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Fixing Your Websites Quality Score
What I did to get my ads live again within one week
Coldrum




msg:3016721
 2:12 am on Jul 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hi Guys,

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.

2. The website needed a complete privacy policy on a new page as what was there was not detailed enough.

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.

1. I fixed all the problems outlined above. I added more content on different pages. I wrote out a completely detailed privacy policy. I added external links to useful, related websites. I added a contact page with our contact details completely specified.

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.

 

ebuilder




msg:3016723
 2:22 am on Jul 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

Let me be the first to thank you for sharing your experience. It is nice to hear that there is still hope and that by improving and complying things can be better than the past several days.

vphoner




msg:3016755
 3:25 am on Jul 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

What about keywords in the original campaign that tooks hundreds or thousands of dollars to get the CTR up and price down to get ranked #1.
You lose this by going to a new domain and campaign.

Can you elaborate on the privacy policy and about us page? Give some info on what to put in.

Thanks for your useful information.

luke175




msg:3016757
 3:35 am on Jul 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

I appreciate your helpful attitude here.

However, simply creating a new domain has been enough for some of my campaigns and others to get going again. It would appear in large part that your rate hikes are based on your past bids. Therefore, the creation of your new campaign erased this and Google let you in again.

Also, you're saying they manually reviewed your site and let you back in?

Coldrum




msg:3016779
 4:14 am on Jul 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hi Guys,

I'll try to answer your questions as best I can.

What about keywords in the original campaign that tooks hundreds or thousands of dollars to get the CTR up and price down to get ranked #1.
You lose this by going to a new domain and campaign.

You are correct. I lost this by creating a new adwords account, new campaigns and new url. But by bidding with the new account on only our "inactive" listings. I managed to recover our traffic levels to about 90% with the same bids.

Can you elaborate on the privacy policy and about us page? Give some info on what to put in.

Google told me specifically that they wanted increased transparency for the users before they sign up. Under the prior website arrangement users could only find out most of this info after they had signed up.

So in regards to my privacy policy.

1. I wrote down how I was using and storing cookies.
2. I wrote how I was using and storing users email address. ie what they could expect to receive, and that I was using a third party autoresponder (so I also linked to their terms of service)
3. I wrote down how they could remove their email address from our database both manually and automatically.

In regards to the about us page. This was our contact us page and it included.

1. Our office phone number for technical support
2. Our snail mail address.
3. An email support address for technical support

I appreciate your helpful attitude here.
However, simply creating a new domain has been enough for some of my campaigns and others to get going again. It would appear in large part that your rate hikes are based on your past bids. Therefore, the creation of your new campaign erased this and Google let you in again.

The only possibilities I can think of why the new account was allowed was that either i) the new domain was approved by the robot or ii) the robot did not visit the new domain

Also, you're saying they manually reviewed your site and let you back in?

Yes, this is exactly what I'm saying. After four weeks I got a call from my rep saying that they had manually reviewed the old site and decided that it met their guidelines on this subsequent review.

No robot came back to our site. In fact, my server logs reveal that nothing identified as being from google came to our site in that time period.

I hope this helps guys.

vanillaice




msg:3016829
 5:39 am on Jul 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

Thanks for this thread, it's good to see useful tips!

Elric99




msg:3016909
 8:15 am on Jul 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

Excellent information, thank you.

pdivi




msg:3017151
 12:44 pm on Jul 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

And just like that, with a little transparency and absolutely no help from an algorithm, Google got its quality website and some additional revenue. I can't believe they're passing up more opportunities like this under some oddball paranoia that they're going to get "gamed". What's the big deal?

Great post and thanks for sharing. Maybe I'll call my rep. to see if I can get in line for another manual review.

zomega42




msg:3017210
 1:59 pm on Jul 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

Does this mean it was also a manual review that gave you the low quality score in the first place? It sounds like that might be the case.

Maybe that's what the big change was recently -- they replaced the manual quality review with an algo.

johnser




msg:3017235
 2:10 pm on Jul 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

re: "manual quality review"

We've encountered this a few times.
We created a new Adwords account in March for demo pruposes. Very little spend. Stopped & started the account several times.

After 6 weeks of being turned off, I started it again.
No ads & no reason why. Rang our rep & discovered it was "offline pending a manual review".

2 mins later, rep ok'd the site & ads were live again.
Have had this happen on quite a few new Adwords accounts.
Rarely happens with older accounts.

Nothing to do with quality score AFAIK...
It would be logical to try & replace this manual review with an automated check - maybe that's what all the hassle is about in the last 2 weeeks?

