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This 42 message thread spans 2 pages: 42 ( [1] 2 > >     
Can You Recover from a $10.00 Quality Score?
Has anybody ever made a change that reversed their Google Slap?
rehabguy




msg:3609905
 12:04 pm on Mar 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

We own one PR6 web site that used to spend $1,200/day on Google Adwords for over 2 years. (Yep, a little over $1.1 million!)

Then last month - wham - went from .15/click to $10.00 per click across the board.

Needless to say, we had to quit giving Google our money. This might have been the cause for their stock decline. :)

We have some sites that have been hit, others not. It's fairly random. We know how to make decent landing pages, try lots of ads, and add a lot of negative keywords, etc.

OK - NOW THE QUESTION:

Has anyone around here successfully reversed a $10.00 bid to reasonable levels by making changes to their site / keywords / ads?

 

Green_Grass




msg:3609966
 1:32 pm on Mar 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

Well..When this QS thingy started many months ago, our ecomm site got hit by USD 10 bids. We made some changes as per Google requirements and got back into their good graces in 2 months , most probably on the next QS update. Sometimes I think, it was something I did but then maybe it was just a change in the QS algo ?

After that two more of our sites got hit..They never recovered whatever we did.

So in Conclusion, I would tend to go with NO ..

chinara




msg:3610075
 3:00 pm on Mar 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

If you are in the business of:
eBook sites
Get rich quick' sites
Comparison shopping sites
Travel aggregators
Data collection (free offer (ad) - register now landing page).

The chances are, you can't recover it or find it extremely difficult.
What to do: i think the only way here is to get another domain and try to mask or put in .gif your text. (not the best thing in a world for sure)

If you have pages that are:
Affiliate (bridges): landing page with an affiliate link(s),
you might be able to recover it. I've seen these type of site(s) recover from the slap. (not by going to another domain, but actually recover)

My conclusion: you may recover, but highly unlikely.
just FYI make sure you have a privacy policy.

netmeg




msg:3610113
 3:29 pm on Mar 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

I believe that the minimum bid level is somehow reflective of the account quality score - so I don't think you can recover the campaigns/keywords until you somehow rehabilitate (no pun intended rehabguy) the entire account.

I'm not sure how you'd do that; what I would probably do is take out everything that has a poor quality score, and slowly build it up again, but that would take too long for most businesses, I would think. On the other hand, if you're priced out of the game anyway, you can't do *worse* by following that path - the only thing you'd be risking at that point is time spent.

ralent




msg:3610116
 3:31 pm on Mar 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

I had a site get slapped JUL 06 and I spent eight or nine weeks retooling it to no avail and I finally ended up just moving the content to a new domain name.

If I had waited a bit longer who knows. I didn't because it was costing me too much to be offline and the domain wasn't that established to begin with. I did lose some back links but I thought because some were paid that they may have been part of the problem.

The new domain also got slapped in NOV 07 so I just rebuilt immediately. It started with and currently has the best QS of the three. Who knows for how long though?

BillyS




msg:3612140
 12:41 pm on Mar 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

>>Has anyone around here successfully reversed a $10.00 bid to reasonable levels by making changes to their site / keywords / ads?

What if the answer is no? In my experience, Google is a forgiving company. I noticed that you're not asking how to clean up a site, only if a reverse of bids is possible. Well the answer to that is anything is possible but you need to figure out why you have this penalty in the first place.

With an account as large as this one, why not just give Google a call?

>>Needless to say, we had to quit giving Google our money. This might have been the cause for their stock decline. :)

I suspect this move is going to hurt you more than Google. This is one of the great things about Google, they're not willing to "sell" their precious user-base.

Green_Grass




msg:3612172
 1:35 pm on Mar 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

"Well the answer to that is anything is possible but you need to figure out why you have this penalty in the first place"

Somethings are just NOT possible. There is very generic information available from Google and once you have cleaned up the site by following their guidelines, the rest is all about luck and hoping for a change in the QS algo to suit your site.

