(Quidditch for the wizarding world of Search Marketing)
To celebrate the launch of Campaign Planner in the UK, Canada and Australia, we have invited a guest writer from England, ROI’ry Potter, to explain the rules of the magical world of search marketing.
Search marketing is an extremely animated but very popular semi-contact sport, played by the wizards and witches of the SEM community.
Anyone can play this sport, but the best at it have specialist chasers, who take care of the keywords; beaters, who manage ads; a keeper to make sure the scores are scored in the right hoops, and a seeker, targeting the precious Golden Snitch. The referee (also responsible for the pitch) keeps score, and make sure that the game is played according to the rules.
The game is played on, or rather over, the Bing Ads Quidditch pitch - an oval-shaped clearly marked space, which when played globally measures 13.7BN searches long and 577M unique users wide. When played in the US, it measures at 5.9BN searches long, and 161M unique searchers wide. In the UK, the pitch size had reached a record 11% of its home-ground potential, at 644M searches long, and 26M unique searchers wide1. What a playing field!
Once the balls are launched, the Quaffle must be tracked. Quaffles are text inputs, bewitched and variable. The chasers must predict the Quaffles carefully, keeping possession – scoring 10 points if they get it into a hoop. Whilst Quaffles can score points for the team, the game goes on until the Golden Snitch is caught by the seeker, at which point such momentous event is ‘converted’ into a mighty 150 points for the relevant seeker’s team. Thanks to the new Bing Ads conversion tracking technology, Universal Event Tracking, the Golden Snitch now has ‘flesh memory’, and via a recipe similar to that of the humble biscuit, will remember (by default for 30 days, but up to 90 days) the team who first touched it. This flesh memory means that seekers will be able to improve their Golden Snitch catching strategies in future games, using the upcoming Bing Ads Search Remarketing product. Note though that even the referees have to wear gloves when handling the Golden Snitch (according to published privacy policies).
It’s the beater’s job to control the Bludgers, which can throw the game and indeed players on or off course. A Bludger is traditionally a display URL, two lines of text equalling 71 characters in total and a title of 25 characters. The Bludger can be dynamically enriched by Bing Consumer Ratings and other similar, magical annotations. In recent times, the Bludgers have been embellished with up to four Enhanced Sitelinks, each with their own description, making them significantly more effective at influencing the game. Bludger strength significantly impacts the players’ ability to get the Quaffle into the appropriate hoop. If not closely watched, they’ll bash players about indiscriminately. A beater will have a Bludger A/B testing strategy in place to ensure clarity and proper representation on the pitch.
It’s important to note that players are not allowed to stray over the boundaries of the pitch, but may fly as high as they want to achieve their goals. The referees have provided a number of key insights into flight levels, enabling keepers to carefully plan their take off. The latest is Campaign Planner, where you can get the latest game stats, including vertical insights, product insights and quaffle trending! You’ll now find it on the tools menu in the US, UK, Australia and Canada.
Other player stats can be found in Auction Insights – now available for all quidditch pitches. Auction insights lets you keep tabs on opposing teams. There’s also Bid Landscape, which allows you to model your expected altitude at various bids in a visual format, and the newly revamped Opportunities Tab for your game improvement strategies.
One’s choice of broom is also critical to success. Many professional players now use the newly launched Nimbus Bing Ads Editor 10.7 to manage their game efficiency, to ensure that they are flying the fastest, and are best positioned to catch the precious Golden Snitch. Note Nimbus Bing Ads Editor models 10.4 and earlier have been retired as of the end of March.
If not carefully played, all sorts of fouls could be recorded by the referees in Search Marketing Quidditch, such as:
- Blatching - flying towards other players with the intent to collide (and potentially breaching the intellectual property rights of others)
- Bumphing - hitting Bludgers towards unknowing spectators with aggressive advertising messages
- Stooging - hacking other players’ game strategies, or website.
- Quaffle-pocking - tampering in any way with the Quaffle’s relevancy to the team.
For the full game rules, please check our Quidditch Policies.
Finally, rest assured that your referees are spending a lot of time making sure the game equipment is fit for wizards. Check out the Broom Cupboard for more details on the latest enchanting updates.
1 comScore qSearch (custom), December 2014