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Done with AdWords
ember




msg:3151350
 2:40 pm on Nov 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

500 relevant, targeted keywords going to relevant, targeted pages in the site. Hardly a shotgun approach. 5% CTR over several months. Bids were .04. Today, wake up and Google wants $1 - $5 per click.

So that is the final straw. We are done, done, done and I hope someone comes soon to knock Google off its arrogant perch. I will not spend another dime with them ever again.

Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. And the little guy gets screwed again.

[edited by: ember at 3:15 pm (utc) on Nov. 9, 2006]

 

Syzygy




msg:3161289
 2:42 am on Nov 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

sfddiugohiufbvoiuh = $10
ehtrhtrehrethre4et = $10
gpogreorgeoihtweou = $10

That sounds familiar...

The "fideladeloopiedoo" experiment [webmasterworld.com]

Syzygy

Marcia




msg:3161294
 2:50 am on Nov 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'm wondering if a ton of direct complaints from AS publishers about ad quality, and a statistical look at the AS exclusion lists, and cross-matching them for characteristics, might not be giving some of the criteria for the AQ algo.

rbacal




msg:3161310
 3:54 am on Nov 19, 2006 (gmt 0)


If you are a little guy and doing just fine with Adwords, all I can say is just wait. We were doing quite fine for quite a long while, too, and then wham. You may be in for a surprise.

In case you or others are actually concerned about helping yourselves out, the point of my remark was this:

Let's pretend to agree that google is greedy (that doesn't explain anything well enough to help anybody but what the heck).

We know there are advertisers who have been QS'd and those that have not.

So, Ember, why did they choose you?

The reason why that question is so important is that the answers can actually help you or others address the situation.

Do you think they throw darts? Don't like your name? Maybe you have the wrong shoe size? Or is it something to do with you and your sites and ads over which you have control?

The information you need to assess your sites/ads and landing pages is all out there, and since you can't post url's here, you'd have to self assess.

But if I had money riding on QS, I'd hit up 5-8 friends who are normal non-techie, nonwebmaster people to go through my site and tell me if they think it's reputable, valuable, etc, and also have them evaluate the ads, etc.

It's pretty clear that a lot of website owners simply can't evaluate their own sites objectively enough.

rbacal




msg:3161311
 3:56 am on Nov 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

"issue be something specific to you "

Consistently rude... statistically speaking.

I'm dying to know why suggesting that being hit by QS might have something to do with the site owner, business model, site, pages, etc, is rude?

ember




msg:3161337
 5:05 am on Nov 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

Rbacal, I don't know why we were hit. The site has been around since 1999, has fresh, original content weekly, is content-heavy, has links in and out (not reciprocal), has won awards and been sited as a source by NBC News. So you tell me why Google hit us if it has nothing to do with darts and greed.

BaseVinyl




msg:3161340
 5:16 am on Nov 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

Many things have changed since 1999 including the knowledge that Google uses to price their product...they know better than any of you what they can charge for a piece of their interest and what was once your feast is now your famine but it is nothing personal...if you are being priced out of the club then you should realize that Google has learned enough from your participation to understand how they can make more money from their system...it's nothing personal but you aren't needed anymore and your money, that you all seem to think is such a big amount, is a drop in the bucket!

OUCH?

ember




msg:3161344
 5:29 am on Nov 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

Of course our money is a drop in the Google bucket. I have never claimed otherwise. Of course things have changed since 1999, and we have changed right along with them which is why we are still here making a living doing this. I still say that Google arbitrarily jacks up prices. I still say that all of you who worship Google and think your prices will never be jacked up because somehow your websites are better than ours are in for a rude awakening one day. When you are no longer wanted by Google, then we will see how much you defend them.

Pengi




msg:3161417
 9:51 am on Nov 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

I can't help feeling that what rbacal says about Google's intentions for the QS rings true.

But I also believe that implementing their intentions within an algorithm is an imperfect solution - no doubt, on average, those sites that are hit are a poor value experience for the visitor, but there are plenty of postings here from people stating that some quality sites are being hit too.