I rather suspect Google is NOT forgiving at all and once they earmark a site as Low QS, it is forever or almost forever..till they take a call on change in various weights in the QS algo or maybe a 'human review'. Now donot tell me a human review does not happen ..because I have gotten it done in the past but the results of the review are very very vague..

There is a whole market developing for SEO for adWords. I wish I knew enough to join this group ;-)

Maybe I can call it AdWords Engine Optimization ( AEO)

defanjos




msg:3612266
 3:12 pm on Mar 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

>>I noticed that you're not asking how to clean up a site

What makes you so sure there is something wrong with the site? Could it be a stupid algo made a bad decision?

pjlsfl




msg:3612267
 3:14 pm on Mar 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

Here is how I recovered from a $10.00 Quality Score!

We run a campaign that has a similar daily spend and has over 1200 keywords. We have been "slapped" with a minimum bid of $5-10 CPC on hundreds of our over the past few months.

After doing a bit of research on the issue I was not able to find concrete evidence that the issue was not a "glitch" in the Adwords system.

This is what I did to resolve the issue.

In Adwords Editor, I copied all the keywords that had the higher minimum bids into a 2nd version of the same exact campaign that only had adgroups with the slapped words in it. I then deleted the words from the original campaign, posted the changes, waited a half hour, then posted the new campaigns with the slapped keywords.

Viola! No more high minimum CPC's. This has works for a period of time until SOME of those words get slapped again. I do the same, and create a version3 campaign.

I have not had to do this for a while now as it seems as though our keywords have not been slapped again.

FYI, in the secondary and third duplicate campaigns that only have the slapped words in them, I use the same exact campaign, adgroup, adtext, landing pages, etc.

My conclusion, is that it can be glitch in the system as well as it can also be "true" poor quality scores that are triggering this to happen. In our case, without knowing the full QS algorithm, we did not deserve the higher min cpc. So I just was persistent to getting the words showing up. But if you are have experience with Adwords and their guidelines, you should be able to see whether your landing pages and kw's are relevant enough for the ads.

One last thing. I do see more long tail "slapped" words then 2-3 keyword and key phrases, in my alternate campaigns.

randle




msg:3612270
 3:20 pm on Mar 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

AdWords Engine Optimization

Boy you hit the nail on the head there. That’s exactly what’s going on these days, we all love organic optimization but as time goes on you have to be able to pay per click. If you can’t, eventually that’s going to bite you in the ass.

Adwords can be extremely frustrating to “optimize” for. In the beginning it was just about getting click thru’s, and then converting. Now it’s a battle just to get your ads to show. There are times when it all makes absolutely no sense. They put up the $10/click “suggestion” but you know for certain bids in the .50 range are what people pay at the top. This is especially maddening for long tail terms, which demand no more than .15 for a solid position.

I always find it a little amusing when they suggest the $10.00 click for thousands of key words. Not, $4.80, or $7.50, or $9.48; its always $5.00 or $10.00; Not a lot of effort or credibility their that they even really understand what the problem is.

We have had this happen to us, but mostly when we create brand new campaigns. A few months back we created all new accounts for organizational purposes and campaigns that had 10,000 key words all performing beautifully went straight to the $10 barrier; most recovered and are doing well, some did not. All were good ad’s, that landed on well created landing pages, which were on good sites; nothing complicated there.

Personally I don’t think the “Quality Score Algorithm” is close to ready for prime time; hopefully their working to improve it. It doesn’t make much sense to me when quality advertisers want to pay for clicks, and their essentially saying we don’t want you.

As far as a solution, try a little optimization just like you would organically. Title, meta description, ect. The do read the ads, seems to have helped a little. That and raise the bids and just try and slowly get back in their good graces.

BillyS




msg:3612276
 3:23 pm on Mar 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

>>What makes you so sure there is something wrong with the site? Could it be a stupid algo made a bad decision?

No, this is not possible.

If you look at the OP comments:

>>We know how to make decent landing pages

Along with:

>>Has anyone around here successfully reversed a $10.00 bid to reasonable levels by making changes to their site / keywords / ads?

