After much analysis I think QS is completely BS

by paultaylor 40 replies
Background: I use SKAG's, with an automated account set up with various tails, I also split between peak time and off peak time, so I end up with thousands of keywords. I have a very long list of negatives. I regularly evaluate my competition and other best practices, and tweak my ads and landing page. All my competitors are roughly similar to me in terms of strategy, reach, scope, etc. I believe I have an advantage on the operations side of things, and I do a lot of analysis, and about 1/5 of my keywords, I'll basically commit to pay anything I need to to win.

My QS on these keywords range all the way from 1 to 9. Yes 1 to 9. But mostly down at the bottom 1's, 2's, 3's. On words that are very similar, with everything set up the same. For the same exact keyword, I'll have random crap like landing page = above average for the phrase match and below average for the exact match. Same randomness with expected CTR, same randomness with ad relevance. I'll have ad relevance of above average with a kw that is almost exactly similar to another kw, like the only difference is one is a plural and one is singular, and one will have above average ad relevance another will have below average. And I'll even account for the plural/singular in the ad.

This is frustrating as h***. I have spent a long time analyzing and tweaking and trying to optimize, but nothing makes sense. There is no rhyme or reason to how google reacts to my changes.

This is my best theory. Google has found someone they can rape who will lay back and enjoy it, increasing CPC's over and over and over to maintain top position. And they're using QS as a way to force me to increase my CPC.

What do you think?

I think google should add a fourth column "allows google rape". I get above average on that.
#pay per click/search engine marketing (ppc/sem) #analysis #completely
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  • Profile picture of the author Jarvis Edwards
    There are many moving parts when it comes to quality score.

    Are you referring to QS on the keyword level, the adgroup level, or the campaign level? Or all of the above?

    How is your CTR? Low CTR can impact your quality score as I'm sure you already know.

    What is your avg. ad position? Being positioned lower on the 1st page and beyond page 1 means less people will be exposed to your ad, and as a result fewer people will click on it. That drives down your CTR which in turn impacts your quality score. Low ad positioning is often caused by bidding too low.

    Are you including your keyword(s) in your ad title and ad text--and are the landing pages including those keywords as well? Does the overall theme of your ads correspond with the topic of your landing pages?

    Are you keeping an eye on irrelevant queries and immediately adding them to your negative keyword list--with the proper match type?

    Are you bidding too broad and getting much more irrelevant queries than if you were bidding exact, phrase, etc?

    There are many factors to consider, so the more detail you can give as far as what you're doing now, the better.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
    Originally Posted by paultaylor View Post


    This is my best theory. Google has found someone they can rape who will lay back and enjoy it, increasing CPC's over and over and over to maintain top position. And they're using QS as a way to force me to increase my CPC.

    What do you think?
    Though there is something to QS this has always been the case to some extent. If Google really cared about QS it would not allow you to bid higher to offset a lower score. Its in large part a money making scheme for them that they have convinced mindless people is actually a pure intent thing separate from grabbing more dollars.

    Of course they want you to increase your CPC. Its 80% that and 20% to do with quality. However aside of going with bing or facebook you generally have to play the game the best you can.
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  • After 15 years working in Adwords, first for myself and then helping dozens of other businesses with it, thousands of campaigns and doing analysis of my own, the short answer is that QS is not BS.


    The thing I've found after all these years is that people keep missing the point which is often just in front of their nose. Jarvis for instance asks if you are referring to keyword, adgroup or campaign QS. There really is only one QS and that's the ad-keyword level. He also asks what is your ad position because that affects your CTR but not relevant since QS takes into account position.


    QS exists for a few reasons. It's an indication of how well you are doing against competitors. You can't, like many here, say to get a certain CTR, say 5%. That doesn't take into account ad position. Nor does it take into account competition. Any CTR has a different value depending on whether you sell insurance or computers. Heck, it does not have the same value for those selling life insurance vs those selling car insurance. That's why QS exists, it's a point of reference. Without it, you'd be blind as to how you are doing against competitors.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jarvis Edwards
    "He also asks what is your ad position because that affects your CTR but not relevant since QS takes into account position."

    I'm confused on why you choose to attack my post instead of just making your point.

    So..you're saying ad position isn't relevant because Quality Score takes into account position? Hmmm, that sounds to me like you're saying the same thing I said in a different way.

    Anywho...ad position WILL affect your QS. Because if people aren't clicking your ad because it isn't positioned on the page in a way that drives those above the fold/page 1 clicks, eventually your ad will be seen as less relevant to the users' query and your quality score WILL be impacted. It can even happen on a fluctuating basis, regularly. Many people don't monitor their campaigns close enough to see that.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
      Originally Posted by Jarvis Edwards View Post

      I'm confused on why you choose to attack my post instead of just making your point.

      .

      Because he has to based on how he makes his living selling google's adwords program. However I think you both are drinking the koolaid. Qs is not all BS but anyone who claims QS exists for the sole purpose of quality and not to make Google money is sticking their head in the sand and lying to the public.

      Google could EASILY have a system that never ranks you higher in ad results without a given QS regardless of your bid. the fact that they set it up that if you bid more you rank over better QS scores says it all and is so obvious a child could see it.
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  • Don't take it personally Jarvis and I wasn't attacking you, simply pointing out your error. What you said was “That drives down your CTR (being in a lower position due to lower bid) which in turn impacts your quality score”. In other words, you are saying that your QS is affected because you are in a lower position and repeating that in your message above. That's just not the case and I believe you said the same thing in another post some weeks ago.


