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More proof of a Google money grab.
venrooy




msg:3049368
 4:00 am on Aug 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

When this last algorithm was introduced, Some of my keywords were hit with mammoth minimum bid increases.

Since then, Google has slowly been adding my keywords to their "low quality" list with small increases to the minimum bid (despite very high CTR and Conversion rates). Some of my keywords have had an increase in minimum bid almost every other day. Is Google saying that despite an increasing CTR, that my site is slowly decreasing in quality despite my not having changed it? This does not make sense to me. It does make sense as a pure money grab however.

Absolute proof (in my mind) of this money grab came for me today. Like many people, I've put the name of my website into my keyword list. "mywebsite.com" is one of my keywords. Today Google informs me: "Improve it's quality through optimization, delete it, or raise the keyword's maximum CPC to the minimum bid indicated".

This keyword is my own website! It is impossible for a keyword to be any more relevant than that.

There are only 2 explanations that could be possible for this, and neither one of them has anything to do with "quality".

1. There are major flaws in this latest algorithm (most of us have known this, and now here's the proof)

2. This is nothing but an out-right money grab. With so many option holders on the inside - Why is this such a far fetched scenario?

 

venrooy




msg:3051008
 3:47 am on Aug 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

That's what I thought - you can't explain it. Because it's not explainable. Thanks for playing.

davidzhawk




msg:3051021
 4:05 am on Aug 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

The flaw in your logic is those are not Google's visitors, so they are not concerned with the quality experience. They are placing ads on those sites from advertisers. It is up to the actual publisher of those sites to determine how they want to treat their visitors. Google simply has a higher standard then those sites have.

Why is Google concerned with quality experience? Is it because Google is an altruistic non-profit that simply wants users to find what they are looking for? Well, um, maybe to a degree.

But let's break this down a bit more - here's a few facts about Quality Score:

1. Quality Score does not actually disable "bad advertisers". Instead, it gives them a high minimum score. In other words, the message here is: "you have a product/service that is bad for users, but if you give us enough money, we'll run it anyway". User experience or money grab?

2. To my knowledge, no one has actually been rewarded for Quality Score. In other words, I know of no example of a Page Rank 10 site - one of those pure content, totally user-focused Web sites - that can suddenly compete for #1 position on a highly competitive term for a $.05 CPC. This point is just conjecture, but it seems like the results of Quality Score have been disproportionately higher bids, as opposed to an equal combination of higher and lower bids. User experience or . . .?

3. I suspect that 99% of consumers who end up on a Google Domain Park URL have absolutely no idea that they are clicking on Google syndication ads. Unlike AdSense that shows up on a regular content Web site, Google ads on Domain Park pages do not actual state that they are from Google. To see an example of such a site, go to MiYahoo.com. On this site, it says "sponsored links" but not "Ads by Goooogle". Only when you roll over the ad with your mouse can you see (at the bottom of the page) that the ad is through Google syndication. On top of that, if you are an advertiser and you check your logs to see where you are getting your traffic, you won't see this click coming from "googlesyndication.com". Instead, you'll see apps.oingo.com/domainpark or something like that. Go to Oingo.com and you'll be redirected to Applied Semantics, which will eventually take you to Google. So why does Google not care about the quality of Domain Park profits? Perhaps because they don't believe users will ever understand that they are behind the bad user experience. Sort of a "if a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it" situation.

4. Finally, let's not forget the pink elephant in the room. The Google Domain Park makes Google millions of dollars a month. Getting rid of MFA sites and affiliate sites will cost Google some money in the short term, but I suspect they are betting that this initial revenue hit will be covered by other advertisers who step into the fray. The same is not true for the Domain Park. If Google decides in the name of "quality" and "user experience" that they are no longer going to have their ads distributed on misspellings of trademark name URLs, there would be no way to replace this revenue. It is simply a zero sum game for them. So again, is this decision an issue of user experience and quality, or money?

Hey, to be clear, I understand that Google is a business. But let's call a spade a spade here. Quality Score is a business decision, nothing more, nothing less.

rbacal




msg:3051042
 4:36 am on Aug 18, 2006 (gmt 0)


That's what I thought - you can't explain it. Because it's not explainable. Thanks for playing.

No, that's not it, actually. I've realized that I can't bother explain ing things to people who ALREADY "think" they have the answers to their own questions, and really aren't interested in anything that doesn't match with their own prejudices.

