PPC – I’m Impressed!

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This morning, I was performing my usual routine of poring over our Atlas campaign reports, when I noticed a spike in non-converting traffic on one of our Ask PPC keywords. I immediately went to work gathering the usual data to ask for a refund for poor quality clicks. Turned out the clicks were from one of their partners, who’d been sending us crappy traffic all along – but in small pieces, so I couldn’t pinpoint it easily like I could today. I sent the info to my rep at Ask, not expecting to hear anything right away.

In 1.5 hours, he emailed me back. And it wasn’t just to say “hey, I got your email and I’m working on it.” Nope – he had already talked to his product team, pulled our ads from this partner’s site, and processed the refund! I was stunned. The refund didn’t surprise me (it wasn’t a huge sum of money), but removing this partner from our distribution was a huge bonus that I wasn’t expecting – I thought we were just stuck with them. Over 2 months ago I had the same issue with Yahoo – and I’m still waiting to hear something, anything, from them.

Ask just won major brownie points with me. I was having trouble keeping our ROI at a decent level, and in fact had considered shutting the whole program down. Now, I have renewed faith that we can make this work after all. It’s an all-too-rare feeling in PPC, especially for an engine that’s still considered second-tier. I’m starting to believe the stuff I’ve been reading about Ask’s quiet move towards becoming a viable alternative to “the bigs” in search.

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