I got hit on the QS for my e - commerce site in the last QS update.
I thought, I had a great site , providing something unique to surfers specific to my country. I was using adWords to advertise specifically in my country to promote my website.
When I got hit by USD 5-10 Minimum bids, I immediately wrote to adWords, asking for a manual review and explaining how great my site was for surfers from my country and how, I was providing a unique product which was not avaialble elsewhere. I wrote a long long mail and was sure I would get back in. The reply came back.. polite as usual but to the point.... The Site was deemed VERY LOW QUALITY.
That got me mad and I ranted on WW. It also got me thinking. I went through the webmaster guidelines carefully and tried to find the INTENTION behind the QS and the guidelines.
I finally made the following changes to my website.
Reduced adSense blocks to one. ( I tried to reduce the perception that my site was an MFA).
Added comprehensive contact Details.
( The above already existed, all I did was highlight same and added some more details )
Added outgoing links ( not many -- 5-6, to authority sites) providing surfers access to more information.
Provided surfers access to magazine articles with my site review. ( initially I had only provided highlights, now I provided access to the full article, which discussed my site and others in the broader context of the industry)
My site is accessible only to registered Users. ( I got a lot of negative comments about this feature from WW memebers last time , I posted this point) Anyways this is essential for my business model, for reasons , I will not specify. Anyways, I explained the reasoning and requirement for registration to surfers. I created a new page for this purpose.
I also provided 'Samples' of what they can expect to find , in the website , once they register. ( I did this, specifically in response to the webmaster guidelines, and surprise! , it did lead to a major improvement in the registration rate and conversions). Google was right!
I also removed Links to my other sites which were not really related to this website (I was using these links to divert some traffic to my other websites)
I really did NOT add any additional content.
I kept my adWords campaign alive with a small budget and slightly higher bids trying for traffic from the Content network.
I was pleasantly surprised to find my QS upgraded in this update bringing all inactive keywords back into action with $0.05 bids.
My campaigns are now up to full speed on this URL.
Now I have to work on my other website which got hit :-)