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Advertising profitably on your brand terms requires some dynamic strategy and a real appreciation for the game you're playing. Whether you advertise on your brand terms or not, you’re already caught up in that game… and the rules are designed to drive profit to Google. Your competitors have taken their turns. They have stolen what was yours. The clock is ticking. What’s your move?

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Things are changing a lot in the search ad arena. There is a steady ongoing shift of traffic from organic to paid search. You can’t fight it. Any profitable searches are going to be bought by competitors if you don’t pay for them. And increasingly that also means customers searching for brand terms and coupon codes for your site are getting directed to other sites where you’re losing some sales. There's no longer any question of whether you should be using PPC, or even whether you should bid on brand terms. You must. Paid search is going to become a bigger factor in your success going forward than it has been in the past. It’s critical to get it right.

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Everywhere we turn, we're being bombarded by propaganda from the major advertising platforms: "You need to move beyond Last Click attribution!" Google is always pushing the Data-Driven attribution model, and that certainly sounds good. But what's the truth here? What's going on behind the curtain, and should you make the jump to a different attribution model?

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Smart Bidding (aka Automated Bidding Algorithms) is touted as an intelligent way to help manage bids on ad accounts. It is purported to work better than human bidding, save tremendous time, and achieve greater financial results. Machine learning will save us from a life of drudgery and thinking for ourselves!

But there are tremendous downsides to using Smart Bidding algorithms when you use them in the wrong situation or don’t understand what they are really optimizing for. They all have strong biases that you need to understand. In this article, we're going to dive into the main smart bidding methods, and look at where they fall short, to help you avoid making mistakes that will drive up your costs and reduce profit.

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Google recently deployed another stealthy change that will have a mixed impact on the performance of countless ecommerce merchants. Your shopping ads are going to start showing on YouTube and Discover (an Android app), even if you didn't select that option.

Now, I love Google. But I do wish they would be a bit more transparent when they opt all of their customers in to new features that cost them money. This change hasn't been very well communicated, other than some hyped-up announcements back in May about new features coming soon.

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