Thursday, May 26, 2011

Tips for Passing Search Advanced Google Exam

Looking for tips for passing the Search Advertising Advanced Exam for Google Adwords? You stumble to the right blog post. I understand the frustration of having to gorge the whole modules from the learning center, thus it is my burden to help you focus on the right chapters or topics.

First, the test is pretty tough compared to the fundamental exam. The passing score is 80% and I scored 89%, which was not bad I supposed. But, I literally crammed my brain during the test, forcing and squeezing the remaining brain juice left. Fortunately, you have ample of time to finish it, Google gives you 3 hours time to finish 109 questions. So, you have the privilege of time.

Here are some pointers to the topics that were heavily covered:
1. Invalid Click. Definitely read through the whole module (sorry I can't be more helpful, lol) But it is a short chapter, and I can assure you almost all the topics there were covered. Know the common causes, how Google prevents invalid click, and what an advertiser should do when they are suspicious about certain clicks.

2. Adwords Tools. Easy chapters yet tons of questions, this is where you want to score. Know what the purpose of all the tools. As far as I can remember, the questions were pretty straight forward. If you want to X, which tool would you use? Check check check.

3. This question is still vivid in my mind and it is still haunting me, even two days after the exam. I still can't figure out what's the difference between standalone keyword tool and account keyword tool. I googled it, search the term in Adwords Help Center, all to no avail. Please please someone help me find the answer and let me know once you have it.

4. For Adwords Editor and MCC, I highly recommend you to actually use the tools for your campaign. Majority of the questions test your experience in using the tools, not so much your reading / memorization on the subject. So, use them, get familiar how to get around and know these: how to give access level in MCC, different kind of access levels, and of course, the main benefits of those tools.

5. API. Most people never use it, I don't. But there are still some questions about it. I would recommend to just know the highlight of this tool, know what it is for, the purpose, the benefit, etc. That's it.

6. Conversion Optimizer: the relationship between CPC and CPA, read thoroughly the "troubleshooting" part (if you see decrease in traffic / conversion, what might be the cause), which feature compatible with conversion optimizer.

7. There are still lots of questions from the basic fundamental exam like keyword, location targeting, or even definition of CTR. So, those are bonus points for you.

Well, I think those were some topics that pretty much slapped me on the face. And as lame as this sounds, I still strongly recommend you to try experimenting with Adwords for a while, especially the tools like Editor, MCC, Keyword tool, My change history etc. Nothing works better than experience right, and it is much truer here, majority of the questions are not theoretical but practical; not straight forward but hypothetical case questions like, if X want to target Y location, also Z person who has V behavior, what should X do to increase M ?

Look, if you know how Adwords works, those questions can be answered pretty quick, but without proper understanding of the concept, it may turn you upside down begging for help (or Google). So, the quickest way to pass this exam might be the longest path, but in the end, here is the reward for those who are persistent.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Las Vegas in Snapshots

Rare view of the Bellagio Fountain - was eating at this Japanese restaurant, Yellowtail. 

 I know buddy, life in Vegas can be pretty rough. 

Double rainbow, lol. These people have a sense of humor. 

Looking for great yet cheap meal in Vegas? Pretty tough mission to accomplish.
But this sandwich nails it. Find them at Planet Hollywood. 

One of the greatest dessert place ever: Jean-Philippe. They have this largest chocolate fountain.
Assortment of cakes - mouth watering. 
Banana foster crepe. I wish my friends were with me to
try the rest of the dessert. 

That's why we have online check in buddy. Smart move,
I skipped all those lines. 

Friday, May 13, 2011

Mere Christianity - Book Club

It started on last September, and after a grueling seven months of reading, scrutinizing and reflecting the text, we finally reached to the end of the chapter. Last Sunday marked the last session of our book club on Mere Christianity, one of the best books I've ever read. Praise the Lord for sustaining and blessing each session with crunchy yet spicy discussion from each fellow book clubbers. Here are what they say about it.

