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Sked By Time, Now At Google AdSense

By - June 15, 2006

Slowly but surely Google is checking off all the various things that irk traditional advertisers about Adwords. Today, they are launching “ad scheduling for Google AdWords.” This is also known as dayparting.

My view – dayparting is not that big a deal – I’m currently researching buying another car. At 10.45 pm. So send me ads! Who cares what time I’m Googling “Toyota Minivan”?


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21 thoughts on “Sked By Time, Now At Google AdSense

  1. True that dayparting won’t address a need for the typical publisher and advertiser – but it is valuable.

    For those of us who run site targeted campaigns, it’s extremely helpful. Most sites have fairly consistent traffic patterns and if I want my message to appear during the morning rush hour and again around the 3pm spike on a particular site, I can now do it through AdWords.

    For some site publishers, dayparting also offers the possibility of higher revenue during these popular traffic times.

  2. ak says:

    Dayparting is a big deal for online advertisers with call centers that aren’t open 24 hrs. My company’s call center is open from 7am to 10pm – why advertise at 3am if there’s no one to take the call/sale?

  3. Darroc says:

    My initial impression was that SKED means SPOON in Swedish!

  4. Amy says:

    I can see some real value in this. While people may search for your product at any time, the behavioral profile of a 6 a.m. searcher may be very different from that of a 2 a.m. searcher. The mom searching before waking the kids up for school vs. the singleton searching after coming home from a weeknight party.

    While they are looking for the same thing, their reasons could be very different and therefore call for a different message.

  5. This could help the less than perfectly targetted ads by increasing their Click-Through-Rate, which in the long run can effect both the cost and position of an ad in Google’s system.

  6. PhillyGuy says:

    Couldn’t agree with you more John. I’ve been involved in search from a sales perspective for over 7 years adn when ever a client brings up day parting I use an example similar to yours. The menatlity of trying to reach a specific audience, be it demo/psycho or TOD targeting, has completely morphed via search.

  7. In some ways, dayparting might be more important on the Web. In my experience, more fraudulent clicking happens when we’re all snoring away at night than at any other time of day. I have seen clicks go up suddenly from lowlife sites that never deliver traffic at any time other than between 2AM and 4AM. Sure, you can complain to Google, but it would be nice to have more control.

    If I were an advertiser, I’d be happy to shut down Adwords traffic from midnight to 5 AM, or whatever block of time I believe I’m getting shortchanged on.

    Anything Google does to give advertisers more control is good for the advertisers and, in the end, probably most publishers as well, because it will make advertisers more likely to invest greater amounts of money. Not so good for publishers who are hoping to make money from no-content sites, but no one’s going to shed many tears for them.

  8. Dayparting is crucial to what I call “Online Search Direct Marketing” (Note – not branding, online to offline, multiple searches, highly considered purchases, etc.). For a true Online Search DM campaign, where a majority of the sales happen immediately in the session following the first search/click, it is enormously important to measure the CVR by time of day and day of week and adjust your bidding practices accordingly. Typical results show a peak to peak “hour of day” CVR variance of up to 80% (+/- 40% from average) and peak to peak “day of week” CVR variance of up to 50% (+/- 25% from average). Adjusting CPC bid prices for these variances can have a tremendous impact on profitability and volume of your search DM campaign.

  9. Advertisers have been telling me for years they want dayparting. I trust they have good reasons for it. We’ve also done many conference sessions on it and had plenty of good stories about people getting better conversions by targeting at time of day.

    It’s absurd it has taken Google this long to offer it. You wouldn’t have sat back and let NBC tell you that you had to run your ad 24 hours per day on TV and think, “so what, they might want to buy a car in the middle of the night”

    OK, with TV you pick times largely to hit a particular demographic. With search, you don’t need to target demographics so closely because the search term itself expresses an actual desire. But still, not all desire requests convert for all advertisers at all times of the day. They need choice, want choice and have largely gotten that despite Google because third party tools have given them dayparting.