    Yes, being in a lower position will result in a lower CTR if you compare your 10% CTR in first place to your CTR of 5% in fifth place. So will the CTR of everybody else. Your QS is not calculated based on your own results. It is calculated compared to all competitors. If the average CTR in first is 8% and you also get 8%, your QS will be 5, the average. If on the other hand it's 10%, your QS will be higher than five.


    Now if you are in third position your CTR is lower but so is that of all competitors. So you are comparing it to that new baseline of ads in third position. It's all relative so your QS will not change just because your position is lower and your absolute CTR is lower. QS is a relative calculation of your CTR vs competitors at each position. Since everyone's CTR moves depending on position, QS doesn't.


    What you are saying is that your QS goes down as your ads goes down in position. That's just not the case. You can have any QS from 1-9 at any position.
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  • Mike, Google does use QS to make more money and I never claimed otherwise. It's also about quality. They go hand in hand. When one does the math, it's clear that Google wants advertisers to increase their quality not just for the sake of advertisers but also themselves. It simply makes them more money. So a win-win.

    You also in my opinion have it upside down. QS is trying to encourage you to increase your quality, not bid more. Again, the math shows it's in your best interest to increase quality instead of simply upping your bids. It just so happens it helps Google too. I drink the QS koolaid because of the evidence, not an opinion. Because I provide services helping advertisers with their PPC campaigns does not change that fact and indeed makes me a better advertiser on their behalf. I also like to educate people and give them the straight dope.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
      Originally Posted by LucidWebMarketing View Post

      You also in my opinion have it upside down. QS is trying to encourage you to increase your quality, not bid more. Again, the math shows it's in your best interest to increase quality instead of simply upping your bids.
      Sorry been at this game too long to buy that total nonsense. I am experienced with adwords not a newb. Worked with adwords for years on several campaigns. Sure you should always optimize your QS (and yeah it can and does increase rank at times) but just as the Op stated there are times when theres not a whole lot more you can do. Telling me Google doesn't know or think that rather than struggle with QS customers won't just up their bids makes no sense - not buying it and no logical person would.


      It just so happens it helps Google too. I drink the QS koolaid because of the evidence, not an opinion. Because I provide services helping advertisers with their PPC campaigns does not change that fact
      You don't have any facts. You can't even answer why if Google cares about quality would they allow a lower quality score ad/site to outrank a higher one (just because of a bid increase). Captain obvious as to why - mo money, mo money , mo money. QS take a leap.

      The only people I see here at WF , elsewhere or even in this thread trying to deny the obvious fact are adwords managers.

      Of course as an adwords manager you have to drink the koolaid and sure it affects your opinion. Generally speaking the more people come to realize Google's strategy is to make more money by increasing bids the less adword management service can command in fees. At some point the customer may realize that he may be better letting his manager go and up his bids with the saved cash.

      Like I said at first if you are in the adwords game you have to play the game. No way around it so do the best you can. Do I deny that quality is a factor and can increase rank and lower costs? Nope. It can and it does at times. However anyone experienced with adwords has encountered a point at which QS is arbitrary and the thing that works is upping the bid - which is exactly why Google designed it that way.
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      • Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

        You don't have any facts. You can't even answer why if Google cares about quality would they allow a lower quality score ad/site to outrank a higher one (just because of a bid increase). Captain obvious as to why - mo money, mo money , mo money. QS take a leap.
        I'm sure you are aware of how ads are ranked: QS times the bid. If someone wants the first position but has a poor QS, they have to bid more and will end up paying more. This of course depends entirely on the advertiser. If they don't mind paying more, that's their prerogative. Most don't do this for long but there's no reason for Google to stop them and they make more money only if advertisers are willing to pay more.

        If you make a few scenarios on paper as I have and calculate the CPC for each advertiser and calculate the total revenues per 1000 impressions, you'll see that Google's take when an advertiser decides to increase their bid. It can be lower in some cases. That's because a poor ad still gets a poor CTR (read poor QS) and while this one advertiser may pay more, the total revenues generated for Google is pretty much the same, sometimes slightly higher, other times slightly lower. Another reason is that when an advertiser's position changes due to bid or QS, they affect other advertisers and the CPC calculation is different. Some go up, some go down. That's not even taking into account that QS changes slightly after each auction where some go up, some down depending on whether their ad was clicked or not. That's a fact you can test yourself.

        If QS was arbitrary - not based on the numbers generated by people clicking/not clicking on ads - the whole thing would fall apart. It would be no better than the old Overture days where ads were ranked based only on bids. There is no evidence this is what is happening on Google or Bing.
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        • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
          Originally Posted by LucidWebMarketing View Post

          I'm sure you are aware of how ads are ranked: QS times the bid. If someone wants the first position but has a poor QS, they have to bid more and will end up paying more. This of course depends entirely on the advertiser. If they don't mind paying more, that's their prerogative.
          All of which doesn't do anything to answer the question. Its just a lecture on what everyone knows and no one denied. It doesn't even try to answer why Google allows bad QS sites/ads to outrank better ones for cash if the sole goal really is to improve quality.


          That's because a poor ad still gets a poor CTR (read poor QS)
          Thats precisely why Google did away with sidebar ads. They are well aware that MANY people still click the organic column's first result so no - WRONG - the lower QS does not always result in corresponding lower click through rates and the same cash for Google . They did tend to more when there were sidebar ads but positioning can and often does result in good CTR rates. Besides which falloffs in CTR is usually the case when you are dealing with a poor QS. The real issue being addressed is when there has been improvements to the ad and site so the QS is higher. its at that point where the system starts to play big games with improving the QS further and bidding prices go up.

          the total revenues generated for Google is pretty much the same
          Sorry but thats total and absolute nonsense. Google's play to put four ads above the organic column and do away with sidebars was for the precise reason that positioning trumps QS and makes them more cash. Captain Obvious. They get more clicks and more money from those organic column positions where people still to this day click thinking its the best result as determined by Google.

