Google AdWords is being a pain in the Digital Butt

What the hell is this Quality Index thing for? I’m ranting. Again.

imageThere I am, wading through the logon nonsense of Google Adwords to navigate all the way through to my particular keyword that’s causing me hassle and as I’m waving my mouse pointer over that little icon, I see a note about “Quality Score”. Apparently, I have a Great quality score. “Cool,” I think. “What’s it for?”.

Have to know. So I search it out (where? On Google of course) and here’s the Word according to blogspot:

At Google, one of our most important goals has always been to deliver high quality ads that provide value to our users. In August of 2005 we improved our quality evaluation with the introduction of the Quality Score, which sets minimum bids for your keywords. Since then, we’ve updated you on the inclusion of landing page quality into the Quality Score, and subsequent improvements to the landing page algorithm. Now, Avichal from the Ads Quality team, has an update on upcoming changes to the system.

As you may have heard us say before, we believe that ads provide valuable information when they are highly relevant and targeted to a user’s query. In order to serve high quality ads to our users, we use the Quality Score to set minimum bids for keywords based on keyword clickthrough rate (CTR), ad text relevance, the historical performance of the keyword on Google, and the user experience on the ad’s landing page. Keywords with a higher Quality Score are rewarded with a lower minimum bid, so it costs less for those ads to be eligible for display. Low quality keywords receive higher minimum bids, often making them inactive for search because their maximum CPC does not meet the minimum bid. In addition, since we also consider quality when we rank ads, higher quality ads benefit from higher placement on the page and a lower cost-per-click on average. So, high quality ads are not only more relevant for your potential customers, but can also help you improve your ROI by lowering your advertising costs.

My first instint was, “Hey, that’s pretty cool.”

I am such a dunce sometimes. Talk about naive.

Here’s what I was thinking: This will make it more difficult and more expensive for unscrupulous advertisers. So, I started to read through the instructions and advice and guides and step-by-steps and recommendations (all the official ones plus the SEO Bloggy ones) and after spending a couple of hours (building a landing page, thinking about writing a privacy policy, putting some relevant text on the landing page and blah, blah, bloody, blah), a horse’s tail suddenly sprouted out of my forehead and started swishing in front of my nose. In other words, horse’s arse.

Let’s spell it out for each other:

I manufacture and sell doohickeys. So do my competitors. We all use Google Adwords so we don’t have to mess around with Organic Search Engine Optimisation (gotta love that ‘organic’). In other words, we run real businesses and are prepared (if not delighted) to spend money on advertising to put our doohickeys in front of the internation doohickey market.

Now, there are 100 people selling doohickeys and advertising. We’re all relevant. We’re all a little competitive. We all have websites devoted to doohickey sales. We all have “Great” quality.

Well, one of us doesn’t. One of the advertisers has very little to do with doohickeys but knows that if he spends a little on doohickey advertising, he can pick up some related sales. So, what does he do? Creates a landing page with relevant content and it’s back to business as usual.

At this point, what exactly has Google done for me (note sound of swishing horse’s tail).

Nothing. Nada. Zip. Bugger All.

What a waste of time.

“We consider ROI. High Quality ads. Blah, blah, blah.”

Again, I find myself jumping through hoops for no net gain because some moron lodged in the bowels of Google has decided, again, it’s time for the tail to give the dog a good wagging.

GoogleGuys & GoogleGals, here’s how it works: We pay to advertise. You show the ads. Hopefully, in the right place at the right time. Did you really need to make it more complicated than that? Did you have so much free time at your disposal? Or did you get a new algorithm for Christmas and wanted to show it off (because no-one’s under the impression you’re using human beings to establish your quality scores)?

Here’s the scoop, GoogleGoofs: First chance I get to try a more cost-effective advertising method, I’m jumping on it without so much as one backward glance. I’m so ticked off this minute,  I’d do it for a penny.

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