Google Adwords continues to slowly move the transparency meter when they don’t really have to (commendable because they have no competition). Last Thursday it was announced that Adwords will now show search partner data separately from google search.
Now, we show one set of statistics for Google and another set aggregating search partner performance. Search partners include AOL, Ask.com, and many other search sites around the web. You can view ad group or campaign performance at a summary level, or broken down by different combinations of Google, our search partners, and our content network. Additionally, separate Google and aggregate search partner statistics will soon be available in the Report Center.
PPC managers have been calling for this development for some time. The problem lies in the fact that Google will allow you to run Google + Search Partner, or Google only, but not Google Search Partner only. The ideal solution would be to create a separate Google search and search partner campaign, both identical, but with separate distribution. Similar to the best practice of separating Search campaigns from Content (you’d better be doing this by now), we need the ability to do the same with Google and the Search Partners.
Why don’t they offer this? They’re afraid to, basically. If everyone starts opting out of large parts of their networks they’ll lose a not insignificant portion of their revenue, of course. I disagree with this notion, however. Has revenue dropped with better transparency in the BIG BAD content network? No, because advanced ppc analysts know that this is where the growth lies in every campaign. Search can take you from 0-60mph, but the content network (well controlled), can take you to F1 type speeds.
C’mon Adwords. This is a nice tease, but give us what we want.
All I really want for Christmas is a separate Search Partner Campaign.