          That's not even taking into account that QS changes slightly after each auction where some go up, some down depending on whether their ad was clicked or not. That's a fact you can test yourself.
          I don't need to. I've been at SEO and PPC for well over a decade and then some. I sense your entire argument comes back to trying to insinuate that those that disagree with you don't know adwords (a very common adwords management service owner technique - along with long lectures to impress the the newbs). Everyone and his dog knows CTR affects QS and ranking in ad results. The point that most people with new campaigns faces is that they don't have that factor starting out (which again encourages them to bid more)

          Google uses a Qs system that ratchets up bidding even when there is relatively little competition on a term. Its a GREAT money making system for Google while pretending its all about Quality. Its an auction system where you not only have to bid against competition but a somewhat secret algo that ensures the house often gets higher bids without any or much competition.

          Continue to drink the Koolaid since you have to.
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        • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
          Originally Posted by LucidWebMarketing View Post


          If QS was arbitrary - not based on the numbers generated by people clicking/not clicking on ads - the whole thing would fall apart. It would be no better than the old Overture days where ads were ranked based only on bids. There is no evidence this is what is happening on Google or Bing.
          Historical correction. Overture made a ton load of money. PPC based on bids alone does not fall apart. Does a little quality and relevance improve the end user result? Of course. Some Qs is needed to compete against other PPC systems (especially since Google places ads in the organic column). This is another strawman argument. No one has stated that quality is a zero factor in Google just that a good deal of the way Google sets up its QS system is about making more money not just quality as you have maintained.
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  • Profile picture of the author dburk
    Hi paultaylor,

    I understand your frustration, I went through that back in 2005 when Quality Scores were first introduced to the AdWords auctions.

    Why Quality Scores Are Needed

    QS is not BS, it was a very necessary adjustment Google had to make because advertisers like me, and scores of others, realized that we could use Search ads for Branding and Awareness campaigns if we were clever about how we worded our ads. With so many advertisers taking advantage of that technique it was starting to cut into Google's profits and erode the quality of sponsored listings on their SERPs.

    The whole purpose behind QS is to improve the quality of ad relevance, while at the same maximizing revenue for search ads.

    Think about it... why would Google want to sell an ad slot for less money just because the ad is worded in such a way that it gets fewer clicks?

    Google wants to get the most money they can for an ad slot so the ad's CTR has to be taken into account to calculate the most valuable bid within the ad auction.

    For the most part, all the Quality Score does is add in the ad's expected CTR as part of the formula for calculating your ad rank score. Nothing sinister about that, it is just good business on their part. Once I understood that, I was able to adjust my strategy and start churning out profitable campaigns again.

    How To Use Quality Scores As An Advantage

    To address your personal challenge with QS I would say there are clues in your post that point to a likely root cause of your troubles.

    I have a very long list of negatives.
    That is a telltale sign of a very common problem I see in campaigns that I audit for potential clients. A "very long list of negatives" is often a sign of overly broad targeting. I see this often in campaigns that rely too much on broad match keywords, or where work has not been done to curate highly targeted keywords.

    CTR varies by search term, ad position, and ad quality. To get less "random" results you must control those variables. This is a fundamental requirement of effective experimentation. Marketing Science relies on the proper application of marketing experiments, which means controlling the variables. Your data is mostly useless if it is random, so you must chose an account structure, targeting, and bidding strategies that allow you to control those variables.

    It's important realize that you should not try to optimize keywords, instead you should be optimizing search terms. That's very difficult to do with phrase match keywords, and impossible to do with broad match keywords.

    By concentrating the bulk of your ad spend on exact match keywords you are able to " 'control" the search term "variable". You don't need any negative match keywords for exact match ad groups. Thus, a well optimized campaign will not have the need for a "very long list of negatives".

    To optimize campaign performance you need to identify all important search terms and make sure that you are targeting them all with exact match keywords, eliminating the need for most broad and phrase match keywords, along with the negatives.

    Once you have the bulk of your impressions and traffic coming from precisely targeted search terms you may see fairly consistent Quality Scores for a given ad position and ad combination. By controlling the search term and ad position variables you can get faster and more accurate data about your ad quality an that is where you can make adjustments that can beat your competitors in the ad auctions.


    SKAGs Must be Applied Selectively

    Another potential problem I spotted in your post is the potential over-reliance on SKAGs. The principle behind using SKAGs is solid, however you must be selective in your application of SKAGs. Using A SKAG strategy is only useful with very high click volume keywords. If the click volume is too low, you will not be able to gather enough data to perform optimizations on a timely schedule, which makes that account structure counterproductive rather than beneficial.

    I suggest that you limit the use of SKAGs to high click volume keywords, and group low volume keywords together with very similar keywords to get more usable data on a timely basis so that you can optimize quicker and more consistently. It's more work on the setup, but gives you more usable data, making it worth the effort.

    HTH,

    Don Burk
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  • Profile picture of the author onedomains
    QS is why my clients pay Google 33% or less for the same click they try to buy on their own with low QS scores.

    It's also why my response ratios are ten times or more better than what they get on their own.

    1000 keywords

    No one needs 1000 keywords

    You buy PPC for a very targeted niche

    1000 keyword is a mass traffic buy, there's this cheap junk called pop unders, try it.

    I manage millions in PPC budgets for some of the most expensive CPC or ppc terms there are.