Now the perception of what is and isn't a quality site is clearly subjective [how many of us have ugly children?], but a view that says "you've been hit by the QS, therefore your site is low 'quality'" allows no room for an imperfect algorithm and doesn't help any webmasters who do have quality sites yet still find they have been hit.

rbacal - can you suggest a simple checklist that would help distinguish between a good site suffering from an imperfect algorithm and a poor site being "rightly" affected by the QS?

humblebeginnings




msg:3161458
 12:59 pm on Nov 19, 2006 (gmt 0)


sfddiugohiufbvoiuh = $10
ehtrhtrehrethre4et = $10
gpogreorgeoihtweou = $10
Come on Google, cut the crap and let us do business again!



This seems to me to be some of the best evidence that QS works the way a) google says it does, and b) the way it SHOULD work.

Rbacal,

Your reply is perhaps evidence that you will defend Google at any cost. Because even if I clearly show you the silliness of their bidding algo, you still try to find ways to justify it.

My post was crystal clear in its purpose; showing that keywords that no one else is bidding on are still $10 (in my account). But since you did not deny that, I guess you agree with me on this point.

The rest of your statements contain an assumption that might not be true. What if "sfddiugohiufbvoiuh" is a serial number of a very specific product I sell on my landingpage? And what if my ad, my keywords and landingpage are all extremely well matched?
Xdude suggests the proper experiment, but unfortunately it will lead nowhere. Even if I include these kinds of keywords in my landingpage content, Google still charges me $10.

And indeed, as Syzygy says, this has also been researched a year ago in the Fideladeloopiedoo Experiment [webmasterworld.com]. But please let us not try to repeat that again...

Pengi




msg:3161469
 1:41 pm on Nov 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

humblebeginnings

Sorry but I think you are missing some of the points here.

If I understand things correctly, the fact that your site is unique in having content pertaining to a particular keyword would not necessarily avoid high prices for keywords.

1 I think the QS takes some account of the general peceived value of your site to a visitor - irrespective of keyword
2 lack of searches on a given keyword - no data possibly leads to spurious minimum bids

humblebeginnings




msg:3161489
 2:39 pm on Nov 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

Pengi,

Thanks, I understand what you say.
I am just trying to state that even if you have keywords that no one else is bidding on, and even if your keywords and ad are highly relevant to your landingpage, it still doesn't mean Google will charge you reasonable prices for a click. I know there is more to it, but this QS thingy is gettig so complex it is a bit hard for some of us to understand what Google really expects us to do...

rbacal




msg:3161539
 4:01 pm on Nov 19, 2006 (gmt 0)


Rbacal, I don't know why we were hit. The site has been around since 1999, has fresh, original content weekly, is content-heavy, has links in and out (not reciprocal), has won awards and been sited as a source by NBC News. So you tell me why Google hit us if it has nothing to do with darts and greed.

PM me your url, and maybe a few example keywords and a sample ad text, and I'll look, but my bet is you won't like the answers, if I have any at all.

aeiouy




msg:3161541
 4:02 pm on Nov 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

The rest of your statements contain an assumption that might not be true. What if "sfddiugohiufbvoiuh" is a serial number of a very specific product I sell on my landingpage? And what if my ad, my keywords and landingpage are all extremely well matched?
Xdude suggests the proper experiment, but unfortunately it will lead nowhere. Even if I include these kinds of keywords in my landingpage content, Google still charges me $10.

Interesting. I just set up a nonsense word campaign for a test, and my minimum bid for match, phrase and exact were all $.06.

rbacal




msg:3161542
 4:05 pm on Nov 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

rbacal - can you suggest a simple checklist that would help distinguish between a good site suffering from an imperfect algorithm and a poor site being "rightly" affected by the QS?

I don't think that's possible to do, because while it's fairly easy to figure out how google does things, it's not that easy to know the specific variables google uses.

Adwords is the most transparent of all google stuff, though. So, in general, anything that presents the site/page as questionable, unreliable, dishonest, hidden, blah blah is certainly fair game to trigger QS. So, stuff like hidden registration, no company contact information, etc, would be possible variables.

Other stuff like age of hte site....

gotta run.

Pengi




msg:3161561
 4:25 pm on Nov 19, 2006 (gmt 0)


rbacal - can you suggest a simple checklist that would help distinguish between a good site suffering from an imperfect algorithm and a poor site being "rightly" affected by the QS?

I don't think that's possible to do, because while it's fairly easy to figure out how google does things, it's not that easy to know the specific variables google uses.


