On google.com at least anyway – and google.co.uk will follow shortly no doubt…
*Update – 2nd June 7:11 am BST – I can confirm they have now disappeared from google.co.uk search results.*
Here is an email from Google :-
Please be aware that beginning on June 2, 2011, the Google Checkout badge will no longer appear on your ads on Google search results.
We’re making this change to improve the user experience on Google search results pages.
For more information, please visit https://checkout.google.com/support/sell/bin/answer.py?answer=1323905
The Google Checkout Team
© 2011 Google Ireland Ltd, Gordon House, Barrow Street, Dublin 4, Ireland.
You have received this mandatory email service announcement to update you about important changes to your Google Checkout account.
I thought this was some sort of elaborate joke at first – but the Google link in the email is genuine.
Thanks for the 3 hours of notice Google ! :-(
This is a real kick in the teeth for all those e-commerce sites that went through the painful process of implementing Google Checkout and jumping through all the hoops required to get these badges!
This really really beggars belief…
Obviously this has been done to make room for ‘Plus One’ buttons. Well Google, I hope it was worth it when you find that millions of e-commerce sites remove the Google Checkout option tomorrow!
By the way – you can now permanently erase the following post about how great Google Checkout is from your memories!
AND – furthermore – from now on, when sending out electronic invoices to clients, I will make sure I always use Paypal rather than Google Checkout!read more
I have another one of these up for grabs.
No strings attached.
Valid for use on Google AdWords accounts that are 14 days old or less (and have not already had a voucher applied).
Just leave a comment below about what you would use it for, and I’ll pick the best one during the next 7 days, and send the voucher by email….
PS – if you are not lucky enough to get this one – then see the following post for details on how you can get a £30 or £50 voucher –read more
When it comes to a direct return on your investment – in the vast majority of cases, the Google Search Network will easily beat the Google Display Network.
But that is not to say that the Display network is never worth using.
With that in mind – here are some pre-recorded webinars by Google that will be of interest if you want to use it for Branding or Re-Targeting/Re-Marketing (and perhaps even *sometimes* for getting a great direct return on your investment):-
Creating Effective GDN Campaigns:
Advanced Optimization Techniques:
Remarketing on the GDN:
It was with shock that I recently received an email from Google stating that it was almost 12 months since I had last sat the Google Search Advertising Advanced Exam (time flies when you get old like me).
I had no spare time with which to revise. So I sat the exam without doing *any* revision at all.
Google allow you 3 hours to sit the exam (I think there were 119 questions).
I took just over 37 minutes to complete all the questions. The ‘rate your experience of this exam’ section at the end took almost as long!
There were a few questions that I didn’t know the answer to (does anyone actually use ‘Manager Defined Spend’) – but mostly they were very easy, and unless I am mistaken more than a few were identical to the last time I took the test.
There was even a question about ‘position preference’ which has been retired!
Anyway – if you have sat the exam before, and you manage AdWords accounts on a daily basis – then you can definitely get away with not revising for the exam.
My final score was 95%.
I got 98% a year ago – after spending about 57 hours revising (OK maybe not that much, but it certainly felt like it). So if you are having to resit this exam soon – please bear this information in mind!read more
The easiest way to get these little yellow stars if you have an e-commerce site is to allow the use of Google Checkout as a payment option – once you get 30 reviews, your seller ratings will start showing on your AdWords ads. (Also – having Google Checkout badges on your ads can also increase your CTR by 10%.)
Have a look on the internet and you’ll probably be able to find a lot of articles about how important good customer reviews are. But there do not seem to be any articles on what sort of increase in sales you might expect if you were to get those little yellow stars (seller rating extensions) attached to the majority of your AdWords adverts. So, to leave no-one in any doubt that customer reviews are important here are some real world figures:-
The following increase in conversion rates for one client were observed after 5 star ratings started appearing on their AdWords ads :-
27.5% ! ??
- This was not a split test.
- Many other factors can affect conversion rate.
- This figure may go down when more data comes in (though there is a pretty big sample of data already).
- *** Update – 31st May 2011 – This is the most important note – having taken the figures for a longer period before and after the ratings starting appearing on the AdWords ads, the original figure of 27.5% looks very much like a fluke. I’ll come back and update this figure when I have a bit more data in. Hopefully there will still be an increase – though it is definitely looking like a *lot* less than 27.5%. (This is an important lesson to everyone with regards to believing everything you read.. :-) ***
But even while taking this figure with a (very large) pinch of salt – I have never seen such a big improvement in conversion rate for AdWords traffic before. Put it this way – if I had my own online shop, then getting glowing customer reviews would currently be my number one priority!
(Even if the increase in conversion rate is not amazing, I would still put getting good customer reviews near the top of my list of priorities… :-)
If anyone else has had any similar experiences, please let me know!
PS – Here is the link for more detailed information on how to get Seller Ratings appearing on your Google Adwords ads:-
PPS – If you have really bad customer service you can ignore this article.read more
Well – despite what you are told in the Certified Google AdWords exams, I have just found out that it is possible by using dynamic keyword insertion (for titles up to 30 characters).
This can be very useful for companies who provide products or services to Northern Ireland and want to include ‘Northern Ireland’ in the headline of the ad – the extra 5 characters allow you to be a lot more flexible in how you write your ad.
Here is an example of the sort of ad headline you can have if you use dynamic insertion properly:-read more