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High CPC with no competition?



4:51 pm on May 29, 2011 (gmt 0)

I have started using Adwords for search on a few keywords with no competition. Doing a few test searches I see that my ad is indeed the only one there. But my CPC is still upwards of $1 -- shouldn't this be much lower, since I am the only advertiser bidding? I have the max CPC set to "auto" in AdWords.


6:07 pm on May 29, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

auto tells G to raise your bids to make sure your daily budget is spent each day. if you're an ROI advertiser, you generally shouldn't use auto - it's for the brand building folks. but, if you are indeed the only bidder (which i doubt), your cpc won't be pushed up by competitors in the auction, but instead, your primary determiner of avg cpc will be your quality score, and a large portion of that is determined by your CTR. check and see if your avg cpc is above your max bid setting - if so, you know that auto is the culprit pushing up your per click cost (otherwise your aggregate avg cpc shouldn't exceed your max bid). whether auto is on or off (i suggest off, unless you want to ignore roi), if you're largely alone on these keywords, your quality is the driver of your high costs - work on better ads and improving your qs. in fact, do that in any case.


6:29 pm on May 29, 2011 (gmt 0)

Thanks -- I have read a bit about quality score, and mine is low. The ads are only one day old with keywords in the ad text, good landing pages, etc. The CTR is reasonable (1-2%). If I keep up this CTR, should I expect quality score to increase over time?


7:08 pm on May 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

let me guess, your ad is showing up on the right hand side? If your quality score is low, Google will charge you significantly more to bid on the term. For this term, if your quality score was a 7, you may only be paying $0.20/click. If it's a three, you'll be paying three times as much if not more. If it's a general term, head term and no one is bidding on it, than there's a reason. If it's a long tail, then it could be worth trying out. If your CTR continues around 1-2%, you may have a hard time raising that QS.


8:27 pm on May 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

What is considered a "good" CTR for search? I'm also an adsense publisher and I'd be thrilled to get 1-2% on those sites.


8:49 pm on May 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

> should I expect quality score to increase over time?

QS does not go up by itself. You have to do something about it. It's a standard deviation calculation of your CTR for the keyword vs the historical average. So if you want QS to go up, it likely won't happen using the same ad over and over. Here's your chance to try and test different things.

Since QS is a comparative number, there is no such thing as a good CTR. Stop looking at your absolute click rate. Look at your QS. 2-4 is poor, 5-7 is good, 7 and up is excellent. Google actually used the terms poor, good and great back in the day.

Search and content are totally different. Apples and oranges. You can't compare.


9:07 pm on May 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

> It's a standard deviation calculation of your CTR for the keyword vs the historical average.

If I create a new ad, it is assigned a quality score instantly -- how is this calculated? There is no CTR for comparison...

I know I am asking many dumb questions but QS is really not explained well anywhere. Perhaps this is intentional on G's part.


10:50 pm on May 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

before there's history, G estimates QS, but in very short order, performance drives it.

G explains QS factors in many places, there's a great deal that they do say - but before you go on that quest to learn every nuance, know that i concur with my peers above, your ctr is too low, especially if you are truly there by yourself. since ctr is a huge piece of the qs puzzle, focus your efforts there for now.

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