Part of managing a reputation online is understanding where your site and your brand is appearing and how that can affect both user’s and search engine’s perceptions of your brand and website. This can be the case when there are other sites that talk about your site or brand, other sites that link to yours, review sites, blogs, etc. This can also be the case when we talk about Pay-Per-Click.
When it comes to PPC, there is vast opportunity to gain visibility on 3rd party websites, via Google’s Content Network, for example. With AdWords, advertisers can opt to have their text or display ads shown on other sites in Google’s network. A few of the sites that Google prominently cites as being in the content network are highly reputable:
However, there are ways that you can and should determine where your ads are actually showing (there are 1,000’s of sites of varying quality in addition to the handful Google mentions above), should you decide to leverage the content network. By understanding where you are appearing, you can manage your visibility and potentially choose to NOT show on sites that you deem undesirable. Even though Google’s network is one of the biggest and best around, there are still sites within it that may not be ideal for all advertisers. So, how do you determine where your ads might be showing? It’s simple and can be easily found in one of two places – your campaign tabs directly in the AdWords interface and also in AdWords reporting center.
In the AdWords interface, assuming you are currently advertising on the Content Network (if you’re not sure, check out this article), navigate to the “Networks” tab and find the “Automatic Placements” – click “Show Details”
You then see all of the sites where Google is placing your ads, along with performance data, and an easy way to select and exclude the sites that you deem to be poor matches or under-performers. Simply select the placement(s) you wish to stop showing on and then click “Exclude Placements”. Voila – much like excluding a negative keyword from your Search campaigns.
To run a report that you can schedule and have sent to you on a regular basis, go to Reports and run a “Placement Performance Report”. This will show the sites on the content network where your ads have been placed. It will also show your ad’s performance on those sites (clicks, cost, conversions, etc.), which can also help to determine from where you are receiving valuable traffic.
By managing your Content Network visiblity, you not only ensure that your brand is associated with the sites you want it be, but you also ensure that your dollars are well spent on content network sites that are delivering results.