back to article Giant ad company (Google) offers tool assessing worth of ads

Google has launched a new calculator to let advertisers work out if their mobile spots are worth the money, complete with whizzing graphics and condescending video to explain the idea. Called "The Full Value Of Mobile" the calculator takes in the results from Google's Click Type Report, which can be generated from the AdWords …

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Just a word about the ads playing above

Flo has totally got it going on. Don't know what's happening there, but I like it. Sexy nerd girl.

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who are these people

Don't know about you guys but the only time I ever click on an ad, either on my pc or mobile is when my finger slips. The page then gets immediately closed. I also unconsciously filter out any ads on a webpage.

Who are all these gullable, impressionable people that are influenced so much by advertising? I don't know anyone that has ever seen an ad, clicked on it on purpose, and bought the product!

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Re: who are these people

I agree, but it's nice they spend the money on ads just in case. Pays for sites like el reg :)

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Boffin

Re: who are these people

Indeed, and I bet you don't click on links in spam too. Good boy.

But since spam is already a big business earning lots of money, I can assume lots of people click on ads too

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Anonymous Coward

Re: who are these people

Me for one!

I struggle to find gifts for family (we have everything we need- food, water, shelter, transport, etc- and work so much we barely have time for wants (just finished a 120-hour week)) and every so often I'll see an advert for a product that looks promising. Even if it isn't all I hope, the retailer sometimes has something else in store that is.

And this has seen perfectly matched birthday/christmas/etc presents sourced from around the world for the last couple of years. Sometimes things built from parts brought in from the world over.

This, I find, gets a much better reception than buying gift cards or some gold-plated tat... And often is a lot cheaper!

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Ad, ha, what is it good for...

With a tiny space available, there's no room for adverts. Even free crApps are bloody annoying.

Sure, on a desktop there's space for the blinking ads, and like spam there's sure to be some dullards who'll click on the shiny button.

Ads for mobiles have to be very different.

And then there's Adblock (e.g. Atomic Web Browser in the iPhone)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Ad, ha, what is it good for...

Is Adblock / NoScript effective against complex tracking....?

Tracking by reviving deleted 'zombie' cookies....

Using Flash & ETAGS (cached sessions) as reported here about Hulu :-

http://www.adotas.com/2011/08/hulu-caught-respawning-cookies-as-etags-enter-tracking-fray/

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Devil

So an 'ad tool' eh ?

An "ad tool" for advertisers to check up on their investments... Now, without knowing exactly what it is or what it does I still dare state to think that it has "fail" written all over it.

If you want to know if using an advertising service such as Google or Bing actually works then simply check your website statistics and compare them with stats dating from a few months ago. Also very important: pick out a few IP addresses and check out where they're coming from!

When I had fully setup our company website the first thing I did was get a Google account in order to gain access to their Google webmaster tools. Excellent service, just as the Bing webmaster tools are btw. Because I was a new 'customer' they gave me Adword credits which I could use to test their service.

And what do you know; the moment I had setup a few ads the visitor amount of the website went up by miles. Surely this seems like something worth investing in, right?

Well, not exactly. Because my webstats told me that I got referred visitors based on completely unrelated search requests than I had filled out. Sometimes it simply didn't make sense. And although my hit rates went up, my visitor rates remained fairly the same. A lot of people focus on hits,but hits mean absolutely nothing. Visitors is what it is all about; those are the guys who spent more time on your site than 1 page before they move on again.

All in all making me wonder if Google themselves didn't arrange for the increase in hits instead of actually attracting real visitors. I didn't take it so far to check out every IP to see what network it belonged to, but I sure had my suspicions. Don't forget; they're trying to sell you a service, so its in their very interest to make it look as good as possible. And there's no law forbidding them to fake the whole thing either.

Not saying this is the case; but I sure had and have serious suspicions.

So for me there are only 2 proper ad tools: AdBlock+ and NoScript.

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Mushroom

Re: So an 'ad tool' eh ?

"And there's no law forbidding them to fake the whole thing either."

There is, however, a thing called ethics. If your hypothesis is correct, one day a less-than-gruntled employee may grass on them and then their whole business model will turn to brown smelly stuff.

If such is the case, cue large legal battles with people yelling about wanting their money back.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: So an 'ad tool' eh ?

"Google fixing the hit rate" ... another conspiracy theory, however it is so easy to prove/disprove... To set up a decent adwords campaign and use analytics properly on a reasonably sized e-commerce site isn't easy and it is very hard to track exactly. If you have a pie shop in Progostan and you ad-word target "pie shops in Progostan" or target at visitors with a location of Progostan you'll probably get a good return on investment. However if you target "Pie Shops" nationwide you probably won't.

Just saying "just check your statistics and compare them to a few months ago" is a massive over-simplification.

