Does "Set It & Forget It" Still Work In The PPC Game?

Mar 27, 2007 - 8:11 am 5 by

In the old days of the Pay Per Click management days, you used to hear the phrase - "set it and forget it." Meaning, you set up your pay per click campaign in Google AdWords, Yahoo! Search Marketing and others. Then you watch it for a couple weeks, make some tweaks and when things are running smoothly, you just walk away and let it run itself.

A WebmasterWorld thread asks if the "set it and forget it" practice still works? With Google AdWords changing their algorithms every 6 months or so. With Yahoo! recently upgrading to a new algorithm in Panama. With adCenter launching with more features to shake a stick at... Does the "set it and forget it" methodology still apply?

It appears not.

Everyone in the thread seems to agree that for the most part, that concept is long gone. You at least have to check in weekly for even the smallest campaigns. I like netmeg's response:

I have one client who has set a rather small (in my opinion, TOO small, considering the breadth of his product line) daily budget for what he wants to spend on AdWords, and he hired me a couple years ago to fix his existing AdWords account and kind of oversee it. I added as many phrases as I felt I could within the strictures of his low budget, and then I turned the Budget Optimizer on most of his campaigns, and just let it run. He absolutely will not raise the budget, so there was a limit to what I could do with it. Once a week I go in to see if anything looks weird, and anything that has gone inactive I might have to move off to a separate campaign (that's not on Budget Optimizer) in order to raise the CPC, but that's about it. It means a lot of his positions are down in the 5-8 range, or even lower - but it probably gets him more overall clicks for the money, and all I can do is hope that when people click on the ads, if they don't buy what they're clicking on, they'll see something else they're interested in. In any case, we do get conversions, and the client seems to be fairly satisfied with it. It's not the way I prefer to do it, but it's what I could do with what was handed me.

That's the closest to auto-pilot that I can get.

Would love to hear more on this from others.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.


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