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Updated : Google AdWords Quality Score Update ... Now Live



8:30 am on Feb 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Im still waiting for them to drop the bomb.

Excite to find out, how much is it going to affect me.


8:07 pm on Feb 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

So, does anyone know how long to expect it to take to see any results from making a change to the landing page? If landing-page quality really has anything to do with it, that is.


4:35 am on Mar 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I have only seen cursory amount of lowered bids through optimization of landing pages. I worked real hard on a term / page and I got the bid lowered from .30 to .20.

What I have found that works - if you are in the pure marketing / arbitrage game - is to let the changes run their course, use a different URL, optimize a little (what optimization is up for debate) and you will likely see lower bids until the next update.

Your landing page has a part in your QS but I believe a large part of it is a Domain QS.

Unless you have a rock solid domain and all of the elements of a nice organic listing AND /Or sell "real products" then it's gonna be tough unless if you are willing to flip domains/sites.

I for one gave up spending too much time optimizing and I'd be curious to see if someone was able to optimize their bids down. They come down sometimes but I think it from Google side (algo tweak) more often than not.


2:44 pm on Mar 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

justageek - talked about moving client advertising monies away from G - in reviewing my daily manual ad searches, I am noticing what appears to be a shift. I realize there are different datacenters, and that the pr update is in process or has taken place, but there appears to be a noticable drop in the number of ads diplayed for the list of search phrases I track. Probably on the order of 20%. Of course, these phrases are aimed at our market, which is sharply niched - so this may not be an overall trend...I wonder if anyone who tracks this "for real" has any input?

AW Update for us:
As of 2/28/07 around 7AM CST, around 35% of our kw were down across all campaigns and sites. As of 2/28/07 5PM CST, that had increased to nearly 45%, mostly plurals and highest clicked kw in a given group. They are obviously still running through campaigns to be sure they don't miss a penny.

I then searched all groups for a more accurate look, and was irritated to find 3 entire groups were down due to the price increase. This particular campaign is sharply focused on a single product which we are the distributor for. We took great care in setting up the campaign and groups, following their SEO advise to the letter in ads, kw, and landing page SEO. We targeted each individual product model with it's own group, words, and landing page. Now they aren't high enough quality!

As of 2/28/07, our company has reduced our g budget by 50%, and paused a number of campaigns completely. We immediately shifted the funds to other services. I hope to see a large number of small businesses send a "lack of cash flow" message to googleland.

As others have mentioned, we have noticed a recent increase in ROI with other services, specifically yahoo (or-yoverturehoo) following their ranking model change last month. Unlike googlypuff, yahoo's ranking model seems to have increased our exposure while reducing expenses...
wow - what a role reversal!

Ok - that's it from the business office at Windward - best to all!


3:09 pm on Mar 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Several years ago, adwords was like a pure auction. You competed against your competitors, and the highest bid won. Then came a change where the highest bid didn't win, but instead essentially the highest revenue generating ad won... but you were still fighting your competition. So, the cost of your ad was directly related to the success/failure of your competition. If you were able to beat your competition, you "won" the spot.

Then came this quality score stuff, and the extension of it that we see today. What this essentially is... is an auction with a reserve price. The battle between you and your competition doesn't determine the price. The seller (google) sets a floor.

What this means is the display of fewer ads, but ads with higher cpc. In the past, google needed large volumes of ads on each keyword in order to get the cpc price to inflate to market prices. But this resulted in the display of full pages of ads, some with low cpc's. Without the "reserve price" google couldn't eliminate the low paying ads because it would reduce the cpc of the higher priced ads.

So, they now have the best of all worlds... Only high paying ads will be displayed, thus insuring a higher cpc. They eliminate the cheap ads on the theory that it's a bad user experience to see all of those ads, when in fact its just bad for the bottom line. If its a bad user experience to have pages full of ads for some general arbi term like "online" then its just as bad for a good revenue term like "mortgage".

They play with the reserve price to determine where the balance is between ad inventory and revenue. When more inventory equals a loss in revenue, then min cpc is raised on a quality score rationale.

Just my theory. Could be dead wrong. Don't get me wrong by my critical posts... I'm a free market guy and google can model their business however they want and whichever way makes them the most profit... it just doesn't mean that I have to participate as an advertiser. Their focus SHOULD be about their bottom line... as IS mine.

