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I'm spending slightly less on AdWords. 75% of my budget now goes to ads direct to merchant rather than to my own sites with affiliate links back to the merchant. I thought I was providing more information than the merchant site, but Google didn't care.
I've displaced a whole bunch of other affiliate ads by running more expensive and better ads direct to the merchant site. I usually outranked these ads with my affiliate site ads, and I've been able to adjust my bid prices so my direct to merchant ads now sit about the same spots where my affiliate ads used to run.
Guess what? For most of my ads, I'm not converting as well with direct to merchant as I was with the ads to my affiliate site. Go figure. Google thinks their customers are better served by sending them direct to merchant. When I ask what to do improve the quality score of my affiliate site, they suggest that I have too many links. The only links off my site are my links to the merchant. It sounds like they just want to remove affiliates from the picture. For some reason, affiliate sites are becoming evil in Google's eyes. They must be unable to tell a quality affiliate site from a clone of a merchant site.
Google says they're willing to lose revenue to improve quality. I can understand that, but planning and execution are two different things. So for any product, Google will now get one ad for any product direct to the merchant site. No more affiliate sites. Where they used to get 2 (or more) ads, they're getting 1 ad for the same price, with poorer conversions.
It's turning into a chicken and egg routine. The merchant sites are willing to let their affiliates do the work. They want their affiliates to do the research, pull in the information, write the reviews, and pre-sell the customer on the product before clicking through to the merchant site. That's less work and less expertise the merchant site needs. Google on the other hand, wants to send their visitors direct to the merchant, who is counting on affiliates to do the selling . . .
It's different corporate entities trying to change the internet to the fashion they think works best for them, and are at odds with their approaches. We little guys who saw the opportunity to fill the voids on the internet and profit from it are caught in the squeeze play.
from my earlier post:
The bots do not recognize any PageRank when looking at http://example.com/directory (which is the same page of course as http://www.example.com/directory/index.html). The latter, full version however is a PageRank 7.
Maybe because I linked my ads to the shortened version of that URL, which is not the full URL to which Google assigns pagerank, it hurt my quality score? That would definitely be a glitch in the Quality Score algo.
This would also be true for other variant URLs, like tracking URLs, etc that do not link directly to the URL to which google has assigned pagerank, even though they actually point to the same landing page.
The Page Rank may not be following through on
domainname.com/dir/ But make sure the base domain
has Not lost page rank.
BTW, For one campaign I have been adding an "s" to a
word in keyword phrases and the required CPC has been going down from
$5-10 to .30 to .40. Now why this works is beyond me,
because the base domain has lost all page rank and only the index page is showing in the google index.
This should Only affect [my keyword]-- since adding
an "s" to "my keyword" or my keyword should Not keep
it from being shown when they are entered in search.
Just fiddling around -- as things work I'll let
manx: And, if the domain has been dropped from the index, Or has lost page rank and is 0-1 the CPC is ridiculous.
I have to add to that 2 other or's:
* or is nowhere to be found for the main keyword (yet it has pagerank)
* or has been penalized (non-0, but lower pagerank of main page versus most subfolders)
If this is the case, G$$gle, this is some screwed up way to judge quality, I tell ya.
I have one site where every page left in the index is www.domain.com but my homepage is domain.com and guess what? That's right, the campaign that sent traffic to the homepage has every keyword disabled and that page's PR is 0 while www.domain is a PR 5. Too bad it's gone from the index today.
The site in question has looked like this when I did a site:domain search for some time so the way it looks on the outside isn't unusual at all. Something else is looking at it differently, though. Maybe quality score is looking at a Google we don't get to see at this time?
But I know they answer as to why they aren't addressing the natural results relevancy with the same aggresiveness as the paid ads - becuse the natural results are unpaid :)
It's all about the almighty dollar with Google. They won't hold onto marketshare by weeding out the undesirables from the Adwords program - they'll continue their reign as top search engine by stepping up the relevancy in the natural results.
Here is a perfect unrelevant natural results example:
Go to google and do a search for 'dvd player' (without the ')
1st result - a website that talks about DVD player software,,,not very relevant. If I'm typing DVD player I am probably looking to buy or research buying a DVD player,,,,DVD player software site the #1 match?
2nd result - a DVD comptability site
3rd site - a DVD software site for a PC
4th site - finally a site where you can actually buy a DVD player,,,just so happens to be Amazon.com
I think there would always be those willing to pay more since they won't have a choice its the life blood of their company to use G, eventhough the margin shrinks...
*all good things come to an end "for the small guys" :)
I feel like even I have no disabled keywords, many of them are not performing as well as they used to be. Like if internally, google is still capping them somehow.
Therefore, I have experimented the worst days in April 14-16 in the last 6 months. I'm not sure, though, if this is related to the holiday season.
So basically I don't see a point in whining here, G$$gle will still stay G$$gle, with 2 cute boys as front that don't have much saying anymore in a money-grabbing machine G$$gle has become. Instead I am off building G$$gle-independed traffic sources.
Good luck to anyone affected by this.
April 15 is the income Tax deadline day in the U.S. April 16 is Easter. This has usually been the worst part of the year for me, then it ramps up from here to the end of the year.
Talk about a big difference too. I gave it some serious thought these last few days, and from about Apr 1st to about the 17th, sales pretty much stopped in their tracks.
Now that everyone has paid their taxes (and maybe got a refund), the sales are now picking back up..with a good bit of steam.