August 2012 -
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Archive for August, 2012

No More Free Ride, Product Ads Migrate to Adwords

Posted by Rob Dumouchel in Google Shopping

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

First there was Froogle and it was good. Then there was Google Base and Google Product Search, and at least they were still free. Soon we’re getting Google Shopping, which for most advertisers will be a nice kick square in the teeth. For those of you that enjoyed a solid decade of free product listings, kiss that goodbye come October… Google wants its money and the house always wins.

So what’s the quick version of what’s going on here? After a decade of free product search results via a data feed THE ENTIRE system is moving to a paid model controlled via Adwords and the Google Merchant Center. This is the first time Google has taken an organic channel of traffic and completely switched it to a paid channel. Needless to say a lot of small and medium sized businesses that relied on this traffic to feed their websites are pretty hopping mad. On top of making this traffic cost money for the first time, the data feed has also gotten more complicated with more required attributes. This update is being taken easily in stride by major brands with large stores and lots of marketing budget, but it’s a harder pill to swallow for the little guys.

Now that I’m done catastrophizing over Google Shopping, it is worth mentioning that there are a few upsides. For starters, advertisers now have some control over their product listings via bidding. Before you just tossed your data feed into the wind and hoped for the best. The new product listing ads also create some interesting options in Adwords in terms of how you break things down for bidding. You can do an open all products ad group, or just focus on specific types of products and give them higher or lower bids based on their value to your business.

If Product Listing Ads are something of interest to you I recommend spending an hour going through the videos the Google Commerce team has put together to explain how the new system is going to work. The 4 videos available here:

Once you’ve digested Google Shopping conceptually it’s time to start digging into the data feed documentation. Might want to budget the rest of your week for this one:

Once the data feed is complete Adwords implementation will be fairly simple, but you’re going to have to make a commitment to maintaining that feed and updating it regularly so as to not run afoul of Google’s desire for complete matching perfect listings.

Anyone want to take bets on when we’ll start needing a credit card to secure a Google Places listing?

Do You Have Access to Webmaster Tools?

Posted by Bob Dumouchel in webmaster tools

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012


The first question you might ask here is why is an AdWords Expert writing about Webmaster Tools. The answer is because it is possible to have problems with your AdWords Account that can only be fixed by Webmaster tools. I know this is unexpected to most because Webmaster tools are not connected to AdWords and they are more of an organic focused traffic tool.
The problem surfaces when the site is hit with malware because while AdWords will be disabled and it can only be reset in Webmaster Tools. This requires that you have access to them and that requires that you have a verified connection. To do this first you need to go to:
To get started you need to add a site to your webmaster tools account and then you have to verify your access. This verification process is done by uploading a file to the root directory of the website. To start click on the orange “Add A Site” button in the upper right hand section of the screen.
Once the site has been added you need to verify your access to this. This is done by uploading a file to the root directory of the site (where your home page is)

Recommended: HTML file upload Upload an HTML file to your site.
1. Download this HTML verification file. [google29efd3934a808ef2.html]
2. Upload the file to
3. Confirm successful upload by visiting http://www. in your browser.
4. Click Verify below.
To stay verified, don’t remove the HTML file, even after verification succeeds.

The file can be downloaded using the link on item one. You should then save this to your site directory. Once the file is there then you can confirm it using the link in step three. It is important that this file remain exactly as is. You cannot rename it to something that you think is better documentation and you need to make sure that the internals of the page remain as is.
Once the site is verified the really fun stuff starts to happen in that you can start learning what the data in Webmaster tools means to your business. Connecting your Webmaster tools to your Google Analytics also opens even more data in Analytics and that is done here after the site is verified.

Click on the Manage site button next to the site you want to connect to a Google Analytics profile. Then click on the Google Analytics property selection. This will give you a list of all the Google Analytics Accounts under your profile. Once you find the profile you want to connect to just click on the option dot and then go to the bottom and save the changes.

There is no tech support for Webmaster Tools that we can find inside Google, but if you are an active advertiser you might try that support line or if you are a client just give me a call. Otherwise you can try the email support.