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  • Google release their log file for your PPC account so that YOU can investigate click fraud?
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  • Google provide the answers to the questions I pose in this post?
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  1. Contributing User
    SEO Chat Skiller (1500 - 1999 posts)

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    Exclamation Letter from Google regarding New Adwords Algo


    I got this a week or so ago and wanted to see if I experienced any change so that I could post something substantial, but after watching dozens of accounts, 100's of campaigns, 1000's of adgroups and 10's of thousands of keywords, I haven't seen any difference. So I guess that's my substantial contribution

    Even at the keyword level for nonperforming HitTail keywords, or maybe I should say, very low performing keyword and keyword phrases, I haven't seen a difference.

    I monitor PPC accounts for a dozen past, and 20+ current accounts that spend millions each month at every level.

    They have $10/10 daily budgets, and still others have $5000/5000 daily budgets per campaign, so its a pretty good overview.

    I use various analytical tools, especially Google's. Each day I look at a multitude of reports. Everything from keyword performance to ad creative performance, so I look pretty closely at every aspect of Google's adwords performance.

    When I first received this letter I only received it on certain accounts at first, with no obvious trend, so I was reluctant to do anything until I could dissect it and see just what changes they were referring to.

    So I'll say again, I just haven't seen it to date. I don't know if that means they are going to be a "rolling" effect or not, but I guess I'll keep an eye out (and very closely), because both MSN and Yahoo have already implemented changes to their "PPC grading" system, as I have decided to coin it for clients.

    Anyhow, here's the letter;

    Originally Posted by Google

    In early July, we sat down with Andrew C., product marketing manager for Ads Quality initiatives. At that time, Andrew spoke of our continuing efforts to improve the quality of our users' experience when they visit an advertiser's landing pages. Today he returns with a heads-up regarding an upcoming development:


    In the next few days, we will be making two changes to how AdWords evaluates landing page quality. First, we'll begin incorporating landing page quality into the Quality Score for your contextually-targeted ads, using the same evaluation process as we do for search. Advertisers who may be providing a poor experience on their site will notice that their traffic across the content network decreases as a result of this change. Second, we're improving our algorithm for evaluating landing page quality and incorporating landing page content retrieved by the AdWords system.

    As with our July system update, both of these changes will affect a very small portion of advertisers, so the vast majority of advertisers will not be affected at all by either change. However, those who may be providing a low quality user experience will see an increase in their minimum bids for Google.com and the search network and/or a decrease in traffic across the content network. In most cases, we expect that the higher minimum bids will cause the low quality ads and keywords to become "inactive for search." Since July, we've received quite a few questions from advertisers about our landing page quality initiatives, and I'd like to address the most common ones today:

    Why are you focusing on landing page quality?

    The goal of our ongoing landing page quality initiative is to improve the experience of our users by providing high quality results not only in the ad text, but also once the user has clicked through to the site. We strongly believe that an excellent experience on the advertiser's site is an essential element in earning the continued trust of our users. Clearly, the better the user experience, the more likely it is that users (who are also your potential customers) will continue to seek out -- and click on -- AdWords ads over the long term. This is to the advantage of everyone: users, advertisers, and Google alike.

    Okay Matt Cutts and Sarah from the Inside Adwords crew, I have a few questions because this letter has thoroughly confused me...

    1. Are you basing this on the CTR of the keyword, the ad, the CTR, the time spent, pages viewed, conversion rate, number of conversion goals met or a combination of the above?
    2. What if a company hasn't installed your tracking codes?
    3. If they install your tracking goal is this better for them?
    4. You said,
    Advertisers who may be providing a poor experience on their site will notice that their traffic across the content network decreases as a result of this change.
    And then,
    those who may be providing a low quality user experience will see an increase in their minimum bids for Google.com and the search network and/or a decrease in traffic across the content network.
    So the millions of impressions I get with .0001 CTR and pay a ridiculous amount for will go even higher? Or will they not show up as much where not relevant, thus cost me less and give me better conversion? That would be great!



