Five Questions for Andrew Goodman

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_Andrew Goodman traded dreams of tenure-track comfort for dot-com bubble visions when he co-founded “Traffick.com”:http://www.traffick.com/, an acclaimed “guide to portals,” in 1999. In 2000, he founded “Page Zero Media”:http://www.page-zero.com/, a Toronto-based consulting firm which maximizes and tracks the performance of search advertising campaigns for a wide variety of clients. Andrew is author of “_Winning Results with Google AdWords_”:http://www.amazon.ca/exec/obidos/ASIN/0072257024/imho0b-20 (McGraw-Hill, 2005) set to be released July 22nd._
*One Degree: Tell us about your new book, “Winning Results with Google AdWords”.*
My original “Google AdWords Handbook”:http://www.page-zero.com/products_asroi.asp has sold north of 12,000 copies, even though it was self-published by a novice “publisher.” So it’s safe to say there is heavy demand for the topic. This book, with the help of the editorial team at McGraw-Hill, is intended for a wider mainstream audience, but it doesn’t shy away from advanced material. The publisher and I honestly think it’s going to be up there with more general business books because so many of the trends affecting marketers today are felt acutely by search marketers, who understand how to reach consumers with highly specific needs. I place a lot of emphasis on how to shape a campaign so you can measure results without needing a PhD in statistics.
*One Degree: “AdWords”:https://adwords.google.com/select/ creates incredible transparency into the efficiency of every element of an online campaign. But a lot of marketers (particularly those without a direct marketing background) don’t seem prepared to take advantage of testing and tracking. What are the key skills needed by those in charge of a company’s AdWords programs?*


I’m hearing a fair bit of consensus in our business that with reasonable math skills, a solid liberal arts education, or background in web development (any of the above, or other hard and soft skill sets that translate into comfort with acting on data), you can learn on the job. Those with advanced degrees in anything can tend to overthink certain aspects of the process rather than keeping a project in holistic balance. I think it does help if you’ve taken a stats course at some point along the way.
*One Degree: Are there unique issues facing Canadian marketers looking to use Adwords and SEM in general?*
The volume will usually be quite low, so it may feel like too much effort for not enough payback. Language is not really a unique issue. Canada only has two official ones, so that doesn’t add much complexity.
*One Degree: You’ve committed a lot of your time and energy to writing and blogging about Search Marketing. Do you feel this was time well-spent?*
While saying too much can have its drawbacks, let’s face it, there are thousands of vendors out there. People are much quicker to hire someone they “know.” Even if it didn’t pay for itself per se, I would still be doing it. Insofar as the blogosphere is the new public square, we bloggers are participating in an important tradition of public discourse that stretches back 6,000 years (or more).
*One Degree: Are marketers (and maybe people in general) becoming too dependent on Google?*
Yes, if you’re just looking at online. But marketers and advertisers are still much more dependent on other forms of media and older direct marketing methods. Some of those methods work, to be sure. But I find it hard to fret much about Google dependency at this stage when General Motors is spending $3.3 billion a year on offline ads. That’s about the same as Google’s total revenues from all advertisers for 2004! Still, the pattern that has developed online is interesting. The combined market valuation of $130 billion currently enjoyed by “Yahoo”:http://www.yahoo.com/ and “Google”:http://www.google.com/ is 50+ times higher than three leading ad networks and/or ad serving technology companies (“Aquantive”:http://www.aquantive.com/, “24/7 Real Media”:http://www.247realmedia.com/, “Doubleclick”:http://www.doubleclick.com/) plus the third-place paid search broker (FindWhat, now called “Miva”:http://www.miva.com/). The companies like Google, Yahoo, “eBay”:http://www.ebay.com/, and “Amazon”:http://www.amazon.com/ who have the brand and the *primary* control over Internet traffic have enormous clout compared to various middlemen and wannabes. In other words, they’re portals. As online and offline media consumption patterns converge, who owns what is going to be a very important question to watch. We’re already seeing Google and Yahoo moving in on local search, for example. Stay tuned.

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