Ok maybe if I suggest some you can add/subtract or comment:

"poor site"
- no contact details or privacy policy;
- little or no original content, or content of very little value to a typical visitor;
- no apparent reason for the site to exist other than as a vehicle for displaying Ads to other sites (rather than direct ads for products or services);
- poor or absent navigation - nothing to do apart from clicking an ad.
- no breaches of Google TOS.

"good site"
- no poor site attributes (see above);
- good, original and useful content - pertinent to subject keyword and ad - perhaps ranking well in SERPS [aside: so why use Adwords?];
- site has an apparent mission or purpose that goes beyond just displaying ads - people would choose to visit and possibly bookmark;
- well constructed and presented.

[edited by: Pengi at 4:28 pm (utc) on Nov. 19, 2006]

rbacal




msg:3161587
 4:46 pm on Nov 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

Ok maybe if I suggest some you can add/subtract or comment

Good stuff! If I have the time and energy, I might set up a new thread on JUST the topic of variables that may be used in QS.

For now, one important point that I've repeated over and over again.

Algos tend to use weights for the variables, and the weights can be modified depending on the values of other variables in the equations.

What that means is that the total QS -- that which determines your min. bids is going to be created differently for each site, keyword, landing page.

If you change ONE variable (let's say add a privacy policy), one person may not see any effect, but another person may "get over the threshold" and see a positive effect. What works for one situation may not appear to work for another.

That's why we can't say: "Oh, add a privacy policy and your problems will be solved". NO SINGLE VARIABLE will improve QS across all advertisers.

Which is why the best guides to improving QS are exactly the suggestions that can be drawn from what google has told all of us, which is that you make your sites, pages, ads, keywords in ways that the average visitor will see your site as valuable, worthwhile, reputable, etc.

Note "average visitor". NOT just the person looking to buy something, but the average visitor.

rbacal




msg:3161591
 4:52 pm on Nov 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

Interesting. I just set up a nonsense word campaign for a test, and my minimum bid for match, phrase and exact were all $.06.

In some ways not surprising. We don't know if it would stay at .06 cents, of course.

What this drives home is that each situation (web site, ad campaign) is different in terms of the algo. What aeiou can do is different from what ember can do, because their histories, and many many other variables are DIFFERENT FROM EACH OTHER.

Which is why you can't easily game the QS system over the long haul based on anecdotal evidence.

humblebeginnings




msg:3161693
 6:48 pm on Nov 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

What that means is that the total QS -- that which determines your min. bids is going to be created differently for each site, keyword, landing page. (etcetera)

An interesting and perhaps very true theory. Is there convincing evidence to support this? Besides the fact that QS indeed seems to respond in a different way for each situation. I mean, the fact that the effects of QS appear to be rather unpredictable could also mean that the algo is just a sort of randomizer that punishes or rewards accounts/sites/pages/keywords at will.

randomaddy




msg:3162105
 4:50 am on Nov 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

Our campaigns too have recevied a spike in adwords pricing, however, something strange is happening.

The campaigns are still active (becaase we still receive good/reasonable clicks through the content network) however, for some of the previous popular/best performing keywords will have some impressions and clicks recorded. This seems to happen over night, i awake to find the keywords inactive at $6-13.00 but still find some clicks/impressions.

Any explaination for this? Anyone else experiencing this?

Green_Grass




msg:3162111
 4:55 am on Nov 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

"Any explaination for this? Anyone else experiencing this? "

This is how it starts , wait a while to see complete deactivation..

Celicaphile




msg:3162615
 4:59 pm on Nov 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

What this drives home is that each situation (web site, ad campaign) is different in terms of the algo. What aeiou can do is different from what ember can do, because their histories, and many many other variables are DIFFERENT FROM EACH OTHER.

The Google Rep that I've had a live chat & exchanged emails w/ said that the above is NOT true. It's the history of the keyword/phrase as a whole. It doesn't matter the slightest that you could convert for that keyword/phrase more than anyone else.

rbacal




msg:3162623
 5:09 pm on Nov 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

The Google Rep that I've had a live chat & exchanged emails w/ said that the above is NOT true. It's the history of the keyword/phrase as a whole. It doesn't matter the slightest that you could convert for that keyword/phrase more than anyone else.

