Is Google the Grinch Who Stole Christmas?
- Why did you make this change right before the holiday season?
- Can a page that has a high CTR or conversion rate be considered a poor quality landing page?
- Will using Website Optimizer improve my landing page quality?
To give a bit more background, we had an internal debate about when to release these changes. We ultimately decided that since our focus is providing the most relevant advertising, it was best to launch these long-planned improvements as soon as we were ready to go, technically speaking.At least there's some honesty in the Inside AdWords corporate blog. I'm actually glad they've launched these landing page quality changes now. Why? I think it'll help my company's clients during the upcoming holiday shopping season. We've seen very little impact from the changes. Based on the number of complaints I'm seeing on other blogs and forums, though, many advertisers have been impacted. As the costs are driven higher for these advertisers, I'm hoping they'll drop out of AdWords. Such attrition should both drive down costs and improve ad rankings for my clients. On the downside, if advertisers bid higher to keep ads with a low quality score afloat, that could hurt ad rankings for my clients.
Regarding the second question, I think Google needs to tread lightly here. They can't use conversion data to assess landing page quality score. Yes, it would make perfect sense to do so. If conversions are high for a given keyword, then obviously the landing page that played a part in that conversion cannot be of too low a quality. Still, Google should avoid using this metric as feedback for the quality score. Why? First, conversion data should be private data. That's important business intelligence that Google should not be using for anything. Not even to help improve quality score for the business that owns that private conversion data. Second, not all advertisers choose to use conversion tracking. Should they be penalized for not employing this optional feature? Third, what if most conversions happen offline for an advertiser? There are some things Google can't measure.
I'm not even sure they should be assessing the quality of landing pages in the first place. How can you automate this? A crawler can't determine the quality of a web page in terms of how it relates to a given search. What was the intent of the search? When someone searches for "flowers" are they actually looking for information on how to grow flowers, where to buy flowers, where to find pictures of flowers? The quality of a landing page is in the eye of the searcher. Can Google read minds? No. Incidentally, if you're looking for flowers, you're looking for this flower shop. I'm sure. When you were thinking of "flowers" weren't you really looking for seasonal flowers? Yes, that's a high quality landing page. No? It's not a high quality landing page? Oh, well perhaps you're really looking for floral centerpieces. Yes, that's it. I don't know. Can the Google AdsBot know? Certainly not.
For a funny take on these answers from Google, read Inside AdWords Answers Three of the One Million Questions Asked About Quality Score (by James Omdahl).
Technorati tags: inside adwords, google adsbot, christmas shopping, holiday advertising, online marketing, landing page, quality score, business blog