If you have the smarts (and you probably do), AND you put aside your prejudices, the answers are all there. I've posted enough information to help you figure out what is actually a quite obvious explanation, but I'm not going to provide free consulting advice to people who can't be bothered to a) figure it out for themselves, and b) aren't really interested in hearing another perspective.

Let's face it. Nothing is going to make you happy. Why try?

Can I explain why ebay is there, but you may not be? You bet. So can you if you take what's been posted (and announced by google) about profiles, algos, etc. It's not simple, though. But it's not rocket science. And it won't help you one bit anyway.

(I still hate those ebay ads though)

europeforvisitors




msg:3051077
 5:17 am on Aug 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hey, to be clear, I understand that Google is a business. But let's call a spade a spade here. Quality Score is a business decision, nothing more, nothing less.

Of course the Quality Score is a "business decision." I don't think anybody has suggested otherwise. But that doesn't mean the decision is just a money grab. Google's powers-that-be are simply smart enough to understand that it's bad for business to have AdWords on Google SERPs lead users to landing pages that are annoying or disappointing. (And never mind whether those landing pages convert well--even if 25% of the people who click through buy something, the other 75% may be disappointed or annoyed.)

Why doesn't Google have the same kind of landing-page Quality Score for ads on parked domains or AdSense publishers' sites? That's a no-brainer: As you yourself have suggested, it's because those aren't Google-branded sites.

I'm inclined to agree with rbacal that, down the line, Google will have to address quality issues and ad blindness outside of its own SERPs. If "Ads by Gooooogle" becomes associated with crap, people will stop clicking. But for now, Google is concerned with job #1, which is protecting its own brand image and user satisfaction.

Now, maybe the landing-page QS algorithm isn't as good as it ought to be (which shouldn't be surprising, since it's brand-new), but that's irrelevant to the question of why Google feels the need to have landing-page Quality Scores.

venrooy




msg:3051166
 6:41 am on Aug 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Can I explain why ebay is there, but you may not be? You bet. So can you if you take what's been posted (and announced by google) about profiles, algos, etc. It's not simple, though. But it's not rocket science. And it won't help you one bit anyway.

I've already explained why they are allowed to spam keywords. You haven't provided an explanation, because you just can't it's that simple. Nobody likes the ebay keyword spam - not even you. So who is google trying to provide a quality experience for? Those ebay ads prove that they are not trying to provide a quality experience for most users.

And by the way - you're explanation wouldn't help me - because it would most likely be inaccurate.

Like I've said - I've already figured out how the QS works and have no problem getting my ads shown with a little work. As we speak I already have "mywebpage.com" back in my keyword list, and I'm spending less for it now than I did before. So I know full well how it works, and I'm not asking you to explain it to me for my benefit, because I don't need it. I'm asking you to try and explain it, so that your lack of knowledge can be fully exposed.

And by the way, I'm not really trying to convince anyone that this is truly a google money grab. But I am saying that the proof shows that if it's not a google money grab (which it's probably not) that it is a flaw in the algorithm. Which is what me and many here have been saying all along. And when you say that the algorithm is perfect, and all those effected by it are bottom dwellers, and have low quality sites, you only minimize your own credibility. Especially when your only defenders include those that never use adwords.

Hipsoul




msg:3051218
 7:45 am on Aug 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

...but to blame a failed business that was poorly set up, poorly planned, on anyone but the business owner is just plain dumb...

I agree with you to a point, but that's obviously not the case in every situation...

This forum has quite a few (self-proclaimed) legitimate websites on here that are being treated unfairly.
From reading the posts I can trust some of them aren't lying just to keep the thread alive, they've been screwed.

While at the same time, I'm doing my own personal unrelated research on Google and still stumbling into more Arbitrage than ever...
I won't even go into the whole multiple-ads-on-the-same-page annoyance.

(Alright I will, CafePress would be a glaring example...4 out of 8 ads?!?!?!
C'mon Google...these aren't even affiliate pages, just root CafePress! Total Nonsense.)

So ultimately, and as usual...
Google's trying to automate way too much of the process.

If they really had live people reviewing every single adwords ad...
then I wouldn't be able to find an Arbitrage search engine within the Google Adwords results.

Honestly, it all feels like the same story as the Bush administration...
walk all over the people, and tell them it's for their own good.

If only big business (and government) would be frank about their actions, people would likely be more forgiving.

But if you try to build a secret, it's usually discovered with time...
then people don't appreciate the condescension and they hold it against you.

For instance...has anyone really thought about the level of power Google is developing between AdWords, AdSense, GCart and Analytics?