J

tigertom




msg:3017297
 2:51 pm on Jul 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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.

jadebox




msg:3017314
 3:08 pm on Jul 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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?

But ... if they apply the same criteria to AdWords landing pages and pages in the SERPs, the only way to get a page into AdWords would be to create a page that would end up at the top of the SERPs anyway? Wouldn't that eventually kill AdWords?

Okay, I'm being facetious, but there's some truth in the above statement.

And the truth is that Google has no real way to judge the quality of the landing page and probably doesn't care. I did some testing recently creating a new page and an ad linking to it. Each keyword was inactive with a ridiculously high minimum bid. No robot visited the landing page. I tried linking the same ad to a different web page - an established page with more on-topic content and the minimum bids were the same. My conclusion is that Google's algorithm simply decided the keywords aren't worth anything to them.

-- Roger

Green_Grass




msg:3017438
 4:04 pm on Jul 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

". There were no external links to other related and useful webpages."

Impossible for me to provide free links to other webstores selling widgets in my specific niche...

Thanks for the rest of the information. We got the same kind of indications from our 'manual review' .

We have made some changes to our site. Maybe the next 'algo ' visit will improve things..


aleksl




msg:3017483
 4:34 pm on Jul 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

I think it all smells funny...our Privacy policy is Extensive and very explanatory, About and Contact us pages are there, even links to somewhat similar sites. Also, about 25% of our pages are content, so can't be "not enough content" either.

I'd like to know how you call Google rep for manual review. Or am I not spending enough if I don't have a rep?

Fryman




msg:3017490
 4:40 pm on Jul 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

Are you even allowed to have 2 adwords accounts?

rbacal




msg:3017519
 4:57 pm on Jul 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

I think it all smells funny...our Privacy policy is Extensive and very explanatory, About and Contact us pages are there, even links to somewhat similar sites. Also, about 25% of our pages are content, so can't be "not enough content" either.

So, I guess you figure that the comments a google staff member made about a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT SITE would somehow apply to your site, some number of months after they were made?

Are you guys completely insane?

Desperate?

Or just not understanding how this works?

Nose congested?

ebuilder




msg:3017580
 5:32 pm on Jul 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

I really don't care anymore.. I have been able to replace my traffic with msn and yahoo...I have wasted all the time I am going to with adwords..no more...

ps go short in a hurry...

rstein68




msg:3017589
 5:42 pm on Jul 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

Now, it seems to not really matter how much ad and keyword history you have in your account? Interesting since Google has pounded this to death that it does matter.

aleksl




msg:3017648
 6:21 pm on Jul 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

So, I guess you figure that the comments a google staff member made about a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT SITE would somehow apply to your site,

Yes, I'd like to believe there's a set of rules behind this MADNESS, other than money grab. Because to an untrained eye none are obvious, and hence discussing subject such as "quality score" is a complete waste of everyone's time here.

Israel




msg:3017672
 6:46 pm on Jul 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

Impossible for me to provide free links to other webstores selling widgets in my specific niche...

Green_grass,

I don't want to link to the competition either, so I link to authority sites that explain more about how widgets work, why are there so many varieties, how do you make the best choice, the future of widgets, etc.

No one said they have to be commercial links. Actually, some of them are, but I make sure they're doing business on another continent ;)

Also, no one minds an incoming, one-way link either.

Plus a few charity links make me feel better and perhaps can help the world in some small way. Although, when the massive earthquake hit Pakistan a few years ago, I put a text appeal at the top of the page. Shortly after, I found I lost one PR point on each of those sites. Couldn't figure out why at first -- apparently irrelevant content. Googlebot has no conscience! All this talk about people needing to rebuild homes, needing food and water must've appeared to be spammy. They've since become graphics!

----

Now on "Contact us", no form for me, but I do have to encode the email address. Otherwise I get scraped for so much spam that eludes the junk folder, it will fill my box every day I've found! Hope the 'bot can read this because the harvesters haven't figured out how yet.

I also had to put the company address in a graphic, otherwise the snail mail gets invaded too!

Israel

Israel




msg:3017676
 6:48 pm on Jul 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

Oh and thanks, Coldrum!

Israel

howiejs




msg:3017834
 9:08 pm on Jul 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

What about making the changes to an existing account / same destination URL - and then requesting Google to review the same account / site?

