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Meet the author:
Jill Olkoski

Jill has a MA in Clinical Psychology, a BS in Computer Science, and a BS in Mechanical Engineering.

She currently owns Aldebaran Web Design in Edmonds (near Seattle WA) and enjoys educating her clients on topics related to small business website design.

In Jill's previous life, she spent 17 years in the engineering and quality organizations of a Fortune 100 tech company.


Dynamic Ad Titles: A Fast Way To Get Invalid Clicks To Your PPC (Pay-Per-Click) Campaign

January 29th, 2008

lookinginmirror.gifDynamic Ad Title Generation – Just Say No! If you are thinking of signing up with a PPC company, or are already running a PPC (Pay-Per-Click) campaign, I strongly suggest that you make sure they aren’t running ads with dynamically generated titles. I’ll show you some examples of what these look like, and whey they can lead to poor quality clicks, and in some cases false advertising.

Dynamic ad title generation works like this: The PPC company sets your ad title to mirror or echo what the user has typed into a search engine. This makes your ad match exactly what they’re looking for. Sounds like a great way to get more clicks to your ad, doesn’t it? Good for the PPC company because they make money on each click, not so good for you.

One of my clients is a therapist in Seattle WA who signed up for a PPC campaign that used dynamic title generation in its ads on Yahoo and other search engines. We were tipped off when we saw traffic coming in for words like “Issaquah Therapy”. So we looked into this, because my client is not in Issaquah, my client is in Seattle, which is at least 30-40 minutes away. We were stunned to see this ad come up in Yahoo when we tried to duplicate the click by typing in “Issaquah Therapy” (I’ve blurred my client’s URL for privacy).


See how the search words “Issaquah Therapy” are showing in the ad title? This is dynamic title generation. Great for getting clicks from folks looking for therapy in Issaquah. The problem is, my client is too far from Issaquah to be hired from such a search, and had no idea the ad would look like this.

Here’s another:


And another:


And just in case you haven’t seen the pattern, here’s another:


See how the ad titles match the search words? Imaging a prospective client’s great happiness at finding a therapist in their city. But, alas, here’s a map of Seattle:

These cities are NOT near Seattle, in fact, some are over an hour’s drive away, and that’s if traffic is really humming, easily 1.5 or 2 hours if it’s rush hour.

Now, you’re saying, ok, so just tell the PPC company to turn off the dynamic title generation. Well, as of the writing of this post, they’re still running, even though the client has repeatedly, in writing, informed the PPC company to stop these ads from running because they’re false advertising. The PPC company simply doesn’t respond.

I write posts like these to hopefully help prevent this situation from happening to another small business owner who is trying to get more legitimate traffic to their website. Before you sign any PPC contracts with anyone, ask about dynamic ad title generation and don’t permit it.

This is one of the many reasons I became a qualified Google AdWords professional, because I wanted to offer my website clients a legitimate way to use PPC to get more traffic. Unfortunately the PPC world seems full of companies that are only too willing to lock clients into PPC contracts and then deliver fraudulent, invalid, or poor quality click traffic. Please browse through my other articles in the Pay-Per-Click category before you sign up with any Pay-Per-Click advertising company.

J. Olkoski
Aldebaran Web Design, Seattle
Jill Olkoski has a BS in Engineering, a BS in Computer Science and an MA in Clinical Psychology. She delights in using her advanced technical and psychological skills to help small business owners develop cost-effective and successful websites.

2 Responses to “Dynamic Ad Titles: A Fast Way To Get Invalid Clicks To Your PPC (Pay-Per-Click) Campaign”

  1. Linda Martin-Peoples Says:

    Another great article, Jill!
    Excellent information that folks considering Pay-Per-Click need to know.
    Consider it Stumbled, Dugg, Delicious and Technorati’d.

  2. Click Fraud and Invalid Clicks - My Pay-Per-Click Nightmare » Articles From Aldebaran Web Design, Seattle WA Says:

    […] out uses dynamic ad-title generation techniques. If someone enters the keywords “Puyallup therapist,” my ad will pop up as a […]

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