It sounds like - we know what to do, but is it worth it? So, no. Based on the way the post is written, I don't think it's a problem with the "stupid algo." I go back to my original comment. Except in cases of fraud, Google is a VERY forgiving company.

defanjos




msg:3612306
 3:42 pm on Mar 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

>>It sounds like - we know what to do, but is it worth it?

I interpret it differently:

It sounds like - we think we know what to do, but is it really worth to do all the work if nothing will happen?
Basically, is it a reversible "penalty"?

randle




msg:3612333
 4:00 pm on Mar 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

Basically, is it a reversible "penalty"?

This is the essential problem, what we are talking about here are not organic listings; there should not be any “penalties” in a paid advertising business relationship. If your advertising efforts are not acceptable to Google they should just tell you to hit the road. However, many people affected by this thing are legitimate business owners looking to buy advertising from Google on their search engine. That’s why were all here, that’s how they monetize their search engine; customers like me buying placement on their engine in the form of clicks to my ad’s.

As a customer, it’s insulting to me to have thousands of key words slapped with a ridiculous and senseless threshold to become active. As a Google stock holder I think it’s crazy they do this to legitimate advertisers that want to give them money.

Most of this is not the result of laziness. Now, if they told you specifically what the problem was (other than “gee just raise your bids to $10.00 and that makes it all fine and dandee”) and that fix was not implemented, then you have a laziness problem.

To have to crack a “Paid Advertising Algo” just seems kind of strange to me. The whole point of paying for placements is so you don’t have to do that.

Green_Grass




msg:3612355
 4:12 pm on Mar 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

BillyS

Have you gone through the frustration of creating adWord campains to see them marked as Low QS after a few days? It starts with GREAT and then slowly goes to Poor, then back to O.K. and so on and so forth..
I rather suspect not..

Google may be forgiving..but their right hand does not know what their left hand does and I am yet to experience their 'mercy'.

They keep changing the weights in the QS algo.. This is for sure. And QS algo is very unstable. We keep praying we get through the month O.K. as the 'slap' can come any day, any time..

It is not that they are forgiving..rather as their QS algo changes..one swings with the beat, and experiences flucctuating joy and sorrow.. rather like life. ;-)

defanjos




msg:3612377
 4:25 pm on Mar 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

As a customer, it’s insulting to me to have thousands of key words slapped with a ridiculous and senseless threshold to become active. As a Google stock holder I think it’s crazy they do this to legitimate advertisers that want to give them money.

Very well said.

I'd love nothing more than to give Google 15 to 20K per month, but they do not want it. Go figure?

I wonder how much money is Google losing per month due to this crazy QS?

cagey1




msg:3612429
 5:00 pm on Mar 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

Sometimes you can get the $10 bid "penalty" if your Ad's target site is not available or is slow to load when Google does a Qualty Score sweep. In this case, recovery is possible (see the post on duplicating campaigns above).

BillyS




msg:3612644
 8:05 pm on Mar 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

BillyS
Have you gone through the frustration of creating adWord campains to see them marked as Low QS after a few days? It starts with GREAT and then slowly goes to Poor, then back to O.K. and so on and so forth..
I rather suspect not..

Well your wrong, I used to run campaign on a hobby site to the tune of $500 / day, bidding anywhere from $0.05 to around $12 per click. I have gone through this before and I can usually tell what I've done to deserve a poor quality score (normally laziness on my part).

Windslide




msg:3612680
 8:31 pm on Mar 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

You can't recover, that's for sure, if you received a message like this one

"After having a specialist review your account, your ad is no longer
running due to the poor quality of your landing page. It is possible that
your business model is not well matched with the Google AdWords program."

I got this message after asking Google what was going on with my account.

Chris_D




msg:3612951
 4:14 am on Mar 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

No one in Google has ever explained this to my satisfaction with reference to specific examples. Most explanations seem to contradict the published explanation/ guidelines regarding determination of minimum bids.

Where is AWR when you need him?

