Quality Score Issues – Search Engine Strategies Travel

Reducing all of what’s been said to simplest form (RE: LinkedIn Answers)

1) Flush out affiliates and arbitrage pages that essentially add nothing to the user experience.

2) Preserve traffic for proven revenue generating (sustainable revenue) web properties.

Beyond that, as many have commented (correctly I believe)…it is imperfect and seems to be focused on click stability rather than impartiality towards new advertisers and positive experiences that may occur offline.

Of course, you need to let your words age for 2-3 weeks before you can appraise where you truly stand, and be as granular as possible with campaign/adgroup structuring – You may be able to force improvement by bidding very high, establishing a 2% + CTR and coaxing Google into affording you an OK score. If you’re at a $5 minimum that’d be a bit foolish though.

I’m over at SES Travel right now, and a panelist offered her advice on dealing with this, among her suggestions –

– Have an about us page

– If the user has to register to complete the intended action, be sure to have a privacy policy page.

– Have a contact us page

– Have more than one navigation option, limited ads, and no pop-ups on the landing page.

During a conversation with a Google AdWords rep, she recommended with great detachment and automation, “be sure to break up your keywords (they are), and write highly relevant ad copy that uses your keyword (still waiting for the epiphany), be sure to use the keyword on the landing page (h1 tag class at the top of the page and light sprinkling throughout)”…after observing my compliance with her boilerplate suggestions she conceded and blamed it on the newness of the campaign in question. This merits a book, “How keywords go from good to great” – sort of like the book about why some companies make the leap and some don’t.

So, CTR and ROE are closely related…who knew?

My biggest gripe is that the QS wreaks havoc on (formerly) efficient keyword expansion…since you don’t know what will get into the auction at a fair rate – You can go concatenate all day long and see traffic later that day. What you think is relevant (and probably is more than peripherally related), may still be out of bounds for you.

What I didn’t hear anyone say though, is that the difference between Great/Good and OK can be incredible. If I get the same rank for $.10 that you get for $.02, you can be getting conversions (all else equal), at a sizable % less than mine. It’s not so much the minimum bid to get into the auction (with the 8 cent differential), but the rank offered to the 2 cent advertiser over the ten cent advertiser.

Just my 2 cents…


Quality Score according to Google – my relevant outbound authority link, there it is buddy, yep.


paid search expert, sitecatalyst/omniture consultant, professional search engine optimization

Posted in Google, Quality Score, traffic monetization

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