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98% of Account "Inactive"
QS Questions

 2:29 pm on Jul 9, 2008 (gmt 0)


Suddenly 98% of thousands of key phrases are inactive - where they want to whack the bid up to 10 bucks!

Many of these terms are good converters, many have good CTR, many of them exactly match phrases on the landing pages.

Virtually all of these AdGroups are about a week old today.

Anyone else seeing this?



 3:11 pm on Jul 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

I'm with Green_Grass. This QS update pushed some of my keywords from OK to Great. And this is on the domain that was re-build from a previously slapped domain.


 6:37 pm on Jul 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

I do get tired of the false ads I see, that get great ctr's, while my site tells the truth about what's available and gets not only out ctr'd by liars, but graded as poor quality. The intentions are very good here, but the execution needs to improve a bunch.


 7:45 pm on Jul 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

I realize that all the "Slappees" are scrambling to bring their ads and pages back online, as am I. But I wanted to share a seemingly innocuous tidbit in G's AdWord help. To wit:

For calculating a keyword's minimum bid:
    The keyword's historical clickthrough rate (CTR) on Google; CTR on the Google Network is not considered
    The relevance of the keyword to the ads in its ad group
    The quality of your landing page
    Your account history, which is measured by the CTR of all the ads and keywords in your account
    The historical CTR of the display URLs in the ad group
    Other relevance factors

My main account is 4+ years old with tons of residue.
Has anyone found that a new account will perform better than an old account ?


 8:41 pm on Jul 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

all you "slapees" -- how many official "grades" does QS have?

Poor, OK, Great? Are there more?


 10:23 pm on Jul 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

That's it.

Minimum bids of .01, .03, .04, .05 and .10 are Great

Minimum bids of .15, .20, 30 are OK

Minimum bids of .40 and up are Poor


 2:39 pm on Jul 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

"Your account history, which is measured by the CTR of all the ads and keywords in your account"

Account history CTR is a bad metric, it rewards trademark poachers (aka domain name bidders) and people who exaggerate claims in their ads. I understand it's intentions, by when you look at the complexities and range of what different marketers are doing, it seems very arbitrary to reward those who have plucked the easiest traffic moreso than others.

If I could see the internal scores within adwords, I bet the highest account history CTRs belong to domain name poachers, affiliates who are most often ripping off merchants for their own branded traffic and where it's often against that merchant's policies. AWA, you want to take that bet? Bet you $50! I can even supply you with information (example G searches) so you can see the ones doing this and then go check your system's internal stats.

It's ridiculous to reward bad behaving parties. I understand the thinking, the best ad writers and keyword analysts should be rewarded, but the key thing missing there is the nature of what type of traffic they are bidding on.

Let's say a merchant called giantwidgets.com advertises for two things: (1) products, using keywords like "large wdigets" (medium CTR) and (2) their brand, using keywords like "giantwidgets.com" (high CTR)... and they have an affiliate who only bids on their brand name... whose adwords account will have the higher historical CTR? The lazy affiliate will. And the merchant is put at a disadvantage algorithmically by the adwords system, to bid on their own brand name. There's something inherehtly assbackwards about G punishing deep marketing and rewarding shallow skimming of the low hanging fruit.


 9:00 pm on Jul 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

An excellent point.

My personal concerns revolve around the issue of having many campaigns in the same account with vastly different targets and objectives. Some are inherently low CTR's. And I am to believe that the high performance campaigns are being held down by the low performers even though every campaign is meeting it's objective.

If account wide performance has any significant weight in the QS algo, then separate accounts MUST be the most equitable way of marketing different verticals and models.

And a large waste of time and energy.


 1:31 pm on Jul 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

Let's hope G is smart enough (and they are) to do some sort of ctr calculation that's a relative measurement (how well you do aginst others, on average, on the same keywords), allowing for the fact that advertisers shouldn't be punished for going deep. That would still leave to truth stretchers (false ad claims) high ctr and some other small categories of advertisers who G has no business rewarding for their behavior, but can't yet detect.

PPC Consultant

 5:00 pm on Jul 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

Account QS is not only based on your historical CTR but your total clicks generated as well. I have seen significant drops in min bids as I reach different number of clicks.


 5:03 pm on Jul 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

I think what's really going on is that google using manual reviews by google employees, lets say for every websites that the customer had spent on it at least a few hundred dollar, and google employees flag the website that they don't like, but it has its effect only when they imply the comprehensive slap, like they did on July 9th.


 4:18 am on Jul 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

I was also slapped by Google heavily.
I, however, have found a solution.

I created a new campaign and used a different domain but used the exactly same keywords and ads as old one.

I repeat;
the only difference between the old campaign, which was slapped by google, and new one is the domain.

Bid price returned normal now on my campaigns.

I don't know what kind of domain considered good or bad.
But I'm sure the domain is one of the factors affecting QS.

See this article summarizing Michael Gray's presentation at SMX Advanced 2008:


 11:18 am on Jul 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

and what did you do with your old domain? deleted the content? or left it as it was? the second one is an exact duplicate?


 11:58 am on Jul 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

The sites of the old domain was not indexed.
I used them only for AdWords.


