Category Archives: AdWords

Hal Varian – Quality Score and The Google Ad Auction

Hal Varian is the chief economist at Google, and certainly one of the main forces behind the economics of the Adwords Auction AND Quality Score.   Google’s had this video available for over a year now, but NOT ONE PERSON I’ve spoken with about their Quality Score concerns had watched it. (Thanks to Rob Sieracki, Chief Operating Officer at for pointing this out to me)

In any case, it’s definitely THE starting point for understanding the components of Quality Score, especially the key role Click Through Rates play, and the VERY specific economic impact Quality Score has on bid price.  It’s something which EVERY AdWords advertiser should watch.  (Especially since it’s under 10 minutes!)

In my humble opinion, Quality Score is all about “Getting them there and keeping them there with relevant content”… which means (mathematically) a high Click Through Rate, a Long Time Spent on the Site, and a Low Bounce Rate.  What that means in Plain English, however, is that you simply have to know what your best prospects want, on an adgroup by adgroup level, if not down to the keyword.  What’s the best way to do that?  Join the hyper-responsive marketing club of course!

Content Network Negatives and Risk Management

According to Jered “The Content Network Exorcist” Klima (who has managed hundreds of thousands of dollars per month), there are nuances of negative site usage and risk management on the Content Network which elude virtually all AdWords users…

Things which Google themselves point out in the depth of their documentation…

Which have dramatic implications for how you manage the content network… it’s a real paradigm shift.  Without question, it’s the most valuable thing I’ve learned about Adwords this year, and it’ll only take you 15 minutes to go through.

Highly Recommended,

Glenn 🙂

Rocket Clicks PPC Management |    Beat the $20/mo Price Increase (2/26/10)

PS – The thematic shift Jered presents is entirely consistent with the focus of my hyper-responsive club.  Essentially, you need to start thinking THEMATICALLY, which requires you to more tightly define what your entire site is about than ever before.  In fact, one way of understanding Quality Score is a recognition that if you don’t take the time to clearly outline your exact place in the world of keyword conversations, Google will define it for you!

I’ve thought long and hard about the best way to define your space, then conquer it with focus and determination in Google (both Search and Content) and beyond.   This is NOT  a technique or a fad, but a set of principles you implement with a step by step over-my-shoulder system.

I’m implementing one last price raise jumping to $97.   So if you’ve been on the fence following me, consider this your limited opportunity to LOCK IN YOUR RATES FOREVER.  (Note: I never raise rates on active members ) Beat the Price Increase

MP3: Insights for Search – Practical Uses

You’ll be Genuinely surprised at all the practical, immediately useful applications Rob Sieracki’s got for you using this underutilized and undervalued Google tool!

Enjoy 🙂

Rocket Clicks |    Beat the $20/mo Glenn Club Price Increase (2/26/10) |  Coaching Priority List

Getting More Profitable AdWords Impressions

Most of the Quality Score chatter online seems focused around dealing with low scores which make playing the game all but impossible.

But what about getting higher scores on keywords which are already performing for you?

What about moving from 6s and 7s to 9s and 10s?

And more importantly, how do you maximize your PROFITABLE IMPRESSIONS on keywords which are already performing well for you?

Other than Google, I think perhaps no one knows better than Rob Sieracki, recently promoted to Chief Operating Officer at Rocket Clicks.

If you’ve got even one keyword which runs profitably in AdWords, I guarantee you’re going to kiss me for putting this interview together. (No complaints about the beard please)


Dr. Glenn 🙂

Glenn Club |   Coaching |  A to Z Product for Newbies |  Advanced Adwords Seminar

Adwords Automatic Broad Match

I don’t know about you, but sometimes my head spins with all the different match types Adwords offers, especially when it comes to leveraging their fuzzy logic (which you definitely WANT to do).

I mean, there’s exact match, phrase match, broad match, expanded broad match, and now “automatic broad match”.  Throw in negative exacts, negative phrases,  etc. and you’ll have an aneurysm.

Jerrold Burke is a Senior Analyst in the PPC department at Rocket Clicks.  He proactively contacted me to suggest we do an audio which clarifies how to leverage Google’s fuzzy logic in SEARCH.

