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This 213 message thread spans 8 pages: < < 213 ( 1 [2] 3 4 5 6 7 8 > >     
Google AdWords: Landing Page Quality Update!

 2:55 am on Jul 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

"'.....From time-to-time, we improve our algorithms for evaluating landing page quality (often based on feedback from our end-users), and next week we're launching another such improvement. Thus, over the coming days a small number of advertisers who are providing a low quality user experience on their landing pages will see increases in their minimum bids. It is important to note, however, that the vast majority of advertisers will not be affected at all by this change, as they link to quality landing pages........"

At least this time Google is giving a heads up.



 7:45 pm on Jul 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

tenerifejim - take a look at the following page:


although, this isn't quite "opening their algo" it gives you an indication of what they are looking for. by the way, i don't see any indication (on their guidelines) that the presence of a privacy policy could contribute to a more highly-rated landing page.


 7:50 pm on Jul 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

i don't see any indication (on their guidelines) that the presence of a privacy policy

I would think that the subheading that reads:

Treat a userís personal information responsibly

Would indicate that they are looking for a privacy policy. ;)

Unless you make answer the questions they put forward in that on each and every page you link to.


 8:01 pm on Jul 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

i overlooked that section, but i don't think that an algo without ai can deem whether a privacy policy meets their conditions. in other words, the presence of a privacy policy does not mean that you have an acceptable privacy policy. the amount of manual work required to review privacy policies seems prohibitive, so i cannot imagine that this is part of the algo.


 8:52 pm on Jul 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

In response to these comments:

"natural gas, electricity, phone service". I know exactly what my fee for KHW for electricity and natural gas - it is disclosed. What I don't know of course is how much I am using every day - but there is no surprise what price I am paying. Actually Google tells you just the opposite; what you spent after you used their service. Phone service? I know exactly how much a minute my provider charges for a call in the U.S. and every country around the world - I don't know what kind of provider you have that they don't tell you the rate.

Auctions on Ebay and at an auction house are totally different too. Ebay you can track the price progression and if it goes higher than you are willing to spend you stop bidding. But you can track (up to the minute) what the price would be if the auction ended. Google doesn't tell you that - again they tell you what you were charged at the end of the 'auction'. I don't know any auctions that only tell you the price at the end :) Maybe you are talking about a silent auction.


 8:58 pm on Jul 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

On Ebay you put in your max bid and Ebay will charge you up to that max bid. Dont' bid more than you are willing to pay because you might have to pay it. You never know how high the next bid on Ebay will be and if it will force you to pay more.

Google is the same - put in your max bid and if there is traffic available at that price you will get it up to your max CPC and your max daily budget. Google shows you how much you paid per click just as Ebay shows you how much you paid for the item you just purchased.


 9:04 pm on Jul 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

Then Ebay changed; last time I used it it did not have a max bid requirement system. It has been about 2 years since I used Ebay, but back then you could increase your bids at a set increment.

If this is the only Ebay model now, it's not surprising less people are using Ebay.


 9:09 pm on Jul 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

"Google shows you how much you paid per click just as Ebay shows you how much you paid for the item you just purchased."

This is actually partially untrue. Google shows you the AVERAGE CPC for your clicks. If you had 7 clicks 1 day on a certain terms they don't disclose the 7 different prices. They only time they tell you the exact CPC for clicks is when you've only had 1 click on a term.


 9:53 pm on Jul 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

Ok well I just asked a friend who uses Ebay often. I should be clear and say I am talking about Ebay in the U.S.

So Ebay still works how I thought it did. If I am looking to buy a guitar that I think might be worth $400 I could set my intial max bid at $200 and increase my bid amount as I see that I am not the bidding leader.

You cannot do that with Google people, you cannot. The difference is that again Google NEVER tells you before you are charged what you will pay - Ebay does. Every ebay auction starts at a price and goes up. That is not how Google works. In theory yes, in reality - no. Google is an ongoing auction that never really ends. Sure prices come down somewhat when the number of active adveristers are reduced, but Google never lets the price to drop that much even when there are say 3 advetisers for an auction. Ebay does start at a low price and 100% disclose ever advertiser increase.

Enough discussion on this, but comparing Google AdWords to an Ebay auction doesn't work (for the reasons I made clear).


 10:27 pm on Jul 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

but i don't think that an algo without ai can deem whether a privacy policy meets their conditions

Maybe, but a person can. And nothing says an algo can't have human input.

Adwords brings in active money and can therefore afford to have human editors. They use them left and right for everything else in adwords. Why not here?

Then you take the input from human editors, find the common "signals" that would indicate that a site is low quality and then input those into an algo. Seems pretty easy to me. Not foolproof, but easy.

