The 2011 SEM Wish List

  by James Svoboda
  December 21st, 2011

2011 SEM Wish List

Hello and Welcome!

It’s the holidays, and we at WebRanking have spent a little time recently reflecting and appreciating what 2011 has brought us. From our great colleagues, both new and old, to our great clients, both new and old, we feel incredibly blessed to work in this amazing industry and eagerly look forward to what 2012 has in store.

But just because we are happy with 2011, it doesn’t mean we are getting complacent. With that, we bring you the 2011 SEM Wish List!

This year’s search engine marketing wish list contains almost 200 wishes, wants, desires and must-haves from over 30 esteemed search marketing professionals. SEM topics covered range from SEO and PPC, to Web Analytics and Social Media. Some of our SEM’s biggest wishes were regarding AdWords Ad Extensions and Search Partners, greater adCenter Admin and UI improvements, and of course, for Google to give search marketers back their (not provided) keyword data!

We hope you enjoy!

Wish List Topics

Search Engine Marketing (13)
Social Media (5)
Pay Per Click (9)
Google AdWords (100)
Microsoft adCenter (31)
Google Analytics (24)
Holiday Extras (7)

Don’t forget to check out the full list of participants.

The 2011 SEM Wish List


Search Engine Marketing

   SEM Sections: General (3), Competition (3), Link Building (2), Google Related (5)

SEM – General

Fewer SERP changes this next year (for both SEO and SEM).

~ Bryant Garvin (@BryantGarvin)

I want more content from bloggers on how to integrate paid marketing efforts with inbound ones. We use to care how PPC & SEO overlapped for maximum effectiveness, but I see less of that now. Can’t we all just get along and make more money together? I like the moneyyzzz.

~ Joanna Lord (@JoannaLord)

I would really like to have more intuitive integration between search and social marketing platforms for tracking and analyzing performance.

~ James Svoboda (@Realicity)

SEM – Competition

My SEM biggest wish for 2012 is for… Serious Competition for Google. – Have you seen this? Google now controls 44% of the global ad revenues. Anyone who knows anything about economics and monopolies/oligopolies knows that this kind of imperfect competition and world domination is not healthy for the buyers, those of us in paid search advertising. Please, please, please Bing, Yahoo, Facebook, please make some headway in market share growth in 2012. Put some marketing muscle and dollars behind it. You have power, use it. I will buy traffic from you, I have budget, bring me users that click and convert.

~ Lisa Sanner (@LisaSanner)

I’d love to see a 2nd tier network separate itself from the rest and become a viable alternative to Bing and Google. Not a replacement, mind you, but another choice. A few platforms like adMarketplace and 7search have made strides but have a ways to go before marketers can feel good about using them for mainstream clients.

~ Cleofe Betancourt (@askppc)

More people searching on Bing (some competition could never hurt).

~ Bryant Garvin (@BryantGarvin)

SEM – Link Building

Free Link Analyser – When Yahoo Site Explorer died so did the leverage of small SEOs to compete with larger budgeted firms. Not all of us have the funds for a $99.00 a month SEOmoz or Raven account to get detailed backlink information for our competitors. More importantly individuals that own one website and isn’t directly monetizing it lose this great tool for increasing search exposure. While replication of competitor links is only a small tactic to be use the small guy needs to take anything they can get.

~ Nick LeRoy (@NickLeRoy)

I wish Google would just make the link data it has about inbound links for a URL/Domain public ala Yahoo! Site Explorer or Blekko.

~ Rob Lenderman (@boostctr)

SEM – Google Related

More accurate Google webmaster tool data. I can’t count the times I see a term inside of webmaster tools that says the site received hundreds of thousands of impressions for a word, and that word has 22 clicks; and no one has even seen that site in the top 50 results for that term. Personalization could have an affect on this data; but there are too many terms that just don’t seem accurate.

~ Brad Geddes (@bgtheory)

Lastly, I’d like Google to stop running commercials on TV for things like Chrome, and email. It’s freaking me out, and my family keeps calling me with questions…because they of course think I work for Google. {facepalm}

~ Joanna Lord (@JoannaLord)

Android Apps for Google Advertising/Marketing Products.

~ Chris Kostecki (@chriskos)

I would love to see Google make the rank data in Google Analytics, and Webmaster Tools, more reflective of true rankings rather than an “average” of rankings for the domain on a given query, and then put that data side-by-side with traffic numbers (even better after wish is granted and there’s less not being provided!).

~ Rob Lenderman (@boostctr)

For Gmail to have the ability to add an email as a Calendar Event – attachments included!

~ Crystal Anderson (@CrystalA)


Social Media

The ability to see Google Plus in the same desktop clients as Twitter / Facebook.

~ Todd Mintz (@toddmintz)

Google+ [optional] integration of Adwords, Adsense and Google Analytics links. If they really want us to use this thing as a platform, Google needs to make it easy for us to do everything in one place. Do you really need a link to photos, sites& web at the top of the page?

~ Cleofe Betancourt (@askppc)

Google +1 Integration: I might be in the minority here, but I kinda wish Google would just “go big or go home” with this feature. As it stands with the +1 integration on Search and Display, only your friends can see your +1 activity on ads. This really limits the ability for this feature to impact CTRs and general behavior on the SERPs.

~ Emily Las (@emlas)

More insights into Facebook’s Edge algorithm.

~ Bryant Garvin (@BryantGarvin)

With Facebook’s Paid Advertising, I’d love to have the ability to have my ads rotated evenly. For LinkedIn’s Ads, their antiquated reporting really needs an update. Just to gather statistics, I’d prefer not to have to download a CSV file.