    Legal terms
    Medical terms
    Insurance terms

    You have very narrow keyword targets, you do not buy 1000's of keywords, at least when you're actually buying the cream of the crop.

    Good luck

    QS is all that matters

    Oh SPEED is also a major part of QS, if your landing pages are sub 500ms, Google gets wood.

    If your ad copy pops and you know the main trick to high CTR, that with speed is high QS.
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    • Profile picture of the author paultaylor
      My keywords are very targeted. That's why I have thousands of them. Think of it as breaking down "Adwords consultant" into 20 variations of adwords times 20 variations of consultant. ie adwords, Google adwords, PPC, pay per click, google pay per click, google, SEM, etc. And then consultant, consultants, help, consulting help, expert, expert help, experts, etc. 20 * 20 = 400 right there. Then split it into peak hours campaign and off peak hours. Then times three for exact, phrase, and modified broad. You're up to 2,400 keywords.
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      • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
        Originally Posted by paultaylor View Post

        Then split it into peak hours campaign and off peak hours. Then times three for exact, phrase, and modified broad. You're up to 2,400 keywords.
        As others have indicated this ends up with less targeting and you are likely to end up with non buying terms where you are paying for clicks. If you really are digging this deep with keywords you should consider some of the terms for organic SEO results where you are not paying for each click
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  • Paul, I hope you're not plunking down all those keywords into one group. Sure, you can come up with hundreds of keywords using your example. However, they may not all be relevant and I'd argue they are not. For instance, the intent behind the search term "adwords help" may be very different than for "adwords consultant". I would think very carefully about using the former given what my product is. At the very least, expand that keyword if I can, otherwise, as Don said, you are just creating a list of negatives and I agree with him that a long list of negatives is a bad sign. Most of my campaigns have few negatives.

    I count all match types of a keywords as one. So "adwords consultant" is one keyword even though there are 3 in my ad group in three different match types. But again, if these are all in one group, that's another red flag. You say you use SKAGs so should not be a problem. You just need to have ads that reflect that. I've seen accounts that use a SKAG structure but they are all the same ads which kind of defeats the purpose.

    You then say you split all this into two campaigns. Never heard of someone doing that. Can't think of a good reason for it but maybe there is in your case. Here again, if there's a sound logical reason for this, it can only mean that you want different kinds of ads in different hours. Seems pushing it to an extreme but not knowing what you actually are promoting, maybe you've got a good reason. It's just unusual, that's all.
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  • OK Mike, I'll answer in a different way.


    The fact that Google (and Bing by the way and most other ad networks) care about quality is the fact that there is something called Quality Score. It makes it harder for someone with ad poor quality to outrank better ones by bidding more. It's an encouragement to improve your quality so they DO care and a way to minimize bad quality. If they didn't, there would be no need for QS.


    >> Overture made a ton load of money. PPC based on bids alone does not fall apart.


    Then why is nobody using that system anymore? The problem with ranking on bids alone is that you get some who place outrageous bids to get to the top. Remember, even if you bid $10 and the next guy $2, you would pay $2.01. The QS system put everyone on a more even footing where not just bids were considered but quality as well. The search engines realized they would make more money this way but also deliver a better product. I'm not denying Google is not there to make money. They are a corporation and they are and I have no issues with that. What Google pretty much invented was QS which more evenly balances out maximizing their revenues while making their users (searchers) happier as well as making it fairer for all advertisers. There's nothing inherently evil about QS which seems to be what you're implying.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
      Originally Posted by LucidWebMarketing View Post

      If they didn't, there would be no need for QS.
      First every PPC setup that also runs organic cares for some quality but of of course there are other reasons to run a secret algo. you can stick sites with a score that they can't raise easily and they will give up and up the bid - precisely what the Op is complaining about.

      You can also increase bidding prices in a low competition serp quite nicely by having the parties bid against the QS where the bid prices would never be bid up without them.

      Still unanswered and I know now will never be answered is why if Google cares so much about quality do they allow cash to outbid quality. Google could just set a score which no matter how much you bid because of lack of quality they would not rank. The fact they don't tells any sensible unbiased person whats the real goal.

      Anyway you are drifting every post now into the strawman of "ranking on bids alone". Not the point and I've explained that now about three times. I don't and didn't expect any of the regular adwords management service sellers here to admit Google's QS system is not all about quality. Qs is a key selling point and the koolaid must be drinked.
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  • Profile picture of the author dburk
    Simply put...

    I understand the human condition of fearing the unknown, we all do that. Learn what Quality Score truly is and you will no longer fear it, or make up silly conspiracy theories about it.

    Quality Score = Relative CTR

    Google uses it to make sure they are awarding top ad positions to the advertiser that is willing to pay the most per ad impression. It's just a ranking adjustment to make the ad rank score more accurate.

    Google has a finite number of ad slots available for a search term, they are just awarding the ad slot to the highest bidder, after expected CTR is factored in. Google is just normalizing the auction bids to calculate the highest bidder based on per impression ad spend. I see nothing sinister about that.

    Don Burk
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
      Originally Posted by dburk View Post

      Simply put...

      I understand the human condition of fearing the unknown, we all do that. Learn what Quality Score truly is and you will no longer fear it, or make up silly conspiracy theories about it.
      Isn't that the standard refrain?

      Everyone that doesn't agree with an adwords management service provider doesn't understand it? Unfortunately in this case I've most likely been doing adwords longer than you have. So that comes in a bit flat.

      I don't fear it at all. Like I told the Op you have to play the game regardless. If you consider the idea that a corporation has set things up to make themselves the most money a conspiracy theory then in addition to not really understanding (hey two can play that game) how QS really works and why, you don't understand corporate business either.

