Flying Blind with Ask.com
August 31, 2007
So, I had a conversation with my Ask.com customer representative yesterday and I couldn’t help but come to this conclusion: Managing an Ask.com campaign is like flying blind, and by blind I don’t mean that you can’t see where you’re going, I mean there are no instruments in the cockpit to gauge your altitude, speed, or anything.
Ask has a quality score similar to AdWords and Yahoo, only theirs is less complex. From what I gathered during my conversation yesterday, the main focus of Ask’s score is your click-through rate. There may be other attributes that contribute to their score, but the largest puzzle piece is click-through rate. This ranking/scoring strategy is nothing new; however, Ask doesn’t reveal your impressions or click-through rate. This is where the flying blind comes in.
Without knowing your impressions or CTR, how are you supposed to optimize your account and achieve a better performance? And what’s surprising is that my customer representative said that there are currently no plans to alter the interface, or reporting functions, in order to give advertisers this level of visibility, which isn’t a very high level of visibility anyway.
For my client, Ask is a second tier campaign that generates low traffic, but low-cost conversions. It’s worth my time to make this campaign as successful as possible since it does generate supplemental traffic. However, until Ask can provide advertisers with more visibility, and don’t require that advertisers fly blind without knowing our speed or altitude, they are going to be stuck in that second tier status.
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