Google Engage Vancouver


Google just finished up with their Google Engage Certification Program Cram Sessions at the Fairmont Waterfront in Vancouver.  The event, taught by Niko Downie from Google, consisted of four sessions that took place on August 28th and 29th.

Unlike the recent Google Engage event we attended in Seattle which focused on advanced PPC strategies and client relations, the goal of the Google Engage Cram Sessions was to help agencies prepare for the Google certification exams.

Since the Vancouver PPC team was already up to date with its certifications we didn’t have to attend the event, but whenever we hear the words Google and event in the same sentence you’ve got our attention.  And since this Google event was right in our own back yard at the Fairmont Waterfront, we just couldn’t say no.



Google is Clawing Back AdPlanner Data

Google is making changes to DoubleClick AdPlanner that will restrict the data it provides. On September 5th, you will no longer be able to research domains that are not part of the Google Display Network (more money for Google I guess). They have gone even further to remove demographic data ,such as, keywords searched for, videos also watched, house hold income and education.

Google seems to be clawing back more and more web data every day. Have you noticed that the number of undefined keywords (eg, not set or not provided) in your Google Analytics account is growing each day? Well this is all part of trend toward restricting data on the internet…

For better or worse it will be harder to tracking online marketing in the future. This should be a call to action to build your data now, while you still have access to it.

Google Certification Cram Sessions in Vancouver

On August 28th and 29th, Google will be running four training seminars over the course of two days. Taught by Niko Downie, Google Agency Lead, the seminars will cover both the basics and some of the more advanced elements of advertising with Google AdWords.

Check out what will be offered

Our team is already certified but we will be going anyways to see if we can gleam any nuggets of gold from it.

Note: I just took the Advanced Reporting and Analysis exam and it is extremely outdated.

Nobody Clicks On PPC Ads Right? Wrong!

There is a common misconception that nobody ever clicks on PPC ads. Well if that were true then Google wouldn’t be making billions of dollars each year. Plus we wouldn’t be in business…


  • The top 3 spots get 41.1% of clicks.
  • Organic results only account for 14.8%  of pixels above the fold (the fold is the screen real-estate that you don’t have to scroll to see).
  • PPC Ads take up 85.2% of pixels above the fold on highly commercial intent keywords.

Check out this great infograph by WordStream:

Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC) vs. Organic Search Listings (SEO)

© WordStream, provider of a Google Keyword Tool for Search Marketing.

Google Engage Seattle

The Vancouver PPC team just got back from the Google Engage event in Seattle. Google Engage is a program for Google Certified Partners, that helps agencies stay up to date on the ever changing Adwords platform. This event was geared towards advanced PPC strategies and client relations. Overall the event was a huge success and we got to meet a lot of cool people.

If  you need help implementing Advanced Adwords strategies please contact us.


Vantage is in compliance with Google’s Third-Party Policy.

We have successfully gone through the audit process to become compliant with Google’s Third-Party Policy. The policy is designed to weed out the companies who do a poor job of representing Google. It turns out that there are a lot of unqualified companies who are misleading their clients into thinking that they have some special affiliation to Google, when in reality they don’t.

The main points of the policy are as follows:

  • Third parties should at minimum provide advertisers with monthly data on AdWords costs, clicks, and impressions at the account level.
  • All third parties primarily serving small to medium-sized clients are required to provide the Google Disclosure Notice.
  • Third parties may not engage in unclear, deceptive, or harassing sales practices.
  • Third parties may not misrepresent their relationship to Google.
  • You may not make improper guarantees about Google to your clients.
  • You may not violate Google’s branding guidelines.
  • You may not improperly use AdWords accounts, or AdWords marketing or sales material.
  • The following violations will lead to immediate suspension: Pretending to be Google.

The full policy can be found here

I am very happy that this policy exists because it will increase the value of being a Certified Adwords Partner.

Changes in PPC for 2011

The speed of change in online advertising is rapid and no year saw as many changes as in 2011. Keeping up to date on all these advancements is no easy feet, but I guess that is why we specialize in PPC. Here are just a handful of the biggest changes to hit Adwords.

