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This 129 message thread spans 5 pages: < < 129 ( 1 [2] 3 4 5 > >     
Updated : Google AdWords Quality Score Update ... Now Live

 8:30 am on Feb 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

Im still waiting for them to drop the bomb.

Excite to find out, how much is it going to affect me.



 3:18 pm on Feb 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

Anyone know if you can tell when you have been re-assessed by the mighty Google using their new Quality Algo?

I have the QS column enabled. Is it just a matter of manually noting the ratings for each keyword and then comparing them every day to see any changes in price or QS rating?

As far as I can tell there is no Quality option in the Report Generator tool that would allow you to track changes in keyword quality ratings.

Hope this QS update isn't too dramatic. I've only just recovered from the glitch a few days ago when the Min CPCs went wild.


 3:31 pm on Feb 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

One account has been slightly affected by the QS update. It seems that it deals with relevancy, and minimum bids. I used to be able to get very cheap clicks for some keywords. Now, some bids have increased to 0.15 cents. But the keywords with the bid adjustment are not in the landing page exactly, nor are any synonyms -- so the update did discourage lower quality ads that do not relate exactly. However the change is nothing MAJOR, as we experienced before.

I'm thinking, as of the evidence I have thus far, this update will affect a lot of the people bidding on many keywords for cheap. In addition, this update has yet to produces an elevated minimum bid to $5.00 or $10.00 for any of my keywords.

Maybe that is the next part of the "3 to 4" day rollout, as mentioned in the inside adwords blog.

Stay tuned.


[edited by: RockSolidWes at 3:32 pm (utc) on Feb. 22, 2007]


 4:01 pm on Feb 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

I haven't checked the accounts yet, but traffic is up and orders are up across the board, so I don't think we've been negatively affected. Of course, I have been spending the past few days making sure all my destination urls are pointing to the correct landing pages, and that might have helped too. And I'm not even done with that yet.


 4:30 pm on Feb 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

One change I have notiticed is that all of my keywords which are marked "poor" are being charged my max bid for every click. This is new behavior.


 4:32 pm on Feb 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

Good point Jim. Us too


 4:50 pm on Feb 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

Got a power point presentation from Google about this update.

Minimum bids may increase for low quality keywords that have received few clicks and therefore have a low CTR on Google.com

Note: This update does not change our landing page quality evaluation

It seems that the way Google updates their landing page evaluation has not changed, and this update is mainly concerned with ads that to not have a good CTR on the Google network.

Hopefully this is the extent of this major update. Stay tuned.


 5:38 pm on Feb 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

Got a power point presentation from Google about this update.

Minimum bids may increase for low quality keywords that have received few clicks and therefore have a low CTR on Google.com

Note: This update does not change our landing page quality evaluation

As expected, it's about flushing out keywords that don't perform (rather than those that are low quality).

They really should separate QS from revenue potential. I agree that Google have every right to raise minimum bids on keywords that get very few/no clicks over the course of a year, but 'Quality' does not always correlate with search frequency.

I think they should have a Quality Score and a Frequency Score. If the keyword fails on either then by all means up the min bid, but at least make it clear that it's down to the keyword not having enough earnings potential rather than the 'Quality' of the advert/landing page being poor.


 5:46 pm on Feb 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

I guess this update doesn't work well for me..
Keyword: "hot widgets", QS (as displayed) - Great/min.bid - 0.04, Max CPC set to 0.04, keyword status (as displayed) - Active.

Ad DOES NOT show. Ad Diagnostic Tool says "Your QS is too low".


 6:17 pm on Feb 22, 2007 (gmt 0)


we could really do with being able to see the QS in the report center, and also the api. Any news when you are going to get this sorted?



 6:21 pm on Feb 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

The New update does not seem to be impacted by CTR - I have CTR's of over 16% for certain keywords that have changed to 'Poor' from 'OK'.


 6:36 pm on Feb 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

The New update does not seem to be impacted by CTR - I have CTR's of over 16% for certain keywords that have changed to 'Poor' from 'OK'.

