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|What is Quality Content in Relation to Smart Pricing?|
What is the Best Definition of Quality When We Speak of Smart Pricing?
In another thread someone said this about smart pricing:
|Sending through a lower volume of high quality, pre-qualified traffic... |
I think the part people may get hung up on is how they define high quality and prequalified. I have seen some people refer to the authority of their content in explaining the high quality of it, in the context of detailing the the sad state of their AdSense earnings. But are we sure that the authoritativeness of the content has much to do with the quality of it in the context of smart pricing?
For instance, will authoritative content about the cosmos written by a PHD in astronomy translate into sales of telescopes or Discovery Channel DVDs? Or will those ads generally go uncliked, despite the "high quality" of the content?
- Is there really a connection between the authority of the content and conversions?
- Or is the quality of the content tied closer to the topic and it's relation to buying and selling products?
What is your opinion on authority in the context of Smart Pricing?
What is the best definition of Quality when we speak of Smart Pricing?
I think they use Analytics and large customer feedback to determine what types of content, and visitors, lead to conversions. It's not perfect, but it's real, it's scalable, and it doesn't care how smart you are, just how effective.
Ok I read everyones comments " Whew ".
"Heres my take on it"
I am currently building a blog right now. All my own original content and I am trying to build alot of it. " Time Consuming I know ". Googles Monetization and proprietary click system has always baffled me.
I have tried everything literally, I have tried having alot of content and hoping that their search engine would drive the much needed traffic to my site so I could get a click for what I believe to be " Extremely High Quality Content "
I just can't do it, I can't make the 100 bucks a day steadily and earn a living off what I love.
It just seems to me that its a almost a Adsense-Club. Smart-Pricing as you call it seems to only effect me and anyone else not in the club.
Define Invalid-Clicks, are these clicks over a certain amount? Say I get 2000 impressions and a CTR of 20% am I then flagged as "Smart-Priced" and content drops to .03 CPM? Hows it work?
Smart Pricing seems to effect anyone that gecs actual click through?
This is exactly why I picked a subject now that I thought.... nobody would care about. I mean the industry I picked is advertising spyware for god sakes and I already feel the pressure of Public Service Ad Attacks going on.
This is great for google but every time I start earning I seem to get cancled. Oh I am sure their are those living in NewYork that get paid 1,000,000 a click and those getting 140 US a day just to brag how easy it is.
But unfortunatly I want money and when you want to get paid from Google it seems Smart-Pricing never opens their Google-Wallet.
Seems they have 3.1 billion avaliable for double click but can't scrap together 1 grand to pay me.
I think at this point you could change it however you want and I will still get you the traffic that every other blog on the internet fails to do.
Human Clickthrough. I appologize in advance. However like I said before. I don't understand Smart pricing or content since a blog I whipped up in 5 minutes earns me 60 dollars today and the website I spend 100 manhours on designing and 1 day writing content for has about 5 clicks to its name.
I don't deserve to be denied a income and if so why do you keep letting me back in?
Is it because with actual click through on Adsense network what screws up the proprietary click through system?
Time to start paying everyone according to impressions and not clicks and take money from advertisers for actual page views I see that as taking the DEVIL out of your system.
I am sure this industry didn't get where they are today by stealing from people.
Their has to be a better way.
|However, in the context of this thread the definition of 'quality' content must also include its conversion rate. |
I think this muddies the waters. Content doesn't have a conversion rate. Traffic does. If one then decides that "content which sends high-converting traffic" is quality content... that describes a totally different set of pages on the web from the set what most people would understand by the term "quality content" (ie. original, informative and useful pages professionally produced, researched and presented). Thankfully, the sets overlap.
|To leave conversion or ROI out of the definition of quality content in this context is misleading. |
I'm really not certain that conversion can be included in the definition of quality content in any meaningful way. Conversion is a factor of content, certainly: some pages have more effective calls to action than others. But I suspect there is little or no correlation between quality and conversion.
If you have a highly effective page aimed at people looking to make a purchase which is only ever visited by a community of monks, that page will never send converting traffic. You can't isolate conversion from the traffic that comes to the page in the first place and then is sent on.
The quality of the on-screen content - the way content is researched, written, displayed and collected - matters less than if it is the kind of thing sought out by purchasers on an information-hunting-gathering expedition.
|The traffic won't convert if the content doesn't make the sale. |
The traffic won't convert if the content on the destination site doesn't make the sale, that's for sure. But also the traffic sent through to the merchant site has to have conversion potential in the first place. Unless your page warms up cold prospects from scratch, conversion potential is not a factor of the quality of what's on the page, but a factor of who is visiting it.
|This means the scraper site's leads are, in many cases, the opposite of prequalified leads: They're clicks by users who have no idea what they're doing |
Users who have no idea are preferable to users who have no money. At least some of the former convert.
|Users who have no idea are preferable to users who have no money. At least some of the former convert. |
Sure, but so what? There are people with and without money in both audiences (those who click for the wrong reasons and those who click because they're interested in the product or service being advertised).
Given that there are people with and without money Google would prefer the ones with the money even if they originate from scrapers. Google prefers them over any traffic you send (from a quality content site) that doesn't have the ability/intent to convert.
I wonder if they put ads on Encyclopedia Britanica, it will immediately get SmartPriced :) Because it is not a pre-qualifying content
Let's separate the concepts:
1) "Quality Content", point of view of a researcher or internet user
2) "Quality Content", advertiser's point of view
3) "Quality Content", Google's point of view
IMHO these are 3 intersecting sets of sites, none of these completely include the other.
#1 - could be an article that is written by a PhD. Could be a cool game for a kid. Could be a forum. Has nothing to do with how #2 or #3 perseive "Quality Content"
#2 - content that presells avertisers product or service. One-page websites come to mind. Shopping comparison and coupon sites. Product and vacation reviews. Someone not in a buying mode should HARDLY perceive this as "Quality Content", more of these are like a sales pitch.
#3 - from Goolge's perspective it is content where they can place ads that are matching well and convert better. I think this is a completely different set of sites, some websites may be from #1, more would be from #2, and even more from #4 (see below).
#4 sites - MFAs. Sadly, this is a win-win for Google and advertisers. By nature, MFAs are designed to have "quality content per Google", because they target specific KWs and are designed to trigger high-paying ads on their pages. Could be machine-generated for all MFAs care. If MFA site converts, I as advertiser would want to keep that traffic, so it won't be blocked.
|europeforvisitors: It's why publications like GOURMET, CAR AND DRIVER, POPULAR PHOTOGRAPHY, and INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY attract better-quality ads |
Yes, and I'd like to know how many webmasters here have that kind of money to create something like that. I think most people here are not in the popularity content, they are trying to make an honest living off their websites. They don't have millions to create something like IBD. So do you suggest they should all be SmartPriced, for the lack of money to invest into their sites?
|I wonder if they put ads on Encyclopedia Britanica, it will immediately get SmartPriced :) |
Quite possibly, and why not? If quality is a factor in Smart Pricing, it's only one factor.
|I'd like to know how many webmasters here have that kind of money to create something like that. [GOURMET, CAR AND DRIVER, POPULAR PHOTOGRAPHY, INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY] I think most people here are not in the popularity content, they are trying to make an honest living off their websites. They don't have millions to create something like IBD. So do you suggest they should all be SmartPriced, for the lack of money to invest into their sites? |
Yes, they should be Smart Priced if leads from their sites don't convert. It isn't the role of Google or its advertisers to subsidize every Tom, Dick, and Harry's Web business.
As for "having the kind of money to create something like that," you miss the point. No one is saying that you need to create a new CAR AND DRIVER or INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY to avoid being Smart-Priced to death. What you do need to do is attract the right kind of audience. There's a common belief here that all "content" is the same, and that anyone who slaps up a bunch of 300-word essays on this, that, and the other thing or a blog titled "My Thoughts About the World" should be able to make a living through the kindness of Google and its advertisers. Sorry, folks, but that's a fantasy. Real advertisers want to spend their money with real media (large and small) that can deliver real audiences. That's how the industry works.
It's going to get even more interesting, now that the AdWords advertisers have reports that will give them detailed information about which sites their content network ads are appearing on, and the click/conversions for those sites.
In the context of AdSense (and other ad/aff programs) it absolutely is the content that converts the traffic from following up a query result to clicking on an ad. Very few who show up on a site 'intend' to click; if that were the case they'd have clicked an ad directly on the Google query results page - many do as we know. (sidetopic rant - why do you think the G-effort is ad relevance up, query result quality mediocre?)
What do you think the point of A/B type testing is? To refine the content for maximum conversion. The exact same information presented differently gets different responses. Nothing new here folks. Really.
