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  • In this session, I’ll share several of the recipes we used to “Game” google Quality score in 2007 and early 2008. While some of these are no longer valid they all illustrate the end goal that Google and we advertisers have, which is relevant keywords, ads and content. For the most part I need to assume that you already know what Quality Score is and how to monitor it, but in case it helps some more folks follow along, here’s a brief review
  • The new Quality Score(s) (actually there are several) forces you to create relevant ads and/or spend more $$ Your actions (beside buying more Google stock) fall into two categories Adjust your ad settings Adjust your landing pages Which we’ll cover later in this talk Of course to monitor Quality Score you need to SEE it.
  • Strangely, the column isn’t on be default in AdWords, so you must enable it Open an Ad Group Select the “Keywords” tab Click “Show Hide” and select “Show Quality Score” Three possible answers GREAT OK POOR with a scale of 1-10 Great: Your keyword is very relevant and your Quality Score needs no improvement. OK: Your keyword is relevant, but you can still benefit from a higher Quality Score. Poor: This keyword isn't very relevant to users, and your Quality Score needs improvement. G sez “The Quality Score detail gives added insight to each keyword's Quality Score by rating it on a 1-10 scale. On this scale, 1 is the lowest rating, while 10 is the highest. 1-4 corresponds with Poor, 5-7 with OK, and 8-10 with Great. “ G sez “Please note that the Quality Score detail is not the same as the numeric quality multiplier we use when calculating Ad Rank. The Quality Score detail scale does not change the way that Quality Score is calculated or considered.” Criteria? From http://adwords.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=10215 For calculating a keyword's minimum front page bid The keyword's clickthrough rate (CTR) on Google; CTR on the Google Network is not considered The relevance of the keyword to its ad group The quality of your landing page The historical performance of your account, which is measured by CTR across all your keywords Other relevance factors For calculating a keyword-targeted ad's position on a search result page: The matched keyword's CTR on Google; CTR on the Google Network is not considered The relevance of the keyword and ad to the search query The historical performance of your account, which is measured by CTR across all your keywords Other relevance factors For calculating a keyword-targeted ad's eligibility to appear on a particular content site, as well as the ad's position on that site: The ad's past performance on this and similar sites The relevance of the ads and keywords in the ad group to the site The quality of your landing page Other relevance factors For determining if a placement-targeted ad will appear on a particular site: The quality of your landing page
  • Click through rate is still most important,
  • It used to be that we had to Bid high to get a high initial CTR (yes Google Wins, but you need to start strong and get your position where you want it). Google kept a history of the KW QS, so gaining the top three spot and recording a high CTR was a good way to kick things off. Now Google normalizes the CTR depending on what is expected for each position, so there is little to gain from this method. Your CTR and overall history is important, so the only “game” left here is to tighten up the matching for each ad to the keyword. This is typically don’t through creation of MORE adgroups where we can create a closer match to ad copy and searched term. Note: We have NOT yet QS boosts in auto KW insertion
  • Google has allegedly claimed that QS remains for keyword-page combinations regardless of which campaign or group they show up in, but we’ve seen results that say otherwise – at least for now… If you have an Ad Group/Landing Page combo with a bad quality score and insane bid prices, we’ve been able to reset and start all over again. Here’s How: For a particular ad group: Delete the key words (be sure they don’t show up elsewhere in your account) Delete each of the ads Delete the Ad Group Now… Update your landing page and then Start a new Ad Group with new Ads, Then add in your old keywords We monitored Bot behavior for the initial check: 72.14.195.40 - - [22/Nov/2007:11:55:18 -0800] "GET /?src=ggl&cmp=1&grp=6&ad=1 HTTP/1.1" 200 57335 "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Google Keyword Tool; +http://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal)" 74.125.75.17 - - [06/Nov/2008:18:44:23 -0600] "GET /search-marketing-certification.php?sid=ggl&cmp=1&grp=2&ad=1 HTTP/1.1" 404 - "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Google Keyword Tool; +https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal)" Then ongoing checks 72.14.199.12 - - [31/Oct/2008:11:56:14 -0500] "GET /web-analytics.php?sid=ggl&cmp=2&grp=1&ad=1 HTTP/1.1" 200 8396 "-" "AdsBot-Google (+http://www.google.com/adsbot.html)"
  • Currently, landing page load time measures the time it takes to download the HTML content of your landing page. However, in the future, the load time of images, flash, video, JavaScript, and other components will be considered as well. We therefore recommend that you optimize all components of your page for the quickest possible load time. Google takes “several” load times, drops the worst and averages the remaining.
  • When GA QS first came out, we tested for the inclusion of the KW on the landing page and found that… it needed to be there. Dr. Alan Rimm Kauffman, Market Motive, and several other agencies had reason to believe it was a binary and the only thing being looked for in a non-human, robot-driven review. Over the last five months, we at Market Motive have seen evidence that the assessment of the landing page includes most of the same factors that we believe are assessed for SEO ranking. Privacy Statement – when a “form” field is present – Google seems to be For calculating a keyword-targeted ad's position, landing page quality is not a factor We have observed that the AdWords bot does not follow these links on sites, so the subjective factors may not be automated yet. Since theses are a good practice anyway, we suggest that you do them and see improvements beyond paid search.
