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Sudden increase of CPC recently?

My campaigns are full of inactive keywords.



6:37 pm on Apr 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I didn't review my campaigns since last week, I remember a campaign with arround 1000 keyword in which I had about 150 "inactive for search".
Today I have 750 "inactive for search"!

Does anybody get any similar to this recently?


2:43 pm on Apr 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


Quantam Goose

2:59 pm on Apr 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



3:02 pm on Apr 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

I am a merchant; absolutely no advertising or links to other websites - CPC prices up 65% since the end of March.

But prices have increased steadily since mid January.

I'm sure their revenue numbers are off target, I've even received calls from Google asking why I am spending less lately...that is the sign of a company trying to 'boost' revenue. If I was a share holder I'd be worried the stock will nose-dive again.


3:09 pm on Apr 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

For what it is worth...

99% of what we do is only on the Content network.

Business has been good. Haven't noticed any changes, in fact it has been better this week than the week before.... We were pushed out the Search Network a long time ago......when last February bids went from .40 to $3.50 overnight for our top keywords. Now I think they are in the $5.00 range.



3:40 pm on Apr 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Well one of my campaings was affected by this behaviour on last April 5th. I write to Google and still not answer.

After I read the Landing Page Quality Guidelines I decided to remove one of the AdsenSe blocks (the one that generate less money).

I do not know if it is due to that or just Google taking some steps back... but my keywords started to activate overnight and the minimum bid has been reducing on the rest.

So, I recommend that you work on your pages a little just to help thing go back to normal... reducing ads, or placing more "quality" content... Although I think Google is taking a step back in the process, we already know were are they heading so they will try this again perhaps in a more subtle way.


3:48 pm on Apr 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Yup , seems the switch is turned back a bit, most of the keywords in my affected campaigns are back to normal...I did nothing, no kw prunning, bid increase or landing page changes!.

BTB ,to all the conspiracy theorists , this is not a last minute effort to boost quarterly numbers... I believe this is a honest mistake in their ongoing tweaking of the ad serving algorithm. Yup, it sucks they test it in a real environment but i think they have no choice as its impossible to replicate a dynamic marketplace like adword in a testbed...


5:34 pm on Apr 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

gopi - "I believe this is a honest mistake in their ongoing tweaking of the ad serving algorithm" - you're probably right. I see that all my affected adgroups are back to where they were pre 5th April.

This is a massive relief and I want thank everyone that commented on this thread so as we could quickly gauge the extent of this problem.

As an affiliate marketer it just goes to show how easily Google can turn the screw. I for one would like futher guidelines on the quality score and its relationship to affiliate sites.

One thing I noticed to day was I when creating a new agroup today with 300 keywords I was asked to bid roughly 10 or 20 cent per click. Just as an experiment I removed all the keywords and save the ad. Then I went into the ad again I entered all the 300 keywords, this time I was asked to bid 40 or 50 cent. I then removed them all, saved the ad and then added all the keywords again. This time I was asked to bid $5 or $10! I then removed the keywords, saved and logged out of adwords.

Then I logged back in and added the keywords and it was back to 10 or 20 cent clicks and remained at that despite further experimentation.

I then looked at an existing adgroup where the minimum bids were a dollar, too much for see and so it lies dormant ( I don't even get any search traffic on it). I then deleted the 3 keywords and saved. Logged out and back in again and entered the very same keywords - this time the minimum bids were 10 dollars! and despite my efforts of deleting and adding there they stay at 10 dollars.

This seems really strange, why were they not at $10 in the first place if this is what they are deemed to be.

Anyway I'm very happy the "5th April Increase" has been reversed.


5:50 pm on Apr 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

no such luck on keyword reversals for me. :( if this changes I will update. If others see a change I would appreciate it if you would post. I had gone through and done lots of keyword pruning. When I add back the keywords the problem resurfaces.


5:59 pm on Apr 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Really happy to hear things are returning to normal for you all. I can report that my min cpc's are down by 10x, but still 5x higher than they were initially, still rendering my ads inactive.

For example, if a bid was at $5.00, it's now down around $0.50, but it used to be $0.10. While 5x is better than 50x, it's still quite a hike in price.

Hopefully things will continue to level out and come back down to normal over the weekend.


7:44 pm on Apr 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I see the same as etr06, bids are getting lower, but not as low as they were before April 5.


7:46 pm on Apr 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

The same exact thing happened to me, see msg # 6 in this thread.
I deleted and readded keywords several times and on the third try, I got $10.00 bids for all those keywords. The next day half of those keywords were asking $0.50-$1.00. Still they are more high to what they were before at arround $0.10-$0.20.


7:52 pm on Apr 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I'm glad to say that our bids have improved. Not 100% but a lot better. Sit tight if yours have not changed....and good luck!


11:38 pm on Apr 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Goog started hitting a couple more of my accounts today, inactivating more words in place of large min. bids.

Will have to ride this out...


4:06 am on Apr 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

If my prices are 'back somewhere to normal', my question is when can we expect credits? Why should we pay for an algorithm mistake or testing by Google?


6:44 am on Apr 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

They got me also (aff), but just on one campaign. I think they are testing on one campaign first to see if we take the bait. Increase your bids on the first campaign and then they will move on to increasing the next.


