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Keyword Quality Score Observations
limoshawn

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3270087 posted 4:46 pm on Mar 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

Some background: we manufacture and sell widgets in a market with low to moderate competition in the U.S. We have no affiliate links and no third party advertising such as AdSense on our site, strictly widgets for sale directly.

Keywords:
Specific widget- (QS, OK .30)
Specific brown widget- (QS, OK .30)
Specific brown top widget- (QS, Poor $1.00)

All keywords were in the same ad group pointing to the same landing page.

We started by creating new landing pages for each keyword:
www.example.com/widgets/specific_widget.htm
www.example.com/widgets/specific-brown-widget.htm
www.example.com/widgets/specific-brown-top-widget.htm

Landing pages were updated to be keyword specific. Keyword only in title meta tag, keyword twice in description meta tag, keyword only in keyword meta tag. Moderate to heavy keyword use in body with use of h1, h2, and h3 tags. All occurrences of keyword in body BOLDED.

Next we deleted “specific brown widget” and “specific brown top widget” from the ad group. Then we updated the AD for “specific widget” to include keyword in title and description line 1 and pointed ad to keyword specific landing page. NO CHANGE IN QS.

Next we created NEW ad group for “specific brown widget” and NEW ad including keyword in title and description line 1 pointing to this keyword’s landing page. QS CHANGED FROM “OK .30” TO “GREAT .04”

Next we created NEW ad group for “specific brown top widget” and NEW ad pointing to this keyword’s landing page. The keyword was too long to be included in the title of the ad so we used “specific widget” in the title and the keyword in the description line 1. QS CHANGED FROM “OK .30” TO “OK .10”

We then deleted the keyword, ad, and ad group for “specific brown top widget” and created a NEW ad group and NEW ad. Everything was the same except in the title of the ad we used “{KeyWord: specific widget}” and the QS CHANGED FROM “OK .10” TO “GREAT .04”

NEXT DAY: QS for “specific widget” changed from “OK .30” TO “OK .20”. We then deleted the keyword, ad, and ad group for “specific widget”. We changed the name of the landing page from “specific_widget.htm” to “specific-widget.htm” and recreated the ad group and ad pointing to the renamed landing page. QS CHANGED FROM “OK .20” TO “GREAT .03”

Observations / Suggestions:
When naming landing page files use the keyword.
Multi word keywords should be separated by hyphens, not underscore, in the landing page name.
Keyword use on landing pages including use of h1, h2, h3 tags.
Bolding keywords on landing pages.
Keyword in landing page title meta, description meta, and keyword meta tags.
Keyword in ad title and description line.
If the keyword is too long for title line use the {keyword insertion}.
Keyword specific ad groups.

It’s all pretty basic stuff but it seemed to work for us, hope it helps.

[edited by: eWhisper at 3:45 pm (utc) on Mar. 18, 2007]
[edit reason] Please use example.com for sameple links. [/edit]

 

trannack

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3270087 posted 5:08 pm on Mar 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the very constructive feed-back. I'm sure there will be a lot of grateful people out there.

limoshawn

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3270087 posted 5:54 pm on Mar 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

update:
The QS bot seems to like the "alt text" associated with pics or graphics.

We noticed a keyword with a strong QS and the ONLY reference to the keyword on the landing page was in an "alt text" tag for a graphic.

outland88

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3270087 posted 1:19 am on Mar 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

I know many can appreciate the details of what you did Limoshawn but the problem is the results can’t be guaranteed. In fact a lot of what you did and what some Google Adword advisors are suggesting has almost completely disappeared in my areas. So I would caution expensing this much time. This is not a criticism of you but the totally absurd conditions Google places on many of its advertisers. I mean really when I see a column of ads that starts with the title Brown Widgets and the next fifteen say the same thing that’s not advertising. It’s almost creepy. True advertising allows you to distinguish yourself in the marketplace often to sell products. When I’m adapting landing pages and ads to please an algo I loose the mindset of what I’m trying to do in the first place. My success has always come from people saying “I wish I had thought of that” or “that’s different” instead of copying the same tired old formulas.

