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Jan 22 14

The Truth About Long-tail Keywords

by Robert Coats

Long-tail keywords are great…. as long as they have search volume. Which admittedly most do not, especially when it comes to what might be relevant to a nonprofit account. Another problem with long-tail keywords is that most account managers add them into the AdWords account without any thought to the actual landing page. I mean, sure, the landing page might be about donuts but is it really about “pink icing donuts with rainbow sprinkles”? In most cases, no, far from it.  

About 10 years ago, I was interviewing with a major agency here in the Seattle area and one of the questions the interviewer asked me was, “what is one of the first things you do when you take over an existing account?”

My answer was “delete keywords that are generating wasted spend”.

To which the interviewer replied, “but as an agency we want to expand our clients keywords to increase ad spend.”

“If you are increasing the keyword list just to increase ad spend, then you are doing your clients a disservice, ” I said.

Needless to say, I didn’t get the job. And while a lot has changed in our industry over the past 10 years, one agency mantra still remains the same, “expand the keyword list and add long-tail keywords.” And the myth of chasing the “long-tail” to AdWords success still remains. Why? One reason is because agencies get rich off of long-tail keywords and expanded keyword lists. This is because more ad spend often translates into more revenue for the agency since many agencies charge a percentage of ad spend. So they espouse the benefits of long-tail keywords to their clients and publish blog articles about them. It is a regurgitated “best practice” that has went on since the days of (I know, I was there.)

But another reason why the myth persists is because there is a glimmer of truth to long-tail keywords. You see, fewer advertisers advertise on long tail terms so the bids are often less – an important consideration for those with Google Grant account. Although lower bids do not necessarily mean fewer advertisers in the auction mix because you are also bidding against all of those short-tail variations of phrase and broad match.

Another sparkle of glimmer is that when the content is in place, lang-tail keywords can have very high quality scores. Again, this is another important consideration to all AdWords advertisers but most especially to Google Grantees.

So you see, there is some truth to the greatness of long-tail keywords and I do not have anything against them but long-tail keywords are NOT a means to success with AdWords, at least not by themselves. You MUST have relevant content to support your keywords, regardless of how many words are in your keyword phrase. That is because adding long-tail keywords, without the content on the landing page is like putting the cart before the horse… it just doesn’t work, regardless of how many horses you add.

A one-word broad match keyword with a landing page with good relevant content will (in many cases) out perform an exact match 4 word long tail keyword with a landing page with poor content. And while this is true with any AdWords account, it is doubly true with Google Grant accounts.

So, my suggestion, is to focus less on adding long-tail keywords and focus more on adding the right keywords, regardless of how many words are in the keyword phrase. And remember, adding the key phrase of “pink icing donuts with rainbow sprinkles” is only appropriate if you have a page offering “pink icing donuts with rainbow sprinkles”.

Nov 7 13

Google Launches Connected Classrooms

by Robert Coats

With budget cuts in school districts across the country, field trips are beginning to go the way of the dinosaurs.

Google decided that if students leave the classroom to go on field trips, why not bring the field trips to the students there in the classroom. Today, Google is launching Connected Classrooms which provides students with virtual field trips via Google+ Hangouts to places like the Seattle Aquarium, San Diego Zoo, The Smithsonian, Philadelphia Museum of Art, NASA and a growing list of other education experiences across the country.

According to Google:

“Connected Classrooms is a program from the G+ Education team to provide teachers with the resources to connect their students with experiential learning opportunities, like virtual field trips, on Google+. With internet access, webcams and inquisitive minds, the possibilities are endless.”

Without a doubt, teachers and educators should look into this great resource to bring the World to their classrooms.


Oct 29 13

Google Pumpkin

by Robert Coats

Thank you Google for the Halloween pumpkin!


Sep 29 13

Google Grants Re-brands as Google Ad Grants

by Robert Coats

Google Ad Grants | AdWords for nonprofits


The Google Grants program changed its name to “Google Ad Grants” this week. Nothing else is changing with the program, just the name.   The main reason behind the change is to clarify what the program offers, ($10,000 per month in free AdWords advertising) since Google is also known for offering several other types of grants. According to the Google Ad Grants team, the Google Grants site, Google for Nonprofits site, Help forum, applications, etc have all been updated to reflect the new name.

If you are a nonprofit and have not taken advantage of this great program by Google, we at Kinsey Street strongly encourage you to learn more about it. Contact us today and we can help you get the application submitted and your AdWords account set up and running in before the holiday season hits. Once you are all set up, we can provide full service Google Ad Grants management.

