Agencies Like Bidding Separately for Google Content

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Search agencies lauded Google's latest move to better compete in the search advertising space by offering more flexibility in pricing and placement of ads in its AdWords program.

Last week, Google said it would allow advertisers to place bids for ads that run on content sites separately from bids for ads that run on search sites on Google's network. Before, the keyword bid placed by advertisers on Google was applied to their ads on both search and content pages, while Yahoo Search has allowed advertisers to bid separately on contextual and regular search listings for some time.

Also, Google set the minimum bid at a static 1 penny (in the U.S.) per keyword.

"This is a big step in the right direction. We have been asking them to get this since they started the program," said Peter Hershberg, managing director of search marketing firm Reprise Media, New York. "Contextual is not search and vice versa, so campaigns that work well in some channels don't work out so well in other channels. We're able to optimize both channels."

The separate bidding also is expected to save advertisers money.

"We can bid down on poor performing groups," said Ben Perry, manager of paid search at search marketing firm iProspect, Watertown, MA.

It also opens the door for new search advertisers to try contextual advertising on Google, said Danielle Leitch, vice president of marketing and analytics at search marketing and optimization agency MoreVisibility, Boca Raton, FL.

Smaller advertisers had held back from contextual advertising in the past because they "didn't want to spread their money too thin," Leitch said.

The change also gives search agencies and advertisers more flexibility.

"From an ROI perspective, it allows us to use the same strategy we use for keywords and apply that to the contextual advertising. In the past, the control wasn't there for the advertiser," Leitch said.

Christine Blank covers online marketing and advertising, including e-mail marketing and paid search, for DM News and To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting

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