~ Chris Lister (@twistedlister)


Pay Per Click

Comparison Feature – In Google Analytics you can compare metrics during different time periods through both graphs and tables. This comparison feature helps to analyze trends and see where and why performance has increased or dropped (or stayed the same). Being able to compare different time periods in both AdWords and adCenter would be extremely beneficial when optimizing campaigns.

~ Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro)

I would like more compatibility between AdWords and adCenter for similar structure of campaigns, keyword match types, negative keywords, text ads and ad extensions. This would make managing multi-platform PPC campaigns much easier.

~ James Svoboda (@Realicity)

A great keyword matching option that I would love to see would be a Phrase Match that only matches the words in your keyword. I.E. “Minneapolis PPC” matches {PPC Minneapolis} and “reasonable” variations like {PPC in Minneapolis}, but not {Minneapolis PPC blog} or {free Minneapolis PPC audit} and the like.

~ James Svoboda (@Realicity)

Ad rotation setting based on conversion rate not CTR.

~ Eloi Casali (@Eloi_Casali)

Tool to test 2x landing pages during the same timeframe (send once here, once there, once here, once there, and u read consolidated data).

~ Eloi Casali (@Eloi_Casali)

During 2012 I want to see PPC break out of its small box and start driving changes in all aspects of business. There is no other channel as suited for rapid testing and customer development but this is rarely used to its full potential when making high level business decisions.

~ Richard Fergie (@RichardFergie)

Full support of Baidu, Yandex, Naver. Let’s face it, many of the companies that we manage advertising accounts are growing internationally, as they should be. Multi-national account management has a whole new set of headaches for us trying to get into those markets with paid search. C’mon PPC software people, it’s 2012 and it’s not rocket science. Growing these markets and supporting these other engines will only increase your managed ad spend as well.

~ Lisa Sanner (@LisaSanner)

A Good Cross-Engine desktop PPC management tool. There are lots of web-based tools out there, but it would be nice if there was a desktop tool to manage campaigns across engines and publishers, like AdWords Editor or AdCenter desktop tool but combined publishers. This would allow me to work on campaigns anywhere without a connection and then use an internet connection to push those changes live. I hate anything that wastes my time, and load times and tools freezing is a time sucker.

~ Lisa Sanner (@LisaSanner)

Super high level–the ultimate for me on my wish list would be for AdCenter to stop making it so difficult to spend money with them, and for Google to stop making it so easy to spend too much money with them.

~ Tony Tellijohn (@tellijohn)


Google AdWords

AdWords Sections: Administration, Access and UI (11), Analysis & Reporting (13), Quality Score (6), Search Query Reports (3), Ad Extensions (6), New Extensions (3), Product Extensions (2), Sitelinks (7), Ads (3), Ad Rotation (3), Keyword Match Types (2), Keyword Tool (2), Negative Keywords (5), Remarketing & Retargeting (4), Scheduling & Rules (7), Search Partners (14), Support (4), Targeting (5)

AdWords – Administration, Access and UI

Concrete budget restrictions – AdWords states that it can go over your set budget by 10-15%. It would be really cool if AdWords introduced the ability to set more strict budget limits (ie – no more overages).

~ Dave Rosborough (@daverosborough)

Annotations similar to Analytics.

~ Michelle Morgan (@michellemsem)

It would be great to have a MMC option that provided “Read-Only” access for performing preliminary research and pay per click campaign audits.

~ James Svoboda (@Realicity)

A way to track lead quality in Adwords.

~ Luke Alley (@LukeAlley)

Allow us to upload performance goals for targets so we can measure against them within the UI.

~ Chris Kostecki (@chriskos)

Make the home tab dashboard more versatile.

~ Chris Kostecki (@chriskos)

Allow for cross structure segmentation. Currently using naming conventions & excel, instead of grouping campaigns or targets with labels.

~ Chris Kostecki (@chriskos)

That there was an easier, more simplistic way of taking old clients off my MCC.

~ John Lavin (@Johnnyjetfan)

That you could take out certain permanent columns in the Adwords Campaigns tab. Example: I don’t need to know about phone impressions/calls if I don’t have it set up. It’s a waste of space that I could use for a better metric, like Impression share. I know how to remove columns, but some of them are movable. Make all of them movable! As an example, I cannot remove the column of Display Network Max CPC and my campaign is a search campaign with the network turned off.

~ John Lavin (@Johnnyjetfan)

Customized Metrics in AdWords columns, such as calculated profitability metrics, such as ROAS (return of ad spend), RPC (revenue per click), ConvPI (conversions per impression). Make my KPIs easy for me to monitor.

~ Lisa Sanner (@LisaSanner)

Custom metric columns in the UI. (Let us create functions based upon existing data points)

~ Chris Kostecki (@chriskos)

AdWords – Analysis & Reporting

Deeper integration of Google Analytics into Google AdWords.

~ Todd Mintz (@toddmintz)

I would really love Segments to be available for a specific set of data. In Top vs. Other, for instance, it would be great to just see the Google Search Top without having all the extra lines of data for Search Partners Top, Other and Google Display Network for campaigns that this is not active.

~ James Svoboda (@Realicity)

Getting faster – while turn around times are quick for activating terms and ads, I dream of realtime delivery and reporting in AdWords.

