Adwords Quality Score Updates

Part of the problem with understanding the Google Adwords Quality Score updates is most people come from the point of view that Google is firmly interested in full disclosure and telling you the truth. While I’m not calling anyone at Google a liar, I will say they are premeditatedly selective about what they chose to reveal, and what misinformation they choose to correct, and what they are happy to let spread like wildfire.

Would you like an example, say I own a gardening store and you come in to buy a plant. I tell you it’s important to make sure you give the plant lots of water. You go home plant it in your backyard and make sure it’s getting plenty of water. Unless you’re very careful though chances are you’ll over water it and kill it. Why, because I didn’t tell you the reason it needs lots of water because it really needs to be planted in direct sunlight. So from the information I told you, you naturally assumed that the moisture level was the dominant factor, when in fact it’s a secondary dependant factor, based on the higher level factor of the amount of direct sunlight. Did I lie to you, technically no, as water is clearly an important part of the equation that lies along the critical path, however you assumed that I was interested in making you aware of all the factors involved. Why would I omit this information? Maybe I want you to keep coming back and buying more plants. Maybe I want to deal with professional landscapers who have bigger budgets, don’t come in bargain hunting, and already know what plants need lots of sunlight from those who don’t. Maybe I don’t really want you as customer anymore and am going after a different market.

OK Gray I didn’t choose Botany for $500 what does this have to do with Adwords. Well IMHO the recommendations Google gives are the equivalent of “make sure your plant has enough water”. While they aren’t lie they are all dependent factors, not primary ones.

Another interesting thing to note is that this third quality score update follows a lot of Google’s similar patterns. Third, WTF G this is the second have you started drinking for pubcon early? Well see the first update was quiet since nobody had their prices raised for “poor landing page quality” back in December of 2005. The real chater came in July of 2006 when prices got raised and some people saw a dramatic drop in profits. Which brings us to November 2006 when another quality score update occurred.

Hopefully in presenting things in a chronological order like that I got a few of you hunting down the right path. Can you think of any other things that get updated with several month intervals? If you said toolbar pagerank go to the back of class, don’t you know real page rank and external toolbar pagerank are completely different. I’m thinking more about the sandbox/trustbox update that happens every few months. Now c’mon Gray that’s just crazy talk are you proposing that Adwords takes into account organic factors? I mean it’s not like Adwords shares data with Adsense or anything, right?

So what do you do to get around being shafted by the Adwords Quality Score Update? To borrow a line from a great movie “the Matrix is just like a computer system: some of its rules can be bent; others can be broken”. Think of what an engineer would really consider a signal of quality, not what they actually tell you they are looking for. Find a way to give it to them, be creative, follow that crazy idea, test it to see if it works.

Update: For anyone who think I’ve got my tin foil hat firmly placed on my conspiracy theorist head, I’ll remind you it took Google over 2 years before they admitted that there wasn’t a sandbox, but there was something that could possibly be interpreted as having sandbox like qualities.

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