    Moreover, we’re getting some pretty good signs that the actual demographic targeting that MSN offers is also useful. The story they tell of young men doing lots of searches for “bleach” the anime character versus women in their 30s searching for bleach the disinfectant is pretty compelling. The demo targeting there isn’t perfect — but again, let the advertiser have a choice.

    For the past four years, Google’s had to be dragged kicking and screaming to give advertisers choice: the ability to split contextual and search campaigns; the ability to exclude particular content sites rather than make an all or nothing decision (you still can’t do that with search); the ability to daypart.

    The common response in all of this lameness has been they didn’t want to confuse advertisers.

    The common reality in all of this is that giving choice means advertisers might more carefully spend, so let’s drag our feet as long as possible, make as much money as absolutely possible, until we absolutely have to give them the options they want.

    That’s the best thing about Microsoft jumping into the ads space. It’s putting real pressure on Google and Yahoo to provide better options.

    Google’s been lame in not offe

  10. It´s perfect for direct response ads, today´s specials, happy hours, etc.

  11. Roman says:

    While I see plenty of reasons to have the ads scheduling, I’m wondering what took Google so long to come up with this obvious feature. Yandex Direct, the Russian “AdWords,” has had targeting by hour for a while.

  12. Jonathan Mendez says:

    Dayparting and timeparting is a very big deal. Most of the larger SEM agencies have had this capability for some time in their bid management software through the Google API.

  13. Jamie says:

    nice to see them bringing more functionality to the smaller advertisers. I’d be getting nervous if I was selling campaign management tools..

  14. This is a huge deal for SMBs who don’t operate 24x7x365.

  15. Hi John,

    What I think your describing is needing information “on demand” (your reseaching buying a new car at 10:45PM PST) and you need the ads to show up that would help you get the best deal asyncronously.

    If that’s the case, Dayparting means absolutely nothing to the consumer (you). To the Advertiser, it might mean they can catch more fish at 10:45 AM than at 10:45 PM and they decided to only show the car ads in the morning. And those advertisers would have missed having you buy the car from them.

    Soo….. you’d need a variety of tatics if your an advertiser….do the dayparting but also make sure the ad gets seen by the target audience whenever they are searching for it.

    Tall order!

  16. Joe Hunkins says:

    Right, a little deal. I’d guess a TV audience is easier to segment temporally than an internet audience which is global and less habituated to time constraints.

    The big deals? Is click fraud growing (yes), stoppable (no) and when do PPC ads give positive ROI (rarely though much more often than print or TV).

  17. Grokodile says:

    I see everyone thinking this is a non-issue. However, as someone that is using Adwords and doing so on a shoestring, I can assure you that the percentage of click throughs and conversions from that traffic does vary with time.

    I’m guessing that this should be looked at through some type of mass social phenomena. Imagining how YOU personally feel about making a purchase and the ads YOU want to see at that time may not be the same as the majority of web users.

    For example, when you are surfing at work, you probably have a different purchase pattern then when you are home from work at the end of the day or on the weekend. It’s not too often that most people (yes, there are exceptions) have the freedom to pull out there credit card and conduct a little personal business during the workday.

    Different times of the day are likely to divide the lookers and purchasers within your intended audience demographic. Also, keep in mind, a large part of the world is now looking at selling click throughs (for Adsense) as opposed to a large scale purchase.

    This is something that a lot of people will appreciate. If it doesn’t apply to you I don’t think it makes sense to criticize having it rolled out.

  18. Mik says:

    Good to see google thinks more about advertisers, this is a great feature to use for special events, I even needed something like this for one of my recent compaigns

  19. Dayparting allows the advertiser to focus their budget on the times of the day which are most financially beneficial. While overnight might bring traffic, it could be that less traffic at another time is more profitable.

  20. Michael Hensley says:

    Google “Honda Fit” for your car search.

  21. Seige says:

    I wonder how can this be utilised by either publisher or advertisers… It’s certainly a new good option.