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Archive for Google Adwords’ Category



Merchant Center / AdWords Shopping Campaigns

So, how long does it take for products in Merchant Center to start showing in Google Shopping campaign in AdWords?

I asked the question after there were far fewer products in AdWords than should have been the case.

Apparently, ‘Ideally it should take less than one hour’ for the products to synch between the two products.

So if you are wondering where all your stuff is, give it an hour or 2 and try again… (I have to admit I didn’t get round to trying it again until the following day – but around 18 extra hours certainly made a big difference).

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2014 Reviews – AdWords Seller Ratings Fiasco


In a big slap in the face for any AdWords advertiser who has put effort into getting reviews on, the site has been removed from the list of third party review sites Google uses that counts towards your lovely little yellow stars on your AdWords ads (AdWords Seller Ratings).

When I spoke with Google support about it they said that the initial problem was that their crawlers were unable to crawl the web site. But when pushed on when it would be fixed and when all the reviews that had been removed would be put back again, they were very vague on the details, and the short summary is that it might be fixed at some point in the future, but there was no guarantee. Apparently it is not an arbitrary decision on Google’s part but also something to do with the owners of Review Centre (America readers, note this is the English UK spelling).

When I asked if this was likely to happen with other third party review sites without notice, I was told that this was unlikely as ll the sites listed here supply Google with a feed, so there won’t be any problems crawling the data. Though I notice on the previous link that Google now say specifically:

Seller ratings are now calculated using review services that license their information to us, so you might see changes to how they appear for your account. This improvement in data quality will make seller ratings more accurate.

I’m not sure on what date this text was added. But I am assuming that the terms under which “license their information to us” is the problem. Google are probably angry that they are not getting the information free of charge and have decided to show them who is boss (maybe I’m being unfair here).

The lesson to be learned here is that Google can decide at any time to stop using any third party service, and there is *nothing* you can do about it. So, if you have an email autoresponder which asks customers for reviews, it would be prudent to modify it as soon as possible to ask for reviews on more than one third party review site!

*Update* – Here is an official response from the Review Centre Google+ page on 19th March :-

Hi +Jordan McClements we do not currently have any plans to allow Google to have our reviews for seller ratings. If this changes we’ll announce it on G+.


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Location Targeting In Google Shopping (UK) Part 2

Just over a month ago in this post, I complained about how the location targeting in Google Shopping was completely illogical (IP address overriding the location that was manually set by the user).

But guess what, Google listened to my feedback and fixed the problem! (OK, maybe it is just a coincidence…)

So, now, if you exclude a region in the UK as a location in your PLA campaign (or new Google Shopping campaign I assume), and a Google Shopping user happens to have an IP address which incorrectly indicates they are in that region, they can override this by specifying their actual location at the top left of the shopping results as shown below.

Google Shopping Location Selection

Furthermore, it seems* that they are now taking this user specified location into account when displaying ads in Google Search as well as in Google Shopping. Hopefully this will improve location targeting a great deal in the future as more people start to see Google Shopping results and specify their correct location in Google Shopping.

*On my PC today at any rate…

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Migrating From Product Listing Ads To Google Shopping Campaigns

You are going to have to do this before the end of this year (2014) apparently. Though it is not currently possible to migrate from PLAs to the new Shopping campaigns it will be at some point, so if you want to get some practice in the mean time you will have to set up new shopping campaigns manually and run them alongside or instead of existing PLAs.


There are some neat features on the new shopping campaigns like Benchmark CTR, Impression Share etc.

The main downside at the moment seems to be that you cannot have ad group negative keywords. This will probably be fixed before everyone is forced to use this type of campaign.

References :-

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Another New Adwords Extension (Which Doesn’t Work In N.Ireland)


Sorry if I have been very slow on this one and it has been around for ages.

Apparently it not a new extension, but a variation of the ‘Form Extension’ – (Thanks to for that).

It also looks like Google do it now for car insurance in the UK :-


Note to Google (and anyone else using this extension).

I searched for “Car Insurance Northern Ireland”.

When I put in my (UK, Northern Ireland) registration, I got the following message :-

We couldn’t get your car details from the DVLA.
Please double check the registration number is correct.
If it is correct, search by make and model to find your car.

