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Saturday, September 05, 2009

AdsBot-Google: Tracking AdWords Landing Page Quality Score Bot

Many questions come up in the AdWords help forum about landing page quality score. Not many people seem to realize this is a largely automated scoring process. The Google AdWords landing page quality score bot, AdsBot-Google, crawls destination URLs. A quality score change isn't likely to occur until after the bot visits landing pages, so it's worth tracking AdsBot-Google:

AdsBot-Google tracking script

On the organic search side, Google provides Googlebot crawl stats to webmasters. On the paid search side, the AdWords interface doesn't provide AdsBot-Google crawl stats, so it's up to advertisers to keep track on their own. Seeing so many questions about landing page quality score, I've put together a free, open source script to do so. For each hit from AdsBot-Google, it displays:
  • Time (timestamp of the bot visit)
  • IP Address (remote ip address of the bot)
  • Status (http error code)
  • Page Crawled (url of the page visited)
If your site is not experiencing any landing page quality score issues, you won't need to track AdsBot-Google. If you are having problems, it's worth checking for the most recent visit from the bot, so you'll get a better idea as to when you might see a quality score change. If you don't see any visits from AdsBot-Google, then you'll know you need to simply wait. The frequency of visits is not predictable. If the bot does visit and you see HTTP status codes that indicate errors, then you'll know you have issues on your site to correct.

For a site that has low landing page quality scores, make sure the landing pages are improved following these guidelines. Once the improved pages are up on your server, then check for AdsBot-Google visits. Don't expect to see quality score changes until some time after the bot visits the improved pages. The time lag can be hours or even days.

If you do use the AdsBot-Google tracking script and have any problems with it or have any questions about it, post a comment below.

7 Comments:

Blogger KimClink said...

Rich,

This is great. Advertisers will really benefit from being able to easily see when the adsbot has paid their site a visit. Thanks for creating this and sharing with the rest of us.

Big Thanks!!

Tue Sep 08, 11:48:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Richard said...

Thanks for the kind words, Kim. I do hope it helps AdWords users - should at least provide a little transparency into the whole landing page quality score process.

BTW, I hope your AdWords P.I. service is doing well! ;-)

Wed Sep 09, 12:39:00 PM EDT  
Blogger mk said...

Here's a question: If I use the adwords feature that injects the keyword that triggered my ad (eg. my destination URL looks like: http://www.mydomain.com/LandingPage.php?keyword={keyword}), does the google quality score robot insert the appropriate keyword where the {keyword} is?

The reason I am asking and not just testing it out right now is that I'm building a system that relies on {keyword} in order to display the right content.

Mon Oct 05, 05:40:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Richard said...

Hi mk. AdsBot-Google makes an initial pass w/o populating the {keyword} field. It later comes by and checks all of the keywords. If you have many keywords in an ad group, you'll see quite a few distinct hits from AdsBot-Google.

You might have some quality score issues if the content of your landing page doesn't match the overall theme of a given ad group when the {keyword} data is missing. So, either build default content carefully or start each ad group with a static landing page. In that case, try running two ads (one to static landing page and one to dynamic landing page) and see how your landing page quality score works out. Drop the static one if the dynamic works out after the initial bot checks.

Tue Oct 06, 03:06:00 PM EDT  
Blogger mk said...

Thanks for the quick reply! It kind of sucks that the bot wouldn't put that kind of info in on the first pass. I am building an automatic adwords/adcenter/yahoo_searchmarketing system that lets me manage each account at the same time. Since I have a ton of keywords I've decided to use both an ID assigned to an ad group as well as the {keyword} parameter to uniquely identify a particular ad/keyword pair in the most space efficient manner. I guess I'm going to have to have some kind of default content that uses the ad id alone.

I wonder what kind of HTTP_REFERRER information the bot passes. Do you think it's worth a shot looking into it? It would be great if it passed the q=foo+bar parameter like the normal searches do.

Wed Oct 07, 03:24:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Richard said...

No problem, mk. FYI, AdsBot-Google doesn't pass any referrer data.

Fri Oct 09, 06:08:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Water removal said...

Thanks for the link on how to improve landing page quality scores. That should help me a lot.

Wed Mar 10, 04:27:00 PM EST  

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