Jul 16 13

Google For Nonprofits Now Available In The UK

by Robert Coats

Charities in England and Wales have cause to celebrate today with the launch of Google For Nonprofits in the The UK.

While Google Grants has been available in many countries around the world for several years now, Google’s full-suite of tools for nonprofits has only been available to US-based organizations. That all changed today with Google’s announcement that they are launching the Google For Nonprofits program in the UK starting in England and Wales.

Google for Nonprofits UK


The Google For Nonprofits has been a stellar success for nonprofits in the US and with today’s UK launch it is an indication that Google wants to make it’s full suite of nonproft offerings available to more countries. The program provides charity organizations of the UK free access to a wide variety of products including:

  • Google Apps to help cut IT costs
  • Google Grants, the nonprofit version of AdWords that provides up to $10,000 a month in advertising
  • Premium features such as ‘donate now’ buttons for YouTube accounts
  • And special mapping technologies for Google Earth and Google Maps.

Dan Cobley, managing director of Google UK, said, “Through Google for Nonprofits, we want to support the incredible work of charitable organisations in the UK by eliminating some of the technical challenges and costs that they face. We hope our technology will help them to reach more donors, improve operations and raise awareness so they can focus on changing the world for the better.”

Kinsey Street has worked with nonprofit organizations around the world and is excited to see Google continuing to expand their programs. If you are a nonprofit based in the UK we strongly encourage you to apply to join the program today. If you need assistance, please feel free to reach out to us.


Jul 15 13

Google Grants Renewal Forms Go Out

by Robert Coats

As I reported back in June, Google was in the process of launching a new renewal policy for their popular Google Grants program, their nonprofit version of AdWords.  Well, today is the day that nonprofits in the Google Grants program started receiving the notices with the headline – Action Required: Submit Your Google Grants Renewal Form. Notifications have gone out both by email and by alert messages within the AdWords account of the grantee.

The renewal form is very straight forward and essentially, Google just wants you to re-submit the information you have submitted previously, to verify that you are still a valid nonprofit organization.

There is a three-week window to fill out the form but it is so easy (and so important) that I do recommend that you do it now. The Google Grants team will be reviewing organizations on a rolling basis and the team has stated that since there are many Google Grants accounts to review, Grantees will not receive a notification decision for several weeks. Rest assured, your Google Grants account will remain active and running in the meantime. The Grants team is asking that grantees do not email to inquire about the status of their renewal as this will delay the process.

What Is The Purpose Of The Renewal Policy?

There are several reasons but three primary reasons are:

  1. Google wants to verify that the grantee is still a valid nonprofit organization.
  2. Google wants to ensure that grantee AdWords accounts are compliant with the policies and guidelines of the Google Grants program.
  3. Google wants to verify that the AdWords grant is promoting only nonprofit initiatives and services.

Additional information about the new policy be sure to visit the Renewal Policy FAQs for more information on the renewal policy.

Jun 26 13

New Google Grants Renewal Policy

by Robert Coats

Google Grants sent out emails today notifying grantees that Google Grants will be starting a renewal policy this July. This new renewal policy will be for any Google Grantee that has been in the program for over 6 months. During the renewal process, grantees will need to re-submit proof of current, valid nonprofit status, along with their AdWords Customer ID, for review.

The new renewal process is to ensure that the grantees are in fact still nonprofits and that their AdWords account remains in compliance with the Google Grants guidelines. This new process will likely become an annual requirement to maintain the grant, however, this is subject to change.

In my talks with the Google grants team, they mentioned that  goal of the renewal policy is to ensure that grantees:

How The Renewal Process Works

Grantees will receive a notice in their AdWords account telling them when it’s time to submit their renewal form. The Grants team will also be sending 4 emails: first, an alert email telling them that renewal is coming. Then 3 emails during the renewal window telling them it is time to submit their renewal form.

Once the Google Grantee receives notice of the review they will be given a three week window to submit the required renewal information. During the review, their Google Grant AdWords account will remain active and the grantee shouldn’t notice any disruption to their impressions or clicks during the renewal review.

If during the review process the Google Grants team finds that grantee does not have up-to-date charity status and are in violation of Grants guidelines, such as hosting Adsense ads on their site, promoting more than one URL, promoting a URL not associated with the registered nonprofit, have ads/keywords that are not mission-based (ex. promoting online clothing store that’s not charity-related/selling mp3s/etc) then the nonprofit is subject to suspension from the Grants program.

Next Steps

Ensure your notification email in your Google Grants AdWords account is up-to-date. The renewal form will ask you to provide:

  • Nonprofit status number or documentation (depending on the country)
  • AdWords Customer ID
  • Nonprofit organization and contact information

Most grantees will have all of these things readily available and the process should run smoothly.

