Apologies to Lennon and McCartney for the beginning of that title, but I couldn’t think of anything other than that classic phrase when I was reading some posts today about how you can get in trouble with AdWords if you don’t follow the rules exactly and sometimes even if you do. Add that to the fact that Google is constantly tweaking things and it can be overwhelming to try to keep track of all the changes on a microscopic level, including whether or not they will apply to your particular situation and ultimately affect your ads and … well … it can make you cry for “help!”
There are a gazillion places you can turn, not the least of which are the multitude of various tutorials and explanations and videos and examples found within the AdWords interface itself. With hundreds of bloggers and online professionals offering free advice as well, spread all over the Internet, there are plenty of places to look for answers. But one classic online approach to giving and receiving help is the oldie, but goodie, bulletin board (now more commonly called a forum). And, surprise, surprise — NOT — Google has a forum for every darn product/feature they offer, including a well-organized one for the AdWords program with over 27,000 postings. It’s manned by some Googlers and also community leaders who offer assistance and explanations no matter how silly you may think your question is. In addition, they have recently started up their “Tip of the Week” thread again, which may be a good one to bookmark if you are looking for advice from those in the know.
Overall, I think that Google does a good job of providing clear and straightforward help material in a number of formats for all levels and degrees of experience. The forum approach is one that is especially attractive to some, as it allows individuals an opportunity to ask questions (and more importantly, get correct answers) from other practitioners and raise issues that aren’t covered in the official material or are hidden so deep in the (understandably) dense material online that it’s tough for ordinary humans to ferret it out. (Darn … there’s those ferrets again LOL.)
The only part I find a little annoying is the inclusion of the “did you find this helpful” tag and rating (235 out of 236 people found this helpful) on each and every comment made to a post. Yes, I see the point of including this info, but when you have 25 people responding to a question with one sentence answers, each of which has that tag and rating below it, the page gets a little tough to slog through. Still, the presentation is an improvement over the sometimes clumsy threaded setup often seen in this type of help setup.
If you’re looking for help and have an aversion to official advice that causes you to hit the snooze button, you might want to explore some of Google’s user forums on the product of your choice. You might learn something useful and with any luck, someone will even answer your question!