Most importantly, in this short and free MP3, we concentrated on Automatic Broad Match, the broadest of the broad.  It’s a feature still in Beta so you won’t yet see it in all accounts, but we’re pretty sure it’s coming down the pike for everyone.

If you happened to have opted into the Beta in 2008 and forgotten about it, you might find you’re dripping money when you look at your Search Query Report (or you might be pleasantly surprised to see the opportunities)

Here’s how to manage the Beast…


Dr. G 🙂

Why Ignoring AdWords is Never an Option

Here’s a conversation I repeat often which makes my brain hurt!

It goes something like this:

MARKETER:  “I think Google’s become entirely too random and unfair with their Quality Score system, so I’m just going to focus on SEO”

GLENN: “OK, well, where does SEO Traffic come from?”

MARKETER: “Uhm, well, I guess it comes mostly from Google”

GLENN: “So, what you’re saying is, you’re going to ignore Google and focus on Google instead?”

MARKETER: “Yeah, but on the organic side, you don’t have to deal with their crazy landing page quality scores, and it’s free so you beat the constantly rising bid prices”

GLENN:  “Why would Google clean up one side of the street (paid ads) and not eventually apply what they learn to the other (organic)?”

MARKETER: “Um, OK, good point.  But Google’s not the only source of traffic.  There’s Twitter, Facebook, Article Directories, Digg, StumbleUpon, and more…it’s a very big internet out there”

GLENN: “Very true.  But are you talking about using these things because of the power they have to get indexed in Google, or in order to attract the people who come from them directly?”


GLENN: “About what percent of traffic comes directly from the social media vs. from the indexing power social media provides in the search engines?”

MARKETER: “I don’t know.   Let’s say it’s 50%”

GLENN: “Which converts better, traffic from social media, or traffic from search”

MARKETER: “Oh, definitely search, because they’re looking to solve a problem, not interact with friends”

GLENN: “Right.”

MARKETER: “OK, I see where you’re going, but even if social media doesn’t convert as well, there’s a LOT of FREE traffic there, and you can always roll it out on the paid contextual networks”

GLENN: “So, you’re going to work with a very broad and diffuse audience while they’re  socializing, develop a website to convert them even though you can’t really pin down their core conversations and objections, and then go buy more traffic for that system?”

MARKETER:  “Well, there’s affiliates too.  I can recruit an army of affiliates.”

GLENN: “Where do they get THEIR traffic?”

MARKETER: “Well, I could get into one of the CPA networks with an offer.  Have you seen the flood of traffic you can get there?”

GLENN:  “Sure.  If you can build a website that converts like crazy, you can definitely do that.   How are you going to do that?  What traffic are you going to test it on?”

MARKETER: “I want my Mommy!”

I’m exaggerating above for illustration, and of course there IS traffic you can convert which never touches a search engine (especially blog visitors on other people’s sites, participating in forums, and/or good article writing–not the crappy seo articles everyone tells you to write), but here’s the point…

Google’s got the BEST leads.

Google’s got the PUREST leads.

Google’s got the MOST MOTIVATED leads.

Yes, Google’s very hard.

Yes, it’s getting more expensive all the time (that will stop only when it becomes cheaper for marketers to find equally good leads for less money in similar volume… a fact of life in a Darwinian economy).

And sure, we all pine for the days when you could just put up your money and slap up a one page site.

But if you suck it up and learn their system, you get the opportunity to build a site that converts, and you learn which keyword conversations really work for you. (THEN, if you really want to,  you can turn off your Adwords account and take it to the contextual networks.  THEN you can focus on social media.  THEN you do all your article marketing, etc.  But if you do it all right, you won’t want to stop buying PPC)

Because, despite what everyone says, Quality Score is NOT random, it IS fair, and you CAN master it.   Not by looking for techniques and tricks, but by learning certain principles of marketing which, in the end, actually benefit you more than Google.   (I know that’s a controversial statement which is going to earn me a lot of hate mail, but 8  years of PPC marketing experience, thousands of customers, hundreds of direct reviews, and dozens of agency employees  give me the confidence to make it, and it’s in your best interest to seriously consider what I’m saying)

In fact, I’ll go so far as to say it’s something you MUST master if you want to succeed online.

