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|Sudden increase of CPC recently?|
My campaigns are full of inactive keywords.
I didn't review my campaigns since last week, I remember a campaign with arround 1000 keyword in which I had about 150 "inactive for search".
Today I have 750 "inactive for search"!
Does anybody get any similar to this recently?
Google is desperate for cash revenue for the latest earnings report. Just because they have 2 Billion in the bank doesn't mean anything to investors - you need to prove revenue growth; not profitability and they are not show the revenue growth Wall Street wants to see.
On a (possibly) related note, I've been hearing about a lot of account holds recently, with "fax your credit card" visual checks being requested to resume ad display. It happened on a couple of my accounts as well - for different clients with different cards. Any experiences?
The connection is that if there's some credit card fraud going on, that might explain the spike in click prices. Bidders who "liberate" funds don't care much about ROI ;)
Someone mentioned they had thousands of keywords and only 2 or 3 went inactive. Is it possible that the clients are already paying top price?
I do have to add in all fairness that the campaign of mine which got hit the hardest didn't have the best landing pages.
I switched two ad groups from my pages to direct to merchant and they came back tonight.
|They don't mind letting the undesirables run on the content side because most people don't realize it's a G ad anyway. The only way this is affecting you is b/c large numbers of those affected are turning on content in an attempt to make up for the loss in traffic which translates into a better pool to match from, which traslates to better targeting. |
You've hit it on the head with this and several other observations you've made in this thread. Desperation has sent those with "Inactives" to turn on their Content switch, hence the greater pool for Google to pull from (as you just said).
It's also a boon for the truly endless number of MFA sites, which in turn is great for Google revenue. MFA's are obviously not constrained by "page quality scores".
[EDIT] - just found what i'm after [/EDIT]
Hmm, google changes the algo... All the scraper sites peak which causes users to click on advertisements.... Sounds like another class action lawsuit might be on the horizon....
"Hmm, google changes the algo... All the scraper sites peak which causes users to click on advertisements.... Sounds like another class action lawsuit might be on the horizon.... "
now that is just being silly.
|Someone mentioned they had thousands of keywords and only 2 or 3 went inactive. Is it possible that the clients are already paying top price? |
That was me (and it's NETmeg, not NUTmeg, ork ork)
In some cases, yes, but mostly not. I have several thousand words that are purposely placed to rank 5-8 or even lower; we want a presence on those terms, but they're either too expensive or the product they represent isn't lucrative enough to justify more of an expenditure. I have one keyword where I'm maintaining a steady #18 position at 3 or 4 cents per click, and I still get several hundred clicks a day on it. All the client has to do is make one or two sales a week; but if we were paying $4 or $5 per click (which is what I think the top spot is currently going for) it wouldn't be worth it, even with all the extra exposure. As with everything, it's a delicate balance.
netmeg, we're in a similar position, quite happy to go along positions 5-10 for our keywords on the back of an excellent click thru rate for the money, now we're forced to pay more, the click-thru has gone up and we're getting positions 2-3.
Surely if my click-thru rate is so good they would let me lower my bid, there are 40 advertisers below us, what are they paying?
also just got asked to bid £5.50 for an on-topic keyword in one ad-group and it's running at 0.22p in another.....
Yea, but are you actually PAYING that for a click, or anywhere close to that? When they first started doing the quality score thing, I had a bunch of words go to $5.00 all of a sudden. I raised them all up, and with a few exceptions, I never paid more than a few cents more than I was paying before. I just (apparently) had to tell Google that I was *willing* to pay that much. It's a stupid game, I admit, but within a week or ten days, everything pretty much was back to normal, and as long as I keep my pages relevant, I rarely see a word go inactive now.
My personal experience is that sometimes I end up paying the min cpc and sometimes the cost goes up to less than the min cpc. Very confusing.
The thing that I am trying to get across here is neither "yeah, some keywords went up", nor even "my ads stayed the same because we have quality".
I am trying to get across this:
Unless there was some other big stats aquisition, but I am sure it would've been all over the news, there's only one way G$$gle could collect conversion data. It is through G$$gle ANALytics.
So jacking up the prices is caused by "free" G$$gle conversion tracking (a.k.a. ANALytics). It is AS DECEIVING AS IT GETS.
Even Microsoft doesn't act this way.
So, I'm addressing this officially to anyone with an official response.
I am a highest-tier Adwords customer. I spend $60k per month and have had the exact same campaigns running now for 2 years with 10s of thousands of keywords.
In the last few days, many thousands of my long-running, most successful, high CTR keywords have been disabled. These are keywords that had above a 2% click through rate in many cases. These are keywords that converted very well for me (isnt that the true measure of 'Quality')? We're not talking about low CTR, irrelevant keywords, but highly targeted, long-standing, proven keywords.