How do you know whether those stats are reflecting what the marketing department are doing in their TV campaign or Newspaper and magazine ads? How do you know if it is because the weather is better or worse? How do you know if it is a seasonal adjustment? How do you know if the your target sector has had their bonuses paid? How do you know if it's due to the work done by the SEO team or the Web guys and their UX tweak, or the rise in your search engine listing, or whether it is your new online advertising campaign that isn't being clicked on but is putting your site/product into their conscious or sub-concious mind?

It could be all those things or one of them, or word of mouth or a viral facebook post you haven't seen yet. However setting up e-commerce goals linked to your ad-words account and you ad-words returns are generally likely to show a more pessimistic view than you would have imagined. They can only track clicks to conversions on the same machine and so you could well be making more money than Google are telling you from your ads.

as for "Sometimes it simply didn't make sense. And although my hit rates went up, my visitor rates remained fairly the same. A lot of people focus on hits,but hits mean absolutely nothing. Visitors is what it is all about; those are the guys who spent more time on your site than 1 page before they move on again."

That makes no sense at all - if your visitors are the same but your hits are going up then either you've changed your site, or they're coming into a page which has a lot of components or they are using your site a lot more per visit (a good thing!). How can you say a isot is important as they spend more time on your site than 1 page? Someone who looks at 1 page or 10 pages is still a vistor in the stats. Hits is a metric that only bandwidth and performance guys should be looking at. Anyone else would be looking at a combination of visits, page views, bounce rate and conversion as their initial stat and then visits to convert and time to convert. Bounce rate is one of the most important especially if those visitors are coming from an ad word - it's just wasted money.

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Meh

Online Ads

On a PC I generally don't mind ads, in fact I often find them useful. I've spent plenty of money buying stuff from ads. On a mobile device? No. I have never intentionally clicked on a mobile ad. I've opened up plenty by mistake but never, not once, on purpose.

With the fancy new eye following tech I expect little banner ads to move up and down the screen with your eyeballs. There simply isn't enough room on the device for an ad to be unobtrusive and it pisses me off when I have to zoom in enough to hit the close window button. The same for the 'Download Our App' screens. Leave my tiny little device window alone. If you want to pick on something pick on my giant PC monitors, not my defenseless little phone.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Online Ads

"With the fancy new eye following tech I expect little banner ads to move up and down the screen with your eyeballs. There simply isn't enough room on the device for an ad to be unobtrusive and it pisses me off when I have to zoom in enough to hit the close window button. "

And we can expect the marketingtards to rush for this, until after a few years they finally realise that if you piss people off enough with intrusive marketing, many of these people STOP buying from you even if they otherwise would have.

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GTFOH!

theres ads on the net???

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FAIL

Do adverts actually work ?

When you get a pop up advertising something, does this make you happy, or does it annoy you ? It's the equivalent of talking with someone when someone else puts their head directly between you and the person you're talking with - rude, and often punchable.

I take all adverts as a desperate attempt to part fools from their money by trying to promote something which isn't good enough to sell itself.

I think the only folk who benefit from adverts are the advertising industry who, of course, will tell you that advertising works. Not for me,.. it's more likely to put me off a product or brand.

Also, as others have mentioned, I only click an advert by accident, I would never buy from an advert - I don't think these accidental clicks are in any way accounted for, so said results are incorrect.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Do adverts actually work ?

Actually, I *have * seen ads that were interesting. Usually they were on a related site, but ever since I mistakenly clicked on a shoe ad, all I get is shoe ads. Which is the one thing I very much NOT surf the net for (I like to fit my shoes), and which seems to suggest that all these other people that are paying Google for a chance at my attention actually don't get what they pay for at all. In the end I got so fed up with that that I installed an AdBlocker (also because I find ads that expand as soon as you go near them *spectacularly* annoying). All I need now is a SURVEYblocker..

I'm OK with website ads that have a topic that relates to the subject I'm reading. Very much like a specialist magazine, it can come in handy if you're looking for something interesting. I am extremely *not* OK with ad supported freeware that does not mention so beforehand, because those ads are not free, that's my bandwidth being stolen. As for ads on mobile devices, no thanks. The screen is small as it is.

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Re: Do adverts actually work ?

Not necessarily with click-throughs, but they can get the company's name out there and in your mind. I have chosen a couple places because they advertise on sites that I like and therefore choose to support.

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Surpise, Surprise, Surprise...

More sleaze from Google.

Well who'd've thunk it?

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Devil

Phone Screen Size vs. Legible Advertisment Size.

Me thinks = nasty fights.

