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Based on Merkle|RKG data, it seems more likely that the CSE space will condense down to a handful of powerful engines that will continue evolving to compete with Product Listing Ads. This has already started to happen, with Pronto ceasing direct feed operations last year, Facebook purchasing TheFind, and the recent acquisitions of Become and PriceGrabber by Connexity.

While none of the individual announcements were earth-shattering or will impact all advertisers dramatically in the way that Enhanced Campaigns did, there were several announcements that may be big for some specific segments, and the bigger takeaway from these largely incremental changes may be what they said about where Google sees the industry heading and where they want to take it.

While CVM has certainly not been good for the value of phrase and exact match keywords, the notion that Google has so diluted the meaning of the individual match types that they no longer matter is, in short, just not true. The difference in traffic value between different match types of the same keyword is still significant, and worth launching multiple versions of the same keyword to account for.

In recent years, Pricegrabber and the eBay Commerce Network have moved away from the traditional rate card system, allowing advertisers to submit bids of any amount for their products. The setup on each engine is slightly different but the idea is the same: let advertisers bid each product based on its predicted value.

In this Google Hangout, we share examples of how advertisers are using Estimated Total Conversions to better optimize their programs and gain customer insights. We also discuss what challenges and opportunities changing consumer behavior poses to advertisers, especially with regard to mobile devices.

Learn the most important tactics for getting your display campaigns ready for the holiday season in this video from RKG’s Director of Display Management, Michelle Alfano.

The differences in smartphone versus desktop/tablet SERPs, the clumsiness of users’ thumbs, and the large difference in CPCs between devices dictate that advertisers have to approach these spaces differently. Naturally, advertisers might be questioning if there are differences in how shorter queries perform versus longer queries.

Part two of our three-part video series on Google Shopping Campaigns covers best practices for structuring your new Google Shopping Campaigns, along with pros and cons for three potential campaign structures.

Part one of our three-part video series on Google Shopping Campaigns takes you through key differences between Google Shopping Campaigns and legacy PLA campaigns.

Google announced last night that, starting in September, they will no longer respect the intentions of advertisers to have AdWords exact and phrase match function as they have historically. Instead, both match types will now bring in traffic on close variants by mandate.

Many marketers have misunderstood the Shopping Campaign priority feature as allowing advertisers to specify that Google serve a particular product or set of products over other relevant products in lower priority campaigns. This is not the case.

Google’s recently released whitepaper outlining recommendations for the soon to be mandatory Shopping Campaign model offers up best practices for feed optimization, campaign structure, bid management, and mobile strategy. While there’s plenty to dissect in this whitepaper, I found it interesting that Google chose not to mention item ID level targets at all in their structural recommendations.

As mobile traffic continues to grow, advertisers should take full advantage of Bing Ads’ advanced device targeting capabilities.

Google’s ‘Step Inside AdWords’ presentation at the AdWords Performance Forum delivered several updates for advertisers. Here we’ll take a look at each and what their respective impact on the paid search landscape may be.

Google now offers demographic geo-targets for the United States based on average household income (HHI) for advertisers to use in setting bid modifiers based on the wealth of the area users are searching from. At RKG, we’ve fully explored how these income level targets behave, how much traffic is attributed to them in different set ups, and their usefulness in the future of geo-bidding.

George Michie discusses how the AdWords Enhanced Campaigns model could open up some exciting possibilities for advertisers in the future — should Google choose to share some of its unrivaled insights into user context.

Three critical strategies for optimizing small businesses’ local paid search programs.

While Enhanced Campaigns will ultimately be a very good thing they do present challenges. In this video we discuss two of those challenges: targeting and bidding.

Shoppers stay up later on Cyber Monday to take advantage of deals last minute. How could this affect your paid search strategy?

After you have established and optimized your Digital Marketing RFP process, it is time to develop the core questions. The following is not intended to be an exhaustive list but are some sample open-ended questions you can use in your own RFP.

New 2013 search engine features and products can help you take full advantage of the upcoming holiday season.

Google often serves broad match keywords with higher bids over lower bid exact match terms, and PLA autotargets have a similar issue.

Learn how Shopzilla updating it’s Smart Pricing program to a Single Rate bidding model affects merchant’s actual CPCs.

Learn how RKG’s George Michie thinks about big data, algorithms and machines making marketing decisions.

We recently had the opportunity to partner with Yahoo! to review performance of our clients on the Yahoo! Bing Network. Suffice it to say, the numbers speak for themselves.