So that was a bit of a waste of time…

I guess the DVLNI car registration database hasn’t been computerised yet (not everyone in N.Ireland has electricity yet you know)…

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Location Targeting In Google Shopping (Northern Ireland, UK)

I have a client who was wondering recently why their products were not showing in Google Shopping for them.

The have a product listing ads campaign (obviously). A region of the UK was added as a negative location in the product listing ads campaign.

The IP address of their office network happens to be in that excluded region.

OK, you think, it would be fairy logical for Google to assume that they shouldn’t be shown the products as their IP address in in the excluded region.

But, luckily, Google Shopping allows you to specify your location at the top left of the screen :-

[screen shot]

So this should override the (often incorrect) location information they have from the IP address, right? WRONG!

AdWords support have confirmed that (unbelievably) it is the case that if you have an IP address in an excluded area then this will over-ride anything that you set manually in Google Shopping.

Quite why they give you the ability to set the location you are interested in when they then completely ignore it is beyond me. It wouldn’t be so bad if IP addresses were in any way accurate in the UK but they are not (mine is now London, used to Sheffield, and I live in NORTHERN IRELAND).

When I eventually got AdWords support to understand the stupidity of the current set up they emailed me a link to add this as customer feedback…. Sigh..

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Percentage Increase / Decrease Spreadsheet.


Here is an old post I did that allows you to quickly get back to original bids after increasing (or decreasing) bids by a percentage (spreadsheet).

Of course, you can do a backup of the account using AdWords Editor and then revert to that to get back to where you were, but if you are anything like me, you’ll probably find that there have been 57 other changed made in the interim period which you do want to keep!

It’s easy enough to do in your head for some percentages without using the spreadsheet (like if you increase bids by a half (50%) you need to decrease them by a third (33.33%) to get back to the original bids). But unless you are a natural at mental arithmetic – you should find this sheet handy at some point.

It’s been updated to include a Google Docs version of the spreadsheet (but you’ll need to make a copy before you can edit it).

Here’s the link again :-

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Adjusting AdWords Bids Based On Device And/Or Location When Using CPA Bidding.

Can this be done?

If you are using CPA bidding, on the face of it, it looks like you can.


Not so long ago, for campaigns using CPA bidding, when you clicked on Settings, Devices or Settings, Locations, the bid adjustment column would not allow you to make any changes at all.

This changed a while back, to allow you to enter bid increases or decreases in this column, which seemed pretty neat.

The one small caveat with this is that CPA bidding will *completely* ignore bid adjustments apart from “-100%” for mobile devices.

So, unfortunately, if you have a CPA campaign that is working well, but would like to bid less for mobile devices or locations, then you will have to create a new CPC campaign.

This is not such a problem when it comes to mobile devices as in my experience CPA bidding does a pretty good job of keeping the CPA the same on mobile as for other devices (given enough time).

But it would be very handy to have when it comes to location bidding. e.g. If your business requires a physical meeting to close a deal, you are unlikely to want to pay the same for a lead from 500 miles away as you are for a lead that is 5 miles away!

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How much difference does a faster processor make to AdWords Editor (Windows 7)?

I upgraded my old AMD Athlon II to and AMD Athlon IIX3 (Don’t laugh, those of you with state of the art processors).

The Windows experience index says that the speed of the CPU increased from 6.3 to 6.9.

Anyone who has used AdWords Editor for big accounts knows that it can be sluggish.

So what difference does the faster processor make?

In an account with just over 110,000 keywords – adjusting all the bids by a percentage at keyword level with the old CPU took 85 seconds. With the new CPU, 70 seconds.

So, with the older processor, big operations in AdWords Editor are about 21% slower.

During the bid updates, there was also a lot of disk activity, so I assume for smaller accounts / operations the speed difference should be even more noticeable (though if someone put the same processor back in my PC and told me it was a faster one I would probably think some things were noticeably faster).

The processor cost just over £50, so it shouldn’t take too long to recoup the cost with the amount of time saved.

Here’s a wee pic for those of you who are into that type of thing :-


(I had to re-use the old heat sink as the power connector was different from the old one).

The next upgrade for the work PC will be a half decent SSD.

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