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I spoke to a large breakdown cover company today and their own brand name had been made inactive and pushed right up in price to re activate.
Other friends in the industry are saying the same. I don't mean to be melodramatic here, but something is not right.
I previously didn't understand that the entire website was being evaluated as opposed to only the landing page.
But having said that, its not clear to me why my website has been worthy for years, and now its not worthy :(
This is a move to raise CPC prices - nothing else. They'll either find that people are willing (out of necessity) to pay these higher prices or that advertisers' will take their money elsewhere. I wouldn't expect Google to change anything anytime soon.
I hear what you are saying about not holding our breath, but all the Google people say it looks like there is a problem and that they will get back to us. That, at the moment, is all we can hope for.
It's only supposed to hit poorly performing kws.
Like those with CTRS less than 30%, right?
Had my first unprofitable day in recent memory yesterday. It takes a certain sustained volume of searches to pull in sales. That can't happen under the current scenario where many of the best performing keywords are untouchable.
While I raised a few bids, my spend was 1/2 of a normal day too. That couldn't have helped Google. Popular items that people buy every day were either turning up no Adwords results or the typical junk that bids on everything (and somehow makes a profit?).
Noticed searchers can still buy 'cadavers' and 'explosives' if they want to try it auction style. Just picked those two off the top of my head and there they were. But reasonably priced consumer goods with no gimmicks attached, you may be out of luck, searcher.
Have to make some hard decisions soon. Anyone else?
For those of us in at the beginning who would have thought things could turn so sour. You follow all the rules and then one day Google decides to take the ball away and play their own game! I really don't understand it.
Many of us are affected and surely Google can see that the last few days have not been as profitable as they could have been.
OK - I have heard many Google reps say that key thing is to ensure the ads in search are of a good quality for their visitors. If this is the case come out and say it - block the poor pages BUT don't ask for mickey mouse bid amounts and confuse the whole issue. The current scenario of high minimum bids mixed in with quality score leaves everyone in the dark. Google need to be more specific and state why a page is poor if this is their objection.
We are all playing a guessing game and AWA you really need to come back to this forum with some specifics. We have all read the guidelines, it is time to state in balck and white why this has happened especially as Google Reps are saying its looks like there is a problem.
I can only pray this mess is corrected asap.
At least they are admitting to a PROBLEM and not just give a canned response. Is everyone experience a widespread problem to all campaigns? I am only having this problem with one campaign.
AdCenter must be loving this as a migration from Adwords is inevitable.
Google says they want affiliates to produce their own landing pages with quality content, and now they want us to go directly to the e-commerce sites. Well, which is it?
If in April, those same campaigns had the same CT's at the now elevated kwd rates, I will (or would) be spending $4,300.00 based on the last 30 days cost per click.
That is an enormous increase. Not quality, landing page this, or relevance that, etc. It is just a plain old "Google needs more cash" because they are in the quarter to quarter reporting race, even though they say they are not.
Also, the last 4 weeks conversions have been equivalent to the FIRST 4 weeks when I started to use google. Shifting more to MSN, and looking at post cards (good retention).
My findings are exactly the same - CPC prices for my industry are up over 60% in the last 30 days compared to
Nov 05 - Jan 06.
After cursing Google for the past couple days, I'm now ready to take a look at what I can do to get my ads running again. (without raising my bids to the unreasonable minimums.) Like many of you my "disabled" keywords were performing with very high CTRs, most of the keywords are in the adcopy of the ads, and the keywords are also found on my landing pages and are relevent to my content and services. So if this is all about a Quality Score then I'm led to believe that it is my site that has failed to impress Google.
Since I can't meet Google's minimum bids I have resolved to improve my site's quality score. So my question now is:
If I make significant changes to my site all with the aim of increasing the "quality", when will Google come back and scan the site for this measure again? If I have to wait a month or more I'm gonna go broke! (and that is assuming the quality score would even increase!)
And just as a side note: I first noticed the increased minimum bids on the 5th. For some important keywords I decided to raise my bid and get my ads showing again. However on the 6th, the very same keywords were again "disabled" and the minimum bid was even higher!?
I have to agree with many others here... if the bids are going to skyrocket suddenly like this there needs to be more transparency. Google says our options are to either raise the bid, or optimize. But what exactly needs to be optimized? They're going to have to give more detail on a case by case level. I used to hate Overture's picky human editing, now I long for it.
OK there are sites that don't impress Google - but there are ways and means of communicating this to us!
I really believe if you don't sell a product or at least give excellent reviews Google doesn't want to know you. Though when I hear on this thread that actual ecommerce sites are seeing higher minimum clicks I put my hand up and say that what message Google is sending - it isn't very clear!
Google continues its war on affiliates, which just forces me to advertise directly to the e-commerce site. Odd. But in that rarefied air at the Googleplex, they can look down their noses at us. They don't want our money, we're not big enough players for them to be concerned with us.
"Google responded to my e-mails saying that my affiliate site lacks a quality page score. They don't see any value in it, therefore I must be put out of business."
I wonder if one removes affiliate links as an experiment - minimum bids will lower?
My question is whether this increase in CPC has happened prior to last week and March 31st or whether it seems to be a reaction to bad numbers between January 1 and March 31. If it's been going on all quarter I'd better get "long" for earnings release; but if it's only been happening recently I'd be almost certain that the results from Q1 were disappointing.
Thanks for any responses - it's a real help to me.
For me, it happened in (very successful) campaigns
that have been running for over a year, some for over
2 years with Very little changes to them.
The k/w's & ads affected were Highly Targetted to the
landing page. There would be Very Little I could do to "increase quality".
For the campaigns affected, I will be taking my advertising money to Yahoo.
If they did this because of bad performance in Q1,
then they better fire their Financial Wizards, cause
they have just LOST a Bundle of Advertising $'s.
They have KILLED Numerous Very Targeted Ads from
what I can tell be reading these posts.
And, If they think Companies are going step up and fill Affiliate Ad's shoes they are Badly mistaken.
Smart Companies know they are getting a Great deal
in Affiliate advertising. And, many of these companies don't have the Experience in advertising
that is handed to them by affiliates.
[edited by: manx at 5:32 am (utc) on April 8, 2006]
My traffic is far less than half what it used to be, and my spend is also less than half.
I no longer think this was a cash grab because I think they'll actually take a loss for it. I now think they are truly trying to optimize their ad serving for users and I'm working hard on my site to hopefully gain a better quality score. However, I do think that they acted rather savagely and left too many questions unanswered in the process. I am definitely looking around for new traffic sources now and putting more effort into SEO.
Google - I used to love you but you broke my heart! :)
That, coupled up with the massive stock sales and evidence of fraud out there pretty much seals the deal on Q1 06 - I think I'll go "short" into earnings.
[edited by: Woz at 10:29 am (utc) on April 8, 2006]
[edit reason] No Self URLs please, see TOS#13 [/edit]
One thing I have noticed is that the largest increase is always the same but it is in two tiers.
1. £0.10 to £4.50, or £0.75 to £4.50
2. £0.10 to £2.25, or £0.75 to £2.25
(hypothetical figures used to avoid TOS problems)
Maybe if they really don't want your site they stick it up to the maximum. Else they stick it up half way. Make sense?
Of all the people experiencing the issues, how many are affiliates and how many are actual merchants?
I manage several accounts, my merchant accounts have been unaffected, but a couple of the affiliate accounts got hit.
So, instead of a technical issue, is it really another wave of elimination of affiliate ads?
I would be curious to hear from those who have been affected - affiliate or merchant?