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This 58 message thread spans 2 pages: 58 ( [1] 2 > >     
March 5, 2008:Is there a google slap going on?

 9:57 am on Mar 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hi guys,

its been a while, I was wondering if people notice a google slap today...march 5,2008?

I have several keywords that has really high ctr becoming inactive. 16.39%, 31.51% and 32.88% ctr examples below.

Keyword Status Help Quality Score Help Current Bid Max CPC Clicks Impr. CTR Avg. CPC Cost Avg. Pos
keyword Inactive for search Increase quality or bid $0.50 to activate Poor Minimum bid: $0.50 $0.45 79 482 16.39% $0.28 $21.98 2.7
keywordb Inactive for search Increase quality or bid $0.50 to activate Poor Minimum bid: $0.50 $0.45 836 2,653 31.51% $0.18 $148.10 2.1
keywordc Inactive for search Increase quality or bid $0.50 to activate Poor Minimum bid: $0.50 $0.45 4,124 12,541 32.88% $0.30 $1,250.81 2.1



 1:52 pm on Mar 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

It happens the same to one of my accounts.
For some kws the minimum bid requested is 10$ and some of them had a very high CTR.
Anybody else experienced with that?


 3:35 pm on Mar 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

Tsinoy...Yes, there was a slap...and many people felt it :(

What amuses me is this: I haven't touched my account, or website attached to this account for over a year. How is it then that Google all of a sudden deems my quality score to be lower? And don't give me any bs about how they are improving their algo and that's why...No, they are trying to milk out more money per click is what...especially after that Comscore erroneous article put their stock in a tailspin a couple weeks ago...


 3:45 pm on Mar 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

Yes, it also happened to us. BIG TIME. We run very low bids on some very low-competition keywords. Usually, we are the only result, or one of 2 or 3 results. Yesterday, all our quality scores changed to POOR, and all our min CPCs went up to $10.


 5:19 pm on Mar 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

The fact is...the site involved in this G slap is an arbitrage site, and I know the risk...so I try always to add unique content and other stuff on landing pages.
But what I see on the google pages is the persistence of the biggest spender in european arbitrage: Ask.
Which value gives ask more than mfa sites?


 6:14 pm on Mar 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

Many of my clients are feeling this too. Unfortunately most of the kws affected are highly relevant, highly specified and perform wonderfully! If the kws weren't relevant I'd have no prob deleting them, but because these are such awesome kws I have no choice but to increase my max CPC from $0.68 to $12! BOOOOO!


 6:38 pm on Mar 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

I think that's what google wants everyone to react too... increase the bids... my guess is they will normalized it again after a few days... then again its a guess...

I suggest don't do anything and see what happens...


 6:46 pm on Mar 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

btw.. the data above might be a little confusing... but that use to have 0.01 to 0.05 minimum bids... and here's a few of my keywords that became $10.

Keyword Status Keyword Min CPC Current Maximum CPC Impressions Clicks CTR Avg CPC Cost Avg Position
Inactive for search $10.00 $0.45 18 8 44.44% $0.13 $1.05 2.6
Inactive for search $10.00 $0.50 7 3 42.86% $0.50 $1.50 2.6
Inactive for search $10.00 $0.45 5 2 40.00% $0.25 $0.50 1
Inactive for search $10.00 $0.45 13 4 30.77% $0.25 $0.99 2.2
Inactive for search $10.00 $0.45 30 9 30.00% $0.21 $1.86 2.8
Inactive for search $10.00 $0.45 10 3 30.00% $0.24 $0.71 1
Inactive for search $10.00 $0.45 11 3 27.27% $0.48 $1.43 3.2
Inactive for search $10.00 $0.50 25 6 24.00% $0.38 $2.29 2.8
Inactive for search $10.00 $0.45 22 5 22.73% $0.34 $1.68 2.7
Inactive for search $10.00 $0.45 36 8 22.22% $0.24 $1.95 2.2
Inactive for search $10.00 $0.45 5 1 20.00% $0.19 $0.19 4
Inactive for search $10.00 $0.45 5 1 20.00% $0.42 $0.42 2.2
Inactive for search $10.00 $0.45 146 27 18.49% $0.36 $9.64 1.7
Inactive for search $10.00 $0.50 11 2 18.18% $0.40 $0.79 3
Inactive for search $10.00 $0.50 188 29 15.43% $0.12 $3.35 2.1
Inactive for search $10.00 $0.45 8 1 12.50% $0.33 $0.33 2.9
Inactive for search $10.00 $0.50 284 35 12.32% $0.16 $5.73 1.8
Inactive for search $10.00 $0.45 13 1 7.69% $0.45 $0.45 1.5
Inactive for search $10.00 $0.50 577 26 4.51% $0.41 $10.70 3.4
Inactive for search $10.00 $0.19 1226 41 3.34% $0.38 $15.48 3
Inactive for search $10.00 $0.50 1595 44 2.76% $0.39 $17.18 3.9
Inactive for search $10.00 $0.50 290 2 0.69% $0.44 $0.88 5


 10:02 pm on Mar 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

I got hit big time, shut down my whole account, almost every keyword was changed to poor and $12 to activate.