- the update could be more than mere CTR, if this is the case


- 16% in your account means 16% across all search partners. it could be that on the google network, your ctr is lower -- u just do well on the partner networks like aol, ask, mysearch, etc.

- also, who is to say there is a broad cut off? maybe the ctr is compared to other ads for the keyword normalized for position? what if the other ads for your keyword out perform you by leaps and bounds?


 7:55 pm on Feb 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

Found this on Google Groups

AdWordsAPIAdvisor said....

"we currently do not plan to release this column's data via the API since minimum bids (already available via the API) provide a more accurate estimate of your Quality Score.

Just to give you a rough estimate of how minimum bids and these quality "buckets" currently align...

"Great" keywords have a minimum bid less than or equal to $0.04,
"Okay" keywords have a minimum bid between $0.05 and $0.30,
"Poor" keywords have a minimum bid that is higher than $0.30.

Please note, these ranges may change over time. "

[edited by: Potosi at 7:58 pm (utc) on Feb. 22, 2007]


 8:17 pm on Feb 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

As expected, it's about flushing out keywords that don't perform (rather than those that are low quality).

I don't think that's the case Inbound.

I have keywords ranging in the 14% CTR and my ads are so hot that Google most of the time takes my ad from the right side and put it in the left side in blue above the free serps.

As I mentioned in a similar post, since it's not about Ads then it's about landing pages and since my Clickbank's affiliate program has a nice landing page filled with my keywords, I think it has to do with either Google hating Clickbank's landing pages or that this landing page has too many "Order Now" buttons and links on it which would mean that Google hates ads pointing to sites that sells something therefore giving you a poor QS score.

I mean that's pure logic to me. If my ads have a high CTR and gets listed on top of the page 1 serps, the poor QS status can't come from there...right?

And if it comes from a landing page that has tons of keywords in it, then what else is there besides punishing us because we redirect people to a Clickbank page to sell them something and not bring them to a nice relevant informational website!

What's your opinion on that?

Just for the fun of it, I took my Clickbank's landing pages, copied it to my own domain and removed all the "Order Now" links and pointed my ads to it just to see if the QS will change. I can't wait for the next refresh of QS :-)

[edited by: Mtlinfo at 8:26 pm (utc) on Feb. 22, 2007]


 9:38 pm on Feb 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

It's well known that G will penalise anything related to an affiliate landing page. Do a search for thin affiliates and you will see that they have been trying to disrupt as many affiliates as possible for a couple years now. As with everything else, they say it's in the name of quality but the real reason is that they have been planning to ad a CPA option to adwords where they become the affiliate of the advertiser. Their initial plan was to knock out the affiliates and that would kill the aff networks and then the companies running programs on the networks would move their budgets over to G. All indications are that this strategy has been a bust.


 10:05 pm on Feb 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

Their initial plan was to knock out the affiliates and that would kill the aff networks and then the companies running programs on the networks would move their budgets over to G.

I don't know if that's true but it doesn't make good business sense to kill thousands and thousands of affiliate marketers since they are the ones placing A TON of ads in Adwords under an incredible amount of different keywords that the affiliate program owners themselves would not even think to list their program with (CPA or not).

What would you advise me to do then? Forget about linking directly to clickbank (GooGle Cash Method) and have my own domain name with just a squeeze page in it with no "Order Now" buttons and just have a Aweber form in it?

Would that really boost my landing page's QS Score and lower my CPC?

The GoogleCash method is not totally dead because you can still plug 1 Adwords Ad per keyword per affiliate program so if you get creative, you will find keywords where you are the only one to promote that affiliate program with.

But if Google charges me an arm just because I link to a Clickbank affiliate program's landing page then I won't make a lot of money here since all my keywords will cost me too much here to reactivate.

Any tips here from Clickbank affiliate marketers?

[edited by: Mtlinfo at 10:08 pm (utc) on Feb. 22, 2007]


 2:50 am on Feb 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

I am a publisher with a pretty cursory understanding of this side of the fence, but one question that I have is:

how are those sites that look like directories with nothing but ads on them (parked domains?) affected by the QS?
why do they still seem to be so abundant - wouldn't the QS have priced them out of decent ROI?


