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This 239 message thread spans 8 pages: < < 239 ( 1 [2] 3 4 5 6 7 8 > >     
Going from "Great" 0.03 bids to "Poor" 0.50 bids
How can this be

 4:23 am on Jun 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

So I've had a campaign running for keyword and I happen to have keyword.org as the domain. Ad and landing page are all about keyword. Suddenly overnight all the keywords that were getting double digit CTR's have been reevaluated to "poor" and I've been asked to pony up 20X more per keyword.

Anyone else seen this and why would this be when everything is relevant? BTW I don't use analytics or anything else to allow any tracking of conversions from their side, but I can tell you the kw's that got bumped up high were converting.



 8:53 pm on Jun 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

Perhaps they are, but they've never admitted to that in the past.

With respect to your direct linking to merchant sites from AdWords via affiliate links (even those that go through a redirect on a different domain name, first), that's been prohibited by Google's terms for quite a while now. I've tried it in the past, and even if they allowed the redirect for a while, they'd always just kill the ads by way of Disapproved status with "Inaccurate Display URL" listed as the reason. I'm not sure how you can continue to use Direct-To-Merchant (DTM) techniques with AdWords.


 8:57 pm on Jun 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

Linking to a merchant using their display URL is still perfectly legal with AW.. You just have to outbid that merchant (which irritates the merchant) or choose keywords they aren't using (generally unprofitable).

eBay USA just prevented their affiliates from using their display URL however.. A lot of other merchants don't allow it either.


 9:01 pm on Jun 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

I have two sites basically that use API information..

Are you adding any original content in addition to what you pull in through the APIs?

Google doesn't hate all affiliates...they just hate the ones that add no value. [google.com...] says:
"There is no problem in being an affiliate as long as you create some added value for your users and produce valuable content that gives a user a reason to visit your site."

That page is for ranking in the organic results, but I'm sure they use a similar philosophy for paid ads. One of the problems, of course, is that we have to deal with Google's definition of "value".


 9:05 pm on Jun 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

I would say that the content on the pages is very useful and totally unique on the internet.. No one else is doing what I'm doing and consumers love it..

I really think it is the outgoing links they don't like..


 9:10 pm on Jun 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

remember that we aren't dealing with the sophistication of Googlebot.. This is Adbot we're dealing with and the algorithm is pretty basic.. They can't get too fancy with it or they'll harm themselves quite badly..

They don't like pages with tons of outgoing links..

BTW some of my other affiliate sites were hand-written and they died too..

I'm going to mask the outgoing URLs and we'll see how that does..


 9:15 pm on Jun 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

Yep, time to reformulate my landing pages... what a pain.


 9:34 pm on Jun 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

Someone on DP said that they were told by Google that in some cases the slap was a result of manual reviews of the landing page by a human rather than a bot.

[edited by: Rehan at 9:36 pm (utc) on June 8, 2007]


 9:46 pm on Jun 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

I doubt it.. That's sort of a subjective thing.. Also, Google has always held the philosophy that human intervention is too costly and therefore they have always used an algorithm to get rid of spam and other undesirable elements.

Also, my comparison shopping site was just too well put together and too valuable of a consumer resource for a human to slap it..

In the worst case scenario .. If some human didn't like your site and they slapped it, just reg a new domain, upload and resubmit.. It will be quite a while before another human gets around to manually critiquing your site.. It seems very unlikely humans are involved in this. Adwords is pitifully understaffed.. It takes weeks upon weeks in certain countries just to get an ad group reviewed..


 10:05 pm on Jun 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

I'm closer to solving this...

I found a few pages on my site that only have links to amazon.de, not quelle.de or more importantly ebay.de.. They are still rolling strong in Adwords.. Every page that has a link to ebay.de or quelle.de requires $10 min bid..

The question now is why do they like amazon.de but not ebay.de? Maybe it isn't amazon.de in particular but the fact that without ebay.de and quelle.de results there are only MINIMAL outgoing affiliate links..

