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  1. #1
    Join Date
    April 8th, 2008
    Massive Google Slap, Who Else Has Gotten It From The Big G??
    I thought I was safe from the Google slap & seeing my Quality Scores plunge to 1 and bid prices rise to $10. I was sorely mistaken.

    Although we've got large well designed sites made to be completely user friendly, offering tons of content, easy navigation, privacy policies, well written and informative articles, pics, etc, etc, etc., all of our sites with a form of an affiliate offer have been knocked offline due to ridiculous minimum bid prices. These are in niches we're interested in and are creating quality content and a good user base through AdWords. A few of them were monetized with appropriate and well targeted affiliate offers. All of our sites are run as true businesses with attention to the users interests.

    Regardless of doing quality long term business with AdWords, it seems that every site we had that was being monetized with an affiliate offer has seen the quality score diminished to a 1 and huge traffic gone to none.

    Guess it's once again time to change the business model. The question is whether to do it with or without AdWords????? Anyone out there have any sagely advice or a similar war story???????

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Nunya, Business
    I got it earlier this year, my second one. I went back and forth with somebody at Google (knowing it was a waste of time) and they never gave me a direct answer, referring me to their already existing spiel about making good landing pages, CTR, all that stuff. I told them I want somebody from Google to manually review my ads and give me an answer directly relating to my ads, nothing. It's basically a bunch of BS and if you haven't been hit, it's just a matter of time. Even the ABW resident "PPC expert" was Google Slapped and was over at Webmasterworld kind of apologizing for getting on people who were slapped, telling them to fix their quality issues etc, until they experienced it themselves.

  3. #3
    SEO: A Specialty - Web Design: Slow or outsourced andbeyond's Avatar
    Join Date
    June 18th, 2006
    The Call is coming from Inside the House!
    I dont have any sagely advice yet but do have a few questions:

    1) What was your Approximate CTR?

    2) Were your affiliate links cloaked?

    3) Did you feel that some of your keywords were a stretch? Not really on target?

    4) Do you pause keywords with bad QS or CTR? At what point?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    April 8th, 2008
    Thx for the couple of responses, as far as the 4 questions from AndBeyond in the most recent post:

    From what I've read and people I've spoken to this has really turned ppc on it's head. I've spent hours and hours on these sites and campaigns to build them up to big earners that generate a big ppc ad spend at the same time.

    The CTR was excellent - our ads have been a / b tested over and over to maximize CTR.

    Our affiliate links were cloaked

    The keywords were not a stretch, they were targeted, included in the urls as well in the article copy on the site

    We didn't pause keywords except for non performance. They all had a general score of between 7 and 10 on one day. They then has a score of 1 the next. This has occurred for a number of our different campaigns / sites.

    I've definitely gotten the slap over the years, every so often. This latest round has picked off one campaign after another in my account. It is insanely frustrating, not to mention showing me that using Adwords is not a reliable way to run your affiliate business. I've created tons of high quality pages with lots of relevant content - they however, had affiliate links (which were cloaked for tracking purposes). That made my sites and pages completely unacceptable to the Adwords PPC system.

    Trust - are you still continuing to spend your time and energy on Google campaign build outs??? I'm debating whether to even bother to attempt to rebuild for the sake of the big G.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    April 6th, 2006
    My profitable site got slapped last year (around this time) - I spent a couple of months rethinking my whole approach, even considered closing down the sites. After spending many thousands over a 2 year period, I stopped all AdWords campaigns.

    I threw myself into a couple of expansions that were content related, while keeping the core concept in place.

    The sites started to generate revenue without the help of google - and while traffic was down, conversion improved. As I continued to publish more, the main site started to achieve really good natural rankings.

    It seems a couple of weeks ago, G decided to give natural SERP love back to my old site (the one that got hit last year). Strangely, I haven't noticed any great surge in revenue that I had expected last year... but revenue is still steady from the upgrades that I put in place.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is that I got tired of the ups/down of the slap.. the changes that I put in place seem to have paid off. I'm not depending on variables I can't control, nor am I spending thousands on ads anymore.

  6. #6
    Half a Bubble Off Plumb RemodelingGuy's Avatar
    Join Date
    June 1st, 2007
    Katy, Texas
    Got spanked, decided to give up PPC and spent all of my efforts to drive organic traffic to my sites.

    Was a bear at first, but has paid off..

    Haven't spent a dime on PPC for a couple of years now, but know that if I got back into it, I would see more sales.

    One thing that I have found is that the PROS rule AdWords.

    The rich are getting richer and amateurs are getting poorer.

    I wouldn't change a successful business model....

    I would educate myself and become a PPC Pro.

    The information is out there to be had.


    Jimmy McDonald - Your Local Hard Working RemodelingGuy ( & SprinklerGuy - & GarageGuy ) .... .... ....
    We're Bettering YOUR Life by Improving Where YOU Live It ...
    Do What You LOVE & LOVE What You Do! ....

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador Lanadili's Avatar
    Join Date
    February 23rd, 2007
    Shreveport, LA
    I haven't been slapped in awhile, but the last time I was slapped, I re-did my pages in an effort to focus more on SEO and to make Adwords happier. After checking again last night, all my keywords are at a 10/10 quality score.