Here's the published guidelines:

A keyword's minimum bid is determined by its Quality Score. The more relevant your keyword is to your landing page and to the ads in its ad group, the higher the keyword's Quality Score will be. This translates into a lower minimum bid for that keyword and lower costs for you.

https://adwords.google.com.au/support/bin/answer.py?answer=47882

The Quality Score used to determine minimum bid is derived from your keyword's click-through rate (CTR), the relevance of the keyword and ad text to its ad group, your landing page quality and other relevance factors.

https://adwords.google.com.au/support/bin/answer.py?answer=49174

The problem, it seems, is in the 'other relevance factors' that aren't disclosed...... which seem to trump a otherwise perfect relevance score....

LeoXIV




msg:3613475
 3:59 pm on Mar 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

i am wondering if a site's PR rank plays role in Adwords QS?

jimorandy




msg:3613839
 11:25 pm on Mar 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

If Google asks you to bid $10 when others pay max $0.50 and when you agree - aren't you be paying $0.51? (This is with standard bidding, as I understand, with preffered bidding it's different)

In my industry one company has long "over-took" the first place, by putting sky-high bids on some keywords. We tried to raise our bids to knock them down, but could never sustain these for anytime long. So putting very high bids "locks" you in the first place? Maybe that's what Google is trying to do? (Trying to find good "parents" for their baby keywords :c)

I'm sorry if my post is inacurate, I am too, trying to find the solution for $10 min bids for one of my adwords account.

chief72




msg:3613843
 11:36 pm on Mar 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

If Google asks you to bid $10 when others pay max $0.50 and when you agree - aren't you be paying $0.51?

I remember this being discussed here before and my recollection is that the poster was indeed slugged the full amount. Personally I wouldn't like to test the theory.

rehabguy




msg:3613908
 2:26 am on Mar 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

i am wondering if a site's PR rank plays role in Adwords QS?

Our site has a page rank of 6, with no paid links or link exchange. We have 400+ paying advertisers on the site.

Google will continue to be arrogant until they're trading at $5/share.

It'll happen. They love the (free) end user, and hate the (paying) advertiser. Too bad. Not a great combination.

webmindsolutions




msg:3614204
 3:52 pm on Mar 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

I think I can help here, and perhaps also frustrate a bit.

One of my client sites got slapped with this $10 price on several keywords that I knew via other means had a bid market range around $2-$3 max.

Interestingly enough, the campaign that got slapped had actually been the recipient of a Google-sponsored "free optimization" a few months prior.

After many attempts to re-optimize, change landing page quality and launch new campaigns and whatnot, I resorted to contacting a Google rep. The first attempts at this resulted in frustration and annoyance.

First response was something like this:
"According to our review, #*$!.yyy is a poor quality page. Your landing page will continue to require higher bids in order to display your ads, resulting in a very low return on your investment. Therefore, AdWords may not be the online advertising program for your website or business."

Let me just say that this site is home to a behavioral healthcare business that specializes in helping troubled teens and parents. They engage in no "shady" practices, they offer seminars and have a sign-up form that is double opt-in. In other words, this is not "bad guy" Google's algo should be going after.

The next attempt at contact got MUCH better results.

I simply asked the rep if there was a way to *manually* re-evaluate a site's Quality Score to determine if there was an error in the auto-evaluation. I also threatened to pull our business which was hitting about $4k / month at that point.

The rep actually put the request in and I did one final cleanup on the site to ensure things like sitemap and privacy policy were linked on all pages, no H1 tags with display:none, etc.

Here was the final response:

"It was a pleasure chatting with you last week, I appreciate your patience during the review process while our policy team re-evaluated
#*$!.yyy's landing page quality.

I've confirmed that your page was not correctly evaluated by our system, and we've fixed this error. You should see improvements to the quality score soon, reflected by lower minimum bid requirements for your keywords."

Sure enough, our those keywords went lower (although only down to $4 max CPC!).

But don't get too excited-- I followed this up with an attempt to get a partial refund for their billing error. This was the response:

"We apologize that your account was adversely affected by this issue.
However, we're unable to offer a refund or credit for any clicks you
accrued during the increased bid requirements or for the time spent to
request a re-evaluation.

