Quality Score and the Google PPC Slap
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Ah, the dreaded Google Slap. If you've spent more than a few hours using Google AdWords, there is a good chance
that you've been hit by this unfortunate backlash from the search giant.
If not, it's something you'll want to be aware of when you start purchasing AdWords placements and developing
your PPC campaigns.
So, what is a Google Slap? It's when Google suddenly raises the minimum bid of keywords in your campaign to
levels far beyond what you can afford. You'll suddenly be asked to pay $5 or more for a keyword that once only cost
The reason for the slap is simple - Google wants to ensure the quality of the sites that are advertising. By
randomly raising the bids, they are punishing those ads that have quality scores that are too low.
Avoiding the Google Slap
To avoid the slap, you'll need to keep a close eye on your quality scores. These numbers - taken out of 10 on
each ad and keyword - will be put together with a number of pieces of data.
There are separate quality score algorithms for search and content network ads, but we'll look at search since
that is where the most people get hit.
First, here is a breakdown of the quality score algorithm:
* The longterm CTR of a keyword and matched ad in Google - 60%
* Overall CTR of ads and keywords throughout the history of your account - 5%
* CTR of Display URL over time - 5%
* Landing Page - 5%
* Keyword and Matched Ad relevance - 10%
* Account performance in geographic region - 5%
* Other factors - 5%
In short, the vast majority of the scoring is based on how many people click on your ad when it appears in
Google. This means that, if you post an ad and reach the number 1 position with your bid, but only 1 in 2,000
people actually click on the ad, your minimum bid will start going up.
If other factors are also poor, like the average CTR of your entire AdWords campaign or the quality of your
landing page, Google might slap your ad group or keyword with a massive bump in minimum bidding, effectively
pricing you out of placement.
Ideally, you'll never need to worry about a Google Slap. By ensuring your landing page has relevant, quality
content, your ads are specific, with longtail search terms that will generate high CTRs and that your ads are
regularly rotated and split tested to boost conversion
performance, your quality scores should stay above 5 - the magic number to keep bidding down.
What to Do if You're Slapped
If you do happen to get Google slapped, however, the first thing you need to do is adjust how you're planning
For example, without preamble, Google effectively negated a long time affiliate marketing strategy a couple of
years ago when they slapped anyone that had an ad with a mismatched display URL and target URL.
Marketers were pointing their affiliate ads directly at the product pages for Amazon products and Clickbank
products. Not everyone was priced out, but thousands of people woke up to found their campaigns effectively
What Google wants to ensure is that ads follow through on the promise of their copy. Start by running your ad
through the performance analyser that AdWords provides, adjusting your landing page and removing any general, low
performing keywords form your campaign.
And if you continue to have problems with Google's quality scoring, don't forget that you can always use Bing or
a site specific network like Facebook. There are always other options and alternative sources of paid traffic.
Google AdWords can be incredibly costly if you're not careful. So, play close attention to how you use it, what
you pay and where you get your advice. G Traffic Loophole will provide you with the secrets you need for dirt cheap
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