Marin Pushes Out Quality Score Tool
The platform lets clients analyze the quality score of an ad, splitting them into higher- and lower-performing groups based on the creative pieces to increase the overall performance.
Marin Search Marketer, an enterprise class search management application, supports about 130 clients, such as Razorfish, University of Phoenix and Consumer Reports. The San Francisco company will manage $500 million in annualized paid search spend this year.
"We're all familiar with Google's quality score that looks at click-through rates and conversions, which provides an overlay on the position of the bid to tell you where the ad will place," Lien says, while chatting in an alley outside the Geisha House restaurant at the corner of Cherokee and Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, Calif.
Data-driven search marketers are always looking for ways to improve performance. Then there's a "giant black box called Google, and the Google algorithm, but when you pull that layer back, it's the Google quality score."
For example, one person could bid $1 on a word, and another person could bid 50 cents, but if one person paying less for the word has a superior quality score due to their landing page, conversion rate or hundreds of other factors, it may cause their ad to serve-up before the person paying more.
Lien called the quality score the "holy grail" because if marketers could unlock how the quality score is calculated, ads could be designed to have the highest score for the lowest cost.
Marin Search Marketer integrates with Google, Bing and Yahoo. Lien says paid search ads continue to do well because it's accountable and easy to track. From September through December 2008, the industry thought the economy was entering into a depression, so there was a pullback in spending through March 2009.
Customers now tell Lien that budgets are being restored. "We've entered a new normal," he says. "Budgets are at a lower level, but people are still in business and they need to grow either by selling more or acquiring customers. Although search's growth has slowed, it will accelerate during the rest of 2009."