      Quality Score = Relative CTR
      Either you don't know what an equal operator means or you don't know QS very well
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      • Profile picture of the author dburk
        Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

        Isn't that the standard refrain?

        Everyone that doesn't agree with an adwords management service provider doesn't understand it? Unfortunately in this case I've most likely been doing adwords longer than you have. So that comes in a bit flat.
        Well maybe you have been doing AdWords longer than me, but if so it couldn't be by more than a few hours, since I have been using AdWords professionally since the first day it was opened to the the public.

        Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

        I don't fear it at all. Like I told the Op you have to play the game regardless. If you consider the idea that a corporation has set things up to make themselves the most money a conspiracy theory then in addition to not really understanding (hey two can play that game) how QS really works and why, you don't understand corporate business either.
        Yes , if you are in a competitive niche you must "play the game" as you say. However, it isn't Google setting the CPC prices, it's a competitive auction. How much you must pay to advertise in AdWords is determined by your competitors, not Google.

        When you find yourself cursing Google because your CPC went up, or that your Quality Score has dropped, it is most likely me, or another competitor, that has beaten you at the game, not Google.

        See you in the ad auctions, if you think you can play with the best.

        Don Burk
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        • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
          Originally Posted by dburk View Post

          Yes , if you are in a competitive niche you must "play the game" as you say. However, it isn't Google setting the CPC prices, it's a competitive auction. How much you must pay to advertise in AdWords is determined by your competitors, not Google.
          Oh please - sell it to the newbs. For many years anyone doing PPC with adwords regularly has encountered keywords with little and even no competition that did not match Google's stated minimum bid (back in the day 5-10 cents)

          How you think competitors are the sole ones that set the price when in those keywords there were/are no competitors defies rationality but .....you must drink the koolaid.

          When you find yourself cursing Google because your CPC went up, or that your Quality Score has dropped, it is most likely me, or another competitor, that has beaten you at the game
          Dream on. You've never beat me on PPC, SEO or even in forum threads. I just don't have to drink the koolaid to play the game
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          • Profile picture of the author dburk
            Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

            Oh please - sell it to the newbs. For many years anyone doing PPC with adwords regularly has encountered keywords with little and even no competition that did not match Google's stated minimum bid (back in the day 5-10 cents)

            How you think competitors are the sole ones that set the price when in those keywords there were/are no competitors defies rationality but .....you must drink the koolaid.

            Dream on. You've never beat me on PPC, SEO or even in forum threads. I just don't have to drink the koolaid to play the game
            HI Mike,

            Again with the straw man arguments?

            Stop being such a one-trick-pony.

            I said what I said, not what you said. If you want to argue with your own assertions then go ahead.... knock yourself out.

            You point to data outliers that are irrelevant to the discussion, which is fine if you want to make a point about them, just don't act like I was the one talking about outliers.

            Sure, Quality Scores were introduced to discourage advertiser from bidding on irrelevant terms. That's more of an aside, and doesn't counter the point I was making about competitive search terms, and that Quality Scores are based primarily on relative CTR. Yes, there are edge cases where something other than CTR can cause AdWords to use QS to discourage you from advertising, particularly on non-commercial intent keywords.

            But why focus on outliers to make a point? It isn't really helping anyone reading this thread.

            Oh... and if you ever see me in your rear view mirror, it isn't because your have beaten me, it is simply me lapping you in the race for like the 3rd or 4th time. Keep trying though, it's fun to watch you struggle and learn.

            Don Burk
            (The One To Beat )
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            • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
              Originally Posted by dburk View Post

              But why focus on outliers to make a point? It isn't really helping anyone reading this thread.
              Have no idea what you are going on about but that made for one hilarious post . Wasn't referring to outliers but a well known phenomenon in near no competition terms.

              Why point to those? Easy if you thought before typing - lack of competitive bid activity makes it clear that its not all about the competition setting the bid - totally debunking the nonsense you wrote.

              Oh... and if you ever see me in your rear view mirror, it isn't because your have beaten me, it is simply me lapping you in the race for like the 3rd or 4th time.
              rofl - a demonstration why you never beat anyone much less me - you can't lap someone in the search engines you poor soul. the results are not displayed in a circular fashion.

              hahaha -rofl.....as entertaining as always.
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              • Profile picture of the author dburk
                Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

                Have no idea what you are going on about but that made for one hilarious post . Wasn't referring to outliers but a well known phenomenon in near no competition terms.

                Why point to those? Easy if you thought before typing - lack of competitive bid activity makes it clear that its not all about the competition setting the bid - totally debunking the nonsense you wrote.



                rofl - a demonstration why you never beat anyone much less me - you can't lap someone in the search engines you poor soul. the results are not displayed in a circular fashion.

                hahaha -rofl.....as entertaining as always.
                Hi Mike,

                So sorry, I shouldn't have used a metaphor, I should have realized that not everyone reading this thread has the intelligence to understand metaphors. My mistake.

                I hope you do well with your "near no competition terms". I hope you learn why there is little or no competition for those terms before you waste all of your money on them. Good luck with that.

                All kidding aside, I can see now that you are in the earliest phase of learning AdWords campaign management. Please let me know if you ever need any help.