Read more

Interest Targeting on the Display Network

The product development elves at Google introduced a new way to target people on the Display Network using interests. Interest targeting is nothing new to advertisers who are familiar with Facebook ads, but it is a switch away from keywords for Google and could be a sign of things to come.

Interest targeting is really cool because you can target people who have shown interest in a given topic over the past 30 days. As stated on the Adwords Blog, here is how it works, “[the] system looks at the types of pages a user visits, taking into account how recently and frequently those pages have been visited, and then associates their browser with relevant interest categories”.

Interest targeting is not to be confused with topic targeting, which allows you to target people who are viewing content that contains a desired topic. Topic targeting does not take into account the behavioral factors of recency and frequency. However, it uses the same categories to target topics.

The behavioural profiling is getting a bit scary because of the introduction of Google+. Google+ allows Google to incorporate your profile likes and interest, with the behavioural data from their Search and the Display network to amass huge amounts of data on YOU. This data is then used to better target you with ads. Honestly, I don’t have a problem with Google using the data to better target ads to me because at least I will see more relevant ads. However, I could see how this would freak the average person out.

I highly recommend trying out Interest targeting. We have found that conversion rates are quiet a bit higher than topic or contextual targeting.



Google Instant and its Effects on Adwords

So Google is changing up the search game by giving you instant results (or so they claim). This is how it works, when you start to type in a search query the search results will change right before you eyes. The idea is that you will only have to partially type in a query and Google will predict what you are looking for. This feature will probably be tied into your search history, in the near future, which will make the predictive nature even smarter and more useful.

I find it funny that Google thinks that someone would spend 30-90 seconds to type in a search query and that was their reason for the innovation. See their page on Google instant.

Any ways lets look at how this will impact Pay Per Click advertising. I was very nervous when I first heard that Google was going to show numerous search results for a single search result. This could really hurt your quality score and drive up costs. But Google has spelled it out that it shouldn’t effect your PPC campaigns at all, which is a relief.

The following is from the Adwords Help:

New predicted query

Although Google Instant won’t change the way ads are served, ads and search results will now be shown for a new “predicted query.” For example, if someone types “flow” into Google, an algorithm predicts that the user is searching for “flowers” (the predicted query) and therefore displays search listings and ads for flowers. Those results will continue to show unless the next letters that the user types lead to a different predicted query.

How impressions are counted

When someone searches using Google Instant, ad impressions are counted in these situations:

  • The user begins to type a query on Google and clicks anywhere on the page (a search result, an ad, a spell correction, a related search).
  • The user chooses a particular query by clicking the Search button, pressing Enter, or selecting one of the predicted queries.
  • The user stops typing, and the results are displayed for a minimum of three seconds.”


What is Google Adwords Pay Per Click?

Have you ever wondered what those funny looking sponsored links are when you search on Google? Well those are Google Adwords paid text ads. Google Adwords is an Internet marketing program that allows you to place advertisements on either search result pages or websites.

These ads are relevant to what the people are searching for. So yes these ads actually help people find what they are looking for. Most people don’t even realize that they are clicking on a sponsored link. This is good for you because they think you are showing up in the #1 spot in Google organically which gives you credibility.

So how does Google Adwords work?

How google adwords works

questions > >>> search for answers >>>> click on your ads >>>> find answers on your site

At the most basic level Google Adwords works by having the advertiser bid on keyword phrases that potential customers are searching for. When a potential customer searches for the term you are bidding on you ad will show up in the sponsored link section next to the organic rankings. Your ranking in the sponsored links is based on your bid and on how relevant your ad is to the searcher (AKA quality score).

The best part about Adwords is that you only pay when someone clicks on your ad. If people don’t like your ad and don’t click you don’t pay. Another benefit of pay per click advertising is that you can track the number of people that click, but most importantly take action on your site. This can be used to determine if Adwords PPC is right for you.

Why advertise on Google Adwords? Read more