Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Quick to judge, slow to correct

Last night I made a typo in my .css file that caused my BCL pages to not look right. The banner (comprised of 2 images) displayed one image on top of the other, and the graphics that normally accompany the navigation menu weren't showing.  Other than those aesthetic problems, the site maintained full functionality.

My ads ran for maybe an hour in this state, and Google dropped my keyword statuses for BCL pages  to "Rarely shown due to low quality score".  They had previously been flagged for a low quality score (haven't figured that one out yet, as they meet all Adwords guidelines for landing pages), but were still showing normally with an "Eligible" status.

So, within the span of one hour Google demoted all the pages of that campaign, but as of this morning, the campaign has been running with all pages displaying properly (for over an hour), and the home page and main other page of campaign actually fully xhtml compliant per W3C validator.  I'm still waiting to see when Google will update the status, if they do.

11:14 ET Campaign running 2 hours now today... no update

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Read about it 3 days ago on PPC Bully, and yesterday got slapped again. This time on . Prices for keywords position on first page doubled for Scholarship campaign, out of the blue. No changes made in last couple months on my site. Quality scores also dropped. Went from most being 7/10 to 5/10 and less.

No clue what to do about it, as no indication of what rules Google has changed this time.

Did learn one thing yesterday from reading Adwords terms and policies. Google only shows top 11 advertisers. If you don't qualify for first page ranking (within top 11) your ad doesn't show. So messages indicating you're not bidding high enough for first page actually mean that you're not bidding high enough to make the ad show, period.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

"Keyword relevance" isn't based on relevance

My Jobs for Teens page, ranks the following Quality Score in Adwords: Poor (4/10)

"Jobs for Teens" is on my page 3 times, the phrase is in the Content Meta words, it's part of the URL, and "jobs" and "teens" are mentioned many more times on the page. The topic of the page is how to find jobs for teens. "Jobs for teens" is in an H1 header, and an H4 header.

Now someone please tell me how my page only ranks a 4/10 in relevance for the phrase "jobs for teens". My theory is that "jobs for teens" is a very popular search term and since google wants to charge .40 min bid for the ad to show up on the first page of search results (as opposed to the .5 or .10 that they used to charge before the company hit hard times and their stock dropped) that's why the min bid is so high.

And let's not forget that keywords that don't pay enough for listing on the first page of results rarely, if ever, cause ads to show up in ANY results.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Min first page bid dance

One day "min bid for first page" is .40 so I up bid to .40 (getting no impressions at all with .2 bid). Next day 'min first page bid' is now .5, but I'm getting hits out the wazzo (and result shows up on first page). Google gives my landing page a rank of 3, but Adwords still lists it as "poor"

Looks like the bid prices are still driven by Google's profit margins.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Interesting phenomenon

Google traffic seems to be slowing down. For about the past week have been getting much more exposure in Yahoo Search Marketing.

Google continues raising bids to make more money. Terms that have been running around 9% CTR for the month, with an average CPC of .15 have overnight been bumped to .20 min bid. Seems as thought when search volume drops, Google raises prices on min bids.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

teenage jobs

Once again, min bid prices are fluctuating again, with no changes on my part. "Teenage Jobs" seems to bounce around a bit, so will start tracking it. Website is stable now, no changes have been made sense new menu structure was added.

As of early this morning, and yesterday, I think, Min bid is .1. Stats for yesterday are:

Clicks: 25
Impr: 343
CTR 7.28%
Ave CPC 0.06

Wow.. 7.26% CTR and Ave CPC of 0.06 and Adwords sets the mid bid at 0.1 . That makes no sense.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The latest unexplainable

This evening upon checked my Adwords account, I discovered that a keyword that had a 9.67% CTR ever since April 1 (over a month ago) now has a new, higher Min Bid than the last time I looked (earlier today). After averaging a click cost of .07, with a CTR of 9.67% for over a month, Adwords has doubled the Min Bid from .05 to .10.

After looking further, I've found several more examples of the same nature. Keywords that have high single digit CTRs with average costs well below the newly imposed Min Bid amount have had the min bid raised above my current bid.

