Richard Keys PPC – The best thing since women referees

While it is easy to criticise poor PPC, I believe it is equally important to commend well-thought-out ads.  Yesterday we stumbled across a fantastic advert from the UK television station Channel 4.

The advert effectively utilises current affairs within the UK at both the keyword and ad copy level to increase awareness of the new programme. Of course Richard Keys is now also ‘out on a limb’, and if he did this search do you think he would “hit that” advert? Boink.

For anyone who is asking “Who the hell is Richard keys?” please read the following article –


01 2011

Who wants a free trail?

Palm Canyon trail
Image via Wikipedia

Just saw this advert and was sorely disappointed when the landing page didn’t contain monkeys, pirates or treasure (common associations with trails, right?). Anyway, this advert has nothing to do with our beloved use of free paths, instead someone just misspelt trial. Oh well.

For those who do enjoy trails and found this blog post misleading, please accept our sincere apologies.


01 2011

Cheep Shoos

This example is not exactly Earth shattering but we received it 2 weeks ago and it is still running today.

Sitelinks are a tool proven to increase CTR for your ads. Used correctly these will boost your CTR on average by 10% according to Google.

An incorrectly spelled site link may just put off a potential customer. Looking around the Gieves and Hawkes site it’s obvious they sell high quality, premium menswear (I’ve always fancied a good pair of Chelsea Boots myself). It’s not inconceivable that the type of customer who will spend upwards of £200 on a pair of shoes could be put off from clicking on an advert because of a misspelling.

Having said that, the Secret Sales ad seems to be giving 80% off with another 25% off – what a bargain! Could I get those £295 boots for £45? Of course not, in fact Secret Sales don’t even have G&H listed as a brand they stock (I had to sign up to get this information!)

Oh well, the search for cheap shoes continues…


11 2010

Time After Time

When Cyndi Lauper wrote Time after Time, did she envisage that her lyrics could be used by a PPC blog post to shame out of date PPC adverts? Probably not.

Here are some of the additional out-of-date PPC adverts that I found amusing and then forgot to post about… classic.

So what has happened? Well nothing, that’s the problem.  Please note that the World Cup betting adverts were sent to us after the World Cup, otherwise that wouldn’t really be funny (unless you think gambling is some massive joke).

Here are some possible explanations to why we have out of date adverts:

  • Some people just don’t want to live in the present – it’s too noisy and fast. Their only hope of salvation is to create nostalgic PPC ads to lead to a simpler time,  like the Dogs Baltic 2008… ahhh.
  • Marty from back to the future is now an accomplished PPC specialist who just can’t keep track of what month, year or day it is.

  • The Dogs Baltic could however be a themed hotel, and rather than taking it’s guests back to the 60’s or 70’s  disco era, has opted for the more niche 2008 period, where the term ‘credit crunch’ sounded like a type of sandwich and Jacko jokes were perfectly acceptable.
  • In an attempt to draw in new customers, some bookies will even take bets on past events.
  • Or… someone forgot to check the date, left their PPC advert running for years or  just doesn’t care about the finer things in life.

We’ll be honest and admit, everyone’s found a Christmas ad still running in march hidden away in that little ad group. We’re happy to note that both adverts are no longer showing – until next time out-of-date advert!


11 2010

Angel of Death – the danger of dynamic text

Dynamic ad text in PPC ads can be very useful for improving click-through, but we know you sometimes have to be careful. You have to be especially careful if your landing page then also uses dynamic text insertion in any way. Especially if the original search term was a competitors brand term. Especially if a user can then quickly change the text that’s shown on the page as they please.

Step forward Angel water coolers, with dynamic text after their brand name…

Angel of death water cooler

As you can see some people have been having some fun with this already, with one blog describing nicely how to play around with the Angel Springs quirk. They describe how there’s a section in the URL

that sets the title on the page, just change it as you wish apparently. Just try not to get scared by the woman on their website who’s eyes seem to be following me around the room. Scary.

Read the rest of this entry →


09 2010

Ladies, Debenhams says your feet stink

196/365 Need new shoes
Creative Commons License photo credit: stuartpilbrow

According to Debenhams PPC targeting, Women’s shoes posses a rather pungent smell and they have a sale?! Does anyone hear negatives? Thanks to Russel for submitting this PPC advert!

The ‘Stinky Feet Remedy’ is nicely targeted, even ‘Odour Shoes’ at Amazon I can deal with (for the moment) but Debenhams Blue Cross Sale?!  Talk about a waste of ad title!  Are searchers suppose to magically appreciate a link between the Debenhams blue cross sale and smelly shoes? Maybe you guys are targeting a niche market of smelly feet appreciators?! Whatever the case, it all “Ends Sun” Boo!

This advert is far too generic. The only keyword matching from the search query to the ad copy is within the display URL that  falls under ‘womens shoes’.  Is this a blatant indication that women have smelly feet or have Debenhams failed on a number of PPC issues such as negatives, advert copy, targeting and common sense?!

