaign effectively, it works and you can do it. Plus, you can daypart and do other fun targeting stuff. These are the *benefits* of AdWords you so take for granted in your rant. There is a lot you can do with these platforms, as clunky as they are. It sounds like a lot of the problem is human inputs - I've always had a problem with the notion that you might get uneven service levels from these providers based on relationships, because that's not fair to people spending good money. But that's how it seems to work in some places.