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"Increase quality" makes no sense

     
5:21 pm on Feb 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I have a keyword that got 1 click on 3 impressions.

I guess that isn't good enough for Google because they now want me to "increase quality" or bid higher. This seems strange considering that there is no one else bidding on the term.

Is it possible that Google is reacting to the entire ad group?

Google used to give your keyword and ad a chance to prove its relevancy (judged by user clicks). It seems that's not the case any more.

I can understand their logic for highly competitive keywords, but why not give ads a chance to fail for less competitive keywords?

Google needs to move to a two-tiered system for keywords or they will continue to have problems fully utilizing their inventory.

9:38 pm on Feb 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I have a keyword that got 1 click on 3 impressions.

JBrown, three impressions is not really enough to consider the 33% CTR as being statistically valid. It'd be much better to look at it when it when impressions are in the hundreds - if not in the thousands.

If you find that the AdWords system is suggesting an increased minimum bid, I'd suggest making sure that the keyword brings up an ad that is extremely well targeted to that keyword. In the long run, this will help you to run with a lower minimum bid.

Google needs to move to a two-tiered system for keywords or they will continue to have problems fully utilizing their inventory.

This is an interesting point. However, I'd say that Google is actually less concerned with utilizing inventory than with showing highly relevant ads to our users. Put another way, we'd rather show no ads than to show ads that are not likely to be highly relevant to the searcher. It's a matter of sacrificing short term gain, in order to create long term benefit.

IMO, it is very much to everyone's long-term benefit to have an AdWords program that is trusted (and therefore used) by those millions who search on Google. In this context, increasing quality hopefully makes a lot of sense.

AWA

10:18 pm on Feb 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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"...when impressions are in the hundreds - if not in the thousands..."

Well, it won't get there if the minimum bid is too high :)

"...showing highly relevant ads to our users..."

I agree, but I think the best way to measure relevance is user behavior. If users aren't clicking on the ad, then it's likely not relevant.

I understand doing some filtering upfront for highly competitive keywords, but I don't think that makes sense where there is less competition. It's likely better for users, advertisers, and Google to let ads succeed or fail on their own merit (at least until they reach a certain threshold - 1,000 impressions for example). Using technology to pre-screen relevance works in some cases, but not in all.

Thanks for your feedback, AWA!

3:15 pm on Mar 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The new system of minimum bids really isn't fair. Very often I'll find a keyword with a seemingly random minimum bid, and it's so high that it's not worth paying 5 a click for it.

No wonder Google thinks keywords are badly performing if people are having to pay 5 a click - no one will ever make that pay.

Also, I for one do not understand how the "quality score" works. How exactly can Google judge whether or not an advert is relevant before it's even had chance to run?

4:24 pm on Mar 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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As I have said before on this forum, Google is "across the board" pushing minimum CPC rates higher. This started around the first of this year. In response, people have given me "nuanced" "did you consider" type of reponses. The data I have is a cold cock. More minimum bid raises in the last two months, than in all last year. Same ads. Same keywords. CTR remains the same, I just am paying about 40% more across all campaigns.
4:40 pm on Mar 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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One way that seems to work to get the minimum bid price down is to create a new landing page or modify an existing one such that the **exact** keyword that you are buying appears in the text on the page.

Create a new ad group with the same keywords and ad text and then put in a new landing page or your old landing page if you made changes to that. It doesn't seem to work if you've already created an ad with keywords and just change the landing page in that particular ad, it seems you have to create a new ad group to trigger another scan of the landing page.

4:51 pm on Mar 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Good tip - I'll have to try that one.
10:10 pm on Mar 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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jbrown,

Just because you see no other ads, you shouldn't assume thier are no other bids, or haven't been other bids. I think it more likely means, that like you, other people have not been able to come up with an ad/landing page/ctr history combination that Google finds relevent for that particular word. This often seems to be the case for a number of very very high volume keywords.

10:34 pm on Mar 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I think the OP's point was that the keyword never had a chance to "succeed". 3 impressions, 1 click, then disabled. Not much chance to succeed there.

He may well have had a good combination, but he will never know as Google now wants to raise his minimum bid to keep going.

6:02 am on Mar 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Well many words get inactive even before they go live.
This is my point though, if the "quality" is not good enough, and therefore the ads dont show, to keep user experience high, does 'quality' increases when you increase your bid...IMO it does not...
4:36 pm on Mar 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I created a thread about something similar. So what's the best way around this if creating a new campaing + landing page doesn't work? I was thinking of biting the bullet and raising 2-3 keywords to the minimum at a time and slowly lowering them back to normal levels when I can re-build up my quality score. I'm not even really sure that's possible though.
4:09 pm on Mar 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

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It is hard to believe the landing page quality is the problem when the landing page is the number 5 result in the SERPs on the same keywords.
 

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