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Anonymous Coward

Block all mobile adds...

by replacing /etc/hosts on Android with one that maps unwanted sites to localhost. As an example see http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1916098

That's why it is critical that you can write to the root file system. And no doubt why Google and the phone providers stop you from doing it. My phone's rooted and I have a nifty /etc/hosts file in place. So I don't see ads on my phone and I don't see ads on my laptop.

Winner.

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Thumb Down

More annoying than adverts...

Are all the smug gits shouting "Ads? What ads?"

We get it, you're clever enough to download AdBlock...

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google + finished product before release = never

"there is still some way to go" ... no sh*t sherlock.

Google make some really unfinished products and push them onto users without any thought.

"Its a beta so dont blame us" ... how about airbus or boeing say that ?

Sadly too many muppets flock to anything google make simply to be the first to say they have it.

This has meant i no longer use google products for commercial uses since i cannot trust them not to push an "update" that is totally ill-thought through and makes the service worse.

When i did a trial for a paid google product the support i requested effectively told me to "search google for the answer" ... at least it was a realistic trial of what the paid experience might be like.

Google make another patronising video for an unfinished product, yawn

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google? I've heard of that.

Their IP addresses are dropped at the border routers as a waste of bandwidth.

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Facepalm

So Google has released an app

that assesses its own worth - Hmmmmm.

As an aside, I find it interesting to note how people think (or don't think) of the language involved in the tech/web/IT market - a "hit count" for a business doesn't mean much unless it relates to sales/turnover/growth. It's one of those time-honoured chestnuts, an 'easy sell' line that a lot of people still buy without much thought. A 'hit count' in a boxing match is far more relevant than a hit count from google - see what I mean?

Pay attention to language folks, ESPECIALLY from markenting/advertising.

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Bronze badge

The problem with most website ads is that once you purchase a product from one you get bombarded with onsite and email ads for similar products, which is plain daft as you already have one.So they are on a beating to nothing and just wasting revenue.

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FAIL

7 hours before

Didn't get the point of the video in the article. I find I'm totally unable to mentall construct a sequnce of events when those events are presented to me in random order, like they are in the video.

Maybe I'm just not the target market...or maybe I just don't feel like trying to pass a Google employment test when I'm watching a video...

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Pint

Fractional Pixel Banking

"How can you be in two places at once, when you are not anywhere at all ?" -- Firesign Theater

Advertising is a March 31st joke the value of which is only realized a day later.

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Anonymous Coward

Mobile ads conundrum

Mobile screens are just not going to get much bigger, so I doubt the future really is that bright for mobile ads. To work, they have to be seen, but to avoid irritating the crap out of the user, they have to allow the actual content to be visible/usable, and at these screen sizes you don't get to have your cake and eat it. The "free" TV Guide app for iOS (bizarrely they don't offer a paid ad-free version) has a whopping great flashy banner that covers about a third of the bottom of the screen; the top third is all header, leaving bugger all space to see what's actually on telly. Making the ad closable won't really help since having to repeat that every time will also annoy users to the point they'll uninstall, and almost by definition, any ad unobtrusive enough not to irritate won't even register. So like all other advertising, their propensity to eventually approach the annoyance generated by a wasp caught in your cacks limits their utility, only more so on mobile.

I reckon the future of ad-nuking on mobile - at least without rooting or jailbreaking - might be DNS or a proxy. On the desktop I use ABP etc, but I've had reasonable success getting rid of in app ads on Blackberry and iPad using OpenDNS, although only when using wifi at home/work, although a fixed IP sim isn't too expensive (AAISP in particular are pretty reasonable). OpenDNS allow blocking of whole categories, including ads, but more particularly allow 25 user set domains on a block list. If you are careful in which domains you select (just use the stats to figure out which), you should be able to zap 80 percent of in app ads. I'll always take a paid version in preference, but if there's no ad free version this reduces the number of things you have to avoid clicking on and that soiled feeling that goes with viewing ads.

I'm happy to pay for the apps and sites I find useful, but under no circumstances will I participate in doing so through advertising and the associated tracking crap that goes with it.

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Flame

You want ad-free?

... then start paying for the apps you download. And before the inevitable slew of flames/downvotes hits, think about it for a moment. A quid is nothing money to you - hell, 25 years ago many of us thought nothing of throwing a couple of quid at the latest Codemasters/Mastertronic/Firebird/whatever title, despite the fact that a lot of them turned out to be a bit poo.

Big studios and companies don't put ads in their software because they don't need to. But they seldom crank out something truly innovative, especially on the games front - that's indie territory, and because so few people are willing to pay, we're forced to turn to adverts as a means to get any kind of return for our efforts.

I would love to take the adverts out of my games. But advertising has made me several times the return that my ventures into paid games has. So if you want to be rid of advertising - without having to fight a continual battle with the OS creators, phone providers etc. - start voting with your wallets.

You may now downvote.

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