Dealing With Adwords Quality Score

GoogleThere is so much hype on how to deal with Google’s Quality Score Algorithm, and I’m learning that a lot of it isn’t true. For example, I’ve been told in numerous places that making affiliate links on a landing page go through a PHP redirect (using the Header function) will help improve QS, and according to Jon this isn’t true.

In a conversation I had yesterday with the affiliate marketing guru master he reiterated the basic of quality score to me, plus a little more I didn’t know.

Google says…

“…your keyword’s Quality Score considers the clickthrough rate (CTR) and relevance of the keyword, your ad text, and your landing page”

So essentially it consists of 3 things

  1. Click through Rate of your Ad
  2. Relevance of Keywords and Ad Text
  3. Your landing Page

Nothing new here at all, but I was told a couple more things. In relation to your landing page Google first looks at the content to see if it’s relevant, then looks at it’s trust rank/ page rank, then tries to decide if it’s commercial or non-commercial, and finally assigns the landing page value. The biggest thing I didn’t know about was the Commercial/Non-Commercial part of the equation. Since Google is focused on a good user experience they probably see a non-commercial site being more focused on providing information vs. just coaxing someone into buying a product. They will [edit: in my opinion] obviously also assign a lower minimum bid to a non-commercial site because of probability of less funding.

So next, How do you design a landing page to look more informational? I would definitely say get rid of all words “Buy, Sign Up, Sale” or action words related to buying in the text. Also I would plant more information based words in <h2> tags such as “Info, Learn, How To, Information”.

I’ll start doing some split testing of two landing pages soon, one aimed at commercial one non-commercial, and see if the minimum bid is adjusted.

Also thanks to Ken Savage for his consulting on the matter.

(p.s. If you don’t know how to check the quality score of your landing page, go to your Ad Group, click the “keywords” tab, and the click the “Customize columns” and add the Quality Score tab)

6 thoughts on “Dealing With Adwords Quality Score”

  1. I’ve managed many non-commercial campaigns, and have never seen any evidence that Google’s penalised them in any way.

    It wouldn’t really make sense for Google to do this, since often the user is looking for information, not something to buy. Google doesn’t gain a percentage of the sales, and it makes no difference to Google which site appears at the top of the search results, they just want to make the results relevant.

  2. Hey Custard,

    If you look at my post you’ll see that I don’t say anything about Google penalizing Non-Commercial site. I actually said that it is possible that they give a lower minimum bid to site that is focused more on the information side. Although this may not be true, gonna do some testing to see.

  3. Apologies – misread the original post.

    Not sure how Google can identify whether a site is information only, fishing for subscriptions or is selling something – a lot of the commercial campaigns that I work with use an external site for processing orders.

    It’d be a bit harsh if a site was penalised for words like “Buy” on the landing page, when these are the same keywords that generate the most traffic in the first place (and clickthrough rate is a key driver in the Quality Score).

    I’d be interested in your results; any insights into what Google’s looking for on a landing page are always valuable…

  4. i just wrote an article on this last week too. i don’t think they would penalize you for having words like “sign up” or “buy” since i had a sign up form on my site and not a huge amount of content, but i was still able to get a “great” score and min cpc bids from $.02 – $.05.

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