I know that WebmasterWorld is the wrong place for something like this b/c of the strict TOS, but I would love to get a group of us to actually bid on the same keyword as a test, pointing to different pages... some on-topic, some off, and then compare notes about what our various min bids are, our average cpc's etc. Let me know if this would be acceptable and worthy of a thread.


4:20 pm on Mar 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Now wouldn't that be interesting. However, I suspect it will be against TOS not only here, but also Googles. Interesting idea though. I would love to see the results of this.


5:32 pm on Mar 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

If thereís one thing I dislike itís the Google speak that has developed to fool you and people now use. I have a physical inventory by accounting standards. You can touch it and feel it. To me an electronic list of words and ads on a computer is simply not an inventory especially with these huge server farms they build.


9:00 am on Mar 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Another google whimsical update. Remember the good old days of organic seo results? As google continued to change their algo, their organic results were see sawing.

One week top 3, next week number 300.

These are not spammy sites with black hat tactics. Genuine content driven sites were hit and I was one of them.

My site is number 3 today, but I don't even bother because I got fed up due to lack of control of organic sem and gave up on Organic SEO.

So in order to have more control, you got to depend on Paid Traffic. Yeah, sounds good.

So I entered the PPC/Adwords game and it was good for a while. Good because of predictability. You have stats to look at and tweak them.

And I found out that you have to bid on low competition terms so its cheap.

And now, Google decides to get fanciful with QS.

I tried to enter a phrase today where no one else was bidding.
This tells you that you can bid for as low as a few cents right?

But this silly QS placed the minimum bid to be $10.
Other phrases were slapped minimum of 40 cents.

Why should I pay 40 cents or $10 a click when there's no competition?

So the rules have changed again. The tactic of looking for low competition phrases is now obsolete because of QS.

The same garbage of see saw policies is being introduced by Google again (after the organic seo).

This is very frustrating. I gotta look more at Yahoo's new PPC model.


9:43 pm on Mar 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Some very interesting ideas on the topic of AW. The "minimum bid" observation is very close to what we're experiencing...with the twist that the "mo-money" algo ocntinues to raise the minimum bid.

Out of curiosity - I took the suggestions that my rep had been insisting would work and apply to their "system" - went into our campaigns and picked our 10 best performing groups. Utilizing his suggestions, and making sure our landing pages were up to their standards - we raised the minimums to what they wanted.

What a bunch of BS as expected...it's nothing more than a sleezy way of raising the minimum starting "bids". One group in particular had 20 words/phrases, and after 2/17 they started going dark On 2/28 all 20 words were down. We raised to the minimums on 3/3 and all 20 were up again - as of AM on 3/4, 10 were generating CTRs well above 15%. As of PM on 3/4 6 were down again with new minimums.

As of AM today (3/5) 2 more are down, bringing the total down to 12. I'm quite sure within 24 hours all 20 will be down again. What is really irritating as pointed out by one member - of the 20, at least 8 have 0 - 3 competitors bidding on them.

It's exactly what several have pointed out. We raised our bids to above the minimums they wanted 2 days ago...now the minimums are increased again, for low traffic low competition words. It's going to be whatever the market will pay. You watch in the coming days specific to low competition words...the bids will come back down, as advertisers refuse to bid on them.

I'm sure the TOS would be at least "slightly" violated by the experiment suggested, but it sure would be interesting to see how high it would go

I'm interested to see what happens in the coming weeks, as google has now fully implimented the money grab and all advertisers should now be seeing the effect....which is: Higher CPC, and lower traffic.

I'm all about free market as well, and I fully support a company maximizing profits. But when their support folks actually tell advertisers: "we don't want to see advertisers wasting money on clicks for lower traffic advertising" - something is amiss.

Bottom line again - the only way to send the message is to pack your ad budget dollars, and take a vacation to other services.

I will also be curious to see yoverturehoo profit on advertising reports for the quarter - this is going to be a windfall for google competitors.


2:20 am on Mar 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I for one am protesting with our $

They turn off a word and want too much it stays off.

They turn off a word the second time regardless what they ask it stays off.

I've been pushing more money into good old fashioned magazines and been pleasantly surprised at the results. Much easier to maintain too. I didn't expect PPC to become a full time job managing it. Words can be turned off for a week before I even see it because we have thousands. Pain in the @ss it what it has become and they treat us like it's a priveledge to give them our money and put up with 30% click fraud.

PPC will end someday and I will do the dance of joy.