Landing Page Quality is an integral component of our advertising system, and we acknowledge that some advertisers will be unhappy about our determination of their site quality. With that being said we do have a process in place which allows us re-evaluate sites after the initial computerized determination is placed, and on the rarest occasions we will make exceptions to the computerized determination and re-calculate your landing page quality. We do not credit for the time required to restore and re-review your landing page."

So, moral of the story:

You can get your score re-evaluated if you try. You cannot get money back.

Good luck!

DaveMaxG




msg:3614306
 6:45 pm on Mar 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

I'm new to this site and found this thread particularly interesting so I thought I'd comment. It seems to me that some of Google's behavior is bordering on the type of thing that Microsoft got in trouble for. If they persist in this sort of behavior that basically destroys legitimate customers' businesses overnight, I can see a point in time where Google may have to get broken up because they've amassed too much power.

Sorry if this is a little off topic, but reading these posts really got me concerned about spending the time and effort to build up a profitable Adwords campaign. This business is about building a long term revenue stream, but if there is a real risk that this whole stream can be taken away at any moment, it seems that the only way to do things intelligently is to either have lots of very different websites with separate accounts and campaigns on multiple ad networks or manage Adwords accounts for multiple clients in different industries.

Is this $10 slap a new thing that only happens to a small percentage of advertisers? Has it been going on for months or just the last few days? I'll be keeping a close eye on this thread!

Thanks!

luke175




msg:3614589
 8:57 am on Mar 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

It seems to me that everything I've ever read about beating the "slap" involved two things.

Building up a bunch of legitimate content on your site and developing a proper linking structure. This is the white-hat approach however, plenty of people do this and still get the living daylights slapped out of them. As an example, I have a page that is on the first page of Google for the targeted keyword...relevant right? Google wants $10 to advertise under the same keyword...

Second, you can be one of the people that continually move all their sites to new domains, create new campaigns and use various cloaking scripts etc. You have to spend pretty much all your energy staying one step ahead of Google.

The bottom line is that Adwords is completely erratic and unreliable. Sadly, as more advertisers get frustrated by the system, Google appears that they will not ease up on the "scoring" but will rather try to get blood from a stone by raising CPC to ensure their stock price stays up.

Google has no other products...99% of their revenue is from ads and they are NOT going to let the golden goose that is "quality score" slip away.

Advertisers are really at a loss now...there are simply some things Google does that make no sense and they refuse to tell you a thing. It's a complete black box system that makes them billions.

I suspect there will be a tell-all book years from now written by Google engineers laughing about how "quality score" was just a ploy to get more cash from advertisers.

Google is so close to the government I don't expect any sort of intervention from them ever.

kushmania




msg:3615426
 3:48 pm on Mar 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

Luke 175... You hit the nail right on the head.

I have a good example of the QS (BS) system.

I was in discussions with my rep regarding site quality and what improvements to make (sometimes I like to listen to what they have on the latest revision of the script....just for kicks). We had made some improvements on one of our main domains, she agreed that the improvements were dramatic and sure to improve conversions. Then came the algo update, site got slapped out of the sky, $10.00 clicks everywhere.

So now I'm going back to ignoring the customers with a crappy page designed for the QS (BS) algo. I have slight improvements, in my vertical content seems to be key.

Good luck, Rehabguy

fischermx




msg:3616480
 6:51 pm on Apr 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

Windslide:

Were you doing arbitrage?

jeallen




msg:3618106
 2:22 pm on Apr 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

I have two sites that seem to have this issue. One is a a local home builder/developer whose bids on "madison" related queries suddenly went to min $5 bid and my own internet marketing business, whose SEO related phrases went to min. $5. I have tried starting new campaigns, switching 'national' ads to 'local' and changing the landing pages and ad copy. So far -- nothing has worked. I can appreciate that there are tons of nefarious SEO sites, but the builder's campaign has me perplexed.

eWhisper




msg:3618235
 4:24 pm on Apr 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

Have you tried creating local ads to see how that will affect your min bids?

This 42 message thread spans 2 pages: 42 ( [1] 2 > >
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