~ Chris Kostecki (@chriskos)

Better reporting on ad formats. There are so many ways an ad can be displayed, we don’t know if the Headline is effective or the Headline & D1. This further complicated by Extensions. The bucket reporting is not sufficient, we need to see what mixes/recipes won, not how each ingredient performed.

~ Chris Kostecki (@chriskos)

Comparison reports in AdWords UI…similar to Google Analytics, I want to compare days/weeks/months to other days/weeks/months.

~ James Zolman (@jameszol)

Exact Match Impression Share at the ad group and keyword levels. – This metric is extremely helpful at the campaign level. Carrying it further down would allow for even better optimization.

~ Jeremy Brown (@JBGuru)

Wish Fulfilled! – On Tuesday, January 17, 2012, Google AdWords posted an announcement stating that Impression Share Metrics were going to be implemented at the Ad Group level.
See: Coming Soon: Ad Group Impression Share Metrics

Filter by Trending Stats: Ex. display all campaigns with decreasing CTR over the time range selected.

~ Michelle Morgan (@michellemsem)

Let me filter the Dimensions tab by campaign, campaign name, ad group, ad group name, etc.

~ Michelle Morgan (@michellemsem)

Adwords adds the Insights button right in Adwords (Keyword Diagnostic tool) so you can quickly check keyword trends versus your own performance.

~ Crystal Anderson (@CrystalA)

Adwords “compare to” option for graphs has a pre-populated option to compare to same time last year, so you can easily check out year over year performance.

~ Crystal Anderson (@CrystalA)

Keyword impression share: Campaign and ad group level IS is just not actionable enough. Clients want to know their impression share for specific key terms– we shouldn’t have to make individual keyword ad groups for this purpose.

~ Emily Las (@emlas)

AdWords conversion tracking update. Right now, Google reports multiple conversions if you use more than one conversion item. I wish Google would report unique conversions regardless of the number of conversion types you are tracking. Tab browsing has really messed up many-per-click conversions – just give me the uniques.

~ Brad Geddes (@bgtheory)

That Adwords revisits the most popular reports us advertisers pull and improve on them. For example give me a top summary of the search query report by “average length of query” and “top three categories” the report shows queries forming around, etc. Its time they innovate on data visualization in Adwords. Report pulls does not a data obsession make.

~ Joanna Lord (@JoannaLord)

AdWords – Analysis & Reporting: Quality Score

More Quality Score transparency. Google made the largest change to QS in several years in 2011 with the changes to landing pages. However, all they will say is that landing pages affect QS more (it’s not just good or bad anymore). However, when pressed for details – any details – they shy away from any answers at all. While I can understand hiding some details about QS to not game the system, give us something. Or, at a minimum, show a relative QS to your competition. QS doesn’t mean that much without knowing other’s QS; so give a relative score alongside the absolute score.

~ Brad Geddes (@bgtheory)

Quality Score change tracking: Wouldn’t it be nice if we could see QS changes over time? This would simplify some of the PPC detective work we do.

~ Emily Las (@emlas)

A way to track quality scores over time.

~ Michelle Morgan (@michellemsem)

Historical Quality Scores in AdWords.

~ James Zolman (@jameszol)

Specific quality scores for ads in AdWords.

~ James Zolman (@jameszol)

Specific quality scores for landing pages in AdWords.

~ James Zolman (@jameszol)

AdWords – Analysis & Reporting: Search Query Reports

Better search query data from Google. I bet this wish is the “world peace” for this survey; everyone wants it. The new “(not provided)” problem may be mainly a difficulty for SEOs but it also breaks third party tracking tools and any filters people may have to get around the “Other Queries” line in search query reports. I hate this line – it always seems to take up the largest proportion of queries for ad groups where I really need the information.

~ Richard Fergie (@RichardFergie)

Fix: No more “other unique queries” this still represents like 60% of the traffic on some keywords.

~ Eloi Casali (@Eloi_Casali)

It would be really great if we could add keywords found in a search query report directly to a different ad group or to a negative keyword list.

~ James Svoboda (@Realicity)

AdWords – Ad Extensions

Ad Extensions at the Ad Group Level – like sitelinks and phone extensions!

~ Crystal Anderson (@CrystalA)

Ability to pause Adwords ad extensions like sitelinks.

~ Melissa Mackey (@Mel66)

AdWords Editor: support for managing Call Extensions and Product Extensions. Managing these in the web interface is a very tedious process. I could save tons of time and improve productivity if I could manage them in AWE!

~ John Lee (@John_A_Lee)

Extension reports in Google Analytics that don’t require manual tagging (i.e. Michelle Morgan’s little trick of tracking sitelinks).

~ Andy Groller (@AndyGroller)

More accurate “call metrics” then what they are giving us in the dimensions tab in Adwords. It’s not been very good. I have a client who doesn’t run his ads on weekends and no one is in the office to answer the phone. Yet Google reported a 22 minute phone call on a Sunday.

~ Mark Kennedy (@markkennedysem)

Let the Ad Extensions rest for a few months before rolling out new ones.

~ Bryant Garvin (@BryantGarvin)

AdWords – Ad Extensions: New

A reviews extension for Google Places – similar to product extensions which display the star ratings from Google Merchant Center.

~ Andy Groller (@AndyGroller)

A Brand extension to allow us target relevant retailer would be helpful. (As a brand, letting retailers put a badge we create on their ad would be cool!)