 1:17 pm on Feb 23, 2007 (gmt 0)


Good questions. A monkey could write an algo that would identify the obvious arbitrage sites that are still out there. Right?

The answer is (IMO), the QS has a component that factors the opportunity cost of your ads, and hits you with a minimum bid if you present a loss to Google, regardless of relevance or "quality".

For example, if I'm hogging clicks with a high performance ad down in spot #4 @ $.20 per click, and spots #1 & 2 are willing to pay $2/click, it's likely that I'm dragging down revenue for the keyword by taking away higher revenue clicks. Google can increase revenue by either getting rid of my ad completely or forcing me to compete for the higher spots by increasing my minumum bid.

To many of us pouring over thousands of keywords feeding multiple sites in multiple industries, the pattern is clear. Where you hunt bargains effectively, you get hammered.

I do believe there is a quality element to the QS, but I don't believe it explains the whole thing.


 2:32 pm on Feb 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

"Where you hunt bargains effectively, you get hammered."

Couldn't be closer to the truth


 7:19 pm on Feb 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

"Where you hunt bargains effectively, you get hammered."



 7:28 pm on Feb 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

"Where you hunt bargains effectively, you get hammered."

This is the truth but it is very confusing as obviously Google wants to monetize teh "long tail" but they keep making it harder to do just that.


 8:20 pm on Feb 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

Just got another round of QSing, raising minium bids on certain words yet again. This time from 50 cents to $1. Or in another words from barely profitable to wholely unprofitable.

Thought that this QS was going to be better than the past, but now am bumming out. :(

I always wonder why these things seem to happen late on Friday.


 8:23 pm on Feb 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

For one of my accounts, every single phrase is marked with a QS of great, but for some reason the impressions (and thus the clicks) are WAY down. Like, down to a 10th of what they were. I hope it's a glitch. I've specified a daily budget in the low four figures, but we're only spending a couple hundred.


 8:22 am on Feb 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

As usual this comes across as a money grab. At least it's the attempt. Relevance? That's a joke. I advertise widget. Widget on landing page. However widget doesn't cost that much. Used to be 4 cents was good enough. Today Google want 30 cents a click. So I don't bite ..leave them as is. No longer profitable for me or my competition. So then check results. Not ONE site is about widgets but if you want ring tones, plenty of those. Yah that's quality google, real quality. Doesn't matter to me anymore. More and more we've been putting good old fashioned ads in magazines and it's refreshing to see it working quite well actually and without working myself to death worrying over quality scores.

Keep your PPC Google. Every term you turn off ...stays off for me.

Someday PPC will go the way of banner ads and we'll be free at last, great god almighty free at last.


 4:21 pm on Feb 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

I'm done. Just simply done with Adwords for my primary accounts. Spend a fair amount of money there, but for me the trust factor is completely gone. Everything they do is anti advertiser. Now I have words with very low competition and they are suddenly wanting way too much per click. I'm tired of some computer deciding if my ad or page is relevant to a keyword. It is relevant, and any human would know it. They have to realize that for every 100 people searching for a red widget, that a decent percentage are looking for accessories for that red widget. I can't seem to convince their new system of this. Wish a human could drop by every now and then and say, "Gee, that ad looks relevant, the products look relevant... here's a good quality score for you." I simply can't turn positive ROI anymore without a ton of time spent focusing exclusively on them on a daily basis.

For my newspapeer/radio ads, the salesman comes around every couple weeks, we spend 15 mins putting together a plan... i pay, I know what I'm going to get... and he is working to actually try to help my business.

I'm just sick of being one of only two displayed advertisers on certain keywords, then being asked for $1, $5 or $10 per click on products that already have low margin. It just doesn't work for me any longer and even if it did... having to constantly monitor and learn of how to game them just isn't the kind of relationship I want.

Heck.. I would pay good money to have a human assess a quality score to my ads and pages. The algorithm doesn't know all. I can spend my time and money growing my business with advertising partners that actually give a darn about me. The last time I bought billboard space, the billboard company wasn't asking about the user experience of the cars that were driving by, or trying to decide whether it was a better fit for my ad or that of a different product was more appropriate. They had a price they wanted for the space and I paid it. The difference is, the price google wants for the space is too high and too complicated, and the space is now going to sit vacant.