It’s like I said to some of these Google people. You’ve totally “worn me out”. To spend a couple thousand dollars you want me to expense five thousand dollars in work, which you may penalize the next week. I’m not here to learn all the nuances of John Madden Football and pour over the rulebook on a daily basis. I’m here to spend money on advertising to make money not learn an algo.

limoshawn

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3270087 posted 2:38 am on Mar 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

outland88, I agree with your post 1000%.
Unfortunately if we want to advertise on Google we have to play by Google's rules. I believe that if we collaborate on appeasing Google then we could get back to the business of business.

limitup

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3270087 posted 3:49 am on Mar 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

Great intentions by the original poster, but I don't think any of these things help in a way we'll ever understand. We don't do any of those things, and all of our major keywords - over 500+ - for a VERY comptetive industry are GREAT with minimum bids in the 3-5 cent range.

venrooy

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3270087 posted 4:08 am on Mar 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

outland is correct - I tried your above method, and it made my quality score worse. Personally I think it's purely a money alogrithm. It doesn't matter what your page looks like, or how well it lines up with your keywords. The site that makes them the most money for any particular keyword, is going to get the highest quality score.

outland88

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3270087 posted 7:32 am on Mar 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

The best way to beat them IMO is to freeze your spending. They aren't fools. Google didn't fully roll out that many changes all at once. Many will think they did things the right way. They’re guinea pigging accounts to see if all goes well for them. If enough people bite they up the ante in other areas. Like I said they have about worn me out with all their manipulations of the Google search engine and Adwords. You can’t say anything beneficial in most cases. Google employees keep their eyes glued to anything that will cost them money.

limoshawn

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3270087 posted 1:05 pm on Mar 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

Great intentions by the original poster, but I don't think any of these things help in a way we'll ever understand. We don't do any of those things, and all of our major keywords - over 500+ - for a VERY comptetive industry are GREAT with minimum bids in the 3-5 cent range.

Thats great limitup, we to have many, many keywords in the "great" QS area that we did nothing to or for; however we also had a small number that registered in at "OK" or worse. I simply wanted to post about what WE did and how it affected OUR QS.

I tried your above method, and it made my quality score worse.

venrooy, It wasn’t really meant to be a "method", just documenting the results WE got by doing specific things.

mimmo

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3270087 posted 1:48 pm on Mar 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

Personally I think it's purely a money alogrithm. It doesn't matter what your page looks like, or how well it lines up with your keywords. The site that makes them the most money for any particular keyword, is going to get the highest quality score.

I agree 100%

For the simple reason that no algorithm would be able to establish the "quality" of a page for a visitor, by just analyzing the web page, out of context. PageRank shows that the quality of a page has to be established in the context of the web, but landing pages are one-off, often without any referring links to it.

IMHO QS is all about CPC, CTR and historic data.

For instance in our campaign we have:
- simple widgets [QS=Great]
- black simple widgets [QS=OK]
?
all the keywords are on our land page!

Pengi

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3270087 posted 2:00 pm on Mar 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

Just guessing I'm afraid, but could the key to a "Great" QS for a given keyword/Ad/Landing page combination be about providing Ad Text and Landing page content that is both relevant and specific to the keyword concerned.

Systematically following the steps taken by limoshawn will go a long way to achiving this, and for limoshawn it is all valid since the specific keyword is actually being offered for sale on each of the landing pages.

However, blindly following these steps without actually ending up with valuable content on the landing page (Content pumped full of keywords will be relevant but may still be worthless - e.g. "brown widgets are widgets that are brown etc.") will not provide a rubust fix.

OTOH - providing lots of valuable, relevant and specific content without necessarily following all the steps suggested will, IMHO, still provide a Great QS

limoshawn

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3270087 posted 2:47 pm on Mar 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

However, blindly following these steps without actually ending up with valuable content on the landing page (Content pumped full of keywords will be relevant but may still be worthless - e.g. "brown widgets are widgets that are brown etc.") will not provide a rubust fix.