2:33 am on Mar 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Words can be turned off for a week before I even see it because we have thousands. Pain in the @ss it what it has become and they treat us like it's a priveledge to give them our money and put up with 30% click fraud.

That is also a very valid point....that irritates the hell out of me...there is no notification of kw's being turned off.
Even the smaller tiered engines allow you to be notified if you wish on your ranking.


3:13 pm on Mar 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I guess this is as good a place to post this since I posted similar on an AdSense thread. I am a publisher and a good one. Follow the rules, update frequently, quality content, etc.

Google doesn't just steal from advertisers. They do a good job of stealing from publishers as well. Case in point:

Anatomy of a Screw Job

1st 6 days of March 2006:
Clicks: 320
Earnings: $38.03

1st 6 days of March 2007:
Clicks: 559
Earnings: $33.36

75% more clicks, 12% less money.

It's the new math.


6:04 pm on Mar 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I wish somebody would explain why I have quite a few words with a Quality Score of Great plus a bid well above the minimum but the keywords are inactive. Now I imagine Google has some reason for this in section 379, paragraph 94, of subsection 34, clause 5 but I really seem to be missing it. It seems totally absurd to me.

The only thing Iím seeing with the new transparency Google is touting is it seems a lot clearer they were greedier than I thought.


4:59 am on Mar 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Guys you are dealing with a middle man here and middle men always find ways to increase their cut. Especially in cases where they are running the deal, it has been so since the beginning of time.

I lost 90% of my search campaign, just shut it down and replaced it with my 25th content only one. It is like sands that are constantly shifting, you just have to stay with them.

[edited by: Khensu at 5:03 am (utc) on Mar. 8, 2007]


7:55 pm on Mar 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Hey Khensu - long time no see!

I've found the effects of the QS update interesting. It turned about 25% of my keywords inactive for search. The this appears to have had little or no impact on the number of impressions or clicks that I have been getting - either on Search or Content.


8:11 pm on Mar 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I find it pathetic, when a company who you're paying is telling you how to run your business. Is like going to Subway and have them decide what sandwhich you should eat.


8:13 am on Mar 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Google AdWords Quality Score Update ... Now Live

Ya... I too saw that but I felt it quite interesting.. you can actually work on it. It shows you which one to keep and which one actually needs to be edited......deleted.....

Nice one... I will love to explore it more


6:36 am on Mar 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Interestingly enough, mighty G offered a free optimization on one of my group ads...it looked promising at the start....everything they did made much sense, since things were broken down to the granular....BUT after leaving things on for a few hours, I just came back to find the minimum bid requirement on many of the majority of kw's is $10.00?!
So...the moral of the story is ...even G's reps who diligently do their best to demonstrate how to go about setting things up properly within the system.....are outwit by the 'bot/algorithm' etc.... *sigh*

[edited by: TrafficGal at 6:46 am (utc) on Mar. 14, 2007]


8:56 am on Mar 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Happens sometimes.....

They can share their experience and they try giving the best advice to the advertiser who seeks for their help.

Calm down, keep it for that price if you get a click on low CTR you won't be charged that much.

Just maintain the quality thats the main theme of Google.




4:41 pm on Mar 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

keep it for that price if you get a click on low CTR you won't be charged that much.

On 10.00 a click?@@@!
I think not.

That is wishful thinking on G's part.


7:22 pm on Mar 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member


That shows just how absolutely absurd the adwords quality algorithm has become. Even those on the inside can not look at a keyword, ad text, and landing page and know instantly what will work and what won't work.

How are us mere mortals, who have a real full time job to do, supposed to make a simple advertising program to promote products and services.

Google, don't you think you can do better than this?

ps. I've had them create whole campaigns for me too and they have turned to cr*p over the last six months.

pps. is there any other business in the world where the company sets up everthing for you so you can use their services and it still doesn't work? (ok, besides microsoft)


8:34 pm on Mar 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

I had a similar experience with Yahoo when they were Overture - fortunately I kept a copy of everything first so I could move back. Haven't tried with Panama as yet.


10:19 pm on Mar 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

>ps. I've had them create whole campaigns for me too and they have turned to cr*p over the last six months.<

About three months ago I implemented over 400 changes Google Adwords suggested. In less than a week all were inactive and required a higher bid. The advisor argued you didn't implement the other 125. I think the other 400 answered that. The only thing Google people are going to answer questions about is what makes them money or helps them not any real secrets to help you.