Google has disabled these keywords and is asking $1- $10 to reactivate them. These keywords averaged a CPC of $.20 before this. At a $1 CPC, I'd be losing money.
I have spent millions of dollars with Google Adwords over the past few years. Are they now telling me that they don't want my money? Because I will not be re-activating these keywords at the bids they want.
If this is not reversed, I will be forced to shut down my account, and my business. I am very very angry about this change.
Can we get an official GOOGLE response on this immediately? If this is related to quality score, then there's a problem in the quality score algo. FIX IT DAMMIT.
|So jacking up the prices is caused by "free" G$$gle conversion tracking (a.k.a. ANALytics). It is AS DECEIVING AS IT GETS. |
I don't use Google Analytics and I was hit by this. I've never used it and I probably never will. So how do I fit into this?
I would like to add that the landing pages that have seen the least impact by whatever Google did have the most incoming links. There is one page with some great incoming links that was hit hard but it is no longer in the index for some reason.
Perhaps it will come back after Google brings the index back from its rollback.
And I think that there is a bssic fallacy here.
Yes, I said FALLACY - as in not true, fake, false assumption, Roswell, UFO's, tin hats...
Google does NOT set the prices. Keyword prices are an AUCTION.
If a keyword goes from .20 to .90, it was NOT Google that raised the price - it was all of those bidding against you for position that raised the price.
Now, there might be some odd and/or nefarious reasons for THAT happening, but it is not the Evil Google Demon that is conspiring against you.
And for the record, just in the past few days I have seen some rediculous keyword bids in Yahoo Search Marketing also... bids go like (low to high): .10.10.10.12.18 3.00...
So basically someone (or some ad bot) is bidding keywords up for some reason. It might be Ad manager software gone mad, clueless fake SEO's that guarantee ad position, or a combination of many things.
But it ain't Google.
That's probably the smartest thing I've heard yet.
Here's what I think: The majority of G's Adwords customers are probably the small time operators, like myself. Those that spend 10k/month or above are probably in the 10% or less range. (just a guestimate)
So, with the conspiracy theories running amok, this means that Google is knocking all of the small time players out, on purpose; they are willing to lose 90% of their customer base b/c they want more money (all based on Google Analytics).
|If a keyword goes from .20 to .90, it was NOT Google that raised the price - it was all of those bidding against you for position that raised the price. |
Not true in this case. Yes, of course Adwords prices and position are set by a combination of your CPC bid and your CTR. However, in this case, we're talking about something different. Google disabling high performing keywords that were showing in a high position, then asking for a minimum CPC 500% higher than the former CPC.
This is not a case of competition bidding up keywords. This is a case of some algorithm setting ridiculously high minimum CPCs, seemingly randomly.
I did notice an increase in CPC simultaneously with a decrease in organic traffic, but if prices rise from $1 to $10 then there's obviously something else going on and it's not a bot because bots are good patriots, but they don't have Adwords accounts.
bradical I suggest you say everything you wrote here to your account manager - posting it here helps you vent, but nothing is going to come of it.
I'm sure some Google employees monitor these boards, but they are not in a position to take corrective action. They also can't comment on what is really going on.
Call up your account manager and #*$!; I bet they'll say something to the effect of 'oh, this is the first I'm hearing about this'. Google ALWAYS tries to put a positive spin on everything.
|Atomic: I don't use Google Analytics and I was hit by this. how do I fit into this? |
G$$gle collected enough conversion data, apparently. So they jacked prices where they saw opportunity to take $$$ away from advertisers - on the best converting keywords. Whether you used Analytics or not is now irrelevant, we are all in one boat, and it ain't the same G$$gle is in.
|Wlauzon: Google does NOT set the prices...If a keyword goes from .20 to .90, it was NOT Google that raised the price - it was all of those bidding against you for position that raised the price. |
And I'd like to get some of whatever you're smoking. Possibly "G$$gle-happy grass"? :)
It is clearly software-jacked prices (or more like someone pressed big red "HIKE PRICES" button), there IS NO WAY some advertiser came in and jacked prices 10x accross the board. You'd need $ Billions (with a B) to do that. Other fluctuations didn't affect it like that in the past.
bradical, definitely beat up a path to your account manager.
So Google hiked my bid prices so I land #1 - I don't necessarily care or want to be #1, but that is the minimum I must bid or go inactive. So pray tell how is one supposed to deal with that?
I run a few campaigns accross multiple niches. I don't spend a lot, but I cover lots of bases. Here's my observation:
* In very competitive niches, this (price hikes) has already been done in the past. Can't pinpoint actual date though, didn't pay attention.
* In competitive niches, price hikes happened this time around (a few days back, when this thread has started).
* In semi-competitive niches, I see some, but not so many keywords being disabled.
