Google AdWords Search Partner Network

Dear Google,
It’s time. You’ve given us the ability to segment out search from search partner traffic and yes, we see it now- search partners aren’t so great. We’d like control now so we can make it great.
Don’t get me wrong, I love a lot of the new features- the extensions tab, product extensions, ad sitelinks and so on. But I won’t be distracted! I am very well aware that parked domains are in included in the “search partner” network and that I am unable to exclude specific sites, nor see which search partners are doing what. I’d like to see which site it was that cost $100 or which one generated 100,000 impressions.
Granted, the trend I am seeing in general indicates that the CPC is lower, conversions do happen, but the CPA is higher and traffic from these partners is increasing.
(Top line is Search, second line is Search Partners.)

Campaign Management 2
Campaign Management

This is when I do the segmentation on any random campaign, be it lead generation, e-commerce, traffic generation or other- it’s a pretty common pattern. But what this reminded me of was when the Content Network was a great and mysterious black hole where clicks went to die. The improvements in visibility, targeting and reporting are now outstanding- we can see how it works, what works and are far more willing to spend more money. There are books, blog posts, seminars and presentations all over that help PPC advertisers make the content network work for them.

Don’t you want the same for the search partner network?
Yeah, if I find out by some miracle that opening up an Ask account would be cheaper than to run it through the search partner network, I’m going to do that. But really, how likely is that? It’s far more likely that I am going to utilize the category exclusion feature like in the Content Network to exclude sites that are juvenile, gross, parked, etc; or exclude Amazon or Google Groups simply because it’s not performing.
So this is me, asking nicely. Don’t let search partners become the new content network, it took so long, so much convincing and so many tools to get advertisers to use and begin trusting it.

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