Driving SEM Success: Artificial Intelligence
Posted on January 24, 2017 at 1:00 PM
In a recent post on Search Engine Land, founding Google employee and Adwords developer Frederick Vallaeys discussed the role of artificial intelligence in the world of pay-per-click marketing. Artificial intelligence, in the simplest terms, is intelligence demonstrated by machines. This enables machines to execute tasks and solve problems generally perceived as requiring cognition to complete.
Digital marketers encounter artificial intelligence in action constantly in their daily account management tasks. Look no further than your keyword’s Quality Score if you like an example. Search engines utilize a predictive algorithm to grade keywords with a Quality Score based on predicted landing page experience and click-through rate. Any automated bidding strategy used revolves around artificially intelligent algorithms judging historical performance of keywords and using that history to create a suitable bid. The purpose of blending advertising technology with artificially intelligent mechanisms is to reduce the workload of the paid media manager as well as make better optimizations. Machines can analyze much larger data sets in a shorter amount of time than what is possible for a human.
Much of the debate and skepticism around artificial intelligence as it relates to paid media management comes from instances of misuse and over-reliance of the technology. Vallaeys gives an example of a keyword being down by a bidding strategy after a new page layout tanked conversion rates. After the layout change was reverted, sales continued to be lost and the blame was placed on the bidding strategy for reducing the keyword to Page 2. In the post, this was referred to as “bad artificial intelligence,” however the algorithm was behaving as it was designed in this case. Performance did not merit a bid increase and it had no rules set to adjust for landing page changes.
At Sentic Technologies, we pride ourselves on not only presenting a solution that puts cutting edge artificial intelligence in the hands of the advertiser but we also educate PPC managers on how to properly utilize the technology to help prevent such mistakes from happening. In the example above, our system automatically monitors changes to the landing pages and provides performance boosts when a top performing page is applied to a keyword. There are additional safe guards within the Sentic platform, including:
• Multiple rules which can be applied in the platform to prevent the automation from executing in unwanted ways
• Whole sections of the Google/Bing account, such as keyword bids and final URLs, can be excluded from system updates
• Customer Success Account Managers are partnered with each client to advise strategic uses of the technology
In the current state of PPC, account managers must strive to understand the capabilities of the automated systems being used. At Sentic, we push for transparency and full understanding of the platform. We encourage our clients to take deep dives into the dashboard to increase their knowledge. We maintain communication with all clients to discuss the performance of the technology. This is because we believe in innovation and advancing the industry. And in our shared opinion, technology is the catalyst.