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Posted on May 2, 2008

Crime & Punishment

chris
Crime & Punishment
chris
Posted on May 2, 2008

If you loved the book . . .

then Position Preference is the feature for you! Google transforms the otherwise mundane job of applying position preference into (when applied to an online store) an epic adventure.

Not so long ago, we applied the position preference feature for an online store. The Adwords account includes over 300 ad groups, and 42,000 keywords. Implementation must be completed through the online interface, and each set of postbacks can take up to 3 minutes. That means that each ad group can take an average of 4.5 minutes (say 5 minutes), which translates to about 1,500 elapsed minutes for the account, or about 25 man-hours to complete. Isn’t it grand?

The only thing I can deduce from this unfortunate inefficiency is that Google isn’t so keen to promote the wide-spread use of position preference. It must take up a lot of processing time or hard drive space or something. It certainly seems to eat bandwidth.

A Few Pointers

If you’re applying position preference to an online store, and haven’t read Crime & Punishment in the past couple years, then bring it along. With all the post-back time, you may be able to slog through the entire book, before you complete the Position Preference Implementation.

I wouldn’t advise using Internet Explorer for performing Adwords maintenance, but this is especially true if you’re implementing Position Preference. One of our guys tried it, and fell hopelessly behind the other two. It thrashed his memory, taking up over 4x Firefox’s usage of 200,000K. Crime & Punishment is an interesting read, but that’s no reason to read it whilst groggy, with the lights dimmed.

Make sure you base your positions on something logical, so you or some other bright spot is not tempted to change them later.  Do I need to say that you should target a range based on something logical, not arbitrary?  For more on that, read Setting Targeted Ad Positions.

Position Preference Maneuvers

Position preference allows you to implement several PPC manueuvers, including a Flat Top, and a Double Nelson. These are PPC tactics which have as their purpose, skewing spending towards long-tail keywords (Double Nelson), or ensuring close to 100% impression share without destroying the ad space (Flat Top).