November 18th, 2015

Cut To The Chase [Volume 5]: PPC News From The Desk of Jeff Allen

Jeff Allen | President at Hanapin Marketing | @JeffAllenUT

By Jeff Allen (@JeffAllenUT)

Yahoo and Google have teamed up, again. Pending approval, Yahoo will start serving Google ads to some of their searchers. This was the anticipated move when Yahoo and Microsoft revised the terms of their agreement earlier this year. This comes as Yahoo continues to struggle and has been losing key members of leadership. I don’t see this impacting PPC folks since most people are investing in Bing, which has 20% market share without Yahoo. Yahoo may have some incremental volume, but it’s likely not worth the time/energy investment. Read More >>

Google is going programmatic with a new release that allows publishers to sell ad inventory programmatically. This is the latest in a flurry of moves at Google that aim to fight off competition from Facebook and programmatic DSP’s. The short-term impact for advertisers is small but the long-term implication is that PPC and programmatic are likely to merge into the same thing in the next 1-2 years. It’s already fairly similar, but paid search folks need to spend time understanding their audience segments to take advantage of this shift. Read More>>

Ad Blocking has been a major theme of this newsletter. And that’s because up to 34% of US adults now have installed the software. That’s like 1/3 of your market disappearing overnight. Well, that’s alarmist, because there are ways around it and just because someone has installed it doesn’t mean they are using it. But still, it’s a real threat to advertisers that is growing. Adblock Plus opened up about their strategy last week and told us more or less who’s paying them to still show ads (Google is one of them). Read More>>

Estimated Conversions is so accurate, they dropped the “Estimated” part? That’s what Google tells us. Now the Conversions column in the AdWords interface includes cross-device estimates. Further, Google’s automated bidding tools will use that data to set and adjust bids. It’s an interesting move to force advertisers to think cross-device, and they claim to have 95% statistical significance to back up their claims. I haven’t seen a scenario yet where a business can either accurately track cross-device conversions or where if they are, the numbers look anything like the Google estimated conversions. For this reason I’d stay away from the automated bidding tool. Read More>>

$27.5 billion was spent on digital ads in the first half of 2015. And the majority of that was on paid search. It’s interesting that mobile is now 30% of online ad dollars (and 50%+ of search volume) but that it’s spend is almost evenly distributed between search and display. We have seen poor results with display on mobile devices (as a broad generalization), thus our mix on mobile is more like 75% search and 25% display. Read More>>


Bing spend under management has increased by 30% since Q1-2015. Some of that is from new clients, but a significant portion of it is same account increases. Programmatic is up 844% and Facebook is up 380%, but the starting spend under management was less for each of those two engines so the increases are still less significant in terms of real dollars.

Same account spend was up 11% MoM. Which is to be expected as we roll into the holidays.