Bid optimization series: Making smarter decisions with fresh, reliable data

Thursday, December 6, 2012 |

In last week’s bid optimization blog post, we discussed the importance of defining the right advertiser goal by using a flexible platform that offers the options to meet your unique needs. But after you’ve set your goal, what information does the bid platform then review to act on that goal and make the right bid decisions? Today, we’ll dive deeper into the second of 7 questions you should ask when choosing a bid optimization platform for your business:

2. How fresh is the data that’s used in making bid decisions?

At Google, we recognize that the freshness and accuracy of data is paramount to any data-driven system. And since bid optimization platforms are essentially decision engines, data lies at the center of the process, with the engine considering and analyzing data before deciding on the best bid for a given keyword. It’s no surprise, then, that low-quality and stale data going in often means poor results coming out.

This is why fresh data is critical -- especially in the dynamic arena of search, where smart and timely decisions must be based on breaking trends, changes in competition, and the latest campaign performance. When choosing a bid optimization platform, inquire about the freshness of the data that informs the bid optimization platform:

  • How quickly does data -- including impressions, clicks, costs, and average position -- flow from the engines to the platform?
  • For marketers managing search as well as display, does the platform optimize based on de-duplicated conversion data across these channels?
  • Does conversion data flow in automatically on a continuous basis, or do you need to wait 24+ hours for the data to propagate through the platform and be considered in bid decisions?

We built our own bid optimization tool with fresh data in mind, knowing that the successes of technologies are defined by the data they rely on. With this focus, our Performance Bidding Suite bases bid decisions on fresh performance data pulled directly from search engines every 15 minutes. And with instant conversion data from Floodlight, DoubleClick’s proprietary conversion-tracking pixel, we optimize off deduplicated, recent conversions to make sure you can take advantage of every breaking opportunity.

Aside from online conversions, DoubleClick Search also helps you bring your offline data into your online world to complete the picture: through our bulksheet tool or via API, upload offline conversions and optimize off of even more of your important business data. This, coupled with fast engine and conversion data, gives the Performance Bidding Suite clear and holistic insight into both the current search auction landscape, and your business objectives to make the best possible bidding decisions.

After understanding the information the bid platform assesses to make the right bid decisions, how does your bidding tool actually act on that data? Next week, we’ll dive deeper into the inner workings of the best bidding platforms by exploring our third question: Is your platform smart enough to make a difference in my campaigns?

To learn more about the 7 factors to consider, download our white paper here.