It doesn't seem like you understood what I said since your reply and what I wrote don't seem to have any connection. Also I suggest you read the online google documentation on how QS is calculated.

humblebeginnings




msg:3162694
 5:48 pm on Nov 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

It doesn't seem like you understood what I said

How about: "Perhaps I didn't explain this properly"

ember




msg:3162928
 8:37 pm on Nov 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

If it all has to do with the history of the keywords, meaning, I suppose, their CTR, then why do keywords with high CTRs still get targeted and deactivated? Seems to me that well-performing keywords would be the ones Google would want to continue running. If anything Google does were to make sense, of course....

Pengi




msg:3162989
 9:35 pm on Nov 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

... why do keywords with high CTRs still get targeted and deactivated

the CTR for a keyword will depend on:
1 Your Ad text
2 the position of your ad - where it ranks in the search lists, what content pages it appears on.

The CTR for a keyword has nothing to do with the quality or value of your site, so the fact that a keyword has a high CTR means nothing when it comes to evaluating your site against the QS.

pdivi




msg:3162999
 9:47 pm on Nov 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

why do keywords with high CTRs still get targeted and deactivated?

One needs to factor the opportunity cost of their clicks. If you have a KW with a high CTR and a low max CPC, it is possible Google could make more money by getting rid of you completely. Fewer high-performance low bidders means more clicks to the highest bidders.

If there is a big gap between the highest bidders and the next tier of bids, the KW is susceptible to QS targeting.

If you are running highly optimized, high-performance ads and you are in the lower tier of bidders, you're a goner.

Just all IMO, of course, supported by my own research. This would also explain why Adsense publishers are seeing higher eCPMs on lower CTRs. Google is netting higher revenue after displacing the more effective advertisers.

sailorjwd




msg:3163036
 10:15 pm on Nov 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

Pdivi,

What you are describing sounds 'evil'

Therefore it can't be true.

mimmo




msg:3163465
 8:37 am on Nov 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

I do not think Google is driven by CPC right now. Quality of their ads is #1 concern for them.

Do you have a million dollar to spend but your site provides no value for the clicker? You are not wanted.

I think people at Google know very well that if their AdWords Ads start being perceived of lower quality, Google revenues, ALL revenues, are GONE! in a second!

When you search on Google you are presented with 'organic' results and 'sponsored'. Organic results are very relevant.

So why do users click on the ads?
And why they keep clicking?
What if they stop?

Why do you use Google to search? It is all about finding what you are looking for. It is a different type of advertising, it is not only driven by how much you are willing to pay. You must provide value to the clicker.

Green_Grass




msg:3163481
 8:53 am on Nov 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

"Do you have a million dollar to spend but your site provides no value for the clicker? You are not wanted. "

The algo keeps changing or ... minor changes on the website can make it again High QS. So it is all in flux. It is a hit and trial kinda thing. Keep adding ' Trust' value to your sites and let the algo update again. The site may suddenly become high Quality.

I insist , patience is the key. Those who change URL immediately without making any effort to try and understand what Google wants will be losers in the long run. Just my IMO. Google seems to work on ' Long term' 'trusted' sites providing better value- as long as changes to meet the algo requirements are made. What changes are required is.. hit and try with the basic premise of adding 'Trust' and hence value.

mike_ppc




msg:3163567
 11:13 am on Nov 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

Someone was mentioning good keywords, very well converting that were hit by the min. bid of 10$. My thought: if they are converting, could those KW not be targeted?
Another thought: Could by any chance this thing be related by the fact that Conversion Tracking is activated (or not)? Google can use this very important info in many ways....

pdivi




msg:3163689
 2:06 pm on Nov 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

I do not think Google is driven by CPC right now. Quality of their ads is #1 concern for them.

I'm not running Google, so I can't speak for them. But I know that if I were sitting on...
1. a 60+ P/E, i.e. investors and analysts demanding high earnings growth
2. a single product contributing to my revenue
3. a maturing market for my single product
4. numerous non-revenue-producing side projects and rising infrastructure costs

...I'd be looking pretty hard at optimizing my pricing. After all, pricing is the only lever left to get to high earnings growth, given conditions 2&3 above.

I can certainly see why quality is a huge concern for Google, and I imagine quality is a factor in the QS. But I'd be shocked if the QS didn't have a very important short-term revenue optimization component as well.

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