Many have asked what happens if the Google search network is turned off in an adwords
PPC campaign -- We tested on a real Pay Per
Click account and here is the result!
What EXACTLY is the Google Search Network?
You probably already know it is search partners like AOL, but what you likely don't know is that it includes some pretty shady sites! Any large site having an agreement with Google for a feed of their search results display Google ads from the "search network" -- not the content network. It also includes ALL sites using the Google search box -- those results are displayed from the search network.
What all this should be telling you is that "search network" does not necessarily mean quality delivery of your ads!
Knowing what we know and knowing that we will deliver fewer ads by opting out of the search network, we expected the following:
Fewer impressions, fewer clicks and lower spend.
We hoped we would also see:
Better CTR and improved conversion statistics.
The Actual Results
Below are our actual test results and there are some surprises!
||Cost / Conversion
Impressions, clicks & spend: Expected, expected & NOT EXPECTED. We expected a lower spend, but it appears that in general the click prices on the search results of the Google search engine are a good bit higher (28.9%) than Google's search network properties -- so the spend went up a bit (5.1%). That's okay so far... unexpected, but not a jaw dropper!
Conversion Statistics: Whoa... NOT EXPECTED! Significant increase in cost/conversion. Not good. Of course mileage may vary depending on the products so we will let that one slide for now.
CTR: Great! Almost a 55% improvement in CTR. Significant improvement in CTR means (knowing that CTR is a contributor to Google's "quality score") our ad positioning improves without having to raise bids! WRONG... the CTR improved 55% but out positioning improved only a bit less than 5%. This told us something that we suspected for a LONG time -- ad positioning is influenced MUCH MORE by your willingness to bid (spend money) than any other quality score factors!
Although touted by Google and all the experts, the CTR does not have that much influence on ad positioning -- it your willingness to bid that carries the vast majority of the clout in ad rankings!
|Your mileage may vary depending on your product or services and to get the real answer you must test your actual campaigns. But, our test told us that you can likely test without creating a disaster so do it! Do the testing!
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