Google AdWords Accounts Hit With "Low Share of Voice" Notice

Sep 23, 2009 • 8:50 am | comments (3) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google AdWords

Yesterday, many advertisers have been complaining in the Google AdWords Help forums that many of their keywords and campaigns now have the warnings, "Low Share of Voice." Here is a screen capture of the warning:

google adwords low share of voice

We have many threads on the topic and many complaints from Google AdWords advertisers. A Google AdWords representative chimed in, but he/she really did not have much to say, outside of we hear you, we are listening and good luck. Here is what the AdWords rep said:

That said, my apology for not getting to this thread earlier. Long story short, I have been looking into this since I first saw this thread a couple of hours ago - and am trying to get to the bottom of things. At this point, though, I am sorry to say that I don't have any definitive information.

However, a tech contact with whom I have been working had an interesting comment that I'll pass along. He has been able to check the accounts of a few folks who have written us, and he is seeing no drop in traffic as has been reported here. His thought is that those in this thread who have reported such a drop may have been looking at their stats mid-day, rather than for a complete day - thus the apparent drop in stats. And, looking at the time stamps of these posts, I think that is a real possibility.

In any case, my colleague Stephen who has posted here in the past as 'AdWordsPro Stephen' (and whom Sarah and I are actively be trying to lure back into the forum) will continue to look into this, and update the thread when he has a clearer picture of what's up.

In the meantime, my apology for the confusion and discomfort. Not fun, I know.

I am not sure if they released a new update that impacted many accounts or if this is a bug. I guess time will tell.

Forum discussion at Google AdWords Help.

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Patti Fousek

09/23/2009 03:40 pm

My client accounts are aslo affected by this. Not knowing the cause is not acceptible.

marc kroon

09/23/2009 04:34 pm

Just one more thing that makes Google awesome at what they do. I'm sure companies that don't have a knowledgeable or dedicated PPC manager are going to just throw money at these alerts till they go away.

Chris Zaharias

09/23/2009 06:22 pm

I've listened to virtually every Google earnings call, and each time an analyst has asked a question about monetization improvements, Google execs have responded by talking about Quality Score and 'quality improvements'. That QS and monetization are synonymous inside Google, coupled with 10-50 'quality improvements' per quarter, together means that Quality Score (and, by extension, Share of Voice) is not the Newtonian, relatively stable system Google tells advertisers and agencies it is, but much more like a quantum particle whose traits can only be understood in terms of probability. Probability --> Otherwise said, Google's system is a real-time yield management system working on Google's behalf. While publisher & advertiser interests being met feeds into the system, ultimately the system's goal is yield maximization, and to that goal static explanations (like the ones we in the SEM community are always trying to get out of Google on topics such as Share of Voice warnings) are like straight answers on quantum entanglement = either you won't get a straight answer, or the truth will blow you away. . . So What? --> This means that advertisers and agencies need to 'instrument' their SEM efforts with a yield optimization system - working to *their* ROI goals and optimizing to better [=ROI] data than even Google has - in order to continue to thrive. Thrive, first in the yield-drive, fuzzy, world of Google, and thrive second in the wider advertising world - radio, TV, print, banner, etc - that Google's more efficient system is bound to grow into. IMO, we in the SEM community need to stop trying to get a static definition of Quality Score or related aspects like Share of Voice, as it will never come for the reasons stated above. Instead, we need to build our own yield maximization systems so that we know at all points in time the nature of the buying intent in the traffic we buy, and optimize our traffic buy and our sites (our businesses, ultimately) to our own goals. Do that and you can give as well as you get from Google.

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