That’s a great point Pengi. We didn’t do any sort of keyword stuffing on the landing pages, we simply made sure that the specific keyword was on the page at least once with a "headline" tag and in the meta tags for the page.

Mimmo, I can't speak for you, however when we reviewed the negative QS we received on some keywords the immediate response was "we sell (specific brown top widgets) how is this keyword not relevant?" but when we looked at our site in absolute terms as an algorithm would we realized that while we sold "specific brown top widgets" there would be no way for an algorithm to know this.
So in absolute terms is the specific keyword "black simple widgets" represented on your landing page, in your ad title, in your ad text? Is the keyword represented in that order, "black simple widgets" and not "simple black widgets" or "black simple widget"?
Just some food for thought.

trannack

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3270087 posted 2:56 pm on Mar 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

Limoshawn - I for one, think that it is a refreshing change to see a post with constructive feedback on what you have done, and what results you experienced. For sure, this will not work for everyone, and every niche and site has its own problems etc. However, if we all spent a bit more time helping and feeding back our own experiences, then perhaps we could all learn more.

kdobson99

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3270087 posted 2:57 pm on Mar 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

Since this is really all an attempt to beat arbi... take a look at your page and see what ads you think adsense would display on you page. If it would display the same ads that display in a google search for your keyword, you are likely going to have a good QS. If it would display a slightly different category of ads, I think you will suffer more.

naeemi

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3270087 posted 4:18 pm on Mar 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

interesting article ... continue

limoshawn

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3270087 posted 4:29 pm on Mar 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

I also wanted to note that the domain name DOES NOT contain any part of the keywords we tested. So the url for the landing pages would look more like this:
www.example.com/widgets/specific_widget.htm
www.example.com/widgets/specific-brown-widget.htm
www.example.com/widgets/specific-brown-top-widget.htm

[edited by: eWhisper at 3:46 pm (utc) on Mar. 18, 2007]
[edit reason] Please use example.com for sample links. [/edit]

dba_guy

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3270087 posted 4:32 pm on Mar 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

"We changed the name of the landing page from “specific_widget.htm” to “specific-widget.htm” and recreated the ad group and ad pointing to the renamed landing page."

Does anyone have any information on how Google views..

/specific-widget

vs

/specific-widget.htm

The first method doesn't include the file extension, but lands them on the same page. Do keywords in the url carry the same weight as keywords in the file name?

limoshawn

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3270087 posted 4:43 pm on Mar 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

We have keywords that point to directories (\specific-widget) and keywords that point to specific files or pages in directories (\specific-widget.htm)
I haven’t noticed any penalties for pointing to a directory as long as the default page in the directory is relevant to the keyword.

toddb

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3270087 posted 5:24 pm on Mar 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

We have experienced the same effect. I would say the biggest effect we have encountered is having the keywords in the ad. "brown top widgets" then you need "brown top widgets" in the ad.

I would also ad we did see an improvement on one site where we only added the privacy policy. This was in the last update but it did make an improvement.

outland88

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3270087 posted 7:26 pm on Mar 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

I refused to touch my account for many days and 75 of my keywords came back last night without doing a thing. It was no major victory and can evaporate as quickly as it came. Plus it is a Sunday. It did though show me who I talked to at Google was full of it. The point I’m making is that sometimes it is a “war of nerves.” As long as you’re convinced you’re doing something wrong in Google’s eyes and you may well be you’re going to get exploited by their secrecy.

Remember some of those major companies whose ads rank well put new meaning to the word cheap. If they even smell they can get ads cheaper for lack of advertisers and abundance of clicks they’ll bid lower. Plus the newbies with no bid history aren’t going to start bidding up for quite a while. They can't replace you immediately.

sailorjwd

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3270087 posted 8:35 pm on Mar 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

I gave the ops method a try yesterday (I've tried it 8 month ago too).

"widget support"

Page name, title, image alts, h1, h2 intro paragraph and sprinkled throughout all contain "widget support".