The internet as a whole used to be the Wild West.  But the Sheriff is coming to clean up the town.    He’s gonna make his rounds everywhere Google’s got tentacles.    We can try to run and hide, but Google’s got REALLY BIG tentacles, and they keep getting bigger. (The analogy kind of breaks down here because we’re not really criminals… but you get the point)

Beyond this, I predict the organic side of the street is going to shrink this decade as Google figures out how to make sure people can find exactly what they want from paid advertisers, and learns how to minimize searcher complaints.

I’ll be turning my focus to Quality Score Principles (not techniques) in coming months, and you can expect to hear me say things no one else will tell you.

I know it’s hard to understand (because Google’s sheriff is more like Stephen Hawking than John Wayne) .

I know it hurts.

But we can fix this, and it’s good for us.

Suck it up,

Glenn 🙂

Glenn Club |   Coaching |  A to Z Product for Newbies |  Advanced Adwords Seminar

PS – The AdWords account banning spree is also NOT random or evil, but principle based.  It IS possible to develop a stable, secure AdWords account and still sleep at night.

PPS – If you’re spending anything significant in AdWords and you’re not coming to the Advanced Adwords Seminar, may I ask why?   (Comments below please).  In my mind, this is one of the very few seminars where you might learn something during the day, go back to your hotel room at night and immediately implement it, then start seeing financial improvements the very next day while you glance at your account on your laptop in the seminar room.  Plus, Perry’s good for his guarantees, I can tell you that.   (Thru the middle of the second day you can bail out and request an extra $500 plane fare).

I’ll be there personally with Sharon, and so will Rob (who is now the Chief Operating Officer of Rocket Clicks by the way).  But you know who you really need to see?  Bryan Todd.   Bryan’s Perry’s co-author, and is generally the quiet man in the background.

But if you push Perry on the point, he’ll tell you that Bryan is better at Adwords than he is.

Bryan’s also become a personal friend of mine (and not the kind of “friend” you hear marketers always talk about, but the kind you share deep personal thoughts with which go way beyond making money), and has given me some of the most profound insights into Adwords and the internet than anyone else I’ve known.

Bryan’s going to be teaching us how to leverage Facebook PPC, and I personally can’t wait.  Because I know this isn’t a presentation he’s just whipping up in a few weeks.  Over the past 18 months Bryan’s been periodically talking to me about his research into the Facebook project, asking me how to integrate it with my methods, talking to me about the psychographic data you get access to and how to use it, and how to integrate AdWords learnings.

I hope I’ll see you there Advanced Adwords Seminar

PPS – Yes, these are affiliate links.

Rambo Sucks at Marketing

There’s a repetitive conversation I’ve had with my coaching students about choosing the right market, and more specifically the right ENTRY POINT into a market, which I think bears your close attention.  (It came to a head a few weeks ago with a new student who shall remain nameless, but rest assured I see this REPEATEDLY)

As you might expect, given that my private coaching board is rather expensive, I tend to attract a fair number of experienced marketers who’ve got at least some success behind them, usually in some less difficult, lower volume, less competitive market.

Inevitably, they look at my methods and say “Wow, if I combined Glenn’s methods with what I know already, I could go into the world’s most competitive market head on, stepping right into the battle, and I’d not only emerge victorious, but unscathed, and I’d have billions of dollars streaming to me with a list of millions of hungry prospects I could email for free every day”

But it’s not true.

The BEST marketers don’t step head into the wind.

They carefully evaluate all the different approaches to a market, isolate the most attractive segment given the levels of competition, money available, relevance to what they wish to sell, and estimated cost per click, opt in, and sale.

In fact, the VERY BEST marketers find several such approaches into a market and develop multiple funnels (perhaps prioritizing and developing just one at a time).  They know that if a market is truly valuable, it’s worth spending the time to break it into pieces.

The best marketers are happy to serve only the best segments of a market, and are willing to put in the time, energy, money, and other resources to stake their ground, a little at a time.

