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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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
... 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?
Thanks so much for the update! Hopefully the rest of us will be able to report back just as successfully, and soon.
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.
by the way.. I'm still seeing $5/$10 minimum bids in my account.. been running my account for a year...
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.