Vs. setting up a whole new adwords account and domain?

rbacal




msg:3017952
 11:26 pm on Jul 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

Yes, I'd like to believe there's a set of rules behind this MADNESS, other than money grab. Because to an untrained eye none are obvious, and hence discussing subject such as "quality score" is a complete waste of everyone's time here.

Of course there are rules. And apparently you are an untrained eye, so if your business derives income, wouldn't it make at least some sense to lessen the degree of untrainedness?

Seriously, what gets me is the number of people who don't have a single notion about how things work AND, have no interest in learning. But complains anyway that things don't make sense.

It makes sense with even a minimal understanding, three brain cells to rub together, and some thought.

Or, a few minutes to read some of the more intelligent posts that try to explain how to make sense of this.

profitpuppy




msg:3017992
 12:09 am on Jul 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

The problem people are having is that google is using a computer algorythm. It possibly uses more than 1000 factors to determine what is going on. Computers do not think in the same way that humans think. Therefore it seems random. But it is not at all random.

Google has made a mistake however, because it's algorythm ain't working ... or it's working to some degree, but it's not good enough.

outland88




msg:3018021
 12:39 am on Jul 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

Without seeing the actual specifics itís hard to judge fairly.

To me it sounds like the original poster was serving up a page soliciting E-Mail addresses. Seems like E-Mail farming. Voila Google requested more specifics in the form of more content and also contact addresses, so customers could make an informed decision. In other words Google wanted customers to know what they were getting involved in. How trustable was the Ad and did it have the earmarks of a legitimate business. Basically was the ad soliciting for unknown purposes.

I draw my conclusions from what the original poster stated.

> 1. I wrote down how I was using and storing cookies.

2. I wrote how I was using and storing users email address. ie what they could expect to receive, and that I was using a third party autoresponder (so I also linked to their terms of service)

3. I wrote down how they could remove their email address from our database both manually and automatically.

sailorjwd




msg:3018148
 3:27 am on Jul 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

I've been adding content like mad over the last week.

Added a privacy policy link on each page

Added links detailing our services and fees on each page

Shortend up the navigation a tad.

Decreased the visibility of some advertising on entry pages.

Contact us and external links already existed.

Requested a re-review and am holding my breath.

Visitors down about 50%.

I'll let you know if it works.

ebuilder




msg:3018175
 4:29 am on Jul 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

Good Luck Sailor, I hope it works for you. Isn't it funny, I noticed what you said about making the ads less noticeable. Weren't we all instructed not so many months ago on how to blend the ads and now we are supposed to hide them. At least that is what we are assuming. Either way being penalized like this has been very time consuming. Think of all the time we all spent trying to learn the adwords system. Thousands of hours just in a few people here on this board alone. And now we are are being accused of spamming the system, low quality sites, mfas and on and on. No wonder the stock price only went up $2 after announcing they doubled profits. I so cannot what to see this fad known as Google come crashing down like so many other greedy wanna be internet empires in the recent past.... Good Luck Sailor. I hope your time this time has not been wasted....

vphoner




msg:3018178
 4:38 am on Jul 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

What kind of privacy page would you need for an affiliate page, since you are not storing any information yourself say?

And is an email address enough for an affiliate page contact us or about us page? I was thinking of making an about us page with an email. Hope that is enough.

And most importantly, is google judging you by the landing page, or the whole site? In other words do we have to change EVERY page on our site, or just the landing page and the first pages that link off of it? I hope its just the landing page, then we can slowly work on each page, get it approved and move on to the others.

vanillaice




msg:3018193
 5:28 am on Jul 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

What kind of privacy page would you need for an affiliate page, since you are not storing any information yourself say?

I personally look at the sites i'm promoting, find out what information they'll be collecting, and try to re-assure the users they're going to be safe if they click on one of my sponsors and make a purchase.

If you promote a site that collects e-mails, maybe copy and paste your sponsors privacy policy.

Just some ideas. Good luck

sailorjwd




msg:3018332
 10:41 am on Jul 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

The statement about making ads less visible is for 3 purposes...

1. so my one little adsense block doesn't hit the Googler in the face right in the visual hotspot and

2. moving it out of the hotspot decreases the CTR a bit and thereby improves the stickyness of the landing page and the site in general slightly.

3. And I want to make sure there is a good sized block of text before the ads so that a bot won't classify the page as MFA - just a theory.

I used to think it was great to have many visitors leave the site via an advertisement but now I understand that that can hurt you too. So far my average page count per visitor has gone from 2.5 pages to 3.5.

This 91 message thread spans 4 pages: 91 ( [1] 2 3 4 > >
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