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March 24th, 2010, 10:36 AM #1Looks matter???
This was a real eye-opener to me, so I thought I'd pass it on. Yesterday I managed to leave an un-intended double quote (") in my file.css file. This caused the look of my site to change slightly, mainly causing missing graphics on my navigation menu. The functionality of the site was not affected.
That was about an hour before that campaign is scheduled to shut down for the day. I didn't see any updates to my campaign last night.
Today when I log into Adwords, I see that the status for all keywords for Campaigns with that site have gone from "Eligible" to "Rarely shown due to low quality score". Opening the 'status box' shows that my page rank has gone down to 1/10. (Yesterday it was 4-5 depending on the keyword).
I'm not sure whether it was the broken CSS, or the broken aesthetics that caused my page score to bomb, but either way, be warned. I can't imaging that Google actually cares about the "look" of the page (that would require human evalution, and I'm assuming it's programatic), but I wouldn't have expected such a drastic downgrade in quality for a CSS issue that just caused some graphics not to show.
Hopefully, Adwords will re-evaluate my site tonight, and at least restore the previous rankings. Anyone know if Adwords reviews sites nightly?
April 12th, 2010, 11:14 AM #2
- Join Date
- March 20th, 2010
Hi, I can't answer for the question about Adwords, but I can answer with my little bit of knowledge on html and css. It might not have seemed the functionality of the site was as affected by the error as the "look", but I do know that some algorithms look specifically for coding errors, and I'm sure that Google is no exception. Something as simple as an extra double quote, or a missing one, can prevent your site from being eligible for W3C validation, and Google's algorithm is probably very similar. As picky as they are, it wouldn't surprise me if their program sees a simple error like that in the same way it looks at hidden code to "cheat" their system. Since programs have no way of knowing your intentions, they're going to lump all coding errors together. Looking at it that way, I can see how it could potentially hurt a page rank.
Out of curiosity, did the PR improve after you fixed the error? How long did it take?
April 12th, 2010, 04:53 PM #3
Unfortunately, fixing the pages didn't help at all. The page now validates via the W3C validator. The rankings haven't come back up since then, and they've also extended the "Rarely shown due to low quality score" to the rest of the pages on that site. Granted I depend on an affiliate partner to supply the end product, but my site does add value, and actually takes the same # of clicks (from Adwords ad to product) as the actual product site.
So I am really confused here. The only explanation I can come up with is that my site has been somehow labeled as a "thin affiliate" site. My conversion percentages and stats in Adwords have always been good (ie. high conversion rates, and high keyword relevancy) so I'm not sure there's anything I can do, other than to start another site.
Fortunately my organic traffic has grown over the years and turned profitable, but is nowhere near what I used to generate via PPC.Tom Sexton
[URL="http://www.ourtcgnet.com"]Internet Business Developer[/URL]
New Father to Grayson Thomas Sexton :baby:
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