You see, if you ARE as ripped as Rambo (excellent at PPC, SEO, article marketing, etc),  if your object is to build a solid business and there are thousands of wimps challenging you to a wrestling match, why not take THEM up on it, instead of going after Mike Tyson?

Do you want to prove yourself, or do you want to build your business?

Do you want to be recognized as the best, or would it be enough to just get wealthy?

Here’s how this plays out online:

  • You don’t build a site for “arthritis pain” (555,000 searches and one of the most ruthlessly competitive, expensive niches you’ll find), you build several, one at a time for things like “arthritis knee pain” (14,500 searches), “rheumatoid arthritis pain” (27,000 searches), or even “arthritis finger pain” (8,800 searches), etc. where you can declare yourself king (or queen)…
  • You don’t build a site for “Hawaiin Vacations”, you build several, one at a time for “Hawaiin Bowling Vacation”, “Kona Holidays”, and even “All Inclusive HawaiinVacations”…
  • You don’t build a site for “motorcycles”, you build one for “Salvage Motorcycles”, “Cruiser Motorcycles” (), and even “Motorcycle Choppers”…

Then you build some additional volume using broad match, but you take serious advantage of the relative paucity of competitors to really ramp up your conversion rates, and downgrade your price per click.

In other words, if you really ARE as strong as Rambo, why squander your strength (and your blood) in Viet Nam or Cambodia where you risk getting captured and tortured by the enemy?

Rambo sucks at marketing. (Sylvester Stallone, on the other hand, was a genius)

Not because he lacked the strength…

He just went after the wrong target.

Are you confident you’re going after the RIGHT target?

The first month of my club is entirely about developing this confidence so you’ll be able to focus and confidently move forward, instead of falling prey to distraction after distraction.

Hope it helps,

Dr. G 🙂

PS – The coaching board is currently closed for new members, however if you’ve got any interest, please get on the priority notification list as I periodically DO have an opening, but fill it rather quickly from this list alone. (Therefore I haven’t been notifying the main newsletter subscribers)

Hidden Dangers of a High Conversion Rate

Hi Again 🙂

Today I’d like to talk about a subtle distinction in marketing strategy which often gets obscured by the ruthless focus on increasing click through and conversion. Surprisingly, we might not always want these metrics to be as high as humanly possible.

It all comes back to what we’re trying to accomplish in our businesses in the first place.

I don’t know about you, but I’m trying to cultivate repeat customers, ravenous for what I’ve got to offer, eager to ascend to higher and higher value products and services, respectful of my customer service team, and interested in referring me to prospects of similar quality.

Moreover, I’m interested in developing a core FOCUS in my business.  Since I can’t be everything to everyone, I want my customers to share certain core values with one another and bond to me because of them…

That way my back end development is  crystal clear and I can keep my resources focussed.  I can also  move relatively quickly to introduce higher end products and services which will please the majority of my customers, rather than becoming fragmented into segments which drain my resources and prevent the development of anything spectacular.

Getting a high CTR and Conversion rate is only useful to me to the extent it serves these ends, and actually a distraction if it does not.    And because increasing these metrics beyond a certain point necessarily entails convincing more and more ambivalent people to purchase (remember–the most ravenous people in your market will buy from even poor advertising if they trust you… good advertising is about convincing less interested and more skeptical people), it’s something worth thinking about very seriously.

The point is, single-minded  focus on CTR and Conversion in the absence of STRATEGY (e.g., WHO are you trying to attract, who are you trying to repel, and why) may waste your advertising dollars on prospects who engage in TRIAL BUT NOT REPEAT.

You can also wind up attracting customers who burden your support team with complaints, threaten your merchant account with chargebacks and refunds (not something to dismiss lightly given the Visa/MC shakeup this year), and most importantly, diversify your customer base too broadly to allow you to effectively develop back ends and maximize customer value!

Now, from most of the advertising I see online, I’d say the vast majority of vendors in AdWords don’t really get this.  Or perhaps they don’t care because the math works for them, at least for the moment.

