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Is my account cursed?

 1:25 pm on Apr 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

I've tried to make money from Adwords several times over the years but have never managed to get any reasonably priced clicks. I never really put much effort into it and basically just took terms that make me money on Yahoo and stuck them in an adgroup.

I've just had another go and was amazed that I was being asked to bid £5.00 to activate listings or improve quality. I have done some research on how to improve quality and did some things with no success.

I then decided to have another go and try with a term that has no competition:

I put a small site together with plenty of info. on this term. This site had contact info. an 'about us' page and a 'terms of use' page as well as a couple of pages dedicated to the term in question. The term appeared throughout and was also in the landing page title as well as in the keywords and description.

I then created a new campaign with one adgroup and a text ad. with the term in the title. The ad. text included the term together with a 'call to action'. I added just the single term to the adgroup as an exact match and submitted.

I don't think quality could be higher and nobody else is listed for the term. So why is Google asking me to either improve quality or bid £5.00 to activate it?



 1:49 pm on Apr 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

It could be the history that G registered for that keyword in the past. Since nobody knows for sure how is QS calculated, we can just make assumptions.


 1:57 pm on Apr 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

Hi mike_ppc

I'd be very surprised if anybody has ever bid on the term before.


 2:27 pm on Apr 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

It was just a thought. Who knows, maybe in another language... If we knew at least parts of G's QS algo, we could comment more. Like this, is "take it or leave it"


 2:44 pm on Apr 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

I'm going to try a few more different terms. But to me it seems as though the history of my account is hindering the prospect of new campaigns being successful.


 2:54 pm on Apr 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

"I'd be very surprised if anybody has ever bid on the term before."

Well.. this means that G does not have any record of a CTR history for this keyword. So you are unlikely to get a good low CPC on this keyword.

If your URL has been hit by a low QS then..it may be a little difficult to get it changed to a high Quality level quickly. One way is to change the URL.

Read the forum for threads on Quality Score to get an idea of what you are in for.


 3:18 pm on Apr 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

It was actually a brand new url.

I'll do a search on Quality Score and see what I come up with.



 3:42 pm on Apr 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

Here's the thing. If there isn't sufficient history for your keywords and/or your account, it's probably always going to start high. But that doesn't mean that it's going to STAY high.

Last week I started my own AdWords account for one of my own personal sites. This is the first time I've done this (and I conveniently had a credit to use from a seminar I've taken recently). I've been working with client accounts since AdWords started, but never had one of my own.

Anyway, I uploaded 933 keywords and got really high (for me) minimum bids. I was aiming to get them at 3 to 5 cents each, but all of them started out at 10 to 50 cents, or even higher. Google had no data on my personal account, my site, or my keywords yet, and so assumed the worst.

I set my default CPC to .05, and took my top ten or so keywords that I really felt were most important, and put them at the inflated minimum bid. That meant I had 10 active keywords, and 923 inactive ones. And I set a very small daily budget; only a couple of bucks.

After only a day or two, I noticed that some of my quality scores had already improved to Great; I could lower those minimum bids back down to .05 and .03, and some of my inactives went active automatically. Then I could take the next few important keywords and raise them to their inflated minimum bids - I wasn't risking too much, because I kept the daily budget small.

Anyway, it's been a little over a week now, and out of 933 keywords, I have a little over 500 active at .05 or lower now. 931 of them are at OK or Great; I have two with a QS of Poor. Since the peak time for my website doesn't start until late May or early June, hopefully by then I'll have almost all of them where I want them to be.

The point I am trying to make here is that it isn't necessarily an overnight process anymore - with a new campaign or a new account, and when there's no history for the quality score, it takes time to build it up. You might have to be patient and use a little strategy to get there.

There might be some of this that applies to existing accounts and campaigns as well, but I haven't figured that out yet.


 4:26 pm on Apr 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

Just found this [adwords.blogspot.com...]

which suggests that terms for which they have no data should receive a low initial bid.

I've now added a term which is a 'made up' word. This is to a new camapign and new adgroup and again I have a required bid of £5 (almost $10).

For my landing page I copied a page about something else and replaced the noun on that page with my 'made up' word.

Am I allowed to cancel my account and start a new one?


 5:00 pm on Apr 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

As Netmeg says keep at it. Things can and do improve over time.

On the other hand , if you do not get a good CTR, the Great KW turn O.K. very very fast...


 5:06 pm on Apr 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

Am I allowed to cancel my account and start a new one?

I don't see what the benefit would be in doing that.


 5:50 pm on Apr 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

I don't see what the benefit would be in doing that.

I feel that Google is holding past mistakes against me. Camapaigns from way back that perhaps scored badly for relevance are influencing a totally unrelated campaign.

If that's not the case then why £5 for a term with no historical data when Google themselves say this is not what should happen?

I do understand what you're saying though, that things can rectify themselves, however I don't know how bad my account status is and I also don't really think it's right that old, unrelated campaigns should have any bearing on things.

[edited by: MyWifeSays at 5:53 pm (utc) on April 10, 2007]


 8:26 pm on Apr 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

MyWifeSays in vacant areas you are likely going to pay more for the clicks simply because you have no competition. Google in many cases sawed off the long tail search and people benefiting from branding or low costs. In other words you pay for both exposure and clicks now. Hundreds of keywords in my areas no longer have ads.

You can vary the order of the ad using the exact same words and get inactives or actives and even reduced costs or astronomical costs. You can even add a few keywords to the situation you mentioned and the keyword you initially wanted can come back active at a lower cost. The caveat though is once Google sees any large traffic on the keywords they want more money.

Adwords is no longer system where you bid on keywords but a system that is constantly self-adjusting to see what youíre willing to bid on keywords. The exception is where they have little history.


 10:39 pm on Apr 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

(That is not necessarily everyone's experience with it)


 4:11 am on Apr 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

Of course not. No Adword campaigns are going to be precisely alike from different creators unless they know one another. What you can do is tinker with all the givens. Iíve set up the exact same campaigns with the exact same keywords and urlís and just changed the order of words in the ad. Bingo, it may be a totally different set of keywords that are now active and decreased prices. Nothing on the landing page has changed but you can change everything endlessly. It really ridiculous though because Google is just gaming you for more money. But as I said last month Iím retiring from Adwords because it can become a full time job countering their manipulations.


 9:01 am on Apr 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

outland88 (and everyone else) - thanks for your input.

There are two things Google say to do to improve an ads. quality, that is make sure the keyword is represented and use a call to action.

When you say that changing an adverts text can change the minimum bid, would that just be changing either of the two features mentioned or have you seen that happen with seemingly inconsequential changes too?

How long would you say to wait before deciding that a change had had no efect?


 7:52 pm on Apr 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

>have you seen that happen with seemingly inconsequential changes too?<

Yes, most definitely. Plus don't be deterred if abcdef or fedcba doesn't do it there are literally thousands of tweaks you can make. The point is do you want to be dealing with a "set and forget" system or do you want to make it a full time job.

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