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Google

Landing Page Quality Gains More Weighting

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Google have announced a global roll out of a new algorithm change which will affect Adwords Google Quality Scores from today going forward. Google stated that they have “increased the weight given to relevance and landing page quality in determining Quality Score and how ads are ranked on Google”

http://adwords.blogspot.com/2011/10/ads-quality-improvements-rolling-out.html

The analysts here at Found will be closely monitoring our campaigns to see by how much this affects us and how we can capitalise on these changes.

We have noticed a shift away from Landing Page quality in the quality score algorithm over recent years, with Google showing more of a concern over keyword and ad relevancy at the point of a user’s click. It now seems they are shifting more weighting to what “happens” post click.

Google and most advertisers will say that if you align landing page content with the keywords you are bidding on then include these keywords on your landing page, you will attain a good landing page quality score. The Google Adbots (Google spiders) will be able to read this and everyone will be happy. But at Found we don’t think it’s just going to be more weighting applied to what the adbots read. We think they will be adding more weight to what happens after the click and how the users react to your page as this is a key indicator for relevance. So what can Google measure to indicate this – bounce rate. This is a great indicator to how relevant your page is and I would be surprised if it wasn’t already in the quality score algorithm, it just looks like now it’s going to take more control. Google would not openly say the metric is bounce rate due to the potential things you can do to manipulate this, which in time, could actually lead to a worse user experience.

So can we monitor how it affects us? We will be monitoring our CPCs and average positions closely over the next week. With Quality score shifts these metrics are the first thing to change. Your adwords quality score shown within the interface is just a general number and is not granular enough to identify fluctuations.

It seems Google have only ever included landing page quality as a negative value, but now they are also going to positively use it to increase you adrank. So what’s going to happen if we were going to predict anything? Any large brand especially on pure brand terms should benefit, deeplinking to the most relevant page within a site may gain importance, as will having the landing page reflect your ad text with no cheekily over exaggerated offers. But as always if you try to manipulate quality score it has to closely be tracked against that landing page conversion rate, in order to see if you really are actually making any more profit from your tests.