oogle takes a lot of abuse.  Countless blogs are devoted to breaking down everything they do, and it’s pretty clear:  People love to hate Google. Inflammatory blog titles and topics are, apparently, great social media bait. Judging from the reaction to last week’s “Your Geo Reports are Lying to You” – maybe we should spend more time ripping Google for everything they do “wrong.”

Buuuut…we won’t do that. Five years in the paid search world, and I know who my real boss is – and you don’t bite the hand that feeds you. You can point out issues, but the intent is really to draw attention to them and get them fixed, not to piss people off. In this particular case, I got the attention I wanted – a senior product manager contacted me to discuss the shortcomings of the geo-reports.

I wish I could say everything was going to get fixed right away, but it won’t. Anyone who’s ever worked with PMs and engineers knows how things get prioritized, and Google is well past the days of ultra-agile development cycles. They’re just too big for that. The good news is that it’s on the roadmap. While frustrating, getting a little attention from a real person was a nice reminder that Google isn’t just my overlord – it’s made up of hard-working professionals like you and me.

Don’t get me wrong; I am not a Google apologist. I think this was a large enough oversight that it should have been corrected years ago. That said – I’m a realist. Not everything can get fixed quickly, and I’m sure the extra features released instead of this fix (I’m not backing down that this is an error…) have helped SEMs accomplish a lot these last few years. It’s easy to get caught up in Google hate, but in the end, I’m pretty glad to have the option to chat with their product managers and to have had the support of some killer agency reps in the past (you know who you are!).

Chatting with the product manager not only gave me a chance to draw attention to this oversight (there goes that word again…) but also gave me an opportunity to give some feedback on just how SEMs use this feature. We talked about two big ones:

1)      Leverage deltas in CPCs and CVR from state to state and city to city and capitalize on market inefficiencies.

2)      Identify high-volume areas that would warrant customized messaging and break them out in separate campaigns.

(I wonder – how did this geo issue affect you?)

It took a snarky blog post to get a crack at a PM on the phone, but the outcome was what I’d hoped: it confirmed that SEMs can be part of the conversation. Instead of whining about big, bad Google, be constructive and take action. You might be pleasantly surprised in the end.

Now about getting that Google fridge….

Sean Marshall, Director of Search Engine Marketing
– Questions? Comments? Email us at blog at ppcassociates dot com.

 

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Sean Marshall
Sean Marshall is the CEO of Intended, an SEM agency founded in 2013 to provide industry-best service for SMB clients. Before Intended, Sean was the VP of Business Development of PPC Associates (now 3Q Digital). He is a huge Cal fan and has been known to win a buck or two playing online poker.