Searching Beyond the Paid

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Take My Conversion Data - Please!

A thought-provoking thread on Search Engine Watch, which started with some misinformation, has really got me thinking. And wishing (or dreaming, to quote Andrew). Someone asked if conversion rates factored into Google Adwords' Quality Score, which determines how ads are ranked on the page. The (corporate line) answer is no, but it's a very interesting concept. Sure, some advertisers just want traffic and branding and don't care about conversions, but I've gotta believe that most advertisers are looking for some kind of action from the click - a sale, a signup, a phone call, a newsletter subscription, whatever. Unless you've got really deep pockets, why would you pay to send people to your site and not get anything back from them?

Anyway, there is of course controversy surrounding this issue - "but we'd have to have Google Conversion Tracking or Analytics or in some other way supply Google with our conversion data, and that just gives them way too much power." How? Sure, theoretically it's possible that Google could take that info and use it to start their own division to compete with my business - but c'mon, is that even the slightest bit realistic? And then there's the obvious privacy / non-disclosure issue. I'm quite sure G is smart enough to know better than to share my conversion data with other clients or companies. Barring those two things, why shouldn't I tell them how many of their visitors actually convert? I mean, fact is, if I'm not getting conversions, I'm gonna pull my ads, or at least reduce my max CPC - which costs Google money, doesn't it? Why can't we find some middle ground on which we can both make money?

Hey Google, if you're considering beta-ing this, sign me up! I'd love to give it a shot.


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