Just buy a new domain and start again. I've been up and running since yesterday, and in comparison, my bids for keyword are an average of 5-10 cents higher than they were before the slap to get the same number of clicks.

Doing this slap is just a way to raise bid prices without actually saying it.


 10:47 pm on Mar 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

In the past, I've sided with G, but there's something going on now and it's looking nuts to me. The examples I've seen today are ridiculously relevant - exact matches on very specific keywords landing on specific pages where the web page provides exactly and cleanly what the searcher is looking for, and G calls it irrelevant and has bids at $10.

Somebody's algorithm has run amuck.

But, raising min bids to $10 won't raise prices, it boots people from the auction. So I still don't agree with the conspiracy junk, but their measurement of relevance must include some whacky things or it's feedback loop is bad or there are too many relative indicators and the system's all mucked up with overlapping gradient channels.


 11:56 pm on Mar 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

Ouch, that hurts. Now, I've been slapped. One of my sites. All you people I doubted when I rode by on my high horse and said you should fix your quality issues, enjoy this news... apparently, I'm a low quality schmuck like you now. If I were you, I'd kick a little sand in my face, go ahead, I deserve it, no biggie.

Saw my first $10 min bid today, in one of my accounts. And I just finished looking through the whole account, it's been slapped hard.

If you're out there, thinking like I was, that your quality was fine and you'd never get hit, give some thought to my news today. One example... a page / keyword / ad combo that converts daily at over 35% for me, got labeled as highly irrelevant...

I still don't think this is being done to raise prices, booting me from the auction doesn't acheive that. I think it's an over zealous approach to quality where they've gone overboard or misunderstood some key points. Stay time is an example - if you give someone exactly what they want, a 5 second visit might be vastly better than a 30 second visit - but somebody might have decided 5 seconds was a bounce and that my site sucks because nobody stays very long... ahhh, the wonders of algorithmic quality scoring.

I do think the quality grading algo people should have their googleplex chef privileges revoked, but that's just my spite showing through. :-)


 12:08 am on Mar 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

Who is google to say if a page is relevant though? Think of it this way, if your ad is converting, it must be relevant. If it's not converting, then it's not very relevant and must be loosing money, in which case you wouldn't keep running that ad..

The system in general should weed out non relevant ads by itself... it doesn't need googles help.


 12:58 am on Mar 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

Welcome to the gutter RhinoFish lol.

Don't kid yourself that booting out a few small players somehow diminishes G's return. Account wide my average cpc has risen roughly 40% since the quality score was introduced - naturally I'm only including the campaigns that have maintained good quality score, not the ones that were slapped and rose 500%.

Consider also the many affiliates etc. with great kword history, high ctr and therefore relatively low cpc who are being squeezed out only to be replaced by merchants with deeper pockets, greater margins and less know how, who will spend overs to achieve brand recognition etc. i.e. G loses 4 marketers spending 10c pc and gains 1 spending 50c.

Quality may be a factor but imho it is secondary.


 1:27 am on Mar 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

Quality may be a factor but imho it is secondary.

100% agree here.

Google introduced "expanded broad match", and now they are testing "ultra expanded broad match". Where are the quality considerations here?

Lets say I am an advertiser who is selling “vanilla ice cream cones” I want to advertise on “vanilla ice cream cone” keyword. I enter it and see .40 cents min bid and I am out of luck. But, I can bid on “ice” and magically have a min bid of .04 and expanded broad match will bring me clicks for “chocolate ice cream” and other garbage that I don’t sell. This is not theoretical I have a campaign that demonstrates this example perfectly.

If they want quality they should introduce more granular targeting options: such as I only want people with dialup internet connection or firefox internet browser, and high probability male surfer would be a plus. This will bring up the CPC's, CTR's, and user experience.


 3:55 am on Mar 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

I posted this in supporters, but I guess I was wrong as most of the folks there are "organic" guys. I got two replies only, while I would expect bit more.


I wondered how much you found this affecting your campaigns lately, regardless (before) the “slap”. I saw expenses at Google AdWords going through the roof, while conversion stayed the same, or even went down. The result was that I had to stop many of my campaigns as there was no profit (around break even), or even loss has kicked in.

Now, going further, counting all these minimum bids being applied, how much all this could be connected, or not?


 4:15 am on Mar 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

Yep - The Big G is trying to make more money (twice) Once from clicking an ad on Goolge SERPs and then from clicking an add via arbitraged ASK.COM - see here [webmasterworld.com...]

OK, I don't know if that is true, I'm just ranting. But the big G can kiss my $%$


 5:24 am on Mar 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

I've never come across ask.com’s ads on Google. If I have, I would phone and ASK how come that is possible (giving an example), as I would expect that to be at least “slapped”, if not taken down by policy team (foggy part).
That would be same like those parked domains that offer results from Google or Yahoo on a keyword that was originally typed in Google search. Those were targeted long time ago, just like AdSense sites.