They're basically your business partner...
except your paying them to spy on your entire business process.
And meanwhile, they're spying on every search term your wife ever makes, and your kids...and you.

They're potentially following you from the second you get on your computer to the point you buy or sell something online...and everything inbetween.

That's very 1984, if you know what I mean.

[edited by: Hipsoul at 7:56 am (utc) on Aug. 18, 2006]

leveldisc




msg:3051250
 8:23 am on Aug 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

I've realized that I can't bother explaining things

You post a lot of words for someone that can't be bothered explaining things.

bostonseo




msg:3051467
 12:42 pm on Aug 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Great posts davidzhawk, Hipsoul and venrooy.

europeforvisitors




msg:3051633
 2:49 pm on Aug 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

And when you say that the algorithm is perfect

Rbacal didn't say the algorithm was perfect. In fact, he suggested that it wasn't when he said "Obviously there will be errors in the algo's classifications."

That's a minor point in the overall scheme of things, however. The fact is that Google is protecting its brand and its core product (search results) by trying to ensure that users who click ads on Google-branded pages aren't annoyed or disappointed (which might result in their being annoyed or disappointed with Google). As for eBay ads or ads on parked domains or low-quality AdSense publishers' sites, those are separate issues. They may need to be addressed later, but they shouldn't be confused with the topic of landing-page Quality Scores.

pdivi




msg:3051656
 3:07 pm on Aug 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

The fact is that Google is protecting its brand

Really...that's an established fact? As far as I can tell, there is no evidence -- aside from Google coining its algo a 'quality' score -- that supports such a claim. I could just as easily argue that Google is haphazardly trashing its brand integrity in order to close the widening gap b/t expense and revenue growth, which analysts are watching very closely right now.

The only thing we know is that Google raised minimum bids for a bunch of campaigns. We don't really know (yet) whether the advertisers were indeed low quality, or whether they were simply anchoring down profit through their bidding behavior and needed to be disposed of as a means of increasing profit. Or some combination thereof.

Before we get too deep into asserting "facts" and arguing the merit of the move based on quality or brand integrity, let's hear some more observations so we can figure out what's going on here. Anyone?

rbacal




msg:3051657
 3:08 pm on Aug 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

I've already explained why they are allowed to spam keywords. You haven't provided an explanation, because you just can't it's that simple.

Sounds like you wouldn't give any credence to an answer from me, or anything that doesn't include the words "google sucks". So I'm not bothering to educate you jackals further.

You say you already know. Good fer ya.

(DOn't know why you keep askin when you already know, but don't care)

rbacal




msg:3051663
 3:13 pm on Aug 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

This forum has quite a few (self-proclaimed) legitimate websites on here that are being treated unfairly.

I've checked out several who claimed just that. Guess what? None were clean, and each had obvious reasons why they got hit by the pricing increase.

Why do you think all of these people complaining won't put their sites in their profile?

Or request that people review their sites to help them determine why they got hit?

They don't want help. They don't want to get busted (although some legitimately think they are clean -- got a few case stories from webmasterworld participants - pretty scary_

europeforvisitors




msg:3051674
 3:24 pm on Aug 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

As far as I can tell, there is no evidence -- aside from Google coining its algo a 'quality' score -- that supports such a claim.

You're absolutely right. I stand corrected. This is nothing but a money grab, because Google knows that affected advertisers will rush to pay $10 per click instead of choosing the less expensive and more user-friendly alternative.

pdivi




msg:3051683
 3:28 pm on Aug 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

EFV, keep reading...
were simply anchoring down profit through their bidding behavior and needed to be disposed of as a means of increasing profit.

I never proposed that advertisers would take the $10 bids -- only that they would get out of the picture and stop taking clicks from the top bidders.

chief72




msg:3051758
 4:10 pm on Aug 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

The vitriol in these threads is getting beyond a joke. The amusement factor has well and truly worn off. I honestly come here to learn, exchange ideas and yes if I'm being honest, occasionally vent some frustration. All I seem to be reading of late is ego and B.S. Truly, I'm seeing the same people having the same arguments thread after thread.

I'm well aware that much of the criticism of Google is extremely subjective and at times particularly venomous but I also believe that you reap what you sow. Advertisers are not statistics or expendable commodities they are people with bills to pay and families to feed and they are going to get p*#sed off when their financial security is jeopardised without warning or explanation. Belittling these people and the depth of their emotions with bold assumptions and cavalier statments is in no way admirable. In fact it shows a genuine lack of compassion or empathy.