But, especially in a PPC environment where auction prices continue to rise, transactional thinking just isn’t going to cut it in the long run for your business.  You need to build on stone, not sand.

Let’s work through a real life example.

I have a friend who’s daughter has a debilitating condition called “Myasthenia Gravis”.    When I type this into Google, the FIRST link on the left hand side is for Wikipedia, and in the very first paragraph it says “there is no known cure”.   Subsequent organic links confirm this, though many offer hope of relief and cautiously optimistic treatment.

Here are two of the first page ads I see:

Now, I’m sure we could all jump in and talk about how to improve these ads, but that’s besides the point.

The point is the “Myasthenia Gravis Cure” ad is almost certainly getting a higher click through rate.

And if they’re carrying through their promise of a cure to the landing page (I didn’t review), they’re probably getting a higher conversion rate as well.

And I’ll bet you they’re making more money (a lot more) ON THE FRONT END TRIALS.

But are they building a business? Are they cultivating loyal customers? Are they producing evangelists for their products and services who will bring more high quality, loyal customers at zero cost? Do they have true back end capabilities? What about customer service problems? Merchant account issues?

If they’re promising a cure when there really is none (and then just dealing with the refunds because the math works out for them), I’d venture to say not!

In fairness, there MAY be a cure we don’t know about. The sites on the left may be wrong.  Maybe this “Cure” site really DOES have something special and in that case, more power to them for getting out there with full force.

But if not, what they’ve got is a temporary income stream, not a business. They’ve got a good ad, not good customers.

If they were my client I’d actually advise them to cut their click through rate and conversion, and go with  something more like the second ad instead.  It might not be as strong in creating trial, and the cost per initial sale would certainly be higher… but it would fill their business with grateful, loyal customers, higher long term values… and all the other good things above.

Now, the only way YOU can do this is if you REALLY know who you’re going after in the first place. And that’s where MARKET INTELLIGENCE trumps keyword intelligence, every time.

Because if you know the unique conversation in the prospect’s mind behind each keyword search (every keyword really is a unique conversation)…

If you know with confidence which keyword conversations define your center of gravity…

Then and only then can you begin to write your ads to attract hyper-responsive customers, repel the riff raff, and keep Google happy in the process. (Remember, PPC IS A THREE WAY JOINT VENTURE… you’ve got to provide value for Google, your prospects, and yourself… if any of the three loses, the system doesn’t work)

Which is the essence of Dr. Glenn’s Golden Rule #2:

“Sell Distinct Advantages to Hyper-Responsive Customers
Using Their Emotional Buying Language… And Actively
Repel Everyone Else”

And if you’d like to have confidence that you’re doing that  better than anyone else in your market, it’s definitely time for you to join the club!

Hope it helps,

Dr. G 🙂

PS – In keeping with this post, let me please say that unless you’re already operating a very profitable online business, you won’t get rich in the next few months using the hyper responsive marketing club.  It’s not even within the realm of possibilities.  But you WILL learn a way of strategic thinking which is different than what anyone else teaches online, and which is linked to a step by step approach which will last you a lifetime!  join the club

Free Content Network Telseminar


Hey… I just wanted to give you the heads up that Perry’s doing another free content network teleseminar with Shelley Ellis tomorrow.

I’ve known Perry a LONG time, and there’s one very important thing I’ve learned about him… he rarely promotes ANY other marketer CONSISTENTLY (besides me that is).    So when he started repeatedly driving people to Shelley’s work last year, I stood up and took notice.

I’d strongly recommend you listen to the free teleseminar, even if you’re not at all interested in the intermediate content network bootcamp she’ll be offering at the end. (Which, by the way, there are only 29 seats left for so if you ARE interested in one of them, pay close attention to the post opt in page and grab your spot)

Anyway… the call is FREE, and if you know Perry, you know he ALWAYS provides genuinely valuable and immediately usable information on these calls. So why not?

Of course, yes, I’ll make a commission if you buy anything after clicking this link. So you have to ask yourself, does Glenn really mean what he’s saying? I guess, short of giving you my Mom’s telephone number as a character reference, you’ll just have to make up your own mind. Seriously though, it’s kind of a no brainer: