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|Fixing Your Websites Quality Score |
What I did to get my ads live again within one week
I thought I'd post this to help some of you guys that are suffering from major increases in the minimum cpc's on Google.
About 4 months ago a similar thing happened to one of my websites and like you guys, I wasn't exactly happy with the consequences as about 70% of my keywords were now unreachable.
The minimum bids had increased from 7 - 10 cents to between $1-$20 per click. Life was about to change for the worse unless I got to work. Fast.
The first thing I did was get on the phone to my Google Rep. He was more than happy to help, though he didn't know much about why the bid prices had gone up, he informed me that there were changes made and he would investigate on my behalf.. After a few days he had investigated the problem and got feedback from engineers that my website had broken the following guidelines.
1. Not enought content.
There was only one opt-in email form and 1 page of text about why you should opt in, what you'll get and a few tidbits about privacy.
3. There was no contact us page.
4. There were no external links to other related and useful webpages.
So instead of getting angry, I got to work. Pronto. I wasn't going to wait around till they decided they'll fix the problem(if they ever would)
So here is an outline of the steps I took to get me back to cheap clicks within 2 days.
I made these changes to the website and uploaded them immediately.
But I thought, there's no way that the 'robot' will put us back anytime soon so I continued to work.
2. I created a carbon copy of the website on a similar domain.
3. I uploaded this new website and blocked all search engine spiders from crawling it (to avoid the original sites ranking to drop)
4. I created a new adwords account based on this new domain. (widgets1.com) and copied all of the original ads across. Albeit, I made a few changes so that they wouldn't be identical. All new ads pointed only to the new website.
5. The ads went live and my bids stayed at 7c - 10c.
They finally fixed the problem after a month. Via a manual review and I was back in adwords with 7 to 10 cent bids. In fact I actually had both websites (widgets.com & widgets1.com) in the listings for a few days
I don't guarantee that it will work, but for a few bucks and a few hours work it's probably a good gamble. From what I understand you won't get your cheap clicks back unless:
1. You comply with the rules as mentioned above (maybe they've added more since last time)
2. You submit a support request and manually get removed from breaching quality score guidelines.
3. Main point. Don't argue with google about the guidelines (don't argue with me about the guidelines, there may be more or even less. Just get to work. Doing nothing will leave your website unchanged.
4. (Side point) New domains that obey the rules and can be used as a feeder for your original site can start getting you back your cheap clicks almost instantly.
Guys, I sincerely hope this information helps many of you get your websites back in the money.
|You have a site registered that is set up deliberately to hide your ownership...Why would a legitimate business person advertising on adwords deliberately try to conceal his or her identity? |
Absolutely ridiculous assumption. If this is what they go by, they need to have their priorities examined.
So..what you are trying to say that if you have a privacy turned on on a domain, this is "low quality"? Absolute nonesense, especially since Alexa.com now publicly lists your other sites. We own sites in several completely different niches, as many other companies do. Do you want our B2B users see that we also sell pancakes? That would look unprofessional - to say the least.
If domain owner info is what G$$gle uses to judge "quality" - it is nonsense.
|If domain owner info is what G$$gle uses to judge "quality" - it is nonsense. |
Think mathematical formulas that are predictive -- statistical models.
I've explained this at least a dozen times here. You have NO hope of understanding what and why google is doing unless you understand the approach.
|rbacal: You have NO hope of understanding what and why google is doing unless you understand the approach. |
:) you are trying to explain this to a mathematitian. As mathematitian, I will tell you that no algorythm exists that doesn't have a gazillion fatal flaws.
So now that we all remove our glasses and PhD hats, let's examine reality.
Reality is such, that it will be VERY easy to test your theory. All that needs to get done is this: one creates a complete copy of website on a different domain, registered to a different person, with privacy off, start purchasing Google Ads and see what pricing you get.
|Reality is such, that it will be VERY easy to test your theory. All that needs to get done is this: one creates a complete copy of website on a different domain, registered to a different person, with privacy off, start purchasing Google Ads and see what pricing you get. |
Nope. All you will do is draw incorrect conclusions based on your own faulty assumptions. Too many interacting variables.
Do you understand multivariate statistics?
issues of variance and co-variance?
Apply those principles and you'll arrive elsewhere.
...and think about variables that have nothing to do with quality, and everything to do with profit optimization.
If you were going to create a secret algorithm to cull advertisers, why wouldn't you use it to also cull advertisers that were costing you profit (opportunity cost factored)?
It's just good, solid business. Consider this: who else wants your clicks, and how much are they willing to pay for them? Assuming Google can divert just a fraction of these clicks to the top advertisers in your segment, are you worth more to Google dead than alive?
Just follow the money. I think it explains a good deal of these quality score mysteries.
|Just follow the money. I think it explains a good deal of these quality score mysteries. |
Bingo, there is no spoon
for those who didn't understand the reference - don't hide something obvious behind the clutter of empty phrases like "you wouldn't understand, it is too complex", "did you factor multivariant statistics", "it is a quality score".
rbacal, I am not trying to offend you. But my point is, that the test I suggested above should put SOME sites above the "quality score line" - if such exists - if the whois privacy is only one or two of their "offences". And if it doesn't - no matter how "complex" your statistics is, you can't argue that that will be a no-factor.
I guess I don't see the big mystery here that everbody keeps trying to solve. I have four site that I purchase PPC for and I do it with a variety of campaigns on several PPC's.
The majority of my money was spent on Adwords by far until a few weeks ago when they killed my most popular keywords. This of course was due to poor landing page quality? At least this is what they said. I could not get any specifics just general information.
I spent several days reviewing what they killed and what they left up and came to the following conclusions:
-The keywords that I was deriving 90% of my traffic from were the hardest hit.
- The oldest campaings that I had worked on and spent the most money over 2 years that had the best Click Thru Rate were targeted.
- The most profitable pages on my sites that I was running Adwords campaings on were in the group always.
- No exceptions they killed what was converting the best. If it was expensive and not converting well they left it alone.
I have two sites that have identical keywords very similar pages and both are running adwords campaigns. One has a better conversion rate and had excellent adwords conversion. The other doesn't convert as well and the adwords ads are more expensive.
Same keywords, same ads on these sites. Guess which one they demanded higher bid prices? You guessed it the one that converts better and makes the most money.
My conclusion is plain and simple, the better job you did running your adwords campaign the harder you were hit. Simple economics nothing else.
Google has become a victim of their own success. They are publicly traded and need to make more to keep everybody happy. It is their bussiness and they provide a service. If they charge penny or 10 dollars a click it is their call not mine.
I agree that Google needed to clean up the MFA's and do something but as far as I can see this is in the end a good way for them to get the bids up. What better reason than improving the system.
Our choices are really simple. We can spend weeks and months improving our pages to suit the company we are paying that really will not define what they want clearly. Or, we can take as much of our bussiness elswhere and find new ways to drive traffic to our sites.
This is the painful truth. Anything else is spin in my opinion. Please face the reality and move on. Or you can raise your bids and make less.
Simple economics, thats all.
|Just follow the money. I think it explains a good deal of these quality score mysteries. |
A few of the comments in the last hour are probably right on the mark, at least pretty much.
I'm going to exit this issue, but yes, follow the money. But understand that it's LONG term revenue issues, which in turn, are tied to long term credibility, and in turn, what google calls quality (which is a very unfortunate choice of words on google's part).
It's also about opportunity costs, not just trying to get more money from those they "hit".
It's also clear to me that google has a fairly long way to go to get this algo working so it does what it's supposed to. It has resulted in some shifting of ads, and even elimination of some really really bad advertisers, but the bottom line is that from where I sit it is NOT nearly good enough at doing that. And that's a problem for google long term.
When I go to use google search, I'm starting to completely ignore the ads, because I find I save time by using the organic listings. THAT'S a major shorter and longer term issue for google, and their approach hasn't really been successful ENOUGH.
>>>>I KNEW something had a funny scent from your posts. I'm betting there's more to be found, and that google found it.
oh wow! I'm amazed. you know, rbacal, I gained some respect for you by your posts in this thread (esp, the first one). they were on-point, constructive and most of all objective. not so any longer. Im baffled by your personal attack here. I dont know where it comes from or why it is so.
it is one thing to say that having your domain registered with a private WHOIS info could be an issue here, but another to make a judgement about a person solely by that instance. I digress from the conversation here.
|it is one thing to say that having your domain registered with a private WHOIS info could be an issue here, but another to make a judgement about a person solely by that instance. I digress from the conversation here. |
It's not personal anymore than google's decision about your site is personal. What I found on your sites was simply consistent with your style of posting, and the content of your posts.
I don't think less of you for either your posts or your site.
You wanted to know what happened with google, and I offered up a possible set of reasons, which I only found because I thought your posts suggested there would be beneath the surface reasons.
Anyway, I wanted to reply since you feel insulted, and I guess I can understand why.
I suppose I shouldn't have taken the time. Time for me to move on.
If having ads on landing page scores for low quality, why on earth is "8 best sites" style still alive!?
so much for putting those 4-up ad blocks in the visual hotspot.
So much for sending a visitor to an index page for a topic.
forget about providing an answer to the visitor's question in less than four screens-full of content.
So much for thinking that topic related Amazon book ads were useful to a visitor.
I found a few active ads in one campaign... 'programming formulas'. Only costs 4 cents. Problem is I don't have any content on programming formulas - go figure.
Seriously, folks, go do a search on G$$gle for your main keyword, and see all the sites that advertise. MFAs, eBays, "article sites" - all sorts of "quality advertisers". What a joke.
Private whois has nothing to do with sneaky stuff. If you like receiving email, phone and snail mail spam, it's your call. I don't.
|Private whois has nothing to do with sneaky stuff. |
I don't buy, or even read sites if I can't identify who I'm dealing with or reading.
Maybe you buy from the anonymous wino selling the fake rolexes, but I don't.
Neither does google, apparently.
Quality. Word One. Ain't it obvious?
Sorry if this is stating the obvious, but isn't Google going to all this trouble to make sure their SE users get good landing pages, whether they click on an ad or a SE result?
It's in their own interest to filter out low-quality pages, regardless of what advertisers pay, as most users won't distinguish between an ad and an 'organic' result.
If Google serves up junk, users will migrate elsewhere.
I guess free market concepts are no longer valid?
Why not let market forces determine my Quality Score?
If I have a "bad" landing page that doesn't convert and I buy PPC ads then I should continue to lose money and eventually run out of money or stop buying PPC traffic so my ads will no longer be shown. Conversion is the ultimate test of quality not some math formula....
I think GOOG has every right to score organic results and we all know how trying to rank Google organic has hurt development (no js, no tables, no flash, no iframes, no this and that) and now they have extended their power onto landing pages ... They are really beginning to act like that other company on the west coast that likes to bully people around .... Eric is slowly taking this company the same direction as he did Novell .... really sad and frustrating to watch this happen
|f I have a "bad" landing page that doesn't convert and I buy PPC ads then I should continue to lose money and eventually run out of money or stop buying PPC traffic so my ads will no longer be shown. Conversion is the ultimate test of quality not some math formula.... |
If you have a "bad" landing page, should Google take the risk of losing money by allowing you along with others like you, tp damage its brand and credibility with the visitors?
Should they subsidize your low ppc ads with their reputation? REduce income from "good" advertisers?
(do you understand QS variables?)
Can you understand this concept?
If the PPC ad and landing page converts then:
1. it isn't "BAD" to the user
2. it obviously isn't irrelevant to the user
3. it is what the user was looking for
4. It helps GOOG's value by being valuable to the user
5. The algo is irrelevant
If the algo doesn't like the page who cares? The user did.
Ultimately let the users decide the quality, if the ad was irrelevant or the landing page was garbage then the advertiser will be "darwinized" and die off...
|If the PPC ad and landing page converts then.. |
Except that value doesn't = conversion, and that's the flaw in your logic.
Granted, it might be ONE indicator of value, but clearly google takes the position that value to the customer isn't just an issue of conversion.
We already KNOW that because google has told us how they derived the QS.
Google has also publicly said that they understand it's necessary to alter how they serve the ads because they understand that many surfers don't want product ads, but information.
|clearly google takes the position that value to the customer isn't just an issue of conversion. |
Thanks makes no sense IMHO.
Any true advertising pro understands that conversion is the ultimate judgement of value of any advertisment (billboard, ppc, radio, tv, fliers, magazines, taxi cabs ...)
"You have a site registered that is set up deliberately to hide your ownership...Why would a legitimate business person advertising on adwords deliberately try to conceal his or her identity? "
When you can't find a reason..INVENT SOME.
