Pay-Per-Click Wish List

Today marks the halfway point to Christmas, but I’ve already started a wish list of things that I would like to see under the tree. Instead of this list being for Santa, it’s addressed to the major paid search engines: Google, Yahoo and Bing. If even half of this wish list is granted by the end of the year then it will be a very happy holiday season for PPC advertisers everywhere.

Google —

  • Change negatives so they work beyond the 10th word in a search query. This isn’t something that most advertisers will run into on a daily basis, but it does happen. Currently, negative keywords will only work if the keyword is one of the first ten words in a search query. Take for example the search query : “is there a list of the most popular video games for the xbox”. In this case your ad would still show even if “Xbox” was in your list of negative keywords.
  • Allow the blocking of individual search network partners. The ability to pick and choose which search network sites will display your ads would help to reduce spending budget on sites that rarely or never lead to conversions.

Yahoo —

  • Release a campaign management program similar to Adwords Editor. If you’ve ever managed a paid advertising campaign then you will know how time consuming it can be to make a large number of changes through the use of web interfaces. Yahoo still hasn’t bothered to create a stand-alone campaign management tool similar to Adwords Editor or Adcenter Desktop. I really wish they would make this a priority because it would make management much easier and more time efficient.
  • Add phrase/exact/broad match similar to Google and Bing. Standard and advanced match don’t offer the level of targeting that comes by using the phrase/exact/broad match methods used by the other engines.
  • Clean up your sponsored search network. The Yahoo sponsored search network is notorious for being full of made-for-ad sites that drain budgets and reduce your ROI since they very rarely generate conversions.
  • Increase the limit of blocked domains. Yahoo currently limits the number of blocked domains to 500. Due to the poor quality of the sponsored search network, this limit is often reached in a short amount of time — and there is nothing that can be done once it is reached.

Bing —

  • Improve the web management interface and AdCenter Desktop. Nothing is more annoying than not being able to adjust bids or pause individual keyword match types without going into a separate screen.
  • Add capitalization support to dynamic keyword insertion. Google and Yahoo have this one figured out, so it would be nice to see Microsoft add this feature. Proper capitalization improves the look of ads and can help boost click-thru rates.
  • Improve day-parting targeting options. The current system only allows advertisers to day-part in four hour blocks instead of 15 minute increments like Google, or one hour blocks like Yahoo. Greater control helps to ensure your ads only run when they have the best chance of leading to conversions.

Although the list is short, it’s full of things I would really like to see happen before the snow flies. What is on your paid advertising wish list? Leave a comment with what you would like to see changed or improved in regards to paid advertising, and hopefully, the search engines will take note and deliver your wish. Hurry though, only 182 days left until Christmas!