    Here's what I did the last time I got slapped:

    * I made sure my <TITLE> tags on my site had my main keyword(s) that I was targeting for that page, along with my keywords in my <META Description TAG>, one <H1> tag, and several <H2> and <H3> tags.
    * I have several of my keywords in the content of each page, some even bolded.
    * I made sure I had at least TWO ads going for every adword group. This way I could target more keywords in my ad that was relevant for my pages.
    * Make sure you tell G to serve these two ads up evenly.
    * Another great thing to do for each ad is use the {Keyword:---} function. Where "---" is where you want your default title to show.
    * For each ad group I have about 10-20 keywords to target.

    Doing this has improved my quality score more than I could have hoped for (10/10), but it didn't change overnight. I think it actually took a few weeks before it finally settled. Hopefully it will stay at this position for a very long time, although truthfully I focus more on SEO now than Adwords because I know it will help my site in the long run, and it's a LOT cheaper

    Hope this helps.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    August 27th, 2009
    Thank you
    Hi there..
    I'm totally out of your league just going through the forum still learning, don't won't do disturb you all just wanted to let you know if it makes you happy there are newbies like myself that learns a lot from your good/bad experience THANK YOU ALL.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    January 17th, 2005
    Google made some important changes to their Adwords affiliate policies:


    Are there any types of websites that merit low landing page quality scores?
    Website Types to Advertise with Caution

    The following website types will sometimes merit low landing page quality scores and may be difficult to advertise affordably. If you choose to advertise one of these website types, be particularly careful to adhere to our landing page quality guidelines - especially the rule about offering unique content.

    * eBook sites
    * 'Get rich quick' sites
    * Comparison shopping sites
    * Travel aggregators
    * Affiliates

    Note the last entry - it used to read "Affiliates that don't meet our Webmaster Guidelines", now it is just "Affiliates".

    They also added "Comparison shopping sites" just to take care of all those GoldenCAN, PopShops, Amazon and Ebay affiliate pages.

    At this point, I think Adwords is classifying all pages with affiliate links as doorway pages, bridge pages or pages with no substantial or unique content. If you haven't been slapped yet, it is only a matter of time.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    April 8th, 2008
    Yeah the ups and downs resulting from getting a slap when you think you're doing the right thing are really very tough to manage when you're running a business. After being extremely dependent on Adwords and doing tons of advertising with them for a long time I'm looking into various other mediums of advertisement that will not necessarily be subject to being thrown offline on any given day. I'm certainly not looking to be black hat or attempt to beat the system. If they don't want my business (and I was doing plenty of it) then I'll find another way to operate

    It's tough to have any reliability with the constant cat & mouse game it seems Adwords has become as of late. My dollars are just not green enough for them I guess??

  11. #11
    Join Date
    April 8th, 2008
    You're 100% correct Lansing - It's only a matter of time, sites with pages that have the goal of getting a user to take action via an affiliate link are going to be all knocked offline sooner rather than later. Despite providing all types of great beneficial content, the sites goal is to make money. Have profits become illegal???

    No matter how great the site meets SEO standards. Time to rethink our approach or watch out below. I wonder what the networks have to say about this, they've gotta be seeing a huge fluctuation with their search affiliates and perhaps overall network performance.

  12. #12
    Tax Paying Member
    Join Date
    November 14th, 2005
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by jonpoler
    Have profits become illegal???
    Depends on whose pocket receives the profits.
    You must climb this mountain. There is no elevator. ---- Don't stick your finger in the liquid nitrogen.
    Carolina China

  13. #13
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Land of The NFL Champs!
    I am not an insider or expert by any means, but I am thinking they want PPC results to look an awful lot like organic results. Keeps their searchers happy and coming back since many do not realize that the paid results are different than organic - go ahead and ask the average person. And since they own everything, they can call the shots, particularly since there are so many people waiting in line behind each slapped person to bid on those phrases.
    This World is Not My Home
    We're gonna go inside, we're gonna go outside, inside and outside. . . And then we're gonna go go go and we're not gonna stop til we get across that goalline! Quotes from the movie Rudy, 1993

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Nunya, Business
    "Trust - are you still continuing to spend your time and energy on Google campaign build outs??? I'm debating whether to even bother to attempt to rebuild for the sake of the big G."

    They hit my main site, have a couple of others that are still fine. And MSN and Yahoo just gets more of my advertising spend. So it's all good for a couple of years, great and good and then overnight Google tells me they were wrong for all that time and drop it to poor. Like I said, I told them, go ahead and give me a manual review and tell me specifically what's wrong with my ads and they can't (or more likely they don't care to). And there's nothing I can do with my pages because they are already fine and relevant.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    April 8th, 2008
    You're totally right on Trust, my big earning Google sites have gotten it more than once over the years, I rebuilt. This time around I'm really feeling bullied, and not really about to spend time and money on a new url with new content and new campaign structure just for the effort to be thrown in the toilet in a few weeks time.

    My romance with Google as it has been may be nearing an end, perhaps I'll build out some more of my own propietary product at some point and then have the hopeful priveledge of paying to advertise on Adwords. I'm not exactly sure, but I am already changing my marketing methods .

    Like you I've got all types of relevant pages, the only thing I can not do with my affiliate monetized sites, however, is to remove the affiliate links. Wouldn't it make sense that if an advertiser has long standing campaigns running they're converting to either leads or sales. If user visits convert to leads or sales profitably, couldn't one conclude that the traffic is relevant and of benefit to the user???????? I'm not a rocket scientist or a world acclaimed marketing guru but that would seem to make sense

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