Ok, this time I have changed something on the pages that the keywords leads too. I've added a navigation menu, which according to Adwords guidelines "navigation" is a very important factor in IMPROVING the quality score of a page. So I guess the reward (ie. the only change I've noticed) since adding the new navigation menu is a higher min bid. I thought the point of following Adwords guidelines was to improve the price I pay for keywords....guess not.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Summer Ad Group is now completely .2 or .3 min bid. It's obvious that Google is setting min bids to generate a certain price point for the most "popular" or highest volume searches. My page that used to have mostly 'Great' rankings with .5 min bids is now totally inactive.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

more of the same

Traffic is minimal these days. Adwords still wanting .15/.2/.3 min bids on the most popular keywords. Getting high single and double digit CTRs on less popular keywords, but a meager 9000 impressions a day. Some of the less popular keywords have adjusted to great and down to .5 but not many.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

A new Ad Group - no change

Creating a new adgroup didn't seem to help. Keywords that had a Min Bid of .15 yesterday, and a good CTR for the day, are today Min Bid .20.

For example.. these 2 keywords were .15 Min Bid yesterday.
Yesterday's stats are:
One kw had 71 clicks of 1326 impressions.
CTR = 5.35% Ave CPC= .15 Current Bid was .16 QS was and still is "OK"

Another kw had 3 clicks of 41 impressions.
CTR = 7.31% Ave CPC = .15 Current Bid was .16 QS was and still is "OK"

Now how do keywords that performed so well (assuming 5+ % CTR is good) get bumped to a Min Bid of .20 for today. Again, neigher the Ad text nor the website changed last night. A kw that had CTR of 6.45% is still ranked as Great w/ Min Bid .05. Hopefully that will last at least a few days.

Friday, April 4, 2008

The ludicrousy continues

As you'll see below (April results), several keywords that have successfully been pulling in results at an Ave. CPC of .15 now have a Min Bid of .20. These keywords all have a decent CTR and in case you're not familiar with how Adwords works, wouldn't have been getting impressions if I weren't bidding over the Min Bid. In other words, some time during the last 3 days, the Min Bid was .15. There are many more examples of this in this Adwords group and others.

Now, neither the ad text nor my landing page has changed in the past few days, so I can't attribute this raise in Min Bid to my doing anything that would violate any of the Adwords guidelines for landing pages. Hmmm, seems like Google just decided to raise the price for no reason, even when the keywords were bringing in results with a decent CTR. Unfortunately, that is becoming oh so familiar of an occurrence.

just another google slap

Click for larger image.

Friday, March 14, 2008

This is getting old

Here are the latest examples of the "Google Slap" phenomenon:

A keyword that yesterday had an Ave CPC of .14 and a CTR of 4.8% today is inactive with a .20 Min bid.

A keyword that yesterday had an Ave CPC of .1 and a CTR of 32.15% today is inactive with a .2 Min Bid.

A keyword that yesterday had an Ave CPC of .15 and a CTR of 5.24% today is inactive with a .3 Min Bid.

I could go on and on. I've spoken with Adwords support his morning. A very nice CSR was happy to point me to the Adwords Guidelines on optimizing my website and campaign. Somehow he just couldn't bring himself to directly address the question of why my Min Bids for many well performing keywords doubled overnight. He especially avoided answering why this is the second time in the last 7 days that this has happened.

Supposedly, he is going to his "tech support" group to find more answer. Just can't wait to hear them.

Happened again last week

Last weekend a large majority of my successful keywords (5% and higher CTR) suddenly became inactive and had a min bid of .20 and .30 cents. I read everything I could on Google's site about how to "optimize" my campaign, ended up removing several 1000s of keywords that had never gotten any, or just a few clicks over the last 9 months, and as of yesterday morning, saw the min bids drop back down into the single digit range, as they've been for the last 9 months or so.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

It happened again

Yesterday, 2 terms that had been at a 50 cent minimum bid for about a week, jumped to a $5 minimum bid. I didn't change the website content, but suddenly it's less relevant to those keywords "just because"????

Explain that one.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I've been "Google Slap"'ed

I've recently, once again, observed a phenomenom in Google Adwords that I'm starting to hear more and more about in forums, etc. Best I can tell, this is known as "The Google Slap".

One day my Adwords campaign is running along fine, most if not all keywords active, and I decide to tweak the bids, supposedly in an effort to increase my CTR. Lo and behold, once I've changed the bid, the quality of the keyword drops to poor, and all of a sudden the keyword that was formerly active now has a minimum bid of $1, $5 or even $10.

Is anyone else seeing this type of thing happening in Adwords????