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Checking For An Error Page


HeyJim
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I'm new to Overture PPC (ok. Yahoo Search Marketing now) and learning to deal with changing my bids according to the approximate position that I want in the search results. For those that are not familiar with the process you tab to or click from the price box to the bid tool which in turn opens up a new page/window that shows you the top X bidders and their bids so then you can, at least theoretically, bid for the postion that you can afford. It's a really slooooow process begging for the right macro. Software to do this is extremely expensive and involves monthly payments.

 

I've written a couple macros but it still takes me 5 minutes to do a block of twenty search term/bids. Considering that I have thousands of search terms updating is a drag. I'm not too concerned about updating daily but even week to week is a real time consuming problem. The couple of macros I have are a big improvement but it would be nice to be able to automate two additional sticking points and it's those two points I'd appreciate some insight on.

 

First, although the success rate this morning is better than normal on some days the bid window opening fails as often as 30% of the time which throws a real monkey wrench into a simple macro. The page title doesn't change with the error. The only difference to trap for would be the word "error" on the page or in the source code.

 

I've played around with running CONTROL F first and searching for the word "error" but can't get my head around what/how to do anything with the page if I do find it as opposed to not finding it.

 

Currently my macro pauses to see if the bids tool page opens properly and I click YES or NO and the macro proceeds accordingly. It would be nice to automate that step.

 

The next hanging point is automating picking up the appropriate amount to bid.

 

Let's say I want to be in position X for all of the terms in a particular group. With Firefox the macro searches for a recurring phrase X times. The macro pauses, I left click on the appropriate position, the macro resumes and highlights the amount I want to bid, closes the window and places the amount in the bid box. Time saving but still not completely automated.

 

If X = 20 and there are only 7 competitors I end up in the wrong position because Firefox starts the search over from the beginning of the page and doesn't stop until it's found the target phrase 20 times. With my current macro it's not that big of a problem because I then just scroll down to the point I need to be (last bid on the page in this example) click, highlights, etc. But, there's gotta be a better way.

 

Any suggestion on either sticking point greatly appreicated.

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Sometime after the above post I was on the road and thought that maybe if I never closed the bid window that I wouldn't get what I think is a server error from Yahoo. Just tried it. Doesn't make any difference. I can run a few checks and then get the error with the info not loading on the page. Still need a way for the macro to check whether it's the error page it's processing and then move on from there. (And, it's probably something simple I'm missing.)

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