Too many outgoing affiliate links and you are toasted..


 10:11 pm on Jun 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

I am on the same boat so for only received 10% my traffic what I received yesterday thats to my conversion are way bad since all my good keywords not even getting any impressions


 1:55 am on Jun 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

I'm going to tell google what I think about this with my wallet. C ya adwords.


 2:26 am on Jun 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Been a while since I have been able to add to a algo change grip thread BUT got hit too. Same deal a few pages with tons of affiliate links. No adwords and a .com. Went to $10/click.


 3:02 am on Jun 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

My longest running campaign got hit hard by this.

Another one got hit too but was not doing much anyways. Another one was not changed at all.

I am not really sure I have a grasp on why either. I don't think any of my landing pages have direct affiliate links on them.


 4:38 am on Jun 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Lets go ahead and rule out a few things:

1. domain extension is irrelevant (mine are .co.uk and .de)

2. adsense is irrelevant (some sites had adsense others didn't)


 4:52 am on Jun 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

I have some landing pages for pay per lead forms and they didn't get hit. I have other sites where I am selling a product and the product is on a different domain, and all of these got hit.

So on my basic two types of sites, when I send the visitor to another domain to buy, I'm getting severly penalized ( a new affiliate "penalty"), but if I have a another party's lead form on my domain, I didn't get hit.

Is it time to get affiliate programs to allow it's affiliates to use xml or something else so that it appears that the buying page is on the affiliates site?


 5:18 am on Jun 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

As an affiliate, I got slapped last time, remember July '06? trouble was, most of my advertising was with G. Not this time! I have done very little with them since (in fact ROI has been the worst of the 'big 3'). I had managed to get some of my camapigns/keywords back down to 'normal levels' and guess what? slapped again! I'm not playing there games any longer, goodbye G, I get the message, you simply don't want our business.


 6:28 am on Jun 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

People haven't masked all their affiliate links yet? Geez no wonder you got smoked, that was news months ago. If you continued running affiliate links directly, then it's no big shocker that you go zapped this time around.

I still enjoy reading about all the quitters, more money for me!



 6:34 am on Jun 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Yeah, never bothered to cloak all the affiliate links for all of my campaigns (hit most of them, but didn't bother with a few). Guess I learned my lesson there - it doesn't pay to be lazy when you're spending a lot of money. It sucks that even highly relevant pages get knocked just because of aff links...


 7:09 am on Jun 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

I think there is more to it than affiliate links etc. I have one website targetted at UK users and those keywords haven't been touched (yet?) whilst my websites targetted at the US are all slapped (identical websites with just slight differences such as quoted numbers in not $ etc. on different URL's).
All my sites carry adsense, plus many pages of content, contact us page, site map, privacy statement, Clickbank hoplinks, Maxbounty, NeverblueAds links etc. so you explain it to me please?


 12:59 pm on Jun 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Did I get this right? Advertisers are forced to pay more for keywords that convert well?


 1:08 pm on Jun 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Here the answer for you all;



 2:20 pm on Jun 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

That post on the inside AdWords blog was from February... not the same problem.


 3:06 pm on Jun 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

yep.. nothing has changed for me..


 3:07 pm on Jun 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

I believe Adwords is hitting everyone who doesn't sell something directly. I've been hit hard again this time (for the third time in a year actually), and I do not, nor have ever had a relationship with any affiliates. All of my keywords have gone to $10.

Kieron Donoghue

 3:25 pm on Jun 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Google AdWords has indeed tweaked its landing pages algorithm lately. Its nothing new though, this has been going on for at least 18 months to 2 years and is an ever evolving process.

Basically if you create a landing page with no unique content and the sole purpose of sending visitors to another site, then AdWords will penalise you.