  • This is our favorite “Game” and certain variations have been used by affiliate marketers for years. To be honest, we first used this to create “common scent” for organic results, then to match “scent” for PPC ads. As a by-product we noticed the qual score improved for our client’s (and our own) PPC campaigns as well. ( By the way, it worked better for new campaigns that didn’t have a history of low CTR) The key is to set up your landing page to contain the search keywords that brought up your ad impression. This could have been automated using JavaScript or PHP. We chose PHP and it’s a good thing we did (I’ll tell you why in a moment) here’s a overview, followed by an example:
  • Here’s a default home page for BrainWavesToys.com . We direct most traffic now to dynamic ‘home pages’ In our experience, visitors didn’t like being dropped on landing pages unless they already knew and trusted the vendor. Since this site ranks highest natural on Google/Yahoo for “Mechanical Toys”, the default home page keeps a common scent However, one of the best profit margins comes from Chemistry kits – a non-ranking term for this site, so, off we go to create a PPC campaign
  • So we create campaigns with ad groups of similar keywords. In this case, “Chemistry Kits”. We write very relevant ads and next thing you know we are riding in a prime position and getting plenty of clicks
  • But here’s where the relevancy kicks in. When the customer uses a keyword “Chemistry” and clicks on one of our ads, they are still taken to the home page, but with a Much more relevant keyword set, and even more important, a relevant and consistent scent. Click on Chemistry kits, and the user (and Google) sees chemistry kits with all the validation of a home page.
  • This can be automated using most dynamic scripting and database system . We chose PHP, and here’s a overview, :
  • Google’s Adwords bot doesn’t crawl the site, nor does it pass a referrer (thus no keywords). It just hits the landing page, but it does use the parameters set in the ad URL.
  • You aren’t going to change the system, but you can outsmart it. Build great ads Create amazing relevant landing pages And in the end this is all about providing relevant content and common scent. If you can do this and ‘game’ adwords qual score but at the same time you are creating consistent scent and improving relevancy and conversion. it’s a no-brainer to do it this week.
  • You aren’t going to change the system, but you can outsmart it. Build great ads Create amazing relevant landing pages And in the end this is all about providing relevant content and common scent. If you can do this and ‘game’ adwords qual score but at the same time you are creating consistent scent and improving relevancy and conversion. it’s a no-brainer to do it this week.
  • Transcript

    • 1. How We ‘Gamed’ AdWords Quality Score Michael Stebbins Founder, Market Motive [email_address]
    • 2. What I Do
    • 3. Review: AdWords Quality Scores
      • Introduces a variable that dramatically affects your ad position and first-page bid price
      • Based on a long list of things, some secret
      • Required reading
        • adwords.google.com /support
      • Make strong relations among ad copy search term, landing page and ad group
      • Same as any good marketer should do
      • Still, there are a few ‘games’ to ensure you get good performance from AdWords… Despite QS
    • 4. Review: AdWords Quality Scores
      • So, to see it:
    • 5. New Factors:
      • Keyword CTR normalized by position
      • Ad QS Generated each search query
      • Landing Page Load Time
      • Others…
    • 6. Game 1: “The Player”
      • Game Was:
        • Bid high, to boost CTR top 3
        • Then lower after QS established
      • NOW
        • CTR is Normalized
        • History matters, but difficult to manipulate CTR with bids
      • Consolation:
        • Make granular ad groups so ads match keywords exactly
    • 7. Game 2: “The Reset”
      • Clear Bad Results
      • Delete KWs, ads, ad group
      • Update landing page(s)
      • Create new ad group
      • Wait 20 minutes
      "Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Google Keyword Tool; +http://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal)" Google has allegedly claimed: “ QS remains for keyword-page combinations regardless of which campaign or group they show up … ” In our tests, bot behavior showed: “ delete ‘em, start over and the bot will come w/in 20 min … ”
    • 8. Load Time:
      • Server Side Load Time
      • Now: HTML Only
        • “ Sometime in the future… everything else”
      • Threshhold = Regional Average + 3 seconds
        • Load under 3 seconds, then fine
      • If you have load times greater than 3 seconds, you have other problems.
      • Use webmaster tools to have a look
    • 9. Landing Page Quality:
      • For Sure:
      • It’s Good for You Anyway:
      • Unproven, but a safe bet
      • For Sure:
        • Semantically related content
      • It’s Good for You Anyway:
        • Contains Keyword
          • In ad
          • In purchased keywords
        • Fast load
        • Privacy statement, if…
      • Unproven, but a safe bet
        • About us page
        • Original content
    • 10. Game 3: “Rele-vantastic”
      • Magic Landing Page
      • Make your landing page relevant to EVERY ad
    • 11.  
    • 12. Game 3: “Rele-vantastic”
    • 13.  
    • 14. Game 3: “Rele-vantastic”
      • Magic Landing Page
      • Make your landing page relevant to EVERY ad
      Direct or No KW detected Mechanical Toys Search “ Chemistry ” Chemistry Kits PPC Click w/param cmp=1&grp=3 Chemistry Kits
    • 15. Game 4: “Rele-vantastic”
      • A snippet of PHP code does this:
      • Parse referrer token for keywords (Works for PPC and Natural Search)
      • Parse request token for parameters set in PPC URL (Works for PPC and AdWords Bot)
      • Display alternate content based on incoming keywords/ params.
        • Param ?src=ggl&cmp=1&grp=2 selects “Chemistry” content
      • Extra Credit: Use session cookie for consistent ‘scent’ throughout the site.
    • 16. Game 3: “Rele-vantastic”
      • AdWords:
        • From “Poor” to “Great” qual score,
        • Reduced bid price, kept position
      • Conversion for KW:
        • from 0.7% to 3.3%
        • A 471% increase
    • 17. Game 3: “Rele-vantastic” Use it. Michael Stebbins Market Motive [email_address]