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Well, towards the end I came across this stunner:
"How does website load time affect my landing page"
It goes on to explain that starting in Feb 08 load time of lading pages will be factored into quality score and that there is some load time analysis page in your account which I cannot find.
Some other good stuff in this section of the FAQ is that they state a little more info how often they re-analyze lading pages for quality score:
The AdWords system re-evaluates landing pages on a regular basis (approximately once a month). If you make significant improvements to your website's load time, you should see an improved Quality Score and lower minimum cost-per-click (CPC) bids. Note that your Quality Score may update incrementally over two to three months after you improve your load time.
What's real interesting is that if you try to find this info by searching the FAQ I couldn't find it. It appears to only be in the page containing the full FAQ:
Then search that page for:
"load time affect my landing page quality"
However, having a penalty that hangs over you for a month just because your server happened to be slow just at the particular point when the Google Quality bot came by... (Especially if the server was overloaded by lots of Google Quality bot hits at the same time!)
Check out this thread:
Speeding Up Your Site - best practices for the front end [webmasterworld.com]
Before I go on, though, the key information is that this is a planned initiative that has not yet launched. A precise launch date has not yet been set.
A bit more info:
[...] Well, towards the end I came across this stunner: [...]
What you came across, jkwilson78, is an outdated FAQ which was loaded into the Help Center in anticipation of a launch which has since been postponed a bit. Inadvertently, this FAQ was not removed.
The short story is this:
* Landing page load time will become an additional factor in determining landing page quality in the near future. An exact date has not been determined.
* A Inside AdWords blog post has always been planned to announce this in advance, to explain why it is occurring and outline the potential benefits to users and advertisers.
* At some point following the blog post, landing page load time will begin to be reported on the Keyword Analysis Page.
* Then, following that, several weeks will pass before load time starts to actually be factored into the Quality Score - so that advertisers will have time to make adjustments to their pages if they wish.
As an aside, now that the page load time initiative has been mentioned in this and other public forums, the Inside AdWords blog post is likely to be posted sooner rather than later - perhaps as early as this week. Once it has been published, although the WebmasterWorld terms prohibit me from linking to it, I will post the text of it here.
Makes sense to me- if your page takes forever to load, that to me is just as bad as poor quality content.
Glad to hear you say that, LifeinAsis - and agreed. As I've said a time or two in this forum in the past, if I land on a page that takes more than a moment or two to load, I'm both frustrated and gone. ;)
I hope this sets a few minds at ease - and my apology for the confusion caused by the FAQ which should have been deleted, but wasn't.
And, all that said, a very sharp eye you have there, jkwilson78. ;)
I think that the interest is probably more due to some accounts recently having more trouble with the Quality Score, and many people are at a loss as to how to deal with this effectively (at least it seems that way from the questions we've been receiving). Staying on top of these kind of changes can help prevent an overall campaign from suffering before the issue becomes a problem and has to be diagnosed.
I don't know why this is a "stunner". It certainly affects quality.
Well, I guess "stunner" in the context I used it is inaccurate. It definitely makes sense from a quality standpoint to use load times.
It was a stunner because I honestly expected not to find something new I haven't read numerous times before.
Earlier I wrote:
[...] As an aside, now that the page load time initiative has been mentioned in this and other public forums, the Inside AdWords blog post is likely to be posted sooner rather than later - perhaps as early as this week. Once it has been published, although the WebmasterWorld terms prohibit me from linking to it, I will post the text of it here. [...]
I wanted to let you know that the Inside AdWords blog post that I mentioned above was published a short time ago. It's entitled Landing page load time will soon be incorporated into Quality Score.
I am just going to mention it, rather than quote it (as I previously said I would) - because it would lose all the links when copy/pasted - and they are useful.
<off topic> Since I'm talking about the blog, you might also be interested in another (but unrelated) post from earlier today entitled Category Exclusion for the Content Network. </off topic>