[edited by: hannamyluv at 10:28 pm (utc) on July 10, 2006]


 10:27 pm on Jul 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

It would have been nice if the original announcement had suggested movement was possible both ways i.e. that advertisers with very highly relevant ads would see a DECREASE in their advertising costs as a result of the update. But unless there's something to that effect outside the quoted bit, it sounds like they're just squeezing more cash out of people...


 10:48 pm on Jul 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

It would have been nice if the original announcement had suggested movement was possible both ways i.e. that advertisers with very highly relevant ads would see a DECREASE in their advertising costs as a result of the update.

But that wouldn't make sense economically for anyone (though some advertisers obviously wouldn't mind).

If advertisers want to decrease their advertising costs, they can do it by writing ad copy that doesn't encourage casual clicks.


 12:00 am on Jul 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

But that wouldn't make sense economically for anyone (though some advertisers obviously wouldn't mind).

Whatda.... What I think europeforvisitors is really trying to say is that it wouldn't make sense economically for Google. As an advertiser I would like to remain under the umbrella of "anyone".

The problem with Google as always is a lack of transparency, not to mention an already monstrous but growing arrogance. Maybe it will come back to bite them in the rear.

Whilst I'm ranting could I perhaps suggest an Orwellian revision to G's oft quoted motto "Do no evil without cause"


 1:30 am on Jul 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

Whatda.... What I think europeforvisitors is really trying to say is that it wouldn't make sense economically for Google.

No, I meant it wouldn't make sense, period.

What you seem to be asking for is a discount if you write relevant ads. That's unreasonable, and it's also unnecessary, since truly relevant, well-written ads should result in fewer casual clicks and more conversions.


 1:57 am on Jul 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

I was simply pointing out the obvious contradiction in your statement.

I don't think Edwin is necessarily asking for a discount. I think most of us would like to see a more transparent measure of the quality score so that we as advertisers could improve said score thus decreasing bid price.


 2:59 am on Jul 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

I like the implications that this will clean up all the spammy sites buying Adwords


 3:14 am on Jul 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

Good news if it increases the price enough to remove the posibility to do MFAs that sell the traffic back through adsense. I do hope it will reduce the number of scams in the program. Although I'd rather see them banned completely and permanently.


 3:55 am on Jul 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

Unfortunately, a site with "a low quality user experience" may have something very important to say.


 4:23 am on Jul 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

lots of people with important thoughts go unheard because they aren't good enough at saying it. It's the real world. This is real world business.
As a publisher, I am of two views.
1. I hope it extends to bids on the content network, because that will be the best for long term growth and integrity of Adsense.
2. I hope it doesn't extend to the content network because I can't wait for all that low quality money to pour into the system.

Gooogle, please choose #1.


 4:51 am on Jul 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

Anyone seeing much action over this? I have not noticed much change anywhere.


 5:41 am on Jul 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'm seeing some big movements in min bid prices and a lot of words have been disabled.

Two thoughts:

1. My sites are definitely not low quality content. Far from it the content is original, very well written and tightly targetted.

2. I can see definite room for improvement in other aspects of the pages eg. more attention to accessibility, more and better navigation etc.

I would put my hand up and say that reading through Googles site guidelines I am probably a minor offender on some points. However, being honest and objective, I would consider my sites to be way way higher quality than many so my questions to Google would be twofold - 1.If I manage to accurately identify the low quality areas and improve them are the bids going to be re-assessed (because I have to say, out of all my keywords, the ones disabled seem very random) and 2. When is this reassesment likely to take place, soon after the changes are made or in a month or so when they set the quality bot loose again?

As someone else pointed out earlier, this might be an instance where some clarification could be reasonable expected.


 5:53 am on Jul 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

Unfortunately, a site with "a low quality user experience" may have something very important to say.

The purpose of Google adsense is to connect buyers with sellers, so,unfortunately I am not sure how related these two entities are...

I have noticed for me an increase today in the eCPC


 6:04 am on Jul 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

I have keywords that I was paying around 30 cents for and getting lots of clicks shoot up to $10!

In fact most of the keywords that have been made inactive suggest $5 to $10 to activate!

This is ridiculous. Are they just trying to kill affiliates?



 9:50 am on Jul 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

The landing page quality update is a *nightmare* for me! First time poster, long time forum reader and affiliate marketer.

What CJshu described in the previous post is exactly what's suddenly happened to me over the last 24 hours. I have many campaigns in AdWords as an affiliate, with thousands of keywords, and all of a sudden a large percentage of my keywords have gone Inactive with the minimum bids jumping to $5.00 and (most of them) $10.00; many of them having worked fine for months at under $0.50!

This amounts to *thousands* of my keywords going inactive overnight. Even some of the most high-traffic keywords that I have gotten a terrific CTR on over the last few months, and which have converted very well with my merchants, are now impossible to bid on.