 5:08 pm on Feb 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

Yes, it's purely a money grab. I have an account with 1250 keywords. Before the update, 700 were great, the rest ok. Most of the 700 were under 5 cents. Now, about 750 are great but the minimums have risen to 5 cents, so our QS improved overall but so did the cost. About half the oks have dropped to poor. Also, you will notice that the increments start at 5 cents. We no longer have minimum bid at price in between 5 cent increments. So greats are at 5 cents, ok, are 10,15,20,25,30 and poors are at 40,50,1.00,2.00,5.00. So maybe the algorithm does work better at identifying relevance but the minimums have been cranked up. They will keep doing this until they see a significant move away from adwords and then pull back. They are trying to find the advertiser base gouge limit.


 7:58 pm on Feb 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

The new quality score money grap just swept through my account after 3 years. They effectively rendered 80% of my account inactive and doubled about all the bids. These Google people hide behind so many pretty words to disguise their real intent. I could smell this coming from 10 miles out.

Well the way I look at it is they can shove it up their patooties. It was always an expense and a very time consuming expense to begin with. You really have to work your tail off to maintain the thing. I'm actually somewhat relieved they cut my work load. Now all those top bidding sites can bare more of the burden of Adsense payouts. Plus many people say they rose in the rankings once they said bye bye to Adwords. Sometimes itís the best thing in the world when they fire you.

One additional observation: In my areas many of the ad columns have crumbled to very few if any ads with the new money grap. Obviously Google is waiting for people to bid up to re-populate the areas. Well donít count on me Mr. Google I wasn't a cheap bidder to begin with. It might be a long wait till doomsday to get anymore of my money. I've always found in life somebody wants your money.


 9:10 pm on Feb 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

I say the official name of this update is "The Money Grab Update" :-)



 9:53 pm on Feb 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

Just think of how many times you have had to completely redesign your landing pages over the past 6 months, and how many more pages you had to create for your various keywords. Then ask yourself, did all of this content you created actually do anything to help the end user, or did it only help google's opinion of your page?

Was that time well spent? Perhaps for the purpose of getting better cpc... but did they really help your conversions or customers any?

If I'm selling red widgets... or buying red widgets for that matter, I want a page that just shows me a red widget, the price etc. I don't need a bunch of scraped content on the page, or a bunch of links to scraped Yahoo answer pages about a red widget. What's even harder is if you are selling batteries or parts for that red widget. Then, instead of making a page about your batteries or parts... you've gotta make it about the red widget to be relevant.

I'm just soooooo tired of the ring around the rosey that just results in google ending up with pockets full of posies and leaving us in ashes.


 10:18 pm on Feb 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

It's clearly not just about quality. I have a site about red widgets, which includes some material on red widget parts. The phrase "red widget parts" just got demoted to "poor" whereas the phrase "red widget part" is still "great." The thing is, nowhere on my entire site do I use the singular form, only the plural!

I'm not going to rush and change anything, I'll give it awhile and see what happens.


 10:39 pm on Feb 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

The latter part of this thread needs to broken out from the original. It's apparent Google is dripping the changes in so as not to accumulate a backlash. From what I've read in a few forums they begin leaking these price hikes in last week.


 11:53 pm on Feb 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

And they said during last weeks "glitch" that caused plurals to go to $10 was unrelated. Funny how this update is doing the same thing, just more mildly. It's obvious they have decided they want to herd people into more competitive arena. Rather than having the advertiser base split between singular and plural keywords, they knock out the ads on plurals as "poor" forcing everyone into heavy competition in the singulars. Clearly they have decided that they just won't make any profit on long tails and plurals and now want to force heated competition on more general terms. This is the exact opposite of what they had been preaching since adwords was launched. It looks like the bean counters at G are now wielding far more power then the eggheads who had this view that all keywords could be monetized when logic always dictated that general terms would create the most competition, and thus the most money. You can expect the next update to whack people using exact and phrase match.

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