~ Chris Kostecki (@chriskos)

Video Ad Extensions

~ Eloi Casali (@Eloi_Casali)

AdWords – Ad Extensions: Products

Product Extensions – The ability to give individual extensions specific names or labels, currently when you view your extensions they are all labelled using the Merchant Center ID, if you have 50, 60, 100 or so it becomes increasingly unwieldy to manage the extensions. Of course you can use a product extension for more than one campaign so the ability to identify an existing extension would be a huge benefit and reduce the amount of extensions required to be created.

~ Andrew Baker (@SEOEdinburgh)

I want a product ad extension that isn’t driven off a Google Base feed. Basically, I want to put images in my search ads in a way that is easier to test and optimise.

~ Richard Fergie (@RichardFergie)

AdWords – Ad Extensions: Sitelinks

The Sitelinks Ad Extensions are one of the most underdeveloped features in AdWords. I would really love a major evolution to their UI and reporting that allows us to track and optimize over time.

~ James Svoboda (@Realicity)

Conversion tracking on for Sitelinks: Tried and true, this ad extension has become an integral component in PPC strategy. The problem is AdWords isn’t providing performance data for each Sitelink. How about some more transparency Google?

~ Emily Las (@emlas)

Site Links – I love site links, they are a great way to emphasise USP’s and make your ad stand out, however I like to change these links on a regular basis, say for a new promotion. Unfortunately you can’t pause them, only delete, which is so frustrating. Google please give us SEM’s a pause button!

~ Andrew Baker (@SEOEdinburgh)

Better Sitelink reporting and management. I’ve been told that individual AdWords Sitelink reporting can’t be done the way the feature was originally designed on the platform. Fine, but it’s is still on my wish list… again this year. A PAUSE status would be nice too, per Sitelink, rather than having to delete and then re-add if you want to “resume” a Sitelink. Painful. It’s nice having them in AdWords Editor now, but there’s still a long way to go for this popular and widely used feature. Implementing Rich Ads in Search sitelinks beta on AdCenter is also painful too, at the individual keyword level. Let’s make this easier for advertisers to implement. If these really have the gains in CTR that the engines say they do, it should be a high priority for them.

~ Lisa Sanner (@LisaSanner)

Fix: Sitelinks data disapearing after I optimize them.

~ Eloi Casali (@Eloi_Casali)

Better Sitelinks tracking in Adwords – I know there are some workarounds to get that data, but it would be nice to have it in the interface with accurate numbers

~ Mark Kennedy (@markkennedysem)

Sitelink Extensions at the Ad Group level.

~ Andy Groller (@AndyGroller)

AdWords – Ads

More robust ad creation tools, not just good enough banners, but compelling pro-grade creative templates.

~ Chris Kostecki (@chriskos)

Longer headlines / Description line (depending on how you appear since the new long titles)

~ Eloi Casali (@Eloi_Casali)

I would like to be able to update ads when offers change without having to take a quality score/approval hit.

~ Richard Fergie (@RichardFergie)

AdWords – Ads: Ad Rotation

I’d like more options/control on Ad serving. I just ran into this issue the other night where a client wanted 3 ads rotated in this order 50%, 30%, 20%. Through Adwords you can optimize for clicks or rotate evenly (but even evenly is not so even). The workaround was to load ad 1 at 5x, ad 2 at 3x and ad 3 at 2x, then set for rotate evenly, but still I’d just like to have the option. This however, is at the bottom of my wishlist. I just mentioned it because it actually happened the other night.

~ Mark Kennedy (@markkennedysem)

Rotate Evenly MEANS rotate evenly. If you have two ads, it means 50/50. If you have three ads, it means 33/33/34. It doesn’t mean the wacky kind of impression allocation that we see on some “A/B” tests. Try explaining it to clients; it ain’t easy.

~ Lisa Sanner (@LisaSanner)

Being able to have Ad Rotation settings at the ad group level would allow us to optimize smaller groups based on their performance as the campaign progresses.

~ James Svoboda (@Realicity)

AdWords – Keyword Match Types

Some sort of hybrid match type that combines broad and phrase match where you can select a ‘phrase’ but also use a ‘broad’ modifier. Example being the keyword nyc ‘apartment rentals’ where the phrase is ‘apartment rentals’ but the broad modifier of nyc picks up ‘new york city’, ‘nyc’, ‘new york’, ‘ny city’, etc. Not the best example, but that’s all I’ve got right at this moment.

~ Andy Groller (@AndyGroller)

Make phrase match the default option for keyword match types instead of broad.

~ Luke Alley (@LukeAlley)

AdWords – Keyword Tool

More local information in the adwords keyword tool, as far as local search volume by town, city, zip, etc. I know there are other tools and you can use Google insights and Google trends, but you just know Google has this data, so why not share it.

~ Mark Kennedy (@markkennedysem)

Some real data in the keyword tool.

~ Eloi Casali (@Eloi_Casali)

AdWords – Negative Keywords

MSN adCenter introduced a really cool reporting feature called “Negative Keyword Conflicts”, so my wish is that this would soon be introduced into AdWords as well!

~ Dave Rosborough (@daverosborough)

When adding new negatives there is automatic detection and alerts if you’ve already added that negative. Would also be great to have an alert automatically prompted if your negative will block any terms you bid on.

~ Crystal Anderson (@CrystalA)

Negative keyword lists at the ad group level.

~ Michelle Morgan (@michellemsem)

Allow inline negative terms. If the plus is an anchor, having a negative/hyphen attached to a term in a keyword string should make that an exclude.

~ Chris Kostecki (@chriskos)

Make negative keywords easier to add.