On the otherhand it's time we (the disgruntled) all moved on. It must be clear to all by now that all the sniping and whining is not going to make a lick of difference to the way Google manages it's business. There has been some positive threads hinting at ways to improve one's quality score. Read these and add to them ideas of your own (I know many already have). Consider diversifying your advertising portfolio. If there is one lesson to be learnt here it is to not put all you eggs in one basket.

I would encourage all my peers here to lose the contempt and continue to engage in meaningful discussion. We have much to learn from one another. Welcome differing views, if nothing else they keep us honest and accountable. Remember you have the right of no reply.

P.S. I apologise if this is a bit cliche heavy. I'm particularly drunk but I mean well.

rbacal




msg:3051783
 4:23 pm on Aug 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

I never proposed that advertisers would take the $10 bids -- only that they would get out of the picture and stop taking clicks from the top bidders.

That's probably accurate. And, speaking as an advertiser, we will seriously up our spend on adwords the DAY that google cleans out the junk MFA sites being advertised, AND, the poor quality adsense sites on the content network.

We won't use MSN right now because of the junk (and other reasons).

So, by continuing to clean things up, google (or MSN, if they ever get their act together) will get more of at least one advertiser's money, and I suspect there are others just like us waiting.

WallyBob




msg:3051793
 4:29 pm on Aug 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Well said chief72.

rbacal




msg:3051797
 4:31 pm on Aug 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Advertisers are not statistics or expendable commodities they are people with bills to pay and families to feed and they are going to get p*#sed off when their financial security is jeopardised without warning or explanation. Belittling these people and the depth of their emotions with bold assumptions and cavalier statments is in no way admirable. In fact it shows a genuine lack of compassion or empathy.

I'm interested in providing information, and trying to get through to people so they DON'T fail again and again, because they use a poor, get rich quick business model, or because they always blame someone else for their poor business decisions.

netmeg




msg:3051811
 4:38 pm on Aug 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

So I'm not bothering to educate you jackals further.

I don't blame you, but some of us actually *do* get something interesting or positive out of your posts. It hasn't been a complete waste of your time - maybe only.. 80/20 - that's it.

Of course everyone thinks their own site is a 'quality' or 'legitimate' site. (Frankly, I don't post any of my or my client sites in my profile because the level of discussion here has degenerated to the point where I'm not sure I'd trust the traffic I get from some of the users on WW. However, I'm not very difficult to track down when it comes down to it - and neither are some of the users here. I've gone investigating some other's sites as well.)

And for every business that tanks or runs into trouble because of Google adjusting some blip on their radar, there's another business or two or three that get a major boost to take its place. And guess what - I bet those folks think THEY have quality, legitimate sites too! My point is that nobody gets a guarantee - I don't care how much market share they have - RELY ON GOOGLE AT YOUR PERIL. Rely on ANYONE or ANYTHING other than yourself at your peril. Survival of the fittest is actually a misnomer - the ones who survive aren't necessarily the fittest, but actually the ones who can adapt quickly to sudden changes.

When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

jim2003




msg:3051840
 4:59 pm on Aug 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

People on all sides of this discussion seem to be in agreement on one thing, they don't care for the ebay ads.

Its been stated that it is well known there is some special arrangement that ebay has because its a big customer. Personally I doubt such an arrangment exists.

I think the continued existance of the ebay ads highlight something that many people seem to consistently confuse in this thread and others: Quality Score is primarily about landing page/website quality NOT relevence. I repeat Quality Score and Relevence are different concepts.

No objective person could conclude that ebay is a low quality site. Personal opinions aside, Millions of ebay customers prove that it is in fact, a high quality site. Since Ebay is clearly a high quality site, there is no reason whatsover to expect a Quality Score penalty to any ebay ads.

In Googles current mindset it is clear that they believe a perfectly relevent ad to a perfectly relevent but low quality landing page is not as good for searchers as a marginally relevent ad to a marginally relevent landing page on a high quality site (ie Ebay). Its an editorial decision pure and simple. Its understandable that those of us who are negatively affected by this editorial decison don't agree with it. And its easy to understand why someone who thinks they have a high quality website doesn't like being roboticly marked "low quality".