Google is an ad server: their only interest in publishers is somewhere to display the ads they're pushing. As a corollory: the only good publisher is a converting publisher. Why do you think MFA is still rampant? Because it converts. Smart Pricing is simply a program to reward conversion. You move product you get a better margin - just like every other business sector.
Context is everything. Quality content means it meets required needs. Once AdSense is added to a page ad-clicking becomes a requirement. For those of us building longterm information/content businesses the other quality attributes remain critical but in the context of conversion and profitability.
|What you do need to do is attract the right kind of audience. |
The quality of the audience is more important than the quality of the content...as far as Adsense is concerned anyway.
|If quality is a factor in Smart Pricing |
No, it's not. Never was. Never is. There are several references in this thread to quality of the content affecting smartpricing. That's a myth. It's wild speculation. It's completely untrue. It's the tooth-fairy on Santa Claus's shoulder. It's a Bill Clinton. It's a Tony B Liar. It's smoke and mirrors. Go on, ask me why I'm so sure.
[edited by: oddsod at 4:47 pm (utc) on May 15, 2007]
|The quality of the audience is more important than the quality of the content...as far as Adsense is concerned anyway. |
Yes, but as I've pointed out, the quality of the content contributes to the quality of the audience--and, in many cases, to the quality of the leads that come from that audience.
Does anyone here seriously believe that the quality of, say, the Popphoto.com audience isn't higher than the quality of the joes-photo-keyword-scraper-site.com audience, and that the quality of POPULAR PHOTOGRAPHY's content isn't the reason why?
|the quality of the content contributes to the quality of the audience |
Huh? When we refer to the quality of the audience in this thread we are referring to the likelihood of them converting, not how discerning they are in their reading materials.
|When we refer to the quality of the audience in this thread we are referring to the likelihood of them converting, not how discerning they are in their reading materials. |
Exactly. And for those who don't understand why POP PHOTO's audience is more likely to convert than are people who land on joes-photo-keyword-scraper-site.com, a Google search on "endemic advertising" will provide enlightenment.
|In the context of AdSense (and other ad/aff programs) it absolutely is the content that converts the traffic from following up a query result to clicking on an ad. |
Conversion is not clicking. CR is not CTR.
|What do you think the point of A/B type testing is? To refine the content for maximum conversion. |
No. To refine the content for maximum clickthroughs.
I'm willing to be corrected but I don't think the content of a page can change the intent of the visitor to purchase or not to purchase. It may push the visitor further in the direction that they were going anyway, but it cannot make them go in a completely different direction. A visitor who is visiting a site just to read information, is not going to buy something after clicking on an ad unless they are some kind of impulsive and easily-persuaded simpleton. There are techniques to improve CTR, I don't think I've ever heard of any to improve CR.
|Context is everything. Quality content means it meets required needs. |
No, quality content means professionally produced content. Quality traffic is traffic that meets required needs.
|the quality of the content contributes to the quality of the audience |
That doesn't mean that quality content in isolation can deliver a high conversion rate. In this case the quality of the content is acting as a promotional channel to repeatedly attract high-quality traffic. It is not the quality of the content which is raising conversions, it is the quality of the traffic. (Easily tested: put an unknown high quality site on a server, ban all search engine bots and refuse to promote it using any traditional marketing channel. Go to three thousand towns and villages across the developing world, pay everyone you meet $10 to visit your site. The result will be lots of traffic to a high quality site but (I'm guessing) a low conversion rate. Why? Because it's the quality of the traffic that matters, not the quality of the content).
[edited by: ronin at 6:10 pm (utc) on May 15, 2007]
So, lets say a website advertises with a CPC of 15c a click, but has very few conversions percentage-wise. If the ads were being smart priced, surely the CPC would reduce to reflect the low conversion rate, according to previous comments on here.
In reality, the CPC doesn't drop considerably to reflect the poor conversion rate, so where exactly does CPC reflect smart pricing, from the ADVERTISERS point of view?
It seems that many people on here feel that they get paid lower for Adsense clicks when they are poor in quality/conversion, so in effect this should reflect in advertising costs for Adwords customers.
Hence my view that smart pricing isn't quite what people think it is.
|the quality of the content contributes to the quality of the audience |
That doesn't mean that quality content in isolation can deliver a high conversion rate. In this case the quality of the content is acting as a promotional channel to repeatedly attract high-quality traffic. It is not the quality of the content which is raising conversions, it is the quality of the traffic.