                Regards,

                Don Burk
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                • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
                  Originally Posted by dburk View Post

                  Hi Mike,

                  So sorry, I shouldn't have used a metaphor, I should have realized that not everyone reading this thread has the intelligence to understand metaphors. My mistake.
                  Yes it was a mistake. Everyone here understands metaphors we just know really really bad ones when we see them. With time you may learn to use them better. You can google "bad metaphors" and hopefully make better ones in the future (hope springs eternal)

                  How to Avoid Clichés and Bad Metaphors - Eschler Editing

                  I hope you do well with your "near no competition terms". I hope you learn why there is little or no competition for those terms before you waste all of your money on them.
                  Offering adwords management services with no understanding of keyword research. For shame!!! Post less long lectures and you just might find the time to improve your skills. On the bright side at least those reading know you only know how to find the obvious competitive terms that result in conversions not the less popular ones that lower costs AND results in conversions.

                  Please let me know if you ever need any help.
                  If I ever want to lighten the weight of my wallet with next to no results I will definitely give you a call

                  Its been as hilarious as always Don. Thanks
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                  • Profile picture of the author dburk
                    Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

                    Yes it was a mistake. Everyone here understands metaphors we just know really really bad ones when we see them. With time you may learn to use them better. You can google "bad metaphors" and hopefully make better ones in the future (hope springs eternal)

                    How to Avoid Clichés and Bad Metaphors - Eschler Editing

                    Offering adwords management services with no understanding of keyword research. For shame!!! Post less long lectures and you just might find the time to improve your skills. On the bright side at least those reading know you only know how to find the obvious competitive terms that result in conversions not the less popular ones that lower costs AND results in conversions.

                    If I ever want to lighten the weight of my wallet with next to no results I will definitely give you a call

                    Its been as hilarious as always Don. Thanks
                    Hi Mike,

                    Thanks for clarifying your PPC experience level.

                    One day you might learn of a set of strategies that have been dubbed "profit-driven marketing", by AdWords. Not everyone gets there, but I can see the progress you are making.

                    I'm not certain, but it appears that you might actually be ready to move past the "CPC myopia" phase that many new advertisers go through, especially those that got their start in the "free traffic" mentality that prevails in the SEO crowd.

                    Be careful though that you do not get caught in the middle ground of "ROI maximizers", that run PPC campaigns as a cost center, rather than a profit center. That's where the bulk of the mediocre advertisers level out. It often takes a paradigm shift to move out of that phase into the more profitable "profit center" mindset of profit-driven marketing.

                    I understand that "profit-driven marketing" may sound like a foreign concept to you at this point, or perhaps you might think it is just an industry buzz word used strictly for marketing. Don't make that mistake. It is a set up principles and concepts that can take your marketing campaigns to a whole new level of competitiveness.

                    You might not be ready yet to move to this level, so if it seems like jargon, or hocus pocus, don't discard it. Just bookmark it and come back at some future date to learn more, it will eventually make sense to you after you have been at PPC marketing a few years or more.

                    HTH,

                    Don Burk
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                    • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
                      Originally Posted by dburk View Post

                      It often takes a paradigm shift to move out of that phase into the more profitable "profit center" mindset of profit-driven marketing.
                      I will pray that you one day get there Don ( but prayers are not always answered). You are however doing a fine job demonstrating you have not a clue as to how keyword research can both decrease your advertising costs and increase your profits. You clearly (though you will undoubtedly deny it to save face ) think they are mutually exclusive.

                      Yours is a cautionary tale that when you write long posts lecturing posts ( to impress the newbs you might actually know what you are doing) the time lost causes your skill level to suffer - in this case dramatically.
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                      • Profile picture of the author dburk
                        Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

                        I will pray that you one day get there Don ( but prayers are not always answered). You are however doing a fine job demonstrating you have not a clue as to how keyword research can both decrease your advertising costs and increase your profits. You clearly (though you will undoubtedly deny it to save face ) think they are mutually exclusive.

                        Yours is a cautionary tale that when you write long posts lecturing posts ( to impress the newbs you might actually know what you are doing) the time lost causes your skill level to suffer - in this case dramatically.
                        Sigh...

                        Yet another straw man fallacy (one-trick-troll).

                        The topic is "Quality Scores", you're the only one bringing up "keyword research", so it is your own assertions that you are arguing against. Please try to stick to the topic at hand.

                        I am sure I could teach you plenty about keyword research if you weren't so dogmatically closed minded. You are never going to dominate an industry by looking for left-behind crumbs that provide minuscule sales. I know you got to eat so you are welcome to my gleanings.

                        By the way this is the PPC forum, not SEO, perhaps you wandered in here by accident?

                        Most things are quick and easy to test and validate in PPC. Your pseudo-expertise will never fly in here,

                        Don Burk
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                        • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
                          Originally Posted by dburk View Post

                          S
                          The topic is "Quality Scores", you're the only one bringing up "keyword research", so it is your own assertions that you are arguing against. P
                          Forgetfulness can be the first sign of health issues don. You might want to get that checked out. The point of no or low competition CPC keywords was to rebut your nonsense about CPC being solely a function of competition. Goodness! You have such a hard time grasping basics. If someone makes a claim about something like competition always driving prices the most logical thing to do is look at keywords and bids where there is no or little competition. In other words you isolate against the factor being examined (basic scientific testing principle as well) then if you see pricing anywhere inflated in the system where there is little competition you can safely rule out and reject the thesis that competition is the only thing that is driving prices.

                          I realize its not as common as the name implies but ahem....just common sense. now go ahead and bluster into nonsense again

                          I am sure I could teach you plenty about keyword
                          I am sure you are delusional and each time you claim some superiority in knowledge (with nada to back it up) it becomes more certain.

                          Most things are quick and easy to test and validate in PPC.
                          Precisely which is why anyone who has real experience in doing PPC campaigns (rather than just writing lectures in here in the hopes of getting a client) knows I am precisely right that other factors besides competition can hold pricing above the global minimum bid.

                          and yes - QS is one of those things.

