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In August, we introduced the Quality Score along with the launch of quality-based minimum bids, letting you know that we evaluate many factors, such as your ad text and clickthrough rate (CTR) to determine the minimum bid for your keyword. Today, we started incorporating a new factor into the Quality Score -- the landing page -- which will look at the content and layout of the pages linked from your ads.
Guidelines for landing pages [adwords.google.com]
I know it's a complete waste of time to sit on the phone complaining about this. Nothing will change. Just like the last time they walloped us. I've spent the last three days loading ads onto MSN ppc with good results.
What google must understand is that many of us rely on our advertising for our livelihood and to not have ANY dependability or clue as to what is happening (a black box) is extremely bad for those advertisers. I think this whole black box thing has to be re-evaluated. I see some high value words virtually un-advertised because they ask for $10.00 for a bid.
I have words that I previously bid before the summer, now I can't even touch. Its no longer profitable there. I can't see how anyone can profit from these outrageous new charges that have no logic.
Without logic, there is no predictability. Without predictability you might as well go to the casino, because you can't run a business without DEPENDABLE advertising.
I am extremely unhappy with the tweaks, even going back to this summer. Especially the minimum bids, which are insane for many words. Lets hope this reverse this fiasco.
I had a question for my rep that was asked at the beginning of the week and she promised to call back. I still haven't heard from her. Thanks google.
Landing pages are visited regularly so any new content should be recognized quickly - if not google recommend you contact them.
If you have a series of bids that have gone from say $0.05 to $10 I would suggest you look at these pages and work on creating a truly superb page. If you believe there is no way your page can be improved I would suggest calling your rep.
I was reminded that searchers on google are typically looking for unique INFORMATION , if your landing page presents ads, affiliate offers, links to merchants they are in a sense not getting the best experience . Of course if you have EXCELLENT content then this will out weigh the merchant links. Its about getting the balance right, always remembering the visitor 's experience is paramount.
If you are one of many ads all leading to a similar landing page that pretty much has links to the same merchants, be it an affiliate, straight link or adsense link, you will see higher bids. The bottom line is they want a good user experience - they shouldn't be wasting their time clicking on say five ads for one keyword only to find the same merchant. This isn't good for the visitor or google, they run the risk of the visitor not returning .
Obviously if you are an ecommerce merchant selling your own products and find you are now faced with high bids, I can only recommend you contact your google rep.
I hope this helps.
I now though have to take stock and realise that ultimately my sites will suceed in google seo and adwords if I keep the visitor's experience at the fore front of my mind. It will take some time going from good to excellent content but it will be worth it.
I openly admitted to my rep that some of my sites are better than others and in an ideal world they would all be ones you would bookmark without hesitation. But following our chat I felt that if I followed their advice I can return to my google adwords glory days.
There is to room for tricks and sub standard content. Talking to my rep, reading Matt Cutts and taking note of things said at PubCon has driven home the fact that Google are so on the ball-it's unbelievable .
I was looking back yesterday to the days when I first used Goto, thinking how things have changed - more importantly how I have adapted. Can you imagine where adwords and ppc will be in a years time. It seems to me that great sites with unique content are critical to my long term success. Anything else might be profitable short term, but unlikely to keep ahead of google's efforts to list only worthwhile sites, be they seo or adwords.
[edited by: tedster at 11:41 pm (utc) on Dec. 26, 2005]
I guess I have to call and hound my rep for not calling me back with advice :/
However, if G search liked my pages then I wouldn't need to use adwords, at least not nearly as much.
Too bad they can't fix phantom supplementals and canonical problems. If they could then I'd be back to spending 1/4 of what I'm spending now.
So now we have to optimize for search and for adwords - I guess they are pretty much one in the same.
If you do a lot of PPC and SEO, I'd recommend a totally different strategy of using the same pages for both PPC and SEO.
With SEO, there are certain things you must do to a page for bots that you don't have to do for PPC.
With PPC, you can control the elements of a page strictly for conversion purposes.
Duplicating several pages of a site, and disallowing them from being crawled (no dup content penalties - you don't care if these pages rank, you're driving traffic to them from PPC) can be much more effective from a conversion/effective strategy standpoint.
If you have good content, the new algos for landing pages aren't really going to effect your ad prices. Conversions are still the key to a successful campaign.
I have PHP script on my home page which takes a parameter passed by the Adwords URL to then display a paragraph or 2 of theme-specific text.
<text related to theme1>
<text related to theme2>
so my question is will this affect my landing page relevancy?
Will this redirection affect my page's quality score?
In response to your questions, we have 30,000 adverts showing for a single page that use the querystring to pass the targeted keywords, the page then queries our database to build the specific page. Although there are no redirects it will have the same effect as your set-ups. We have experienced no problems with this approach.
We can't be sure but we think it has in fact helped with CTR through higher ad positioning. As we also run a campaign in the same business category (in a different part of the UK) that just sends people to the homepage of the client I have comparitive stats that show their CTR staying stable whilst ours have increased by around 50%! The client should have considerably higher CTR than us as they pay more and have a better story to tell in their adverts, but we are now around the same CTR.
It looks as though the quality score is pushing sites with on-topic landing pages further up. Clearly anyone with an eye on ROI will have good landing pages anyway but it should help get rid of (or reduce the impact of) the speculative ads that you see all over the place.
Now I suspect that Adwords may be checking landing-page content real-time, as since I've implemented the dynamic theme-specific text using PHP, my CTR has shot-up progressively within hours!
Or could it be a co-incidence that I made the changes immediately before it was about to do a scheduled check anyway?
Secondly, I've updated (added) new ads that actually incorporate the main keywords in the ad text. That may also have contributed to the increased CTR.
Not really, I have to PAY for adwords. I was jsut getting to where I was going to invest in adwords.
If Google quickly approves my landing pages (the sponsors' home page/I am an affiliate), and I can find keywords at a reasonable 10 cents or less bid, then Google has a paying customer.
If I have to do much more than that, I may as well continue to optimize on the organic side.
Are you listening, oh great and wonderful Gooooog?