 1:46 pm on Jul 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

that's weird, all my websites that are used for adwords are indexed after a few week of running, without any exception, i think google indexes them autmatically - i didn't submit any, nor received incoming links...


 7:20 pm on Jul 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

I was blocking googlebot by robots.txt. ;-)


 8:17 pm on Jul 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

i believe i read that you can actually get slapped for that, well maybe that is the reason in the first place for your slap? :)


 8:32 pm on Jul 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

The thing is, there's different googlebots, and they now share information between them, so I don't know that I'd want to block any of them, but if it works for you...

PPC Consultant

 8:52 pm on Jul 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

I know of the organic bot that comes and spiders your site for organic landings.
I know of another Gbot that comes in to my Adwords urls and spiders those to understand quality. What is the level of communication between the two bots?


 10:36 pm on Jul 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

I'd have to dig it up, it was from a while ago.


 5:26 am on Jul 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

"that is the reason in the first place for your slap? :) "

Yes, it is very probable.


 12:31 pm on Jul 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

What do you do then if you are tailoring multiple landing pages specifically to adgroups. I mean, you may want the main site to be indexed but would want to block the organic bots from viewing those pages with dupe content.

PPC Consultant

 2:19 pm on Jul 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

BTW, if you keep experiencing the same, your account QS might have been thrashed, and you may have to think about getting a new domain and driving traffic to the new domain. But this is a last resort, and it may work only once you add **unique** text content around your Adsense links...


 8:38 pm on Jul 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

I was told by my account rep that Adwords and Organic Search have nothing to do with each other.. Ban Googlebot if you want. PR makes no difference either..


 11:43 pm on Jul 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

I was told by my account rep that Adwords and Organic Search have nothing to do with each other.

So was I.
But it is suspicious now to me.


 1:35 am on Jul 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

I get slapped, too. A few times in the last 8-10 month and every time it hurts a little harder, but there was always a fast solution. But now I found no way to bring it back.

The ideas some have in this thread (copy ads & keywords and advertise with new domains) was working for me the last slaps, too. This time it works first again, but at the end not more then 1 or 2 days and that`s it.

For me it seems that the google slaps before burned domain-names but you could bring it back with smaller ad groups, more deep focus themed, unique content, puplic privacy, etc. and all such seo-like-optimization, but this time it seems they slapped the hole account and did not look at the overall spending history.

I think it`s a manual review.

Meat Curtian

 3:30 pm on Jul 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

So after reading all the comments, I do have one last question, has anyone had Google completely shut down their account? I've had a variety of keywords disabled, or 're-priced', but have not had an account completely shutdown... and if they’ve shut down the account, what is the reason they give?



 3:32 pm on Jul 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

The ideas some have in this thread (copy ads & keywords and advertise with new domains) was working for me the last slaps, too. This time it works first again, but at the end not more then 1 or 2 days and that`s it.

Since this solution doesn't address the original problem, it's never going to be more than a temporary solution, and it sounds like it's getting to be even more temporary.

So after reading all the comments, I do have one last question, has anyone had Google completely shut down their account?

Not personally, of course, but I do know of people who have had their accounts closed due their not being a good match with Google's business model, or words to that effect.


 9:02 am on Aug 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

Well it’s been about 3 weeks now, and today I paused all my ad words campaigns.

I was hoping the changes I made would affect the quality score by now but nothing’s changed, I can’t continue taking the losses hoping for it to improve.

I've made changes to my landing pages (no ad sense units) dynamic keyword entry to increase relevancy (not that it wasn’t relevant in the first place!), 1 keyword per ad group with unique ad.

I'm just going to have to hope YSM & Microsoft adCenter can keep me afloat, that and good ole SEO.

If anyone does get a QS improvement please share and tell us about what you did!

Peace Out.


 10:13 pm on Aug 1, 2008 (gmt 0)


did you try to just change the domainname?
copy everything (content/landingpages..) from the old domain to a new one. Copy in the Adwords Editor the complete campaign with the adgroups, pause the old campaign, change the domain-name in the visible and destination url in the ads from the new campaign and upload everything.

keyword-/adgroup- and campaign-quality-score is new, so everything should start normal (if there are no problems with account-quality-score), then the adwords-bot will for sure visit the landing page(s) in the next few days for the landing-page-quality-score. then you may be knows a little bit more.

Other improvement ideas are welcome.
Talking private via message/email/phone about how to find a way to come back would be ok for me, too.


 11:47 pm on Aug 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

just to add on, I had the same problem and didnt diagnose it till now, google after 5 years of business doesnt like my business model and they basically want to run me out... My products are all irelevant to google yet they are great landing pages that are very clear and helpful... I feel this is unethical of google that they can choose who they want... none of my competition is down


 11:04 am on Aug 3, 2008 (gmt 0)


No I haven't tried the domain name change, I thought it doesn’t change my problem in the long term.

Also, I'm worried that if they are doing manual reviews my whole account may get frowned upon for "gaming the system".

But I may give it a try now that nothing else has worked for me.

oh well, life use to be much simpler before the SLAP!

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