 5:30 am on Mar 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

smallcompany - you are right and I 'assume' it is rare for ask.com to be showing up. This was just one particular campaign of mine in some very niche markets that pissed me off (because they yanked me and others for no apparent reason - but no worries I know how to overcome the slap). My other campaigns are fine and I do not see ASK.com on those.


 7:19 am on Mar 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

Don't know what to make of it but I am seeing CPCs increase account wide for past couple days without minimum bid increases. Happening on many of the keywords where I am the only ad showing in the markets I am targetting.


 7:21 am on Mar 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

Don't know what to make of it but I am seeing CPCs increase account wide for past couple days without minimum bid increases.

I'm seeing the opposite -- min bid increases without CPC increases.


 7:28 am on Mar 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

dbar, I'm in about 6 or 7 industries I see a lot of ask.com ads. come to think of it they are one of the larger arbitragers.... they even have google search ads on their search pages too... go figure...

it all comes down to $$$. hehe..

our company has about 20+ adwords accounts for different clients... its looking like at first glance... 2 or 3 major clients are seeing this, I still haven't had the chance to take a closer look at the rest of the accounts.. my staff hasn't given me a report yet...

my recommendation is still don't do anything for a few days.. see if it goes away.. this happened over 2 years ago... it slowly went away... not for everything but a lot of $10 min bids did go away.. the resulting effect though from that time is that a lot of the advertisers didn't return their bids back... to where it used to be... in my opinion it was a smart move for google.. not good for the rest of us though..


 9:37 am on Mar 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

A raise from .40 cents to $10.00 is not a slap, its a flogging!...KF


 2:44 pm on Mar 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

New day, taking a fresh look at my "poor" quality stuff and trying to see how I could possibly be more focused, more relevant, more quality experience for these keywords - and I just don't see it.

On a larger scale, as a PPC consultant, I'm viewing my business differently as well, because of this. If my keen eye for design, quality, experience, focus, results and more has been a smokin' success online for me for years, have I gotten old or stupid or something...

And my ethics are in question too... one company now occupying spots that I had occupied offers downloads that ruin people's computers... on their landing page, they DO NOT OFFER what the searcher is specifically looking for, yet they are judged to be high-quality and I'm a poor-quality schmuck...

I've got a lot of thinking and rethinking to do on all of this...


 3:21 pm on Mar 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

I've said it before and I'll say it again:

"Google will never impelement a feature in adwords that does not in someway increase the average income generated per click."



 7:20 am on Mar 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

I decided since my affiliate site was slapped hard to go exclusively with content network ads. It seems that the content network was spared from the slap.

I was like everyone else and found my keyword search network ads were slapped hard.


 5:59 pm on Mar 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

I decided since my affiliate site was slapped hard to go exclusively with content network ads. It seems that the content network was spared from the slap.

If your domain was slapped but network still getting impressions and clicks for that domain please note this fact:

It will STOP in about 2-3 weeks time.

Hide, hide your affiliate links - google hates affiliates.


 6:35 pm on Mar 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

And my ethics are in question too... one company now occupying spots that I had occupied offers downloads that ruin people's computers... on their landing page, they DO NOT OFFER what the searcher is specifically looking for, yet they are judged to be high-quality and I'm a poor-quality schmuck...

This is so typical of adwords.

It is so sad to see some bad sites prosper while some excellent sites go under the guillotin.


 10:33 pm on Mar 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

I have one campaign that has the clickbank hotlink pointing directly to the affilite vendor's website without going through my site. I haven't got any sales doing it this way but I am getting plenty of clicks converting into hops. You can't track these in the ordinary way but when I go to Clickbank Analytics I can tell that it is from my Adwords campaign


 7:35 am on Mar 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

guys... I'm observing an improvement in one of my accounts in terms of the quality score of some of my keywords...

as some of you might know.. every quality score status has several stages..
ie. for Great QS there is
0.01 min bid(best great status),
0.02 min bid,
0.03 min bid,
0.04 min bid,
0.05 min bid

just right after the slap my keyword turned into Great 0.05 from Great 0.01, but today its at Great 0.04 so its improving again...

but if you think about this closely my theory is if we view this from an opportunity standpoint, its very possible during the slaps you can take other advertiser's strong grip on the number one spot... by bidding a little higher, having the keyword on your ad so it becomes bold and other optimization, just right after the slap... if the other advertisers don't know the slap is happening or don't know what to do with it.. you could take over their no.1 spot... or whatever spot you want...

this window of opportunity is pretty small though... but if you do it right with the right keywords you could come out on top after the slap...:)

handsome rob

 3:18 pm on Mar 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

Gotta make up for those falling adsense revenues somehow.

This 58 message thread spans 2 pages: 58 ( [1] 2 > >
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