"Being a reader, this book club helps me to learn to read in a different way, being more critical of what I am reading and to think much deeply into the text. The book itself is not an easy read, therefore being able to discuss with my peers really helped me to understand many points that I can't figure out on my own" - Anggrini Kwok

"I really like the way C.S. Lewis invites people to think about God from the secular point of view. Joining the book club also motivates me to enjoy reading. Having fellow friends makes learning a lot more enjoyable because we can share with each other what we learn, we can give opinions or ask questions without being afraid to be judged, and together we learn about how to apply it in our lives" - Ria Pangestu 

"We had a lot of great discussion about faith, hope, forgiveness, charity, pride and ultimately about the nature of the Son of God and our transformation to become his begotten son. I would certainly recommend anybody who is interested in digging more about God or Christianity (but may not be as driven to read) to join one of these book clubs" Pauline Ie

"This is the first time I have ever joined a book club and never thought I would love it like this. During the book club session, we would discuss together the point that we agreed or disagreed with the author. We tried to find some bible verses that support the view and discuss some of the contradictory world views. Then, we pull out some application. It was a really worth it experience." Angeline Tan 

"To me, the book club has been a lot of help by enforcing a discipline and a habit to read (e.g. I am somebody who don't read book as often if there's no book club). Being in a book club allows me as a reader to squeeze more juice out of the book - as we are now analyzing the book through five different perspective instead of one. It certainly is a blessing and a privilege to get a chance to be in the book club. Hopefully there are future similar opportunities to come =) " Hendy Tohan 

To let the momentum fizzle out is a shame. The engine has been set in motion and now it is the time to let it run in frenzy, like a roller coaster hysterically going through all the loops and turns. The next book club is coming in a week, and I hope more and more people do appreciate the acquired taste of reading. Sweet in its simplicity, yet rich in flavor. One chapter of a good book can open up one window of knowledge to the world. People often talk about going abroad for the experience, but what most people often neglect is, book can do that too, if you allow it. So, happy reading :)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Happy Mother's Day - Down the Memory Lane

I don't know why, but God seems to send me here today to Vegas, on Mother's day for some reasons. My mom and I went to Vegas the last time she was here in the US, and being here again just brings all the memories back. One of my biggest regrets is my failure to buy her flowers Mother's day last year. Now, it is only a desperate wish. So today, even though I can't pull that off and it is definitely not the kind of Mother's day I am expecting, I thank God for sending me here and giving me the opportunity to celebrate my own kind of Mother's day.

Strolling Down Memory Lane

Monte Carlo - the hotel that we stayed at. She had the habit of taking pics with the hotel she stayed in;
some kind of her unwritten rules I guess. We came out from our room one night and took pics here.

Small patch of indoor garden at City Center - she loved this spot, apparently she had special affection
for flowers / grasses / gardens.
The Cup at City Center - their sales girl walked around and gave us a free sample. I loved it, so
we decided to take some rest here and slurped some gelato.  
Bellagio Fountain - she was not a big fan of the fountain. 

The conservatory at Bellagio - She was thrilled to see all the bright beautiful colors. This was one of the rare
times she asked me to take pictures of her with the garden.  
Miracle Miles at Planet Hollywood - she tried on several dresses here, loved them, but they were either too tight or too loose. I remember she asked about the point of buying all these dresses when she only had one year to wear them. It literally broke my heart. I was wordless. 
Mon Ami Gabi at Paris Hotel - Upon my recommendation, we ate at this French restaurant. She was afraid of the
escargot, and did not seem to enjoy the meal very much. From that day onwards, we tried to eat Asian if possible. 
I know it is Vegas, but even in the hustle and bustle of the casino machine and piano bar, every people here shares a story, and if you look far enough beyond all their bling bling and hollering, Vegas reminds them of something - either losing money to this casino, or getting married at this chapel or throwing up on this street. For me, this is my story; a story that happened in Vegas, but the one I refuse to let it stayed in Vegas. Simply because it was too sweet and sometimes too bitter to keep it to myself.