Que the “bom bom” from Law & Order Special Victims Unit.

June 22nd, 2010
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, CA 94043

Image Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

As the PPC managers arrive at the scene of the crime, they find a bloodied and battered AdWords Report Center lying on the floor barely breathing. The culprit behind this vicious beating has left writing all over the room in which the victim lay, almost like a scene from The Shining:

“All work and no changes make Google a dull boy”

As the PPC managers leave the scene with the victim on a stretcher, they can only whisper to one another, “he’s a goner”.

AdWords Report Center Being Phased Out

As reported in this blog post a little over 2 months ago, Google is slowly moving all reporting features from the AdWords Report Center to the appropriate tabs (Campaigns, Ad Groups, Keywords, etc) found throughout an AdWords account. About 3 weeks ago I came across my first account to officially not offer Campaign, Ad Group, or Account Performance reports in the AdWords Report Center. Since that time, all of the AdWords accounts DragonSearch manages have had these reports phased out from the Report Center.

Now I’m all for improvements when it comes to PPC optimization and management, but I honestly have to question what exactly Google was thinking when they came up with the idea to phase out Report Center. As PPC managers, we are going from a centralized location to create customized reports to having to set up these reports throughout various sections of an AdWords account.

Gee Google, what’s faster in terms of report creation?

Google AdWords Report Center Process

  1. Pick a report type
  2. Select a unit of time
  3. Select date range
  4. Add or remove columns
  5. Create report

Creating Reports from Tabs in Account

  1. Navigate to appropriate tab
  2. Add appropriate columns to statistical view
  3. Select appropriate date range and apply to graph
  4. Select appropriate format/file type of report
  5. Add appropriate segments (i.e. day, click type, device, etc)
  6. Create report

Although the steps seem fairly similar between the 2 processes, keep in mind the following:

  • You cannot manually select the campaigns, ad groups, etc you want to include in reports like previously available in the AdWords Report Center so you will need to weed out “irrelevant” data sets from the file when it’s created.
  • You now need to total up statistics on your own rather than having the report already come with totals and averages.

These last 2 points may seem fairly minute, but imagine doing that on a continuous basis and then think of the typically limited amount of time we, as PPC managers, usually have in optimizing an account. The more time saved from not having to do the minute tasks, the more time available for analysis and action.

In addition to these mundane tasks, I’ve also found one of my favorite reports to no longer be available: hourly impression share.

Hourly Impression Share Data

In my opinion, one of the best reports is the hourly impression share data report. This report displays impression share, lost impression share due to budget, lost impression share due to rank, and exact impression share for a campaign at the hourly level. In essence, this report can offer insight into the following:

  • Hours with highest competition
  • Hours of least competition and times of greatest opportunity for lower costs
  • How fast a campaign’s budget is being used up
  • Effect of ad scheduling on impression shares, budget, etc.

Looking at impression shares at the hourly level can have a tremendous impact on account management and strategy as it allows you to understand what may be occurring during the typical day and what possible opportunities or remedies can be tried to improve campaign performance. Although Google has stated that they are aware of this report currently being unavailable and are working towards making it available, let me be one of the first (I think) to say:

“Hey Google! Get it together dude…fast!”

Your Thoughts

As the weeks tick by, the rest of the reports currently available in the AdWords Report Center will be migrated leaving the Report Center to die a slow death. It’s inevitable that we’ll have to adjust to this change but why did Google feel the need to change reporting functionality when there was nothing wrong with the AdWords Report Center in the first place?

What are your thoughts on this migration of reporting?

Have you come across any of your favorite reports no longer being available?

I’m very interested to hear what you have to say on this entire matter so I urge you to leave answers to these questions and your thoughts in general on these changes in the comments section.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 31, 2010 and is filed under Pay-Per-Click.

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