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AdWords Video Campaign - A lot of worthless views

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# 1
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Hi there,


Before I start quick few facts that you might find useful:

- I'm fairly new to Google AdWords

- I started video campaign for a diet program a week ago. It is pretty simple 8-minute presentation of a diet program with offer to download free first e-book of the program

- I tried both In Display and In-Stream campaigns with country targeting options

- If the results were much better I could call them bad - what I got is far worse than bad


After reading quite a bit about AdWord video campaigns, I decided to give it a try. After going back and forth with compliance team, I finally managed to create video and website that complies with all the AdWords policies. 


On YouTube, I tagged the videos, added descriptions, and calls to action. I experimented with call to action options - Call To Action in the video, Annotations, Cards, etc. In AdWords, I used targeting options based on country and keywords. So, from what I read about video ads, I did pretty much everything by the book.


Now, I understand that viewers might not like the product I'm promoting or that they don't like the video. But not to receive a single visit to my website, especially considering the fact that I'm offering something free is beyond my understanding. 


At this point, after tweaking videos and call to actions options, I tried to figure out where my ads were shown. Looking at the stats, I got the feeling that a lot of views are not authentic, although invalid click showed 0. And here is why (please consider that I didn't visit every video or website where my ads were shown):


In-Stream campaign:

- More than one website is in gray and doesn't exist any more. Those were websites.

- Out 130 views 105 have 100% view rate. When I visited some it is no wonder - you can't interrupt the video before 30 seconds expire.

- The quality of the websites is highly questionable. I do know a thing or two about bogus websites that look more like click farms than a legit websites.


For In Display campaign I found similar results. A lot of bogus videos with clearly paid comments and views. View rate for at least 6 videos is 200% - can't figure this out.

For over a half of the videos view rate 100% (one show, one view), mostly questionable quality homemade cartoons and similar stuff. I found that more than one video is taken off YouTube and channel is banned.


Needless to say, not a single invalid click for anything from the above is reported.


Also, I tried clearing the list by adding the videos mentioned above to exclusion list, but this is futile since new similar videos keep coming up with same statistics - one show, one view (or one show, two views).


For now, I stopped the In-Stream campaign and for In Display I left only "YouTube Search." I'm not receiving any hits, and so I'm steadily increasing my bid adjustment to see how much it will cost for my keywords to show there since I'm hoping that at least YouTube won't use fake clicks... 


I would appreciate hearing some thoughts. If you need additional info I can place stats, links, or anything you consider useful here.


Thank you!


1 Expert replyverified_user

AdWords Video Campaign - A lot of worthless views

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Hi @Bojan M,


I'll take a stab here and see if I can help you get sorted out.


First, I would absolutely add some additional targeting (demographic/audiences/topics etc...) to any in-stream campaigns, also even campaign restrictions (that may help clear up some of the junk) - and only target YouTube videos with this campaign. Keep in mind, that if you choose Video Partners, you'll essentially be running across the display network too.


Then, I would set up discovery ads for YouTube search & Videos. Layer in topics and keywords as well to assist in the Discovery matching process.


The YouTube universe is vast, use targeting to further identify and refine your ideal audience.  Test multiple campaign and ad types, but keep them separate.  You need to have the correct ad type (discovery/in-stream) for the particular targeting you have set up.  For instance, using an in-stream ad for search is never going to work, you should use the discovery ad format.  


Hope this helps a bit.





Tommy Sands, AdWords Top Contributor | Community Profile | Twitter | Philly Marketing Labs
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AdWords Video Campaign - A lot of worthless views

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# 3
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Hi @PPCBossman,


Thank you for your time and interest. I'll try to be a bit more specific on what I've done and what confuses and worries me.


In-Stream campaign - I used placements (YouTube videos and channels) and age (excluded 65+ since it's a diet program) targeting. I did leave Display Network, but I certainly didn't expect Google to allow that amount of junk websites and to get all views from GDN. Like said, on some sites ads can't be skipped before 30 seconds expire, some are taken off, and for some I simply don't get where my ad was shown. Also, one hit - one view is at least really strange and fishy. Here is the report from my AdWords so I could document what I'm talking about. And AdWords haven't reported a single invalid click/view, so I was charged for everything from that report.


In-Display campaign - here I used keyword and age targeting. Based on experience my friend had with the similar campaign last autumn I expected to see most views from YouTube search and I did, but the problem is that those views make 14.5% of all views. Where all the rest views came from would be hilarious if they were free - some had 200% view rate, some had 0 views or 0 shows but I was charged and most of the views (over 50%) had 100% view rate - one show, one view. And most, if not all, are cartoons or kids stuff. To say again, I'm promoting diet program and I've used a pretty well-targeted keyword. A lot of videos have highly questionable quality and for more than one it was obvious that they received paid views and comments, I'm guessing to rank higher and then monetize. My wild guess is that they can cap the frequency of ad showing and that is where 1 show 1 view is coming from. Here is the AdWords report for In-Display ads placements.


For In-Display campaign I tried all sort of gimmicks, but excluding is futile because new "cartoons" just keep coming. And, I'm sure that I can't fight spammers by manually removing videos.


Now, I tried to leave just "YouTube Search" for targeting but I'm not getting any views. While junk videos were showing my ads (and taking money from my account), the cost to appear in YouTube search was less $0.03. But with search only option I couldn't get a single hit for $0.20? 


To underline, for every view you can see in the reports I was charged. No invalid clicks whatsoever. 


Considering that AdWords has no problem to charge me for the clicks that I deeply believe are invalid, experimenting could prove costly? 


I understand that this is a user-to-user forum, so I don't expect you to solve this. I just want to check if someone had similar problems and get some directions if possible.


Again, thank you so much for your time, interest, and help.