* In non-competitive niches, nothing is hiked, prices stayed the same.
From this I can make only one conclusion - G$$gle analyzed conversion data from "free" ANALytics, and desided they can get MORE MONEY for most competitive keywords. There's no other viable, logical conclusion that can come out of it.
Can someone who runs campaigns across multiple niches concur/deny this?
G$$gle-happy crowd, please stay out of this
So after a couple conversations with our account rep, and being referred to a specialist... we got our first suggestion.
First, our situation:
The major campaign that was affected was basically an affiliate ad campaign. We, however, use our own display URL and have our own landing page at that URL where we offer more info than the merchant (actually more relevant to each KW) and have better optimized our landing pages for our audience.
And the response:
The specialist suggested that we eliminate using our URL and take users directly to the merchant site (which is less relevant, and converts at about a 15% worse rate).
We're going to be testing this on a small scale to see if (and how much) it improves things... but perhaps it sheds some light on the changes that were implemented. I know it's not all affiliates that are affected by this, but it seems like they are trying to get rid of what they percieve to be "dummy URLs" that act as a doorway to another site. Which definitely does make some sense from their perspective.
Correct me, if I am wrong, but, does Google Adwords not have a rule about direct linking to the merchant's site - something like only 1 per keyword, something like that?
|So Google hiked my bid prices so I land #1 - I don't necessarily care or want to be #1, but that is the minimum I must bid or go inactive. So pray tell how is one supposed to deal with that? |
Makes a lot of sense, Abagail. At your current bid (or mine for that matter), the page wasn't worthy of showing in Adwords at all because of its poor quality.
Once you raise the bid, your ad goes right into the coveted #1 "hot spot" -- where only the ads with superior CTRs were supposed to go. Even though we didn't do a darn thing to our pages. I guess I'm not smart enough to understand, but it all makes sense, right?
|Correct me, if I am wrong, but, does Google Adwords not have a rule about direct linking to the merchant's site - something like only 1 per keyword, something like that? |
The rule is that only one ad for a particular domain may show for each search.
So if several bidders want to send ads to ExampleMerchant.com, the one with the highest "whatever" will show for each given search.
Meaning sometimes yours may be the one to show, sometimes one of the others using that domain as their destination URL will show.
Whether it's practical to do that depends on how many others have the same idea and how good a CTR/CPC, etc. your ad can manage.
Yours may always show if you can beat out any others, may never show or sometimes show depending on the above factors as well as the budget you and the others allowed for their ad.
There is definitely "something" to the theory
regarding the domain having been kicked out of the
index and ridiculous high CPC's ...
Today I created an ad using a landing page on a
domain that is Not in Google's index -- it had been
dropped quite some time ago. All the keywords
required either $5 or $10 CPC.
I copied the Exact Same landing page to a domain that
Is in the index at PR 4.
Voila ... the lowest CPC to activate the keywords
was .03 - .04 with some as low as .02! And, the
funny thing is, when I hit "save the ad" I hadn't
even FTP'd the new page to the indexed domain yet ...
I had just changed the Domain name in the ad!
This Is Not happening with Brand New Domains (to me
anyway), though. Because I created a few ads on
Brand New domains and the required CPC's were normal
running between .02 - .10.
So, this "new" algo seems to be linked with the
ousting of domains from the index -- possibly?
Who knows? It will probably change tomorrow.
manx- very interesting...
if PageRank of the landing page is tied to quality score, then I may know what happened... Just a theory.
My ads were linked to http://example.com/directory instead of http://www.example.com/directory/index.html
The bots do not recognize any PageRank when looking at http://example.com/directory (which is the same page of course as http://www.example.com/directory/index.html). The latter, full version however is a PageRank 7.
I wonder that if I had done my links the other way (with the www prefix and the index.html), the bots would have recognized the pagerank, thereby formulating a higher quality score, thereby not disabling the ads and asking for high minimum cpc's?
Just a theory.
[edited by: eWhisper at 12:02 pm (utc) on April 14, 2006]
[edit reason] Please use example.com for sample links [/edit]
Apart from the one post from AWA, the silence is deafening. Manx - however - you are a genius.
Here's another problem. Many adwords campaigns use tracking URLS (and some have to link into session variable URLS). Aren't these going to have ludicrously low landing page quality scores potentially? I guess not, if Google only tracks the user habits after click through based on how long it takes for a searcher to click on the next result in the list, but if they are trying to track the user habits through other means as well (Google analytics, Toolbar, ISP data, spy satellite...) then they could be getting false negatives.
agreed, no word when i matters from AWA.
Just had my latest correspondance from the adwords team. Basically i need to increase my quality score, which seems strange as below me is someone advertising an off-topic keyword which sends me through to their own adsense page. real quality!
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