~ Luke Alley (@LukeAlley)

AdWords – Remarketing & Retargeting

Search query retargeting. Google does session based broad match, but I’d like it to be a separate match type of its own AND I’d like to be able to target those searches on the Display Network. If 90-99% of people never click on your ad, it would be great to reach them again.

~ Alex Cohen (@digitalalex)

Broader reach for retargeting.

~ Alex Cohen (@digitalalex)

Display retargetting of search intent: not based on clicks on your ads, but on searches user has done. Please note this is NOT session based query.

~ Eloi Casali (@Eloi_Casali)

I’d love a raising of the bar on Google’s Remarketing options. Not only is it hard to find useful information on Remarketing in general, but the data they give us is abysmal compared to the retargeting platforms out there. I want to support you Remarketing, I really do, but I’m going to need more.

~ Joanna Lord (@JoannaLord)

AdWords – Scheduling & Rules

I’d love to be able to create more sophisticated rules for how my ads are displayed – ie instead of “rotate evenly” I can designate Ad A (my historical winner) to run 50% of the time and split test the rest of my ads across the remaining 50% (so if I’m testing two new ads against a historical winner ads B and C would each run 25% of the time). I can do this by creating dupes of the winner but something that was less of a hack would be great.

~ Rob Lenderman (@boostctr)

ROI rules based bids (or conversion optimizer) inside of AdWords. Rules based bidding and conversion optimizer can be decent when you have a static lead cost. However, if you have multiple conversion items or variable sales amounts – these tools don’t do a very good job. You can already pass actual sales data to AdWords, so why can’t they take that data and set bids from it instead of simple conversion data?

~ Brad Geddes (@bgtheory)

More Granular Scheduling – Rather than just day parting at the campaign level, I’d like to be able to pause ads and extensions at various times. For example, if I’ve written an ad for an item on sale from Friday to Sunday it would be nice if I could set that ad to pause at 12 AM on Monday morning. Or if I’m using call metrics I would prefer to show my phone number only during business hours. Currently, ads have to manually be paused and resumed while ad extensions cannot be paused, but instead deleted (and then created again to resume). The more granular the scheduling the better.

~ Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro)

Run rules now button for automating actions. Sometimes 1 hour is too long.

~ Chris Kostecki (@chriskos)

ACE for campaign settings (dayparting, networks, etc.).

~ Melissa Mackey (@Mel66)

ACE automatically alerts you when a test ends and when statistically significant results have been reached.

~ Crystal Anderson (@CrystalA)

Rules that guaranteed to run. Always!

~ Luke Alley (@LukeAlley)

AdWords – Search Partners

Separate bids for Adwords search partners! This has been on my wish list for probably 10 years, and I keep hoping….

~ Melissa Mackey (@Mel66)

Being able to split out Search Network into separate campaigns. I’m not saying excluding specific partners, which is another wish that I know for many reasons will never happen. Fine, whatever. I’m saying to being able to set up separate campaigns for Search, Search Network, and Content Network, so we can optimize kws, bids, ad copy accordingly because often they perform significantly different.

~ Lisa Sanner (@LisaSanner)

The ability to run Search Partners only campaigns. – We have many clients who perform differently on Search Partners and we would love to be able to set different bids. I’ve spoken with folks at Google and they claim this stems from legacy contracts that prohibit them from offering this option. I told them they should find a way to buy out those contracts.

~ Jeremy Brown (@JBGuru)

Ability to target specific members of the Search Partner Network .

~ Andy Groller (@AndyGroller)

Allow advertisers to choose/exclude individual Search Partners.

~ Michelle Morgan (@michellemsem)

Google AdWords: ability to apply separate bids for Google Search vs. Search Partners. This is a major source of discontent for just about every PPC professional I know.

~ Emily Las (@emlas)

Ability to target Search network ONLY: This has been on my list for years. What’s the point of showing us Google vs. Search partners performance if we can’t use this data to optimize?

~ Emily Las (@emlas)

Partner site exclusions for Google’s Search Network.

~ Bryant Garvin (@BryantGarvin)

Ability to split Partner and Google Search into separate campaigns.

~ Bryant Garvin (@BryantGarvin)

Google’s ‘search partner’ network can have very mixed results. Sometimes its great, sometimes its not. However, just like display – it’s not the entire network that matters – it is the actual sites. Please give me control over search partners like I have with display: metrics by partner, include or exclude by partner.

~ Brad Geddes (@bgtheory)

I wish I could create campaigns targeted at search partners only (excluding Google search) so that in accounts where I wanted more granular control by network I could have it.

~ Rob Lenderman (@boostctr)

MUCH greater transparence into the search network, much like Yahoo! does.

~ Eloi Casali (@Eloi_Casali)

Search Partner Network reports that show statistics for each search partner domain.

~ Andy Groller (@AndyGroller)

Adwords actually provides insight to Search partner performance and allows exclusions! (actually copy adCenter!!)

~ Crystal Anderson (@CrystalA)

AdWords – Support

Good Engine Reps – I have been blessed in the past with some really good engine reps. They were proactive, organized, responsive, followed through in a timely manner, were good listeners, and understood our advertisers’ goals. My wish for all my PPC friend, myself and my team is to have decent servicing from reps that care and understand your business KPIs, and are not so nauseatingly obvious about their own agenda of increasing budget and ad spend. The features and product developments do that well enough. We need trustworthy reps who can advocate for us and be on “our side.” Understand that if something has good performance, I can typically find more budget. Work harder on the performance aspect and the dollars will follow.