I think webmasters who assimilate "what is" with the current algorithm, as opposed to "what I think it should be" have the best chance of using adwords to succeed. Searching for cartels/conspiracies or insisting that calling a basic editorial decision names like a "money grab" will most likely just interfere with your own productivity. I know the simple waste of time of writing this post is a waste of my own productivity. Somehow I can't resist though :)

Having said that there are issues separate from the editorial decision, that may be worth continued efforts to lobby Google on

1)More transparency into what makes a website a high quality website. Its certainly Google's preogitive not to answer that question. But no matter how many times the question is asked, it is still a reasonable question to ask. Hopefully if we are persistant in respectively seeking further clarification on the point, our persistance will be rewarded.

2)I think Google's handling of the rollout of this type of change is fair game for criticism. I don't propose an answer, but its hard for me to believe that the best way to handle such a change, is to have a complete bolt out of the blue to long time, high volume advertising customers.

If AWA or AWA2 reads this post, my free advice (which may be worth what it costs) is to have thick skins and try to take away from all these various threads any customer service advice that could prove useful in the future. I don't think Google wants to develop a customer service reputation based on the concept "its our cheese and we will move it if we want to", even if Google is the big cheese on the block. "Do no evil" is certainly a catchier slogan.

europeforvisitors




msg:3051872
 5:19 pm on Aug 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Its an editorial decision pure and simple.

Yes, in the same way that a magazine or newspaper has advertising standards. PLAYBOY used to refuse ads for deodorants and condoms, for example. Those products were legitimate, the brands may have been respected, and it's likely that their ads were of high quality (and may have been effective). However, PLAYBOY obviously felt that its image would be tarnished by subliminal images of Ban or Trojans being rolled on, so that was that.

Google is a media company, and media companies are entitled to set standards for the ads they accept, for the products featured in those ads, or for the Web sites referenced by those ads. It's reasonable to criticize how those standards are implemented or how much notice is given, but questioning the company's motives--or its right to have such standards--is a waste of time.

venrooy




msg:3051881
 5:28 pm on Aug 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Quality Score is primarily about landing page/website quality NOT relevence. I repeat Quality Score and Relevence are different concepts.

Quality score and relevence I believe are not different concepts. Your quality score goes up with every relevantly used keyword you use on your landing page. A major portion of the quality score is relevance. - Of course I don't know this for a "fact" - neither does anyone else here, because the algorithm is not known by anyone outside of Google. It's barely known by a few people inside of Google. I'm merely going on what has and has not been effective for me.

venrooy




msg:3051897
 5:39 pm on Aug 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Google is a media company, and media companies are entitled to set standards for the ads they accept, for the products featured in those ads, or for the Web sites referenced by those ads. It's reasonable to criticize how those standards are implemented or how much notice is given, but questioning the company's motives--or its right to have such standards--is a waste of time.

No one here is questioning google's motives or right to have such a standard. We all want spammy and MFA sites to quit bogging down google. But they are swatting at pesky flies with a sledgehammer. I don't think that you can stomp out websites - that have made their living dodging all of the rules - with a highly secretive algorithm. These sites will - and many already have - found a way around it.

I think that Google should just lay down the law in black and white. They pretty much review every ad manually anymore any way. Why not just look at the website while you're at it. You can still use the "all mighty algorithm", just use it to trigger an automatic manual review. Don't use it to automatically assume that a website is not up to par.

europeforvisitors




msg:3051933
 6:13 pm on Aug 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

They pretty much review every ad manually anymore any way. Why not just look at the website while you're at it.

Google likes scalability and automation. Wouldn't it seem more likely that they'd go the other way (for better or for worse) by automating ad approvals, too?

venrooy




msg:3051943
 6:26 pm on Aug 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Google likes scalability and automation. Wouldn't it seem more likely that they'd go the other way (for better or for worse) by automating ad approvals, too?

I completely agree with you, that automation is the best - when it works right. After all it is quick ad approvals that made them so huge with advertisers. It made it a lot easier to do split testing. However I believe they are going in the wrong direction. I think that the ads should be scrutinized with the algorithm, for the sake of quickness, and the landing page should be manually reviewed - for the sake of quality. Not the other way around.

rbacal




msg:3052051
 8:03 pm on Aug 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Quality score and relevence I believe are not different concepts. Your quality score goes up with every relevantly used keyword you use on your landing page. A major portion of the quality score is relevance. - Of course I don't know this for a "fact"

No, it's not. In an algo, there's not necessarily anything that constitutes a "major portion". Also, google has said it used human generated profiling, then built an algo to examine indicators that allowed classification of sites into "valuable" and not valuable.