You know we don’t like PPC adverts with no relevance to the searched keyword. Well done guys. Just sticking shoes and women in at the end of the URL isn’t going to make it any more relevant. Lets run a Search Query Performance Report (SQPR) and make our adgroups a little more targeted please. If you don’t, you’ll end up with adverts that bear little relevancy to the searchers query.  Wave goodbye to your spend.

Right enough ranting,  we’re off to the Blue Cross Sale to smell some stinky women’s shoes! Catch you all next time!


07 2010

Brighton is so 2009

We received this post from Owen the other day – Thanks a lot Owen for this one!

This PPC advert really underlines the importance of having an end date to seasonal or time limited adverts, unless you want to end up on our page of course.

For those who don’t know there is a very simple way of ensuring that your ads are not showing after the campaign has ended. Simply go to your campaign settings and set your end date to say the 1st of January in this case. If Ambassador Brighton had done this – last year – they would have been able to celebrate 2010.

We wonder if they are stuck in some kind of a time loop somewhere and keep repeating the year 2009 over and over again. If they are, this advert is fully excused, but we don’t really believe in such things as time loops Ambassador Brighton is hereby the proud owner of a blogpost dedicated especially to them and their lack of time management (the ad is still showing btw). Congratulations!

Watch your end dates guys!


07 2010

Insert Article Headline….

Interesting first sentence introducing main point, followed by introduction to rest of blog.

Main blog content containing the bulk of the topic information, including some sort of discussion. Summary of discussion and recommendation.

Snappy ending sentence.

Wow, wasn’t that bloody insightful?!

Didn’t think so. Templates aren’t for actual reader consumption, so why would you create the following advert?

Well, there’s only two possibilities;

A) You’ve hired some very cheap but dreadfully inexperienced sheep to create your PPC adverts (Baaa)


B) You’ve stormed the stupidity castle and launched your adverts without realising your advert is about as targeted as blind mans aim (we would like to state that this is on personal experience; we have yet to meet a blind individual who has beaten a fully-sighted individual on a range of stringent and gruelling aim tests without aid.  We will  recall this statement as soon as we encounter such an individual).

Templates are a great starting point for creating PPC copy, but you do actually have to change them.

What’s the solution?

Well, we would strongly recommend against hiring farm-yard animals for your paid advertising. It’s not cost effective and it’s slightly cruel!  We would also urge you to manually review your adverts, as it pays to be careful.

By giving your adverts a ‘sense check’ you can drive down your overall CPC, improve your CTR and not end up on the wrong side of Yourppcsucks’ wrath. Ouch.

A big thank you to Alex Cohen at Click Equations for providing us with this fantastically bad PPC catch!  Sorry about delay Alex.


07 2010

From Easy to Sleazy

Here’s an embarrassing ad that Matt submitted to us (thanks).

This bad PPC advert exemplifies why a lack of negative keyword research, market research and laziness can land you a blog post on yourppcsucks.  Pat on the back people!

Here’s a step-by-step explanation of how you can emulate Easyjet’s terrible brand advert.

Step one: Create a brand campaign, throw in some brand variations that that ‘guys’ around the office use.

Step two:  Don’t bother using any negatives – they’re for product adverts.  No one dislikes us anyway, we’re orange.

Step three:  Search Query.. what?

Hey presto, you now have a badly targeted PPC advert! Hurray. Woop Woop.

So what can our lucky guests get from this advert? Well,  your beloved brand keywords could be linked to a range of insults that will provide hilarity at the expensive of your hard earned brand. Furthermore, you may further encourage more people to further hate/dislike/loath your brand. Oh, and you’ll waste your time and money.

Nevertheless, you can still over-charge on aeroplane peanuts and laugh at the silly small people who dislike your company.

easyJet Titles

Creative Commons License photo credit: WexDub

Alternatively, next time you create a brand campaign, you could have a look around the internet for positive and negative brand phrases used! Or, you could create a brand advert that targets unhappy searchers (rock the boat moment?!).


05 2010

I’ll have one other unique queries to go please.

Oh Yes,  it’s the classic ‘copy and paste everything from your search query performance report’ mistake.  This lovely short cut does you wonders in terms of wasted spend, damaged brand and general mockery from the PPC world.

Before you scurry off to check your keyword lists, take a second to review some embarrasing relevancy ads.  Hate to go on about dynamic text, but for the love of PPC, don’t add keywords like ‘other unique queries’!

Money Experts are serious about saving you some money and wasting their own. They’ve even included ‘2 other unique queries’ in the display URL. Boom – that’s dedication.

Plumber Joe,  “Sorry but it’s a burst pipe. I”ll need to buy 1 other unique queries, should take a couple of days.”  Phew – thanks plumbworld!

Next time you conduct a search query performance report, please just look at the keywords before you add them!


04 2010