If You Need Help With Your Google Grant

If you are concerned that your grant account will not pass the renewal process and you want to ensure that your AdWords account is compliant with all of the Google Grants guidelines, feel free to reach out to us. We provide Full Service Google Grants Management. Call us at 425-405-0690 or via our contact form.


Jun 14 13

Google Grants URL Policy Change

by Robert Coats

On the heels of the Google Grants Adsense Violation Notices going out, the Google has also made changes to the URL policy and has begun sending notices to nonprofits in the Google Grants program that are promoting more than one website via their Google Grant.

The notice reads in part:

We are writing to inform you of a change we are making to our URL policy.

Google Grantees may only promote the one website domain name associated with the registered nonprofit that approved for Google Grants. We realize that some nonprofits may have separate domain names for events or fundraisers. However, to maintain the integrity of our program, we now require that Google Grantees only promote the one domain name associated with the nonprofit that was approved for Google Grants.

For more on the URL policy, please visit the Help Center article:

The new policy, now prohibits promoting more than one URL. Moving forward grantees will only be able to promote the website URL that was approved for use with the Google Grant.

Previously, nonprofits were allowed to promote different URLs for events and fundraisers via the Google Grant. However, the new policy only allows organizations to promote the ONE URL for the registered nonprofit approved in the Google Grants application. The new URL policy does continue to allow the promotion of subdomains and sub-folders.

Google Grantees must remove any extra domain names from their account by July 2013. After a short grace period, the Grants team will begin enforcing the new policy and any Grantees that continue to promote multiple domain names or a domain name not associated with the registered nonprofit will be subject to removal from the Google Grants program.

One of the issues that we are seeing from the various message boards is that some Grantees do not remember the original URL they applied for the Google Grant under. In my talks with the Grants team they have shared that, “As long as the website reflects the mission of the organization approved for Grants, they are fine. They simply must only advertise the one website domain name in their account and should delete all other ads and campaigns that are running different domain names.”

So if your organization has received notice and you are not sure of which URL you should promote, you will need to choose the website that either they remember was the one approved for Grants or matched the true nature of the IRS-approved nonprofit.

If you need assistance in updating your Google Grants AdWords account before the July 2013 deadline, please feel free to reach out to us.


Jun 7 13

Google Grants Adsense Violation Notices Go Out

by Robert Coats

The Google Grants team sent out violation notices today to Google Grants participants that had been identified by the system to have Google AdSense ads or affiliate advertising links on their website – a violation of the Google Grants policies and guidelines.

There have been some false positives where the system detected ads when there were not any and those grantees affected by these false positives have posted concerns on the Google Grants Help Forum that they may be loosing their $10,000 per month AdWords grant.

I spoke with the Google Grants team earlier today and they informed me that for now they were just giving a warning if the system detected AdSense on the grantees site and that they are not taking action yet. 

Here is a copy of the notice:

Dear Google Grantee,

Per Google Grants policies and guidelines, nonprofits enrolled in the Google Grants program cannot display Google AdSense ads or affiliate advertising links on their website while participating in the Google Grants program:

Your organization’s website was found to be in violation of this policy. We kindly ask that you remove the Adsense ads from your website by July 2013.  Google Grantees who continue to be in violation of the Google Adsense policy after July 2013 will be subject to removal from the Google Grants program.

As noted in the Google Grants guidelines, Google reserves the right to grant or deny an organization’s participation at any time, for any reason, and to supplement or amend these eligibility guidelines at any time. Selections are made at Google’s sole discretion, and decisions regarding Google Grants violations are final.

For information on Google Grants guidelines, please visit:


The Google Grants Team

And while the Grants team is not taking action yet, this should serve as a warning to those grantees that are not following the guidelines to become compliant or face loosing participation from the program.

For those affected by a false positive, keep in mind, this is just a warning and the Google Grants team is not taking down accounts at this time. This warning just gives grantees a chance to address any issues that may exist before a further review takes place.


Apr 2 13

Happy 10th birthday, Google Grants!

by Robert Coats

10 years.
28 countries.
14,000 nonprofits

Congratulations Google Grants team! What a great 10 years it’s been!

If you are a nonprofit and you have not looked into Google Grants yet I strongly encourage you to do so today.

To celebrate the 10th birthday of Google Grants, Kinsey Street will waive set up fees for any nonprofit that signs up for our Google Grants management service during the month of April 2013.

Contact us today and let’s get your nonprofit set up with $10,000 per month in free AdWords advertising via Google Grants.


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