Negative Keywords

I have been working with Google Keywords on and off for 3 years now. I have seen their system evolve and change a lot during that time, but one thing has stayed the same: the need for negative keyword research just as much as keyword buying research.

I am appaled when I see client campaigns getting .25% click through rates because they haven’t properly targeted how their ads are served, either by including them in the (crap) content network, or by not researching and including negative keywords. This is bad because it makes google look innefective, when its not. Its the person running the campaign that’s innefective.

A good Google keyword ad group that has the right creative, is targeted well, and has negative keywords and fresh ad copy should get between 1% and 3% CTR (click through rate) on average. And some words with your brand name terms will do even better.

So the lesson here is, get your keywords out of the pornography searches, out of the (crap) content network and dump your keyword manager if they didn’t do it to begin with.

The Oscars Review

I was glued to the TV last night in anticipation of the dresses and the awards at the Oscars. Its always such a glamorous night of drama and fun. It was a little over the top this year in some cases, but for the most part the broadcast was entertaining and classy.

Jennifer Hudson winning an Oscar in her first acting role ever is something that I don’t thing has ever happened before, nor will ever be repeated again. All I can say is that there are a lot of very very jealous actors out there right now. 

Eddie Murphy had to deal with the reality that his Norbit movie killed his Oscar. I hope he realises now how much people dis-like those films.

On the other hand, Alan Arkin winning the best supporting actor Oscar for playing the druggie grandpa in Little Miss Sunshine was a welcome suprise and a win for Second City also. I don’t think anyone who’s been through Second City before has ever won an Oscar. That’s pretty cool. And even though no one thought he’d win, Alan Arkin was still smart enough to have an eloquent speech written. That’s just classy.

The Departed and Martin Scorsese won big with best director and best film. Ithought the Departed was awfully bloody and used violence as drama which didn’t make it my favorite film this year. I was much happier when Crash won, although I do understand that he was “owed” an Oscar. 

Other than that the dresses were all very elegant. I didn’t see too many disasters on the red carpet. Most everyone was smart enough to go with streamlined solid color dresses with small details like beaded accents or light fabric layers. 

Rese Witherspoon is taking a page from the Jennifer Aniston book with her long diva hair and perfectly-thin-in-photographs body these days.  Rachel Weisz looked less like Kate Winslet this year now that her hair is dark, but otherwise I get them confused. Both chose great dresses though. J-Lo’s dress was a little overdone on the built-in-jewelry sparkle, and Nicole Kidman was the only person in the world that could look good in the bright red dress she wore to the Oscars. It looked like it was made for her.

Jennifer Hudson got some unfortunate style advice with her red carpet dress selection, it emphasized the wrong curves with the gathers and pockets and most of the other dresses she has worn this award season have been much more flattering. Emily Blunt, Cate Blanchett and Maggie Gyllenhall are toothpicks, so they look good in everything including shiny fabrics which usually put on pounds when you wear them. Ellen Mirren was elegant tasteful with her golden embroidered beaded dress, which had glamour and sparkle without being too revealing or over the top. 

Jessica Biel looked out of place and off color in the bright rasberry dress she chose, somehow it wasn’t formal enough and it emphasized her muscular arms which reminds us that she’s really the top gentelmen’s mag fantasy girl of the moment and not an Oscar contender.  And Penelope Cruz wore a very feminine dress with a fluid skirt that had layers and layers of chiffaun looking a bit like vintage Ginger Rogers dress feathers. It was very hollywood, but the bodice sat funny when she was sitting so I’d bet it wasn’t comfortable.

All in all it was a good telecast. Ellen Degeneres got out of the way and celebrated the nominees in the opening of the show instead of basking in the spotlight as Billy Crystal used to. She also shared the time in between presentations with the audience, the dancers and the support staff. I think it worked well in that way, she knew she wasn’t an oscar winner, but she led the show with humor and a down to earth honesty.

All in all it looked like a pretty good night for everyone there.