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Google.com quality score

     
7:24 am on Mar 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Title: Search engine
Description1: A search engine.
Description2: Find stuff on the web.
Display URL: www.google.com
Landing URL: [google.com...]

Keyword:
google - Poor - Minimum bid: $5.00

Oh well...

9:24 pm on Mar 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

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HILARIOUS
10:28 pm on Mar 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

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This should be front page. Blog it to death folks. Absolutely proves that the quality score is a mess. But then again, google might just have this opinion of itself, since its only the 7th result for the query in natural search also. Go figure.
11:12 pm on Mar 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Thats classic!

The funniest part is a $5.00 minimum bid usually means it's a problem with the Quality of the Landing Page and not the quality of the ad.

iPo

11:28 pm on Mar 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

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it would be better if he hadn't reversed gamed it to get a high CPC. But it still points out that something is not right.
12:48 am on Mar 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

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i agree this is deserving of 'front page'....pretty much sums up the 'state of QS'...
12:50 am on Mar 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

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it would be better if he hadn't reversed gamed it to get a high CPC.

I didn't game anything, but simply created an adgroup and saw the result.

1:17 am on Mar 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Actually its a non story. When I run the exact same ad I get it for 0.50, less than $1. Thats probably down to account history, lots of clicks over a few years. If I change the domain only to a well used domain name that gets lots of traffic through adwords, I get it for 0.25, less than $0.50.

So its likely expensive for you for a couple of reasons:

a) account history generally
b) domain + account history - noone ever sends traffic to google.com through adwords

edit - not that Im sticking up for google, I despise the "quality" score (read "profit" score) - but its working the same for google.com as for anyone else.

1:25 am on Mar 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

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noone ever sends traffic to google.com through adwords

Wrong!

Google often uses adwords. They use it for job adverts, I've seen their ads recently when searching about LSI.

They also advertised extensively for their enterprise search products, these are actual "search engines" in a box!

I bet their account history would be quite good, hence $5.00 would not happen for them.

1:33 am on Mar 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

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So account-wide history has that much of an impact for a keyword and site with no history in the account? Sounds like there will be a ton of new account registrations to get a clean start.

Years ago I ran a ton of ads with really low ctr when it didn't matter. Now, I can't get ahead of the curve and so I quit trying. Wish I hadn't given them all that money back then because my history with them is now killing me it sounds like. Would love to be able to take a mulligan and try again with a fresh start, but since I can't, no sense in competing when the playing field doesn't seem to be level.

1:35 am on Mar 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Yes, Ive seen google running their own ads, but regardless Im not sure theres particularly much history there in quality score terms.

Anyway, point is I and Im sure others can get that same exact ad for a lot less than $5 - so its not really earth-shattering news.

1:37 am on Mar 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

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No kdobson99, long-standing accounts with good history should help, not hinder I believe. If you had a new account it would be tougher for the same url. Unless your existing history was reeeeeally bad.
1:44 am on Mar 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Ok, I just tried the same ad. Don't want to violate TOS by giving numbers, but I added it to my pathetic account. It's an old account (3 or 4 years), but with a pretty bad hisory. Of course the historic ctr is above .5% from back in the day that this was the threshold to keep an ad active. But I'm telling you that I can't get this account to do anything for me anymore. I added it to my worst campaign, with a ctr for the campaign of .13% (all search, no content).

Result - Quality OK.

Makes no sense to me. And yes, google does a lot of advertising, particularly in the content network.

1:47 am on Mar 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

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That's the point. The account seems to be more important than the relevancy of the creative/keyword/landing page.

I think it's the major flaw in the system. If I have one site of poor quality (in google's opinion), and then have another one of good quality, then it simply doesn't make sense to penalize the good one.

Of course, maybe, if I'd kept that adgroup running for a while and waited for the ads bot crawl the landing page and learn what a great site that is, things might have improved. But I doubt it.

1:55 am on Mar 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Well what is absolutely obvious is that they are simply choosing to eliminate some people from even having a chance. With absolutely no history regarding ad performance, google is telling you that you can't have this keyword, and that I can. For you it costs $5.00, for me it costs less than 5% of that. And I'm telling you, this account of mine is pathetic for everything I try nowdays.

Now does that sound fair? Can someone give any rational reason why this should be the case?

If they ran wal-mart, the greeter would pick and choose who could come in and shop.

BTW, just went back and reviewed AdWords TOS and can't find anything that prevents disclosure of stats related to your account (unlike adsense) Let me know if I am wrong and I will edit.

2:29 am on Mar 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Well what is absolutely obvious is that they are simply choosing to eliminate some people from even having a chance. With absolutely no history regarding ad performance, google is telling you that you can't have this keyword, and that I can. For you it costs $5.00, for me it costs less than 5% of that. And I'm telling you, this account of mine is pathetic for everything I try nowdays.

Precisely the point that raises the question where is the quality?
Basically it's like a discount of sorts is given to some advertisers and some initiation fee is required for a new advertiser to join the game.
These changes that are being so well pointed out on this forum are very disturbing.

3:40 pm on Mar 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I think the higher bids are also due to the fact you're using a branded term i.e. "Google". I've noticed since the last couple of QS updates any type of branded, trademark or official term e.g. AOL, BMW, Government, Sony can affect the min bids for that keyword.

Before you could get around the problem of using trademarked terms in your ad copoy by using dynamic keyword substitution but I reckon they've tried to scupper that too.

