From the official Google release:
In an ongoing effort to provide more transparency to advertisers, Google announced today the availability of a new AdWords report, called a Placement Performance report, which enables advertisers to see the exact sites on the Google content network where their ads appear. Placement Performance reports also provide site-by-site performance metrics â€“ including domain, URL, impression, click, conversion and cost data â€“ as well as aggregated metrics for traffic generated from AdSense for domain sites. With these reports, advertisers have much more visibility into their contextually targeted advertising spend and are able to leverage the information to more effectively optimize their campaigns and meet their objectives. Designed in response to advertisers’ requests, Placement Performance reports offer advertisers both increased transparency and greater control over their contextual advertising, which ultimately leads to more relevant ads for users.
From the screenshots below you can see the types of information available through this new report.
Back in April I noted some deficiencies with the report.
This is definitely a step in the right direction but I am a little disappointed. The information only covers the content network while the search network is still shrouded in mystery. Donâ€™t get me wrong, this newly available report will help many increase their ROI through adsense ads and block out small time arbitrage players. Problem is the biggest waste of ad spend is not through the content network. Itâ€™s through the search network where anyone with deep pockets or a large domain portfolio can run Google search ads at full price.
Yahoo is ahead of the game in this arena making moves towards being more open with their premium search network feeds.
The good news is both Adsense for Domain Ads and Error Page Ads are included in the new report. The bad news is, the Domain and Error Page ads do not include the specific domain or url where the ad appeared so there is no way to identify where bad or good traffic is specifically coming from.
I can understand why Google would not include this information as there is no way to opt out of specific sites with either of these branches of their network. By providing location details of poorly performing ads they would only be inviting an infinite number of requests for ad take downs that cannot be accommodated.
In addition, the rest of the premium search partner network is also not covered in this report.
How Does This Relate to Recent Adense Activities?
Today’s release of the Placement Performance Report was sort of an AhHa moment for me. I feel this has a direct relation to the recent mass banning of Adsense accounts. Everyone at the time, including me, assumed the bans were in relation to MFA or Arbitrage activity. Instead I can now see that Shoemoney hit the nail on the head when he said the bans were only in relation to poor conversion performance.
Google was basically trying to make a quick sweep for some of the worst converting accounts on the network. It’s like when a friend calls you up and says they want to come over and hang out. You have to run around straightening up before they get there and see what a mess things really are.
My opinion is reinforced by the fact that although I have had the Placement Performance Report since April, I can now only access data for that report since June 1st.
What Does This Change?
In one word, everything.
Gone are the days when you can throw up hundreds of information sites relating to strong PPC terms and expect great Adsense earnings. If your site isn’t converting you can expect to be filtered out.
At the same time, if you have a site related to high dollar PPC terms that does convert well for its specific ads, you can expect earnings to rise as advertisers recognize you as a good source of traffic. Direct advertising deals should also increase in relation to these stats.
Before, the strategy most took with the content network was to bid some crazy low PPC amount and let the chips fall where they may. Now advertisers can bid in relation to the market and have the confidence of their ability to detect and filter out any non performing publishers.