That's why google staff have talked about things like the need to have a privacy policy, contact us, about us, etc. They use a wide range of page and domain indicators.

DamonHD




msg:3052151
 9:22 pm on Aug 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hi,

1) The eBay item above may be wrong-headed insofaras I believe most of the "new and used dead popes" ads were placed by affiliates, not eBay itself.

2a) Automating "quality" scoring is obviously a very tough task, as even much better-defined tasks such as objectively marking exam scripts are done fairly badly by humans with the best of intentions, and with fewer attempts to deliberatly game/deceive than G has to contend with.

2b) Just consider the possibility that G is using something similar to neural nets to score "quality". It's not entirely unlikely, as banks often use similar technology to score credit. The advantages of such systems are (1) they can be trained on real data rather than having to be explicitly designed/coded by Valley-area air-head PhDs (2) can work relatively well even when faced by noisy/deceptive/low-quality/large-volume data, much better than humans can in fact (3) they are much faster and cheaper and require less sleep than humans! If G is using a neural-net-like system, then they may be using hundreds or thousands of data points for each landing-page assessment, and also even G may not be able to analyse exactly how its QS works, only train it some more in cases where they detect that it goes wrong. Those data points may even include AW and AS account history, numbers of bad guys and family members in your neighbourhood who had their accounts canned, numbers of AS/AW users blocking/filtering your site, etc, etc, ie really weird things, some of which will dominate the computations at different times.

Rgds

Damon

europeforvisitors




msg:3052190
 10:04 pm on Aug 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

About manual reviews: One problem with the "scalability" of manual reviews, aside from cost, may be the difficulty of maintaining consistency.

Would a system of manual reviews work better or be fairer than an automated "neural net" system like the one described by DamonHD? It might prevent really bad gaffes (the kind that even a junior-level employee who's new on the job should be able to avoid), but would it be as consistent as an automated system overall? (I don't have an opinion--I'm just asking what others think.)

pdivi




msg:3052251
 11:13 pm on Aug 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

In response to the scalability question, I think it depends...
- assessing the 'quality' of advertisers' sites manually: scalable
- assessing the 'quality' of advertisers' sites relative to each KW: not scalable

So if KW relevance is going to be a factor, I can't imagine how you can run the process using humans.

If I were Google and it were simply my objective to get rid of MFAs and really crappy sites, I'd use people. Anything much more robust, or down to the KW level, and I can see how they're really forced to use machines.

rbacal




msg:3052284
 11:53 pm on Aug 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Google has confirmed the QS score was created by starting with humans classifying sites, and then creating an algo to discriminate between quality sites and non. The could be using a neural net thing, but from what I've heard it sounds unlikely.

The upshot is the same - using a wide range of variables that distinguish re: profile fit, and they are not limited to any variables, they could use anything that distinguishes statistically even if it appears to not have any logical connection to "quality".

Re: consistency. I can't recall if it was Kim from google, or one of the other player/companies but the consistency issue, but they are aware of the issue, and consistency is one of the things that was mentioned in terms of using an algo.

Re: scalability:
- assessing the 'quality' of advertisers' sites manually: scalable
- assessing the 'quality' of advertisers' sites relative to each KW: not scalable

So if KW relevance is going to be a factor, I can't imagine how you can run the process using humans.

If I were Google and it were simply my objective to get rid of MFAs and really crappy sites, I'd use people. Anything much more robust, or down to the KW level, and I can see how they're really forced to use machines.

manual solutions are not scalable so I'm not sure why you said doing things manual was.

Finally, with proper profiling, proper statistical analysis, etc, it's not hard to use an algo to assess value/quality (I think value is a better word). All you do is use predictive correlates, and do occasional random human checks to determine the rate of false positives and false negatives.

It's really basic discrimminant analysis.

pdivi




msg:3052304
 12:22 am on Aug 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

manual solutions are not scalable

There are plenty of scalable manual processes. It all depends on the extent of the scale, and the fixed and incremental costs of manual processing vs. automation. At some point of scale, the cost curves intersect and at that point automated makes more sense than manual. But you can't just say one is 'not scalable' as a rule.

I can easily envision an economic argument for having a rooomful of people manually review a universe of (rough guess) a million sites over the cost of developing an algorithm, dealing with its bugs and bearing the cost of the resulting fallout. I can't imagine the same if the sites were to be measured against individual KWs. That was my only point. Manual is not an option for Google, except for in the most basic (and unlikely) scenario of a single site quality assessment, in my estimation.

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