Google's Adwords Program
Google's sponsored search results are its main source of revenue. These are the text ads next to search results (also known as
sponsored links) and are known as Adwords.
Google, Microsoft and Yahoo now assess and rank sponsored listings
by measuring the quality and
relevancy of pages as well as bid amount. Yes, a phone # means that the CTR may go down. However the price an
Adwords advertiser pays per click is affected by the CTR. A low CTR ad
has to bid more to rank highly as Adwords is not entirely about the
winning bid, unlike Yahoo Sponsored Search used to be.
In 2002, Google began
pricing their Adwords results using a formula, not just an auction. Prior to this time, Google and Overture (now Yahoo Search
Marketing) placed paid
listings on the page based on the bid amount.
Google's new formula included
how often users clicked on the ads. The formula was: ranking
equals bid amount multiplied by CTR. By improving ad
relevancy, advertisers were able to rise higher on the page
without necessarily increasing their bids. A side effect was that
this formula helped Google maximize its revenues from the auction.
It also increased user satisfaction with the ad listings. What Google lost on price, they made up on volume.
Google also insists that keywords in your AdWords account had
to maintain an historical click-through rate of at least 0.5%, or
they'd be disabled.
Keyword Quality Scores
In August, 2005 (after earlier undisclosed experiments), Google
switched gears again. They dropped the old ad ranking formula in
favor of (undisclosed) "quality scores" assigned to each keyword
in your account. Although they assured us that this was
predominantly based on Max Bid and click-through rate as before,
other factors, like "keyword relevancy" and "other relevancy
factors" (huh?) were incorporated.
The quality score assigned to your keyword, relative to those of
other contending advertisers in the auction for a given search
query, determines where your ad shows up on the page, as before.
Just as important, a low quality score will make it more difficult
to keep your keyword active in the system. Google assigns high
minimum bids to keywords with low quality scores. A normal minimum
bid is about $.05. But low quality scores will generate minimum
bids of .30, $1.00, $5.00, you name it. You can get out of the
doghouse, but it'll cost you.
Landing Page and Site Quality
In December 2005 and thereafter, Google began refining a
controversial new component of the formula: the assessment of
landing page and site quality. Some advertisers – those who have
been running misleading campaigns that search engine users dislike
-- have been punished disproportionately, and have complained of a "Google Slap."
Advertisers needn't obsess about "optimizing" landing pages to the
nth degree as a means of improving their ad rankings. Google's
landing page quality initiative is mostly intended to target "no-
no's" -- pages and sites which offer users a particularly poor
experience, and businesses that make deceptive offers and offer
insufficient disclosure of business information. Certain classes
of complaint are common: pop-ups and misleading navigation; "email
address squeeze page" offers that promise much but disclose little
to the consumer; and "arbitrage plays" that take consumers from a
Google AdWords sponsored link to a page dominated by more
sponsored links, rather than directly to an offer or content.
If you haven't checked it out, go into
your Adwords, enter your AdGroups
section, and select the "Keywords"
tab. (The default has "Quality Score"
column turned off)
You'll see a small link pop up that
says "Customize Columns" and go
to the drop down menu and select "Show Quality Score".
Voila! You should now see for each
keyword your quality score that is
either "Great", "OK", or "Poor".
Google uses a combination of human and automated means of catching
offensive sites and pages. Advertisers must make their landing
pages accessible to Google's AdsBot crawler, or face low quality
Most advertisers haven't been unduly affected by the so-called
Google Slap. But as Yahoo also intends to institute a Quality
Index into its own ad ranking methods as part of its new Panama
platform, one thing is clear: quality-based bidding is here to
stay. Advertisers will need to focus a little more on a few core
skills: improving the relevancy of their ads; adding negative
keywords to campaigns including broad matches in order to increase
click-through rates; and updating their sites and landing pages to
be relevant and free of user experience no-no's. In cases where
you're doing everything right and you seem to be a victim of
"false positives" (getting caught in the net intended to catch
less scrupulous advertisers), it might make sense to contact your
customer service representative for editorial advice or help.
More broadly, advertisers should understand the general principles
of targeting, and the consumer's wish to follow the "scent" of
relevant offers from the query stage right through to purchase.
The more your campaign feels like it's bothering people, the
search engines will reason, the more you ought to pay for the
* Google's Landing Page and Site Quality Guidelines:
* Bryan Eisenberg, et al., Waiting for Your Cat to Bark (Nelson
Business, 2006), ISBN 0785218971
See http://www.adwords-for-profit.com/undocumented-adwords-and-adsense-features.php for information about inserting the search term into your adword headline.
Remember to buy your competitors URL as a keyword. See the article on Long Tail Search Terms
Some PPC management companies charge per key phrase.
From http://edrivis.com/amazing-new-multi-variate-testing-software-makes-web-pages-sell-more/, and also recommended by
who is a very upfront marketer who even admits to black hat business, e.g. cloaking is ok if the visitor gets what they want. StealthTrafficSecrets.com - his newsletter is $15 a quarter.
Set up a Republican web site. Conservative middle aged men are great buyers! Expired domains and mycustomerdirect are a good way to get cheap low quality traffic, if that converts then try higher quality traffic.
Phantom Master is harder than Cloaking Master but more effective, however requires installation on each domain. Cloaking Master is higher priced and can control more domains from a central location. Cloaking Master Lite has less domains.
http://www.trafficassistants.com - they hire someone in India to work full time on building your web traffic. Costs about $695 a month.
As of today, and for just $100 you can get of ‘MuVar‘ — a brand new piece of multi-variate testing software that automagically makes your web pages sell more. I’ll quickly explain how it does that below, but let me first explain…
WHAT ON EARTH IS ‘MULTI-VARIATE’ TESTING??
READ THIS: it’s important if you spend money on web sites for your business.
Did you read the issue in The Ultimate Web Sales Strategy about how scientifically “split-testing” landing pages can increase your sales and sales-lead generation?
Well, MULTI-VARIATE TESTING takes it even further… MUCH further actually.
Instead of just split-testing two headlines against each other, you can test literally hundreds or thousands of combinations of web page ‘variations’ very quickly and easily.
And best of all, it’s all done automatically for you once you’ve got it set up and running. Because once people start responding to your web pages, the clever software starts displaying the winning web page variation more and more frequently.
Google Catch or direct linking is where you buy Adwords and link directly to an affiliate company, e.g. a search on a movie title goes to the page for that movie on Amazon.
A variation is to put a squeeze page in before sending them to the link. This way you build a list, as well as make a sale.
See our article on Click Fraud