It is obvious G wants to do business, only with big advertisers. Small guys got to find new avenues or be prepared to pay more.
My ads are currently showing in position one to three..I am paying substantially more per click. This is the reality.
|Thanks makes no sense IMHO. |
Any true advertising pro understands that conversion is the ultimate judgement of value of any advertisment (billboard, ppc, radio, tv, fliers, magazines, taxi cabs ..
No, actually that's not true in the brick and mortar either, but you're not thinking like a long term business here.
Google HAS to be concerned about the perceptions of people who use their search engine, because if they get fed up, OR, stop looking at the ads, it's endsville. It IS a search engine, not a shopping mall.
The truth is that the VAST majority of people who use search engines aren't looking to buy immediately. IN fact look at the leading keywords each month and you'll see that. They want INFORMATION. Sometimes product information, sometimes not.
Many advertisers already know that which is why they almost never include prices in ads, because they know that when you do your CTR crashes.
Let's use some numbers.
Some best cases numbers for your argument.
Let's say 90% of people using a search engine are NOT interested in buying (ie, giving a "conversion). It's actually much higher even for items like Ipods.
So, of one million searches 900,000 people who see your ad aren't going to convert.
Now of the people that click on your ad, let's say a whopping 20% buy something from you.
For the others, according to your logic, your site, if it adds no information or other value besides trying to sell, is WORTHLESS to virtually all google searchers.
And, that's why conversions aren't an indicator of value FROM GOOGLE'S POINT OF VIEW. Do the basic math, factoring in CTR and you'll see that YOUR sales has almost nothing to do with whether people are going to continue to go to google (which is their concern). Your ad (and your pages, if all they have is duplicated sales information) is absolutely worthless to the vast (and I mean vast) number of people using google.
Figure you get a 20% CTR, a 20% conversion rate, and only 10% of people wanting to "convert", your site is of value to 20% x 20% x 10% of google searchers for THAT KEYWORD. And these numbers are way way high.
(Now if you add really great information to it, the whole equation about value changes).
Google has said publicly they understand it and are adjusting ad displays.
|It IS a search engine, not a shopping mall. |
Okay, I have this ALL figured out now.
So your point is that GOOG is so concerned about the search engine experience for its nonpaying searchers that it is willing to sacrifice ad revenue to make the nonpaying searchers happier.
|Let's say 90% of people using a search engine are NOT interested in buying |
So here it is (hope you are seated)....
Google should add a HUGE button on the search box that says "TURN OFF ADS". If you are right then 90% of the searchers are being punished by Google by Google forcing ads on them.
There we go. Done. Problem solved. If Google does that the we know they are truly serious about getting rid of the low quality sites and being as you described
|a search engine, not a shopping mall. |
Now all the free nonpaying searchers get to see the free information that they all demand for free from us information providers that are building, hosting and operating web sites.
Please Google ADD THAT BUTTON NOW!
|So your point is that GOOG is so concerned about the search engine experience for its nonpaying searchers that it is willing to sacrifice ad revenue to make the nonpaying searchers happier. |
I think that's in fact, quite likely. It's sound business, and sound business strategy for so many obvious reasons.
They're running a business for the long haul.
Since a lot of webmasters don't actually understand business strategy and the concept of a sustainable business, prefering to focus on "what can be earned today", it's not surprising the idea of long term business strategy is completely foreign. Then again, it why google is google, and er...some webmasters...aren't.
BTW, there are some great people here that do understand business on a deeper level than the 18 yr. old webmaster out to make a quick buck, and I really enjoy the posts from the great people, even if I disagree.
|Google should add a HUGE button on the search box that says "TURN OFF ADS" |
that would solve this whole "problem"
Google should add a HUGE button on the search box that says "TURN OFF ADS"
Actually, I've seen a site with that option! It is a big CD seller.
My main site has a "lite" option which turns off the ads and some of the other stuff that is less-often used, takes an effort to compute, and makes the page notably larger.
So if you are on dial-up, I have thought of you!
[edited by: DamonHD at 2:53 pm (utc) on Aug. 21, 2006]
Great alternative - so we need a name how about "Diet Google" or Google Lite - "Great Search,Less Ads"
Thanks for your tips , i will really help
Is there a way to ignore rcabal? I no longer wish to read the crap he's spewing.
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