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Chris Rand
For what is Chatteris without you there?
For what is Chatteris without you there?

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Here’s an odd one – can someone explain? The ad seems to have two structured snippet lines, and the second is “industries”, which I can’t recall ever having been offered. How does this come about?

I’ve just had my first client complaint about “auto-resizing” of display network image adverts. In this case, Google took a 300x600 ad, crushed it down to less than half the size, then padded it out with colour to fit in a 300x250 slot. It looked AWFUL. The client now wants to withdraw from the display network completely. Does anyone know of a way out of this?

Oh great. Just had the email from Google to say that call extensions are being “upgraded” to switch over to Google forwarding numbers by default in a month’s time. Gee thanks Google, like we obviously don’t know what’s good for us. There’s a form to fill in if we don’t want to be “upgraded”, and after the switchover we can opt out individually, if we have the patience to go through every campaign manually. But seriously? We have the “opportunity” to use Google forwarding numbers if we want to already; why is this necessary?

In the B2B sectors in which my agency operates, not only would most clients recoil in horror at having a phone number next to their ad which they didn’t recognise, the number of prospects who would call them directly from an ad is, well, zero.


Earlier in the year I reported that one of my clients' text ads on the Display Network was being shown as a robot-generated image ad without my approval or permission.

By this, I don't mean what Google calls 'magazine-style' ads, where the text is changed to an unusual font and blown up to fill a much larger display ad area. We've all seen those. I mean an attempt to create an image ad, including pulling in the company logo without permission, as well as using what Google's colour-blind algorithms think are blocks of suitable colours.

The result, in my client's case, looks like something thrown together by a 5-year-old. The logo is used in a way which the client would never sanction, and the colours aren't remotely like anything in the style book. If I was the client and I stumbled across the advert, I would fire us.

I can now report that this is an official 'thing'. If you are running text ads on the Display Network, including remarketing campaigns, these ads may well be created for you without your approval or permission, and without notification. Unless you see the adverts, you will not know they are running. There is no indication in the AdWords interface.

I got confirmation of all this from AdWords support today. I have not seen any announcement on this, but would love to be directed to one if anyone has seen it.

I would strongly recommend that if your clients employ any guidelines on style, that you stop any text ads on the Display Network.

We currently run the European AdWords campaigns for a US-based multinational. They're run on a separate account to the US campaigns for payment purposes.

The US head office is concerned that having multiple accounts pointing to the same domain will cause a problem, even if the country targeting means there's no overlap.

Is there any documentation anyone knows of which can assure them that this is not the case? (I assume it isn't – it's never been a problem to date!)

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Is this something new, or just new to me?

We've all seen the pseudo Display Ads which Google makes up, without asking, from our text ads. But I've just seen one for a client which includes the company logo, taken (presumably) from their Google+ page. To be honest, it looks really tatty and the client will be most unhappy.

Is there any way to stop this, apart from withdrawing the text ads on the Display Network?

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HUH? Our admin manager, who sets up new accounts for clients, tells me that the interface has just been totally changed ...and that we're now compelled to write ads and define keywords just to get past the first page and set up things like billing details! Has anyone else found this? Is there a way around it? Or is it just another example of Google focusing all its attention on mom'n'pop users and completely neglecting professional organisations and agencies? As it stands, I'm going to have to give our admin manager a sample ad group before she can set up the client account, or she'll just have to set up a standard, "junk" ad group every time and then immediately delete it. Give me strength.

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Hey gang - what's this ("Feedback")? Is it something new which passed me by?

Interesting first day of #AWCS2014 (AdWords Community Summit) in London yesterday. Thanks to all at Google for organising and hosting it. As part of the keynote address, Gareth Morgan, Director of European Advertiser Services, asked what we (the audience, mainly Partner agencies, it seemed) wanted from Google. I suspect many delegates were caught on the hop and later wished they'd had something prepared, but here are a few items I wished I'd asked for (not that Gareth can be expected to deliver all of them!). Why not add your own?

1. "Set the long tail free", as one delegate memorably phrased it. I'm fed up with telling clients there's "insufficient search volume" to advertise against one of their key search terms. It puts them off advertising against other terms, and for one of our prospects, stopped them using AdWords altogether. Let businesses advertise against the terms which are important to them, even if the clicks and spend will be low, and they'll be more interested in exploring other options.

2. Step up the promotion of the Partners programme. Google (or its contractors) should not be approaching companies directly - especially when some are already agency clients - telling them they should be advertising, and doing it themselves into the bargain. I think it's fair to say that every one of our clients spends more on AdWords than they would if they advertised directly, as we're able to explain the value better than Google ever can. Promote agencies and everybody wins.

3. Allow agencies to be voted out of the Partners programme. Yesterday's thread about AddPeople shows why.

4. Fix the location search in the Partners search.

5. Add a specialisation search in the Partners search. Some agencies (yeah, I admit, ours) aren't interested in where a client is based, we just serve a niche sector. In turn, a potential advertiser might be more interested in an agency which specialises in their sector than it might be in finding an agency round the corner.

Gareth Morgan's keynote:

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Looks like Google's "Shopping For Suppliers" is closing down before it ever got going. Shame, because it had great potential in the B2B arena. Perhaps the problem was that it took Google into a much more conventional publishing sector, requiring salespeople on the phone and lots of manual interaction with end users, including the requirement for a registration fee. I could see a lot of work for agencies in setting this up for clients, however.
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