What is it?

Google’s new Placement Performance Report allows advertisers to view the sites where their ads are being displayed on the content network. In the not-so-distant past, advertisers were relegated to “all or nothing” content strategies. This new transparency allows for greater flexibility in account management and will help to quiet growing opposition to the use of Google’s content network.

What will you find in this report?

  • Domain and URL of content sites where your ads displayed.
  • Ad variation (i.e. text vs. image) broken down by URL.
  • Basic PPC data (i.e. impressions, clicks, CTR, etc.) broken down by URL.
  • Conversion data broken down by URL.

Google's ever growing list of reports!

How can you use this report as a tool?

First and foremost, this report removes any mystery about your ads on the content network. But the key question is: what are the appropriate actions to take with this important resource?

  • For advertisers seeking conversions, this report clearly defines which URLs are performing the best.
  • This information could then be used to focus on those high converting sites with a Site Targeting campaign or to try and increase performance by stepping up on bid management (separate content bids from search bids).
  • On the flip side, the sites that aren’t converting could then be added as negative sites with the Site Exclusion Tool.
  • While going through the list of URLs, if a site is found that is completely irrelevant to your keywords – this is an easy source for finding and adding appropriate negative keywords.

Other helpful info:

Currently, the Placement Performance Report is not available to all advertisers. Since this is in beta testing, it is available to advertisers on a request basis. Once requested, it can take up to a week before the report is available in your Reporting Center. The report can be run at the Ad Group, Campaign or Account levels, with a secondary filter for Domain or URL. It can be run with both domain and URL, or just simply the domain.

Google has once again stressed the fact that when dealing with the content network, avoid concentrating on your click-through-rate. Content CTR’s are typically lower and do not affect your quality scores. As the follow up to that point, Google is also telling advertisers to focus on conversions as the main decision maker. Interestingly enough, conversions and conversion rates are set as default columns in this report (as opposed to manually adding them with Advanced Options).

Default report columns, including conversions!

The first time that I took this report for a “spin” I ran numbers from January 1, 2007 through April 30, 2007. This of course peaked my curiosity and formed the question, “How far back can I run this report?” Well, the official answer (courtesy of my Google Rep) is December 2, 2006. This is the oldest date that can be run for the Placement Performance Report, and anything beyond that will remain a mystery!