~ Lisa Sanner (@LisaSanner)

The ability for an agency to get Google Reps to help all the agency clients… not just the biggest spenders. Our agency Yahoo Rep can direct AdCenter help for all the clients we manage.

~ Todd Mintz (@toddmintz)

24/7 AdWords phone support.

~ Todd Mintz (@toddmintz)

Reps that know more than I do about Adwords.

~ Luke Alley (@LukeAlley)

AdWords – Targeting

I wish location targeting on the content network allowed for targeting by both physical location and searcher intent the way that the search network now does.

~ Rob Lenderman (@boostctr)

Give me back custom shape Geo-targeting! I know it won’t happen, but this is a wishlist, right? Again, I know there are some workarounds, but for small clients who say “I only serve this county”, or “I want people on this side of the river”, “or just target this neighborhood” it gets difficult. If I can’t have it all, then give me county-targeting. And while I’m on the rant, Adcenter needs better geo-targeting as well :)

~ Mark Kennedy (@markkennedysem)

I wish there wasn’t a concerted effort to move advertisers to head terms, but more to support long tail opportunities. This wish extends to both AdWords (get rid of Not Enough Search Volume) and to the UI.

~ Chris Kostecki (@chriskos)

Demographic targeting (and bidding) in search: If Google+ continues to grow, this may not be too far off!

~ Emily Las (@emlas)

An option to only target Search OR Display network for each campaign.

~ Luke Alley (@LukeAlley)


Microsoft adCenter

adCenter Sections: Administration, Access and UI (14), Features and Enhancements (6), Keywords (5), Yahoo and Bing Targeting (2)

Microsoft adCenter: Again, I KNOW I’m in the minority here. But I wish that the PPC industry would give the adCenter folks a break. They are working hard to improve their product and have made huge leaps since adCenter came to market in 2006. Nearly every day I see someone else complaining, but at this point I feel like it has become a habit without much substance. It isn’t AdWords and never will be. Let’s provide helpful feedback and move on.

~ Emily Las (@emlas)

More ads displayed at Bing.com…I see tons of major queries only returning 3 or 4 ads. Time for them to open up the market and lower their first page bid thresholds IMO.

~ James Zolman (@jameszol)

I’d love to see more SERPs filled out with a few more ads to be a little more consistent with what Google is doing. I think there is room for more without bothering searchers as long as they are relevant to the query…

~ James Svoboda (@Realicity)

More adCenter traffic. I try and try to use adCenter more, but the low volumes and still-clunky interface aren’t worth it.

~ Melissa Mackey (@Mel66)

adCenter – Administration, Access and UI

I’d love to see Adcenter improve their interface and load time. As currently built, it looks outdated and underwhelming. It also takes an unacceptable amount of time to load in every browser I use. Pretty up the girl so I can take her out on the town!

~ Cleofe Betancourt (@askppc)

The UI and desktop tool have certainly come a long way this year, but there’s still a lot of work to do.

~ Lisa Sanner (@LisaSanner)

ALL KWS, Ad groups, Ads in UI – I would like to see tabs for All Ad Groups, KWs, Ads, etc. in the UI similar to AdWords, and then be able to sort on metrics. Having to navigate through the Campaigns => Ad Groups =>KWs or Ads is really frustrating and doesn’t give a whole picture of the account.

~ Lisa Sanner (@LisaSanner)

More than 31 days – Being able to view performance data for more than 31 days certainly would be nice.

~ Lisa Sanner (@LisaSanner)

Fix: Chrome access to AdCenter.

~ Eloi Casali (@Eloi_Casali)

An AdCenter Desktop tool that works as well as AdWords Editor (though it is slowly getting better).

~ Todd Mintz (@toddmintz)

A MCC that allows me to see the stats of all my clients in one place.

~ Luke Alley (@LukeAlley)

A non-logout option that doesn’t log me out every time I go away for 5 minutes.

~ Luke Alley (@LukeAlley)

The exact same layout and interface that Adwords has. :)

~ Luke Alley (@LukeAlley)

adCenter UI Update(s) – AdCenter has made progress (in 2011, I was finally able to get a version of adCenter Desktop to work on my machine–it only took getting to Version 8.0), but I still find their interface extremely difficult to work with, their agency management system mindbogglingly confusing, and their campaign setup frustratingly close-but-not-close-enough to Google’s.

~ Tony Tellijohn (@tellijohn)

Show all campaigns/ad groups on one page.

~ Michelle Morgan (@michellemsem)

Make the desktop tool compatible with Macs.

~ Michelle Morgan (@michellemsem)

Get rid of SilverLight on the Home tab.

~ Michelle Morgan (@michellemsem)

adCenter allows Ad Group level exclusions/settings PLUS maintain the Campaign level exclusions/settings (like Adwords!)

~ Crystal Anderson (@CrystalA)

adCenter – Features and Enhancements

AdCenter to innovate and push the PPC space forwards. It is great how they are reaching out to the #ppcchat community to get feedback and ideas and I hope this will lead to a product that copies all the best features of AdWords and pushes forward in new directions. Google need someone to start beating them in the revenue per search stakes and Bing can do this if they back themselves up with an excellent paid search platform.

~ Richard Fergie (@RichardFergie)

Expand Rich Ads in Search for Bing/Yahoo to be more easily managed. Great for BRANDS! (Google Pay attention).

~ Bryant Garvin (@BryantGarvin)

Better Ad group level targeting– if you change ONE geo or device targeting setting at the ad group level, ALL the ad group settings shouldn’t override the campaign settings. Be careful PPC friends, this can cause great pain if you are not aware of it.