                          P.S. I am experienced in many areas of traffic not just a true one trick pony who can only write long lectures on one. Thank you for your encouragement to post here more often now that I know the quality is in need of improvement.
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  • Mike, the flaws in what you are saying is that you believe the system works in a certain way when it doesn't.


    Almost every newbie and those assuming it should work “this way” fall into the CPC trap. They think because there is no apparent competition that they should simply be charged one cent. The problem is that there is more than meets the eye just by looking and seeing no competition. We also don't know exactly how Adwords works but just because it's not the way you expected that you can safely rule something out.


    You yourself are isolating and making assumptions. Since the results are not what you expected, it means your assumption is false. Yet, you cling to your previous beliefs even when the evidence shows they are wrong.


    I believe that there really is no such thing as no competition. There always is, if not your area in other areas. I believe Google uses worldwide data, not just local as well as historical data to calculate a top of page bid estimate. Some of this can skew the result due to insufficient information or too much old information. Besides, things change all the time and that's why it's an estimate, not a hard fact that by doing this you will get a certain result.


    Instead of saying that X happens when you expected Y, why not think logically of why X happened instead of clinging to a belief that Google or whoever else is screwing you. That is Trump mentality in that you must win and your opponent lose when a good deal is when both win.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
      Originally Posted by LucidWebMarketing View Post

      Mike, the flaws in what you are saying is that you believe the system works in a certain way when it doesn't.
      The flaw in your logic is based on your lack of reading comprehension. No one much less the OP is claiming to believe the system works in a way it doesn't. Rather he is saying that the system that works is not based merely upon quality but also on the desire of Google to make cash. You (and the other main adwords management seller trolling in here) are trying to make the totally ridiculous claims that competition is what sets all pricing . This is pretty obvious to people with common sense who aren't pimping adwords management services.

      We also don't know exactly how Adwords works but
      Great then stop lying that you know QS is all about quality because when you admit you don't know exactly how it works it reveals you are not being intellectually honest to claim you know what you don't.

      Since the results are not what you expected, it means your assumption is false.
      Only a confused person would call basic logic and common sense an assumption. In addition please cease and desist from straight up lying. I have NEVER stated I expected Google or adwords to work one way. In fact I expect corporate businesses to work in ways that make them money. For that reason I can see through QS as not just being about Quality as you are trying desperately to claim.

      again I don't have to drink the koolaid to play the game. Apparently you have to pretend to the koolaid is real in order yo sell the services

      P.S. Drop the political nonsense in this discussion. Political references and discussion are not allowed on WF (regardless of whether I agree with them or not). Your application of political figures on this is fallacious anyway.
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  • Profile picture of the author dburk
    Classic troll tactic is to restate what someone said with a twist to make it mean something other than what was said, just so that you can argue against the altered statement (A.K.A straw man fallacy).

    Not falling for your troll tactics.

    Defend what you said if you want, I did not say what you said I said. I will not try to defend your words.

    You might be able to confuse a handful of newbies, but every experienced advertiser will see straight through your BS.

    You cannot last long in this business if you do not learn to master a real understanding of how Quality Scores actually work.

    Going for gleanings is a survival technique, certainly no way to prosper or dominate a niche. In the end you will get crushed by the more sophisticated marketers that bid you out of even the tiniest of gleanings once the competition heats up.

    Good luck with that strategy, anyone that has been advertising for more than a few months will see the fallacy in your approach. You are no longer in the peewee league, you have got to drop the peewee league strategies to survive over here.

    Don Burk
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
      Originally Posted by dburk View Post

      Classic troll
      lol Don....sure sign of someone who can't take a debate and answer logical questions. You have to go to name calling in every reply and claiming your own superiority in knowledge because you have no facts.

      Anyone can scroll up and see my points in this thread which - what a shocker - the two people pushing their adword management services objected to. Apparently you put links in place without reading them. You have no clue what a strawman argument is - totally clueless as to what makes that fallacy a fallacy.

      To those reading objectively - heres the reason this is a practical discussion

      There are times when you have done all you can do and adwords is just charging too much. Google is a corporation that exists to make profit which is why NO ONE should EXPECT and claim what they do is all about competition or quality. If you buy into these adwords management sellers pitch all of the time you will be less likely to realize you are on the wrong platform (and should be looking at Facebook or Bing perhaps).

      Adwords can be great but going to extreme kool aid drinking by claiming their system or ANY part of their system is just about quality or competition is just totally immature and silly.

      As you can see above they both admit they don't know exactly all the details of how adwords sets pricing but they are quick to tell you that its "all about competition" or "quality" even to the extreme position of claiming (even with no competition on a keyword) they "believe' there is competition.

      any belief that gets them where they want to go.

      What these two guys would have you believe is they are the answer for all such situations because its you that does not understand the format. As someone who has worked with Adwords for many years I can tell you QS can help you rank and lower your PPC rate in many situations but anyone who has done extensive work with adwords knows there are situations where QS is arbitratry and to me its pretty obvious - that helps Google to make money.

      As marketers we have always to know the strengths and weaknesses of every traffic platform. That includes not believing any platform is all pure and out for our best interest. It also includes knowing what the signs are that our best interests might be compromised by the platform owners.
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  • Profile picture of the author dburk
    Mike,

    Why you got to do that in every thread? Stop the lying.

    I said what I said, not what you said I said. Let my words stand on their own. If you want to comment on my words then please quote them. Everyone reading this thread can easily see that you are rephrasing what was said to change the meaning, then arguing against your own twisted meaning (A classic troll trick, one that you use excessively on nearly every thread.)

    Mike, you've got a problem.

