Brad Geddes / PPC Geek
Official Google Ads Seminar Leader.
Author of Advanced Google AdWords.
Co-Founder, Adalysis.
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Brad Geddes's Theories on Marketing Lycos Relaunches PPC Program Powered by MyGeek

Lycos Relaunches PPC Program Powered by MyGeek

Lycos has re-launched their PPC program with many new features. Their new PPC back-end provider is MyGeek. The new feature set contains items that have traditionally been part of a CPM program. After looking through their documents and options, I decided to re-launch a Lycos campaign and add it to my conversion test. Then the trials began…

Lycos PPC was first powered by FindWhat. It was a non-intuitive interface where one had to navigate many screens just to go from the login to your actual account. Once in the account, then the process looked just like FindWhat except with Lycos branding. It seems their new PPC is powered by MyGeek. I’ve not used MyGeek before, but Lycos is claiming some pretty good statistics for total search:

  • Reach – 155 million unique users
  • 5.5 billion searches monthly Value

Source: (now offline)Lycos Presentation (warning: PDF file).

The steps to creating a Lycos account are pretty amusing.

  1. Create a new user account
  2. Log into new user account
  3. Agree to TOS
  4. Click ‘AdBuyer program
  5. Taken to new page, click ‘continue’
  6. Returned to ‘Click ‘AdBuyer program
  7. Seems it’s an endless loop

So, the sign up wizard does not work. However, if one searches around an activated account, there is a ‘manage account’ link which does take you into the management screen.

The first screen is the ‘daily spend cap’. This was VERY disappointing. The minimum daily spend cap is $25. That’s a minimum of $750 per month. A bit pricey to just run a conversion test. The top end of the daily spend cap is $20,000. I’d be pretty surprised if Lycos could really deliver $600,000 worth of quality PPC clicks in a month’s time. (Note: I later learned that if you dig through all the choices, you can set a monthly spending cap as well that ranges from $25 – $20,000).

However, some of the controls did look pretty good. Here’s a list of some of their features:

  • Day Parting
    • Daily Start Time
    • Daily End Time
  • Campaign Types
    • Cost Per Click
    • Cost Per View
    • Cost Per View Text
  • Frequency – Display ad once every (see list below) per user
    • 1–7 Days (7 Choices)
    • 1–24 hours (24 choices)
    • 1–4 weeks (4 choices)
    • Basically – choose how often you want a user to see your ad, and if they’ve seen it within that time frame, then the ad will not be displayed. This is usually a CPM choice, I’ve never seen it as a PPC option before.
  • Targeting
    • Contextual & Behavioral
    • Contextual Only
    • Behavioral Only
  • Daily Spend Cap (see above)
  • Monthly Limit – many choices from $25
  • Campaign Limit – set a choice per campaign (so you have both a monthly by account cap and a campaign cap. I do wish Google would introduce this feature
  • Matching Options
    • Broad Match
    • Exact Match

At this point in time, I was pretty impressed. However, I’m still unable to find the ‘Behavioral’ options that I supposedly can target by.

The PPC Listings Details are as follows:

  • Listing Name (basically the AdGroup Name) – 50 characters
  • Title – 50 characters
  • Description – 250 characters
  • URL – 200 characters (this is surprising – most are 1024 so one can add a nice dynamic tracking code to the mix, or run everything through an ad server
  • Display URL – 200 characters

After going through the listings and creating an ad, I was presented with a screen that listed minimum CPC, max CPC, and the previous month search volume. I enjoy forecasting tools, and it was interesting to see Lycos’s forecast. I was quite surprised that a keyword like ‘Google sandbox’ received 0 searches on Lycos. It’s a common webmaster search, and for the volume to be that low, it seems not too many webmasters are searching on Lycos.

All keywords and ads must go through editorial approval. So, until I know what Lycos will approve and not approve (I could not find editorial guidelines), I’ll wait to give them my credit card and test out their conversion rate.

With their feature rich options, if they can actually execute upon all of a user’s choices, Lycos might return as a solid tier 2 player. It’s hard to call them Tier 1 with their current volume. However, small PPC engines that can convert are well worth testing.

Only time will tell.

No Comments

  1. Werty
    August 2, 2006 at 5:54 pm ·

    Brad I gave Lycos a try after a little bird told me it converted well. Well first off it would be one thing if it was just Lycos, but they throw you into the pool (toilet?) of partner sites. I burned through my budget within 3 hrs, and was sent the total ammount I get from both Google and Yahoo, within those 3 hours… IMPRESSIVE.

    We tracked it down and it looked highly automated, much of the traffic came from searchfeed, and probably some of their shite partner sites.

    Lycos was bitches about giving a refund, so it was $25 down the drain and I cancelled with them.

    I would be VERY CAREFUL with using lycos PPC. The good news is you can opt out of all their partner sites in their control panel. Do this!

    If you just want massive click fraud/robotic traffic it may work for you and convert as outgoing traffic if you catch my drift…last I checked robots were not into shopping so as an aff or merchant it was crap.