    What do you consider to be a high quality landing page?
    While we suggest landing page and site guidelines, we don't provide more specific recommendations because there's no one-size-fits-all approach to best create landing pages. We therefore encourage you to focus on building landing pages that are best for your users, whether they come from AdWords or other sources. In doing this, it may be instructive to put yourself in your customer's shoes and closely examine what it is that leads you to explore and do business with a site rather than simply click the "Back" button.
    I like this next extremely vague explanation;
    While we suggest landing page and site guidelines, we don't provide more specific recommendations
    Yes but you do say "we'll begin incorporating landing page quality into the Quality Score for your contextually-targeted ads, using the same evaluation process as we do for search" I'm getting confused


    Will my landing page quality affect my ad's position?
    Not for Google search. While ones landing page quality is directly correlated with the minimum bid required for ones ads to run, it does not affect your ads position (or 'rank', as it is often referred to) at all. However, since there is no minimum bid requirement for contextually-targeted ads, low quality landing pages will result in the need to bid higher to compete in the auction, which could also impact your position on pages in the network.
    So back in July when Google said that your cost and positioning WILL be affected by your specific keyword CTR, and the CTR is an indicator of keyword=keyword content targeted landing page quality, because the better page quality will attract more visitors, what did you mean? Does that not apply here anymore, or is this in addition to that element?

    And for that matter, in your guidlines back in July you talked about keyword/landing page relevance influencing the positioning and cost, with no mention that I can recall about which ad sector, but in your letter I didn't see reference to that either??


    So in short this letter told me just enough to keep the grey area grey, but justify my clients having to potentially pay more for less traffic, despite having poured a ton of additional funds out to build these keyword specific landing pages based on Googles previous statements that landing pages were not only going to more intensely "graded" on content algorithmically in their organics, but now across their search network as well. (BUT NOT ALL OF IT!) Only when the end-user experience is not deemed to be excellent. And they can't say what deems it excellent, we'll just have to figure that out.

    Okay, so based on that last sentence, I have one more question...
    If I have a client marketing credit cards for people with bad credit, and its not optimized at all, is loaded with graphics versus html, but provide answers to all of their questions, and on the same page has an application. And let's say this ONE PAGE WEBSITE has a CTR of 40% and converts 75%, does that mean he can;
    1. Get higher PPC positions and cheaper PPC on Google Search and Google Network?
    2. Get lower cost and better conversion performance on the Content Network?


    I hope someone over at Googleplex can take the time out of their busy days to answer one or two of these for me (as I have taken in writing this). All of my client's Reps don't have the answers, and were talking millions of dollars.

    But we need these answers for our "mom-and-pop" clients aas well, and need a better understanding.

    There's just too much money at stake.

    GaryTheScubaGuy

    ps. Or better yet, don't answer any of these questions but release OUR log files.

    Comments on this post

    • incdeveloper agrees : great post!
  2. #2
  3. rod@missionop.com
    SEO Chat Mastermind (5000+ posts)

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    I worked with a company in online dating... that averaged $130K US/month in ad expenses when I took over.

    They repeatedly complained of click fraud due to the fact that they spent more than they made... and Google (Yahoo & MSN) ignored them.

    At the level they were spending it was pretty easy to tell their campaign strategy - every click is a "potential sale" no matter how relative that click is... it's better to convince a person that really didn't want what you offer than to let a sale go to someone else... looking from the alternate vantagepoint a person taking a "look-see" is precisely what they asked for and that isn't really "fraud" on the part of the clicker but on the advertiser for believing that a "broadly focused strategy" works... that "was" their theory for sales... e.g. "if I only had exposure I'm sure people will buy" (ever hear that before?).

    That isn't to say "fraud does not occur" BUT IMHO you can't have it both ways... and Google is attempting to curb that.

    That client that was spending $130K/month when I finally stepped away was spending only $30K/month and their roi was significantly more than their previous spending habits.

    It's great to have the money to spend on "wide open campaigns" but experience shows online browsing is no less apparent than window shopping in the real world ... if you had to paid the city for window shoppers and complain to the city those that don't buy are all frauds... I'm sure the city would take measures to improve your chance of sales.

    That IS what Google appears to be doing.

    Comments on this post

    • GaryTheScubaGuy agrees : Very weel put, perfect analogy, well done.
    Last edited by fathom; Nov 20th, 2006 at 05:43 AM.

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