QS and min bid did NOT change from OK, 20cents. And, widget support is basically my whole business but there are many more appropriate phrases that i concentrate on. Also, ad text was:
{Keyword:Widget Support}
Widget Support
Quick Response and Great Rates.

cabbagehead

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3270087 posted 10:52 pm on Mar 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

> "the biggest effect we have encountered is having the keywords in the ad. "brown top widgets" then you need "brown top widgets" in the ad. "

...provided this observation is valid, I find it rather comical. I always thought of PPC as being the quick fix for people who either couldn't or didn't want to compete in the SEO game. But now you have to do SEO techniques to compete on even PPC? Hmm. I wonder what the secondary implications of this move are? And I wonder if Google has fully thought this one out.

limoshawn

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3270087 posted 3:50 am on Mar 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

Sailorjwd,
We ran into the same issue with existing keywords in existing ad groups, however after we deleted the keyword and the ad group and resubmitted the keyword the quality scored changed.
The reason we deleted the keyword and ad group is that Google has stated that they try to update the QS "at least once a month" which means to me that on existing keywords you will have to wait for Google to update the QS to see the effect of the changes unless they are deleted.

sailorjwd

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3270087 posted 1:56 pm on Mar 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

Limo,

I started a new ad group and some of the keywords were new too.

limoshawn

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3270087 posted 2:50 pm on Mar 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

Sailorjwd,
Talking specifically about the keyword "widget support" did you delete it and start a new ad group containing that keyword only after you created a new landing page? Is the file name of the landing page “widget support.htm” or “widget-support.htm”? On the Landing page, how many different keywords are in the meta tags? Is there any third party advertising on the landing page (adsense, yahoo publisher, affiliate links)?

toddb

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3270087 posted 7:59 pm on Mar 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

My understanding was that this info was stored on the campaign level and that you had to move campaigns to avoid history.

Any fix to having the search term in the ad? This is a brutal requirement to always meet.

TIKii

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3270087 posted 9:50 pm on Mar 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

outland -

"I refused to touch my account for many days and 75 of my keywords came back last night without doing a thing."

I too experienced an increase in KWs being activated yesterday. Do you think Google went too far and is trying to roll some of the changes back? Or do you think you're benefiting from other advertiser's KWs being diabled?

outland88

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3270087 posted 2:14 am on Mar 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

>Do you think Google went too far and is trying to roll some of the changes back? Or do you think you're benefiting from other advertiser's KWs being diabled?<

Both.

Tiki It’s not atypical in my areas to have a decrease in deactivated keywords over the weekend because Adword clients are pausing accounts. Since the words didn’t return to inactive today there has does seem to be been some rollback. I caution against reading anything into that. My personal opinion is they stalled the full QS implementation. In other words a great many accounts are still unaffected. If there is going to be a rollback I would speculate it to take place in 4-12 weeks. All smart businesses know at some point they won’t be able to get back a percentage of the business they drive off. Personally with them I think they’ll leave many accounts in a permanent-testing phase to gain more data and see how far they can push bids. Plus a roll back would indicate a mistake on there part and people would know to gang up on them once the same thing occured again.

limoshawn

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3270087 posted 1:30 pm on Mar 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

update,

After 3 days at QS "great .05" the keyword "specific brown top widget" changed to "OK .10" at the same time the average position changed from 4.3 to 1.8.
I wonder if the keyword's position has anything to do with the QS algo OR if everyone advertising with this keyword was affected by the QS which changed the positioning.

pdivi

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3270087 posted 3:37 pm on Mar 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

keyword's position has anything to do with the QS algo

I believe position has everything to do with QS. From my observations, if the KW averages a 1.X position, G will not touch it.

It follows that I also believe the QS has very little (if anything) to do with relevance, and ad & landing page copy don't explain most QS moves. This is based on observations across several accounts.

If someone has position #1 KWs affected, and does not have glaring quality flags such as search arbitrage or affiliate landing pages, I'll reconsider. But to date, it looks like low position+high CTR=high opportunity cost is the main determinant of QS damage.

This 46 message thread spans 2 pages: 46 ( [1] 2 > >
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