Tagged adsense

Google AdSense now integrated with Google Analytics

When I signed in to my Google AdSense account today, I noticed a link up near the top of the page that invited me to integrate my AdSense with my Analytics account. I followed along through some simple steps to add the AdSense to existing sites, then chose one to be a primary. The primary site will automatically integrate with AdSense data. Any other sites you want to track require that a small snippet of JavaScript be inserted on any page you want to tie in between AdSense and Analytics.

Google says the service takes a few hours to set up and get running. I’m curious to see what I find tomorrow…

Google being sued for selling trademarked AdWordsâ„¢

The Motley Fool is reporting that Google is being sued by American Airlines for selling sponsored ads targeted at the keyword ‘American Airlines,’ a trademark of the airline. Here’s an excerpt from the full article, located on Fool.com:

To understand the situation a little better, fire up Google and punch in “American Airlines.” Google’s AdWords program serves up sponsored results along with the organic search-engine results. Online advertising accounts for as much as 99% of Big G’s revenues — it’s clearly a big part of the Google model.

Your mileage may vary, but when I searched this morning for “American Airlines” (in quotes, but it works just as well without them), I saw several third-party ads. The most prominent ad, at the top of the page, is for AMR’s own AA.com website. However, the column on the right features rival airlines and portals that promise discounted airfares.

The ads themselves don’t feature the American Airlines brand. However, the ads wouldn’t be on the page if the sponsors hadn’t bid on the trademarked term. To be sure, I logged into AdWords and saw that I could bid on the term “American Airlines” for as little as $0.04 per click. (Minimum bids vary depending on ad quality, even within the same keywords.)

Is this right? Is this wrong? The only thing for sure is that a lot of money is weighing on the answer.

What will make this one really juicy for the lawyers is that, with most searches on the web being case-insensitive (as far as I can tell–if someone knows differently, please feel free to comment), the trademarked term ‘American Airlines’ and the perfectly reasonable search for ‘american airlines,’ aka airlines offering service in america, are one and the same in a search engine’s mind.

American Airlines

Obviously, the larger issue is whether or not things like ‘Disneyland’ can be bought as a search term when trademarked by a company, but it’s a little more interesting in the case of American, whose decades-old choice of a name designed to build brand recognition might actually confound an already complicated issue even more.

Another interesting point that the article makes is that, if trademarks are ruled off-limits in advertising media like Google, it will also allow the trademark holder to withhold advertising funds from Google for those particular terms, as there would be little reason to advertise for a search term when no competitor could:

It is easy to see that Google could lose a lot of money if it caves in on these cases. If no one else is allowed to bid on “American Airlines” and other AMR trademarks, AMR has no reason to bid on it, either. It is the top organic search-engine result.

Of course, on a more personal level, I will be interested to see how this case is resolved, and what effect, if any, it will have on the blogosphere, many of whom rely heavily on Google AdSenseâ„¢ for their blog’s revenue stream.

adsense, adwords, google, american airlines, american, airlines, lawsuit, trademark, trade mark

Google’s new pay-per-action ads

Google announced today that it will begin offering its new pay-per-action ad service to its higher-traffic publishers (over 500 conversions per month). While it’s great that Google is offering this new service, I’m not exactly sold on how effective it will be for publishers.

Google’s standpoint is that the pay-per-action ad, which only pays the publisher once the person who’s clicked the ad signs up for a service or completes another such task on the advertiser’s site, will cut down on frivolous or downright illegal clicks by people being paid to do so, or bloggers cheating on their own sites. I’m sure this will happen, and I’m sure it will push more companies towards online advertising that have been hitherto reticent to jump into such a murky and unknown market.

On the other hand, as a publisher, I’m not sure I want to be responsible for someone else’s crappy site. For example, if Google puts an ad on a page that links to a site that wants its users to sign up for a free service, but the form is so long and intrusive that less than 1% of the people who click the ad end up signing up, I don’t want that ad on my site anymore. So, the solution could be as simple as the problem, if Google has acknowledged it and is planning to account for it: rank the ads by their overall conversion rate across all publishers. Then, if a particular ad performs terribly no matter what site the users are coming in from, push it down the list, so publishers can display ads for better written sites in their valuable ad space. Of course, right now Google makes its money from those very publishers, so I’m sure the way they display the ads is the same as for the standard AdSense–the more the advertiser pays, the better their position.

google, google adsense, adsense, adwords, google adwords, online advertising, pay per click, pay per action, pay-per-action, pay-per-click, advertising, ad