~ Lisa Sanner (@LisaSanner)

adCenter adds Ad Delivery settings – namely the ability to ROTATE ads! I guess they can throw in Optimize for Clicks and for Conversions too!

~ Crystal Anderson (@CrystalA)

“More even rotation” in adCenter for testing.

~ Chad Summerhill (@ChadSummerhill)

Ad Params that dynamically take a price from the landing page, not the feed.

~ Eloi Casali (@Eloi_Casali)

adCenter – Keywords

Modified Broad Match for AdCenter.

~ Todd Mintz (@toddmintz)

A more controlled keyword matching option similar to AdWords Broad Match Modifier would be great to increase clicks and impressions from reasonably related keywords.

~ James Svoboda (@Realicity)

Pausing match types – If I want to pause one match type of a keyword because of poor performance, I don’t want all match types for that kw paused. I don’t want an all or nothing match type. I’ve heard this wish will likely be granted in 2012. Yippee!

~ Lisa Sanner (@LisaSanner)

Match types to work the same in adCenter as AdWords.

~ Chad Summerhill (@ChadSummerhill)

Negative keywords in adCenter to work like AdWords.

~ Chad Summerhill (@ChadSummerhill)

adCenter – Yahoo and Bing Targeting

I’d love to see an improved bidding interface on AdCenter making it easy to bid on both Yahoo and Bing. Would love for them to separate the search networks.

~ Dan Tisser (@Trada)

Separate bids for Yahoo and Bing, too.

~ Melissa Mackey (@Mel66)


Google Analytics

Analytics Sections:Attribution (4), (Not Provided) (7), Social (2), Updates and Fixes (5)

Additional Levels of Admin Access – There can currently be two levels of access for GA: User and Administrator. Users can be created to only access certain profiles, while Administrators have access to everything. There should be a level between these two, maybe Profile Administrator, that would be able to make changes to only the profiles they’re granted Admin access to.

~ Rachael Gerson (@RachaelGerson)

A Less Expensive Premium Google Analytics – Although the Premium Google Analytics does have some amazing new features, the price tag keeps it from being an option for most small businesses. I wish for a significantly less expensive version of the Premium GA. I’d also be happy to accept tweaks to the service offering, such as lower data limits, fewer custom variables, or a higher number of hours in the data freshness guarantee, to help justify the decreased cost.

~ Rachael Gerson (@RachaelGerson)

More Perfectly Tagged Sites – So many of the sites we encounter aren’t properly tagged or having tagging issues that need to be resolved before traffic and conversions can be properly tracked. This wish is a stretch but hey, it is a wishlist!

~ Rachael Gerson (@RachaelGerson)

Ability to Import Data – I get asked about this all the time. Companies want to be able to import data into GA to get a more complete view of their marketing efforts. This could even work within GA, so users could import data into a new profile from an old one.

~ Rachael Gerson (@RachaelGerson)

Google Analytics v5 (still in Beta) offers some great new features making the most of its integration with AdWords. I’d like to see this exploited further still, for example site link metrics and the option to switch to the same conversion attribution model as AdWords to normalise the reporting.

~ Andrew Baker (@SEOEdinburgh)

I would love to have GA track “Events” different from Goals, but still be able to see Event data along side Goals and Conversions to help spot trends and be bale to attribute the interaction to the originating source without having it affect Sales & Lead Goal Percentages. Basically I want them both to play in the same pond, but not muddy the water while doing so.

~ James Svoboda (@Realicity)

Analytics – Attribution

I love segmentation. Attribution management is a wonderful buzzword. When you combine segmentation and attribution management, you end up with more data than you can possibly process. Along the way, we got so wrapped up in segmentation that the high level dashboards got left behind. I’d really like to see GA show a report of unique conversions by touchpoints. Forget the segmentation, just show me that of my 1000 conversions, 22% cam through email and PPC (2 touch points); 31% were SEO, PPC, and social; etc.. Yes, drilling down from there is also useful to make some actionable decisions – just show us the top level data as well.

~ Brad Geddes (@bgtheory)

The ability to attribute marketing sources as last click, or first click, or even setup an participation model. This can help us overcome discrepancies between Adwords & GA.

~ Chris Kostecki (@chriskos)

Better multi-channel attribution, insight into how different channels play off one another.

~ Chris Kostecki (@chriskos)

Custom Attribution Modeling in Google Analytics.

~ Todd Mintz (@toddmintz)

Analytics – (Not Provided)

Remove the (Not Provided) hinderance from Google Analytics. While extremely unlikely its something that really drives me crazy when sitting down and looking through my analytics accounts. I have found analyzing data for brand new sites is even more difficult with (Not Provided) being a large set of the available data. I’m not the only person to report well over 15%-20% of my data being (Not Provided).

~ Nick LeRoy (@NickLeRoy)

For Google to stop masking keyword data from organic traffic. I believe in transparency. Let users decide whether they want to opt in or out of sharing the data.

~ Alex Cohen (@digitalalex)

The Return of Secure Keyword Data, aka The End of (not provided) – Although we’ve found many ways to gather insights in spite of the (not provided) change, just getting 100% of the organic keywords back would be phenomenal. Or maybe Google could create an account setting for individual users to turn on Incognito Searching, but by default, the search information would still pass through to the sites.

~ Rachael Gerson (@RachaelGerson)

Bring back (not provided) data from organic traffic. This will become a bigger issue as Google continues to push logged-in search. Not only is personalization important for Google, but they can eventually do cross-device tracking and attribution once more people are logged in. Right now many advertisers are gun-shy on mobile, but if you can tie research on a mobile device to a later purchase on a desktop/tablet, then ROI will improve.