I haven't been talking about "quality content in isolation." The original post in this thread wasn't about "quality content in isolation," either. The point that I've been making--and which you apparently agree with--is that quality content helps to attract an interested audience or, to use your term, "high-quality traffic". That's a basic principle of publishing and advertising, and it's why trade and enthusiast publications are attractive to media companies and advertisers.
Side note: Amazon just acquired DPreview.com, Phil Askey's popular and respected digital-camera news, review, and community site. The acquisition shows how much real companies value quality content and the audiences that quality content attracts.
I've thought of this in the past and here is my take. Smart pricing takes a number of things into account, not just one.
part 1. 'Quality content' is subjective. What they really mean is quality for one advertiser is NOT necessarily so for another. For instance in the camera example. The specific camera review page is 'quality' to someone (advertiser A) advertising that specific camera by name and model, but 'useless - non-quality' to someone (advertiser B) who doesn't sell that camera at all or anything like it. It might be 'semi-quality' to someone (Adverstiser C) who sells a competitor's equivalent. Thus if all three advertisers are bidding 1.00 for the general keyword 'camera', smartpricing would charge A 1.00, B: .10 C: .50 . Advertiser A will show up on your ads first and you'll be paid apropriately. If only B is available, or you have the space, he'll show up too, but he'll only be charged .10. Theoretically they could determine how appropriate it is for each Advertiser by their site content, but perhaps only by their ad text or the keywords they are bidding on. i.e. if someone bids for the specific camera name and model, it will cost them 1.00, but if there are only ads available for the generic term 'camera', then they will show as a last resort but at a discounted rate. Thus it may be important to have very specific keywords on your page to match on in order to get the highest, most specific keyword matches and hope G finds and recognizes them.
part 2. It makes no sense that G would simply charge advertisers less because they FEEL it will convert poorly (other than as explained in part 1), you know, why refuse money advertisers are actually willing to throw at you, so they must have SOME manner of measuring. Feedback. I always assumed it was based upon the confirmed reported results from the relatively few advertisers reporting. Thus if only 1 out of 10 of your advertisers are reporting results, and for some reason his particular results are unusually poor, G will smartprice everyone else downwardly as well, which I do not feel is fair at all. Likewise with the other direction. Not being an Adwords advertiser I don't know how that reporting happens. Perhaps they also take into account how many ideal potential advertisers filter your site.
part 3. I feel this comes from the origin of traffic to the page as well as the perceived authority of the page by the Google Search engine. I would swear they use PR and other info from the G toolbar to determine the overall quality and smartpricing of the page. Shoot, they already HAVE the info, why not use it? I have seen PPC on a page drop drastically when it's PR suddenly dropped one rank with no other apparent changes.
|And for those who don't understand why POP PHOTO's audience is more likely to convert than are people who land on joes-photo-keyword-scraper-site.com, a Google search on "endemic advertising" will provide enlightenment. |
Actually, this sounds more like a guess than a well accepted fact. Are you an Adwords advertiser with extensive stats on conversion rates? And have you compared those with other Adwords advertisers in different markets?
There is no evidence that POP PHOTO's audience converts better than the mixed bad audience that have the misfortune of landing on photo-scraper-site.info. It's pure speculation.
The fact that someone is looking for quality content does not mean he's looking to buy. Example: I have a technology site with great info on hardware. Journalists visit it often to get tech background to articles they are writing. They even email the webmaster and sometimes wangle free links back to the site in exchange for assistance. It's well respected. It earns me almost zilch. Aren't those journalists looking for quality content? What if that tech site were an MFA? At least some of those visitors would be looking to buy.
It's the looking to buy property of the visitor that's important. And it's connected to his taste in quality only when the stats irrevocably prove that.
What's most enlightening is your use of the endemic advertising term. Some of the biggest names in the business bemoan the fact that contextual is too impersonal and that the endemic "relationship" is non-existent.
Tweak your scrapers is my advice. And then sell me my first scraper.
Not you, EFV, I wouldn't trust any scraper you're selling. It may have some unique content on it somewhere!
|It's the looking to buy property of the visitor that's important. |
|The fact that someone is looking for quality content does not mean he's looking to buy. |
True, but I think EFV's point is that publications which have brand-name recognition and a regular readership are in the position that when one member of that readership - or even someone who just vaguely remembers the title - is looking to buy they may well turn first to the brand they know or remember best, rather than typing a few generic keywords into a search engine.
what's "smart pricing"? I guess it means reasonable pricing for the final product that you offer or get.
