Twice now we’ve experimented with the Google Content Network and it’s been the same story both times. As soon as you activate it the clicks come pouring in, and they are mostly garbage. There are two problems with this – the economic and google juice cost (I use google juice for any stat that affects googles black box ranking that you are given when you play the game).
So many clicks get expensive quickly, our campaigns easily jump 4x in cost. More disappointing is the impact on clickthrough rates. Based on feedback from SES in Chicago I’m shooting for half a percent and when the content network is on we often drop down to one one hundredth. As soon as we switch it off it pops right back up to the .4-.5 range. I’d like to think that Google is taking this into account in the scoring, but no guarantees of that. It’s not a tough decision though, as long as the network makes the cost per lead 3 times what I’m willing to pay, it’s a no brainer.
I’d love to hear if anyone else out there has seen similar numbers.