5:09 pm on Mar 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

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stepper - then why am I getting it for 20 cents and others for $5, when neither of us have ever run the ad before?
5:13 pm on Mar 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I have one client that got hit with a $5 min bid on their own brand name, which had a strong CTR history.
5:36 pm on Mar 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I have one client that got hit with a $5 min bid on their own brand name, which had a strong CTR history.

funny enough i have seen this happen as well, when bidding on the actual name of the site/url....this too makes absolute no sense to me

12:07 am on Mar 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I have one client that got hit with a $5 min bid on their own brand name, which had a strong CTR history.

Bidding for our own product name would cost us $0.30! Note that we are #1 on the organic results for that same name. But our rich competitors apparently can afford it ...
Competitors landing pages (or ad text) do not even contain our product name.

sooooooo.....

This explains what QS really is.

We have to pay relatively much for our own product name, why is that? There is no web page *on the entire web* that is more relevant!
the reason is that our ad is too good! Google knowns that users would only click on our ad, even if we were in position 5, for example, and pay only $0.05 . But if we are out of the picture, users will click on ALL ads and check alernatives to our product. This means more money for Google.

4:41 pm on Mar 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I'm a realtive novice to the Adwords game - but here are my thoughts, FWIW.

Just like in organic SERPs, Google's strategic priority is mainaining and improving quality for their users. That some advertizers are frozen out is less important than a quality experience for users. By rewarding proven account history, Google gives advertisers a strong incentive to run high quality campains. Advertisers with good accounts will go to long measures to preserve that advantage. Fair to all advertisers? Not important - it's all about users.

12:11 am on Mar 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Today Adwords wants $10 per click on the client's name, up from $5 yesterday.
12:31 am on Mar 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Just like in organic SERPs, Google's strategic priority is mainaining and improving quality for their users.

Incorrect. They just want to make as much money as they can. QS has nothing to do with improving quality for their users.

1:39 am on Mar 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Incorrect. They just want to make as much money as they can. QS has nothing to do with improving quality for their user

If that were true, they wouldn't hit low-QS advertisers with minimum bids that are high enough to drive the advertisers away.

3:20 am on Mar 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

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If that were true, they wouldn't hit low-QS advertisers with minimum bids that are high enough to drive the advertisers away.

So that is why it is costing Cline (poster above) $10 to buy his client's name, but a competitor can get it cheaper? If it was for the visitor's benefit, wouldn't the best quality site for a search for a certain business name be... the business? I mean, lets say they required Cingular to pay $10 for the word "cingular", but only charged verizon 10 cents thereby eliminating Cingular from bidding and occupying a position in the paid results. You are saying this is better for the visitor?

There have been many instances reported around the net where a site that ranks in the top of the natural results for certain keywords has a poor quality score and a high minimum bid for the same term in adwords. Since natural results truly are about the visitor, it seems to point to a conclusion that adwords quality score is about something else.

4:41 am on Mar 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

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>If that were true, they wouldn't hit low-QS advertisers with minimum bids that are high enough to drive the advertisers away.<

Lord knows lets not get into quality discussions when poor quality MFA sites easily outnumber poor quality Adwords sites 5000 to 1. The only reason one can exist is the other pays the bills. To best interpret I urge you to actually join Adwords. Once they come around asking a dollar for what you were paying a quarter for and ten dollars for what you were paying a dollar for the word quality won't jump immediately into your mind. The exception would be if you're a very self critical person. Perhaps the word greed might even sneak into your mind or vocabulary at some point.

Some of those increases run 100-1000 perecent. Plus if Google wanted to drive you away because of poor quality they could easily terminate the accounts. Instead they want to soak people for all they can. They could even be gaming a certain percentage of accounts to see how much they can increase bids during the holiday season. I learned a long time ago Google doesn't forget anyone. If they don't have you at the table this time around perhaps next time.

4:45 am on Mar 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I stuff my landing pages and ads with certain keywords, and that is supposed to bring quality?

Landing page relevancy is the biggest myth going.

I have "Great" for keywords that are not present on my entire website.
I have "Ok" for my own product name.
I have "Poor" for several VERY relevant keywords.

Picture this
You search for "blah blah"
You see a few ads and organic results.

Case 1
You see a Google ad on 5th position, which offers you something free. You are happy, you click on it, and you won't click on more ads.

Case 2
The ad that was on position 5 is now gone, because its min bid is now $1 (this the money Google lost in case 1). You then click on 5 ads, but you do not find what you want. So you start looking at the organic results. And you do find what you want.

Repeat the above for a million searches.

Which case provided a better user experience?
Which case made Google richer?

Sorry, ads are about money, not relevancy
(I used to think differently...)

2:21 pm on Mar 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

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If you were to think about this, google.com has very little information on it, so it wouldn't have a great QS (it doesn't explain what a SE is).

Next, they block via robots.txt the majority of info on their site, which would cause a poor landing page QS if you went any deeper into the site.

This is actually very logical that the page would have a high min bid.

2:56 pm on Mar 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

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So what you are saying is that you believe that factors such as whether there is keyword content on a page, what is in robots.txt etc., is a better determinant of quality than actual relevance of the page to the query.

If you are searching for "search engine" you are saying that because of the factors you mention, that google.com SHOULD have a lower quality score and higher resulting bid price? Im not asking WHY it does... I am asking would a user looking for a "search engine" find that google.com is a high quality site for the topic?

BTW - Google.com obviously ranks high in natural search for "search engine" even though it is not a quality page?

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