One thing that every content writer should have in mind is that the content that he/she is spreading has to be of help to the reader.
If a writer has an answer for the question (Is my content going to be of help and make the life of the reader better?) then his content has the quality. Then comes the evaluation part. Well, the best way to evaluate such thing is if you listen the the opinion of the readers. It's like posting a video on YouTube. You publish it and then you wait to see how it will go.
There are many freaking ways to evaluate such things in this fast growing web. One of it is by comparing it with the UGC (the user generated content).
|There is no evidence that POP PHOTO's audience converts better than the mixed bad audience that have the misfortune of landing on photo-scraper-site.info. It's pure speculation. |
It's Direct Marketing 101. Audience matters. That's why companies pay a premium for targeted direct-mail lists, for example.
|The fact that someone is looking for quality content does not mean he's looking to buy. Example: I have a technology site with great info on hardware...It earns me almost zilch. |
Sure, and a scraper site might earn you almost zilch, too. But more to the point of this discussion (which is about smart pricing), users who click through to ads from your site are more likely to be prequalified than confused users who click an ad that's disguised as a navigation link on a scraper site. They're better-quality leads.
Also, as has been stated before, quality doesn't exist in isolation. Audience motivation is a factor: Witness the Google example of a camera review (which is likely to be read by people who are thinking aobut buying a camera) vs. a page of photo tips (which is likely to be read by camera owners who may or not be interested in buying cameras).
|I think EFV's point is that publications which have brand-name recognition and a regular readership are in the position that when one member of that readership - or even someone who just vaguely remembers the title - is looking to buy they may well turn first to the brand they know or remember best, rather than typing a few generic keywords into a search engine. |
We aren't allowed to promote our sites here, so I'll just say that a friend has had that experience with affiliate sales on a "content site." The areas of the site with the most content on a topic--and which are most authoritative for that topic--also tend to be the highest-performing in terms of affiliate sales out of proportion to their traffic.
That shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who's read DoubleClick's "Search Before the Purchase" report, a summary of which was available online the last time I checked. (In a nutshell: Most buyers conduct searches at least 5 or 6 times over a period of weeks before making a purchase decision, so a repeat visitor who's researching a purchase is likely to be a better prospect for the affiliate partner or advertiser than a one-time "fly-by" visitor who clicks on an ad or affiliate link.)
Obviously, not everyone here agrees that editorial quality is a contributing factor in ad conversions (and therefore to smart pricing), so maybe it's best to say "You go to your church and I'll go to mine." I do think we'll get a better idea of what advertisers think about high-quality editorial vs. scraper sites when Google offers site-targeted contextual AdSense CPC ads, which have been promised and were in beta at last report.
|What's most enlightening is your use of the endemic advertising term. Some of the biggest names in the business bemoan the fact that contextual is too impersonal and that the endemic "relationship" is non-existent. |
That merely illustrates my point. (See above.)
|You go to your church and I'll go to mine. |
What may surprise you is that we go to the same church ;) but I'm willing to accept that my preacher isn't infallible and there may be something in that Satanism thing. Till someone proves my religion - or that one - right or wrong.
My $0.02 - If the quality of a site is bad I simply hit the back button as do most people I know. I can't remember the last time I stayed on what I considered to be a low quality site just to look around for an ad to click!
How would that play into Smart Pricing? My guess is that would not hurt and may actually help since the click on an ad would never occur.
Unless...if Google counts 'stickyness' as part of the Smart Pricing then the quality of content may play a part. But that's a whole different thread.
|My $0.02 - If the quality of a site is bad I simply hit the back button as do most people I know. I can't remember the last time I stayed on what I considered to be a low quality site just to look around for an ad to click! |
True, but when a page has three big AdSense units above the fold and blended search results or directory listings below that, a certain number of people are going to click just because they don't know any better--especially if one of those AdSense units is disguised as a lefthand navigation bar.
|Unless...if Google counts 'stickyness' as part of the Smart Pricing then the quality of content may play a part. But that's a whole different thread. |
It certainly wouldn't be surprising if stickiness, time to hit the back button, etc. played a role in smart pricing, but Google isn't likely to tell us. :-)
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