This is absurd. I guess I've somehow been singled out as one of this "small group of advertisers" that Google said would be affected. I don't even know how to approach their support staff; I've been an AdWords customer for a year and a half and perhaps a moderate to heavy volume spender at that, having spent well over $10,000 on ads over this time (most within the last 4 months as things have ramped up). I've never seen anything remotely like this.

If I were to try to single out all the well-performing keywords that Google has suddenly deactivated and try to explain to Google why my ads and landing pages for each one are relevant, my help emails might take weeks to write.

To add insult to injury, some of my competition for high volume/good converting keywords who have clearly less relevant ads and far worse landing pages have been allowed to stay in the search results while I've been pushed out by the $10.00 minimum bids to activate. All of the bidders I'm used to seeing on the first search result page appear to still be there, and I'm gone.

This is very bad. I'm going to try to write a well-worded support request to Google, but I'm not too confident about their response. I've never called Google; is there a way anyone knows of to obtain a support phone number? As far as I know I'm still considered an average Joe advertiser and am not in any kind of higher priority group to obtain higher levels of support.

Thanks in advance for any insight that you WebmasterWorld minds might have on my plight!

edit -- I should add that I do not do MFA sites, no AdSense at all in fact, no evil adware or parasitic stuff, no link farms. I have some campaigns with simple landing pages (1-page, nothing fancy, privacy policy stated at bottom) that have some simple relevent content and affiliate links to merchants from CJ and other affiliate networks; while my other campaigns are direct-to-merchant PPC redirects from Google ads through my own subdomains to the merchant sites. I know the latter format is something that some affiliates frown upon even though it's not against the rules, but I make certain with each of my merchants that it is OK with them. I still get very good conversions with many of these direct-to-merchant Google ads and Google has never penalized me before for them. Interestingly, the sudden inactive keyword problem I now have does not seem to have discriminated between my campaigns with landing pages and those without.


 10:35 am on Jul 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

I don't even know where to start. From time to time I will have an active keyword go inactive, asking me to "Increase quality or bid ('from .05 to .10' or 'from .10 to .20') to activate" and I could evaluate if my landing page and adjust as needed. No big deal and understandable. Now, like others I am seeing .05 to .10 asking for an increase to 1.00 to 5.00 per keyword to activate. These are words that are definitely in the top 10 and usually top 3 placements. Nothing to do with these but pause or delete!

Did Google screw up some mundane detail?


 10:41 am on Jul 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

I can't help thinking that this will settle down over time.

At the moment there seems to be no middle ground for minimum bids. The minimum bids are either the lowest possible or the highest possible.


 11:38 am on Jul 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

A great way to compensate for the loss in traffic from
deactivated keywords, of course is to start using also
the MSN and esp. the YAHOO PPC. Especially since yahoo/overture no longer has minimum spending per month
requirements. We see the same apparently random deactivations, with completely illogical patterns.
The very first step we now take, is opening MSN and overture
PPC accounts.

Calc Richmond

 11:54 am on Jul 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

Seeing the same influx of min CPC prices in the UK, both for clients and ourselves. This is just plain crazy and I would expect Google to honestly have to re-evaluate the whole implementation and undo what they have just done...the pricing for the market as a whole just completely went wrong..

Running to Yahoo! & MSN with open arms.


 12:28 pm on Jul 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

We have the same experience. Site is Widgets.com. Keyword [wid gets] went from $0.05 avg. CPC to $0.50 to activate (the CTR is 23%) and [widgets] keyword now requires $5.00 to activate (the avg.CPC was $0.03 and CTR was OK). There're many more examples.

The site is relevant to the keywords and the surfers, but the GoogleBot could mark it as irrelevant, because there is a small amount of text content on the site, most part of content is graphic one, which is relevant for human being, not for machine.

Emailed to support last night, I do not expect to get quick response though, because my email wasn't the one regarding these changes.


 12:32 pm on Jul 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

Google "Do No Evil" philosophy :)


 12:39 pm on Jul 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

Just so nobody wastes any time or hope:

1) It won't settle down. Your bids are stuck there and no amount of asking, pleading or begging will get your rep or customer support to say anything more than "Improve the quality".

2) Half the support people you talk to will say the pages are fine and they don't understand, the other half will say you got what you deserve.

3) It's not fair, but any of the major spenders who have junk ads or blatent MFA type sites are not going away. As long as they are designed clean, they will stay.

4)G will not take this to the content side. This appears to be an image thing for G. Most non-web people don't understand or know that adsense ads = G, so G has no reason to clean them up. Beyond that, it pushes the people who lost their sites into the content side.

5) This has happened twice before. Go back to April and November to find the threads.


 12:49 pm on Jul 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

Good point hannamyluv, these massive price increases are hardly new.

This 213 message thread spans 8 pages: < < 213 ( 1 [2] 3 4 5 6 7 8 > >
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