[edited by: jatar_k at 4:30 pm (utc) on June 9, 2007]
[edit reason] no urls thanks [/edit]


 3:38 pm on Jun 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

We've moved away from AdWords because of this kind of arrogant behavior but had the last site we have with them knocked down yesterday. Nearly all of our keywords went from .05 to $10. But today, keywords are coming back slowly. So maybe it was a glitch. Of course, as I write this Google is probably knocking them all back down again.


 5:11 pm on Jun 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

On the landing page there is the product, the picture, and the buy button that goes to the buy page of the merchant.
There is also a contact form and 2 adsense boxes on top and on bottom.
Then there are other 3 products from the same category to choose from.

Geez, I thought *that* stopped working about a year ago...

Didn't Google already make changes that eliminated most affiliate landing pages?

In any case, what is it that you offer on your site that isn't provided at the merchant itself? I don't see any added value from what you have described.

Surely you don't consider the adsense boxes and "other 3 products" to be "added value"?

As a consumer, I want to see them improve quality further, but don't have much hope.

Yesterday, I turned off my ad filtering briefly, because I wanted to see Adwords ads in two categories. In both cases, Adwords utterly failed to show me what I was looking for.

In one case, I was looking for a specific, specialized kind of Bluetooth accessory. Most of the ads displayed were for Bluetooth headsets for cell phones, which was NOT what I was looking for. My search terms were very specific, but Google broadened it to include stuff I have no interest in. (I already have a Bluetooth headset for my cell phone - why would I want another one?)

In the other case, I was interested in a hotel room in a specific part of a city. Thanks but no thanks for the hotel rooms everywhere else!

Whether this was due to advertisers being able to trump the user's wishes by over-bidding, and/or stuffing with inappropriate keywords, or a failure of Google's algorithms, I dunno.

I turned my ad filtering back on.


 5:27 pm on Jun 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

With respect to your direct linking to merchant sites from AdWords via affiliate links (even those that go through a redirect on a different domain name, first), that's been prohibited by Google's terms for quite a while now. I've tried it in the past, and even if they allowed the redirect for a while, they'd always just kill the ads by way of Disapproved status with "Inaccurate Display URL" listed as the reason. I'm not sure how you can continue to use Direct-To-Merchant (DTM) techniques with AdWords.

They want the display URL's domain name to match the merchant's domain name. That is the one and only approved way to do DTM.

They don't want multiple ads for the same merchant appearing on the same page. They don't want you fooling consumers into thinking they are seeing ads from 10 different merchants, when, in fact, all of them redirect to the same merchant.

Just set the display URL to the merchant, and there is no problem. Well, other than that you will now have to duke it out with everybody else doing the same thing, since Google will only display one such ad on a page.


 5:32 pm on Jun 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Most affiliate programs run their own search campaigns, and don't allow affiliates to use their domain as a visible URL.


 5:45 pm on Jun 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Are you all advertising in G search or you are using content network too?

I am asking in regard to the latest AdSense arb/mfa/affili.. quality updates. If you all have read the 3-parts tread, you would know it coming.


 5:48 pm on Jun 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Most affiliate programs run their own search campaigns, and don't allow affiliates to use their domain as a visible URL

That is a massive simplification - there are distinct groups of merchants. Some specifically do not want to run adwords ads themselves, preferring affiliates do it for them. Clickbank for example. Some merchants don't mind affiliates competing with them using the same url. Finally there are many who wont let affiliates use their url, either to avoid competition and increased cpc or to avoid dodgy affiliates damaging their reputation by for example using competitors trademarks.

But to claim most run their own adwords campaigns is silly. Its a sub-group of a certain type who do. For those who want affiliates to run campaigns, why shouldnt they? Google should be careful they dont penalise all affiliates. Fair enough try and prevent multiple affiliates promoting the same product at the same time in adwords, but affiliates in and of themselves are not the problem.

I wonder how much affiliates have really contributed to googles profits and specifically adwords success since it started. I suspect affiliates really drove the boom in adwords. Adwords should be thanking affiliates ;-)

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