Google Adwords uses a little different approach to PPC marketing than Overture. In addition to using a differing ranking system, which I described earlier in this chapter, Google uses alternative methods of distributing its ads.
Google provides advertisers with keyword matching options that are very similar to the ones of Overture. The only notable difference in the approach to the matching options between the two search giants is the ranking of matching options. Overture ranks Standard Matches above Phrase and Broad Matches, while Google Adwords ranks all adverts based on its ranking criteria. Google also extends broad match to include more synonyms and related terms than Overture. For example, Broad Matching term “tennis shoes” on Google Adwords may make the advertisement appear on searches such as “tennis sneakers”. Sometimes the two terms do not seem as related to the advertiser as they do to the PPC engine, and consequently the search engine may show adverts on unrelated search queries. The careful examination of log files to see what keywords are used to land on the site, combined with the usage of negative keywords, can improve relevancy significantly.
The Google Network is the largest online advertising network available, with a reach of over 80% of all Internet users, based on a December 2003 study by MediaMatrix. Google has been successful in obtaining partnerships with several important online properties including AOL, Ask Jeeves, InfoSpace and About.com. (Google e, Netfirms.)
In addition to large search and content feed partners, Google’s contextual advertising program, Google Adsense provides Google with a huge distribution channel. All web publishers can apply to the Google Adsense program to start displaying adverts on their websites. Publishers that join the program get related advertising on their websites and when a visitor clicks on the adverts, the publisher gets a percentage of the advertisers bid. The percentage that publishers receive from Google Adsense is not revealed by Google and it may vary between web sites, time of the day or other variables.
Through the usage of a contextual advertising program, such as Google Adsense or Overture’ Content Match, advertisers can increase the reach of Internet users. As I have pointed out in this paper, anywhere between 50 and 85 percent of all web users use the search engines. The Internet surfers who do not use the search engines may be reached through contextual advertising on content websites.
Contextual advertising has one large advantage over traditional online media buying, where the advertiser negotiates directly with the publisher. Instead of needing to find appropriate web properties to advertise on, advertisers can set up an account on a contextual advertising program, which finds relevant websites based on their text content. The disadvantage of contextual advertising is that it is difficult to monitor where the adverts appear. In Google Adwords, advertisers can name websites that they do not want to advertise on. However, it is difficult to keep track of the websites where the adverts appear.