~ Jeremy Brown (@JBGuru)

I want my (not provided) data back.

~ Michelle Morgan (@michellemsem)

I would love to have Google give us back the query data they took away by making signed in users SSL by default.

~ Rob Lenderman (@boostctr)

Google to give us back our referring information.

~ Chad Summerhill (@ChadSummerhill)

Analytics – Social

Social analytics integration. Forgive me if I missed this; but why can’t this be drag and drop simple? GA supports social analytics; however, there isn’t a wordpress plugin or easy embed method for a standard site to just drop code and analyze tweets, facebook, G+ etc. Someone, anyone, should make an easy code base for embedding all the social items with GA social tracking compatibility, with useful share information (and for those of you who are going to say use shareaholic or the others, by default they show @theirtwitterid – not yours). In fact, I’ll even pay (once – so I must host the code) to buy this functionality.

~ Brad Geddes (@bgtheory)

That when GA said “available next year” for Social Analytics Reports, they meant “Q1 for everyone” and not “Q4 for a limited number of sites.” We shall see.

~ Joanna Lord (@JoannaLord)

Analytics – Updates and Fixes

That Google Analytics goes an entire year without changing the interface drastically. Iterations people, not overhauls. Geezzz.

~ Joanna Lord (@JoannaLord)

That I don’t have to learn yet another new version of analytics this year.

~ John Lavin (@Johnnyjetfan)

Fix all of the outstanding issues with Google Analytics – Rather than sharing a laundry list of features that don’t currently work in the new version of GA, let’s just bundle all of them together. We know Google’s working hard to correct the issues with PDF export, email reports, calculating percent change, $Index, etc., so this wish may come true soon.

~ Rachael Gerson (@RachaelGerson)

Death of Fast-Access Mode – We’ve all run into it: Pulling together information from GA and that obnoxious little yellow notification shows up, “This report is generated in fast-access mode.” Translation: This information is no longer completely reliable. Please, fast-access mode, go away and never return.

~ Rachael Gerson (@RachaelGerson)

It would be great if the new Google Analytics version did not require more clicks to get to the same data than the old version did.

~ James Svoboda (@Realicity)


Holiday Extras

World peace.

~ Richard Fergie (@RichardFergie)

Now for my one REAL Christmas wish (ppc-related) – I am a HUGE comic book geek. Been reading them since I was a kid and still read them today. I would love, love, love a comic book store PPC client. That would be my dream client. I could go nuts…

~ Mark Kennedy (@markkennedysem)

A silent keyboard so my co-workers stop complaining about my “machine gun typing”.

~ Emily Las (@emlas)

My non-search wish is to work less hours next year and spend more time with my wife and children.

~ James Svoboda (@Realicity)

A year supply of Rockstar Recovery (lemon).

~ Bryant Garvin (@BryantGarvin)

Schwag is always good from all parties!

~ Bryant Garvin (@BryantGarvin)

Some sleep if none of the above are possible.

~ Bryant Garvin (@BryantGarvin)


SEM Wish List Participants

We’d like to give a special thank you to all of this years participants for their great input. You can find them all listed here in alphabetical order by first name.

2011 SEM Wish List Participant Badge

Alex Cohen (@digitalalex)
Andrew Baker (@SEOEdinburgh)
Andy Groller (@AndyGroller)
Brad Geddes (@bgtheory)
Bryant Garvin (@BryantGarvin)
Chad Summerhill (@ChadSummerhill)
Chris Kostecki (@chriskos)
Chris Lister (@twistedlister)
Cleofe Betancourt (@askppc)
Crystal Anderson (@CrystalA)
Dan Tisser (@Trada)
Dave Rosborough (@daverosborough)
Eloi Casali (@Eloi_Casali)
Emily Las (@emlas)
James Svoboda (@Realicity)
James Zolman (@jameszol)
Jeremy Brown (@JBGuru)
Joanna Lord (@JoannaLord)
John Lavin (@Johnnyjetfan)
John Lee (@John_A_Lee)
Lisa Sanner (@LisaSanner)
Luke Alley (@LukeAlley)
Mark Kennedy (@markkennedysem)
Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro)
Melissa Mackey (@Mel66)
Michelle Morgan (@michellemsem)
Nick LeRoy (@NickLeRoy)
Rachael Gerson (@RachaelGerson)
Richard Fergie (@RichardFergie)
Rob Lenderman (@boostctr)
Todd Mintz (@toddmintz)
Tony Tellijohn (@tellijohn)



Share your thoughts on the 2011 SEM Wish ListSo what is on your SEM Wish List? Feel free to let us know in the comments below.

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5 Responses to “The 2011 SEM Wish List”

  1. Chad Summerhill Says:

    Awesome post James! Thanks for putting this together.

  2. James Says:

    Thanks for participating Chad! Some truly amazing thought went into these wishes.

  3. Jeremy Brown Says:

    Wow, that’s quite a laundry list. I only listed my high-priority items, but good to see others chime in on some of the small things as well.

    Great job putting this together, James.

  4. Marketing Day: December 22, 2011 Says:

    [...] The 2011 SEM Wish List, http://www.webranking.com [...]

  5. Worst Change in Adwords History? | SEER Interactive Says:

    [...] critical for accurate ad testing. So much so that it’s been a request for adCenter for years (See Wishlist here) and recently has been added to the [...]

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