Searching Beyond the Paid

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

PPC Gone Wild: If Ya Got It, Flaunt It

Back in July, I wrote about Britney Spears' naked escapades in Harper's Bazaar Magazine, and how they briefly caused an unwanted surge in our PPC traffic. Then, in early August, Janet Jackson caused an even briefer stir with her decision to pose for Vibe Magazine. Now, it's Eva Mendez who's gotten on the bandwagon, posing nude for Flaunt Magazine.

Ever hear of Flaunt Magazine? I wouldn't have either, if I didn't work for a magazine subscription agency. They publish 10 issues per year, and a 1-year subscription costs a staggering $55 - and that's our discount rate. Since no one has heard of this magazine, everyone's running to the search engines to get the scoop. Since we advertise magazine subscriptions, they're clicking on our ads.

This story is mostly good news, though. First off, I'm wise to this game since it seems to happen on a monthly basis now. I watch out for headlines touting nude hotties posing for magazines.

Second, we've got Clicktracks up and running. Their "What's Changed" report alerted me to the fact that, starting yesterday, we got 40-some clicks on the term "flaunt magazine" when, the day before (and probably most days before that) we got 0. I immediately started digging for the reason. I did a Google web search, which turned up no breaking news, other than the fact that we rank #10 for that keyword. Good news - our SEO is working, and we're not paying for those clicks! Then I went to Google News. Bingo. Less than 24 hours ago, the story broke about Eva's photo "spread" (so to speak). Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner.

Finally, since no one was searching for this magazine, no one was buying it either - so I had already taken down most of our PPC ads for it. So this little blip cost us literally pennies - all but a few clicks came from our organic listings. I lowered our bids to the minimum on the few remaining PPC ads, and there we are - all set. I'm fine if people want to click on our organic listing - maybe one of them will even buy something. Probably Playboy, which, according to Google News, Eva turned down in favor of Flaunt. Ironic, eh?


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