11:06 pm on Apr 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Am I the only advertiser still in the gigantic April 5 update penalty box? It seems like most people are reporting that their ads are returning to normal.


11:24 pm on Apr 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member


Try removing all the inactive keywords, save them in a spreadsheet. Then login the next day and add them back, it worked for me and corrected about 80% of the keywords.


11:35 pm on Apr 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

"Try removing all the inactive keywords, save them in a spreadsheet. Then login the next day and add them back, it worked for me and corrected about 80% of the keywords. "

NO DON'T DO IT! I followed that advise, my increase went from .32 to $1.24 so I tried that little trick and the minimum went to to $12.59! I feel like I have painted myself into a corner, now.


12:20 am on Apr 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

me too abigail


2:04 am on Apr 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

No, wait, please read my msg 6 and 101 on this thread.
That happen to me too...BUT it happened when I did that in the same minute.
I mean, I remove and readded, remove and readded that in a period of say a couple of minutes, and yes, those keywords prices went to the stars. But at the next day I reviewed and they were almost back to normal, like half of them.
But I also, cleaned up my campaigns from inactive keywords and saved them, then I added them in the next day and it worked marvelous, too.
So, I experienced both effects, but I think the timing of doing that matters.
Abigail, Jim, did you wait one day? I think that matters.


2:13 am on Apr 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Wow, that's all interesting feedback... To be clear, while most of my bids are 10x less than the April 5th extravaganza, they're still 5x more than they used to be (and I've not done anything to touch them).

A 500% increase still renders the vast majority of my bids inactive, so I'm still completely SOL right now. I was hoping the rest of the weekend would see numbers returning to pre-April 5th levels, but no such luck as yet.

I'll continue to appeal to the AdWords team until I get some constructive feedback from them as to what they suddenly think I've done wrong. It's hard to sit here and guess what it is that they seemingly arbitrarily decided wasn't up to their standards when nothing on my site has changed.

Has ANYONE seen their bids return to PRE-April 5th levels?


2:48 am on Apr 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I'd say that my account is pretty much back to normal. I had cleaned out all the inactive keywords on friday and then when things looked normal again yesterday I added them all back. It was pretty tedious work going into my change history to find all the keywords I had deleted and then getting them all back into their proper adgroups. There are only a few keywords that are still elevated, but I can deal.

Glad things are back to somewhat normal (for me) but what a wake up call! Basically, my whole livlihood is at the mercy of Google it seems. I always knew that but when I had to come face to face with it... well, it's scary isn't it? Time to diversify.


3:43 am on Apr 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Update: I finally got a response from my rep. After reviewing my campaign with technicians they have found no errors in their system and goes on to explain in, what seems like 10 pages, about the quality score and relevancy of ads, that their action is to protect the integrity of their system to provide users with useful experience, yadi, yadi, yadi...

... a few hours later everything went back to normal as if nothing happened.

Why won't they just admit a mistake was made and that in a few hours everything will be back to normal?



3:51 am on Apr 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

At this point, I don't need admissions, apologies, reparations or credits. Those would all be wonderful, but right now, all I really need is to have the experience you did where everything magically goes back to pre-April 5th levels.

Thanks so much for the update! Hopefully the rest of us will be able to report back just as successfully, and soon.


4:07 am on Apr 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

OK, I just tried to add them back in again and they went in as $1.24 not the $12.59 but that is not pre Apr 5 it is still pretty much 400% increase over the original. And that is only one set, all mine were affected in the same manner. Still far too nasty.


7:12 am on Apr 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

I just joined this forum as I am experiencing the same problem as everybody else.

Although, mine didnt start on the 5th, it only happened on the 8th when I noticed my traffic about 1/2 what it normally is I checked my campaign and noticed all the inactives.

Can somebody who's account appears to be back to normal try to add the following keyword to a campaign:


Wondering whether you can bid less than .10c for it?

When I add this as a keyword it asks me to raise my minimum to 10c. Now I know .10c doesnt sound like much, but I used to bid only 5c for all of my keywords, yet now about 60% of them are inactive asking me to raise up to 10-40 cents in most cases.

Look forward to hearing further comments.



7:21 am on Apr 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Abigail & daras are you an affiliate like me? This problem seems to hit affiliates and merchants but I'm guessing more affiliates.


10:00 am on Apr 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I think this is a test on their part to see if advertisers will increase their bids or not. like most of us doing testing.. if it all goes bad.. just reset it back to the original numbers... I'm sure some advertisers are willing to increase their bids since competition is out of the way at the moment and conversions would be really nice...

by the way.. I'm still seeing $5/$10 minimum bids in my account.. been running my account for a year...


10:26 am on Apr 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Hello everyone

Just wanted to echo what's already been reported here. While it's been a frustrating time, it's good to see that it's not just me.

From around April the 5th, I've seen many successful campaigns destroyed by $5 to $10 minimum CPC on some phrases.

I looked through my account to try to find the reason. There doesn't seem to be any logic behind it. That's the frustrating part. There's nothing you can improve, do or tweak.

If it stays this way, the only thing I can say about Adwords would be 'you can only bid on certain phrases'. Some phrases are, for an unknown reason, out of reach due to the high bids.


1:15 pm on Apr 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

One answer: short GOOG, they need to beat the street and can't so they resort to this crap.
This 229 message thread spans 8 pages: 229

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