10:27 pm on Mar 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

If I were a G Rep I would feel both frustrated and foolish.
Spend all your time making these changes and explaining them and then bruise the advertiser once again!
How many times are we expected to be beat up?


10:46 pm on Mar 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I am personally quite frustrated that I spent about 30 hours of my *SCARCE* time doing keyword research and doing tests and tweaks to optimize my campaign and save money ... only to have them come along and change the rules with this new quality score BS. Now every dime I eeked out of my optimization efforts are gone. The efforts were justified because I figured over 6 motnhs time I would save enough money to pay for the time investment. It was only a month before they totally changed their rules however.

Ive actually turned off my G ads now and am planning to setup my campaigns for the first time on Yahoo and MSN this weekend. I am also sick and tired of Google's dark secrets in terms of how they pay us on ad sense - they won't even tell us what our cut of the commission is. So, F*** me? F*** them! I'm now officially going out of my way to not support Google anymore. I'll give my money to their competitors and hope they show a little more appreication.


12:31 am on Mar 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

cabagehead. Amen. I have never been treated with so much arrogance by a company that is serving me. I can no longer design pages for my viewers, instead I have to design pages in the hope of making G's algo happy.

How arrogant is that?

The fact of the matter is that G. is a monopoly. Yahoo and MSN sadly don't count yet because they do not have the volume.

Here is one company with monopolistic powers over search and contextual advertising.... worldwide. The last time I checked monopolies were illegal in the U.S.

Every month it becomes more time consuming and less profitable to do business with G. It is inevitable that they will lose publishers and advertisers to their competitors. Hence the monopoly will, in time, end.


5:12 am on Mar 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Every month it becomes more time consuming and less profitable to do business with G. It is inevitable that they will lose publishers and advertisers to their competitors. Hence the monopoly will, in time, end.

martin707 you definitely said it best... I for one am fed up with these constant hours of painstaking efforts trying to get it right. Any organization that inflicts this kind of insanity on their PAYING customers definitely has got it all backwards in my book and is leading the way to what I can only hope to be a sad demise ;)


5:39 am on Mar 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

> "G. is a monopoly"

LOL. I've been saying this for 2years and syaing its only a matter of time until they are regulated by the gov't. Everyone on this board tells me i'm crazy. A few more examples like this and perhaps I won't seem so crazy anymore :)


6:56 am on Mar 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

cabbagehead ....people tell me that I am crazy as well...but, that's out there in the world outside of this forum......I tend to bring it up any chance I get..... ;)


7:25 am on Mar 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Well I have to agree. Google should never have been allowed to become a monopoly. But however you look at it, as it stands, unarguably google has the traffic. Therefore, if we want to tap that traffic we are forced to conform. Like many of you, I seem to spend the bulk of my time making sure that my sites, and my customers sites, conform to "Google" needs more than our users. Whilst user ecperience, should be number one, it is forced into second place. Without conforming to "G", there would be no users. Catch 22.

I personally can't see that this is going to significantly change in the near future. What I do see, is that a number of the smaller advertisers, or those with less resources available to them, will be squeezed out. This will inevitably create a "two-tier" search engine, comprising of those that "conform" and those that don't.

I empathize with the G employees. It must be so frustrating to offer optimization to customers, only to find after the latest algo changes, that all the work is nullified. I admire those of you who have elected to withdraw from the "game". For myself, I just can't afford to lose my Google traffic. Therefore I will have to continue to try and "conform" and predict the next algo change and its impace on me.

Off for more caffine now, so I can continue the never-ending task of "tweaking for conformity"!


8:47 am on Mar 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

well.....i guess the question is what do you refer to as the small advertiser?
The amount of money that i've spent for my clients over the last 12 months either way you chop it up is equivalent to a decent house in the suburbs.......and the decline of the spend is pretty substantial...more like 'rent money' now....
i think it's a given that no matter what the spends 'were' the proportions of the the decrease of what people spend NOW will be relative...IF things continue on this way.
I for one also fear that what will remain on the sponsored search end of things will be those companies with hefty pockets.....those more into 'branding' per say.....and if that is the ultimate goal of G's then it would be nice to hear that this will remain an advertising avenue for mainly fortune 500 companies... *sigh*

[edited by: TrafficGal at 8:49 am (utc) on Mar. 15, 2007]

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