    You don't do this just with me, you do it with nearly everyone in nearly every thread you participate in. All long time members know what I am talking about. Maybe we need to have an intervention for you Mike?

    By the way, I know exactly how Quality Scores work, I know almost everything there is to know about AdWords, from the advertiser's side of things. I know because it's what I do. That all I do.


    People like Lucid have been helping people in this forum for many years, long before you came along trolling nearly every thread you can. Lucid rarely starts a thread, rarely if ever promotes his own business here, he just helps people that have questions, and he usually gives spot on advice. You, Mike, on the other hand are just the opposite, you attack people helping out others and frequently regurgitate bad advice to many unsuspecting readers.

    You might be responsible for more members leaving this forum, never to return, than any other issue the forum has ever suffered. If the moderators were smart they would kick you out for all the excessive trolling you do. Thousands will cheer if that day ever happens.


    Don Burk
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
      Why in accordance with mod guidelines can't you just stay on the topic?

      You can always tell when someone has gotten desperate because they can't make rational points to back up their assertions.

      A) They can't debate their point but have to go to ad homs in every post
      B) they go to immature youtube postings (actually thinking anyone is going to actually watch their off point videos as any kind of rational answer ) .
      C) they deny reality in post after post even when obviously wrong and easy to dismantle as fabrication.

      Regarding C? observe how easy

      1) Almost all my posts to Don have included quotes of what he said yet he pretends they don't
      2) My thank count exceeds 4,000 and dwarfs his by 3 to 1. Can someone get three times plus the thanks that he gets without value adding posts and threads people appreciate (that are not even mostly in the off topic section of WF) ? Of course not. Lie exposed. He would have to have twice the amount of posts than me to get to the same thank count.

      Facts and data trump adhoms and ducks and dodging from the issue any day.

      So dodging to off points is just an admission there is no answer to the reality that Google cares more for money than they do quality by allowing even low QS ads to rank high based on upping bids AND significantly above minimum bids even on keywords with little or no competition exposes that Google quite often uses the excuse of QS to up bidding against no competition.

      Now can Don or anyone answer those points without the transparent duck and dodge of engaging in ad hom attacks? If betting were allowed on WF I'd wager ....nah.
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      • Profile picture of the author dburk
        Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

        So dodging to off points is just an admission there is no answer to the reality that Google cares more for money than they do quality by allowing even low QS ads to rank high based on upping bids AND significantly above minimum bids even on keywords with little or no competition exposes that Google quite often uses the excuse of QS to up bidding against no competition.

        Now can Don or anyone answer those points without the transparent duck and dodge of engaging in ad hom attacks? If betting were allowed on WF I'd wager ....nah.
        Here's Google's official response to your question:
        Hi there,

        Thanks for your posts!

        Our mission here at Google is not to fill a page with ads; rather, we want to provide relevant information (including ads) to users. If ads are not high quality or relevant to users, we won't show them--not because we are fixing prices for those ads, but because they would not give the user a good experience. We would rather not get money from those potential clicks, than show irrelevant or low-quality information to users. It's as simple as that.
        While you can choose to look at it as "upping bids", Google calls it rewarding advertisers that have great quality ads, with lower cost bids.

        In truth it goes both ways, it lowers bids for good advertisers that are advertising highly relevant ads, and it increases bids on advertisers with poorly targeted or low quality ads.

        Google does shut ad delivery off completely for some queries that their algorithm determines as completely inappropriate for search ads, relevance is the key driving factor behind that as well as the low scoring of barely relevant terms that you might want to advertise on.

        Ad Quality focuses on the intent of the searcher, not the advertiser.

        The main idea that you seem to be missing, Mike, is that your ads compete with organic results, as well as other advertisers ads. If your ad is expected to perform poorly against organic results, Google will score it poorly for Quality to discourage barely relevant ads on those SERPs. That's Google ways of saying that ad slots are open but you need to improve the relevance and quality of your ads.

        There is no such thing as a "no competition" search term for advertisers.

        Google prioritizes organic search results for those search terms that people expect to find organic results, and not commercial advertisements. The key to understanding this concept is to learn about non-commercial intent and make sure your ad content matches the intent of those searchers, or avoid advertising on those non-commercial intent queries.

        It is common to see someone that has been trained in the practice of targeting so called "low competition" search terms for easy SEO ranking to make the mistake of thinking that those terms are ideal for low cost ads. Those terms are typically informational search terms with little or no commercial intent. You can advertise on those low commercial intent terms, however those ads better be offering the information freely on the landing page, not packaged into a commercial info product. If you misjudge the intent you will end up with that poor QS issue that you posted about.

        That's how it works, hope this reply helps you, and others, to gain a better understanding of how Quality Scores actually work.


        Google has put together a series of help article to help you learn more about how Quality Score works and how to improve it.


        What is AdWords Quality Score
        Six things that matter (and don’t) when it comes to ads quality
        Official Guide to Understanding and Improving Ad Quality.

        HTH,

        Don Burk
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        • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
          Originally Posted by dburk View Post

          Here's Google's official response to your question:
          LOL.... seriously Don...Please come back to the real world. In the history of business and corporation NO COMPANY will ever say...."we do this in part because we want to get more money from you" So quoting Google rather than applying common sense and many adwords users experience means ZIP.

          ANYONE WHO HAS DONE THE SLIGHTEST bit of work with adwords knows what Google says there is not true. You CAN and OFTEN DO get an ad a spot where it's QS would never allow it simply by giving Google more money- so Google claiming its not about money is malarkey and spin (which all corporations do)

          In truth it goes both ways, it lowers bids for good advertisers that are advertising highly relevant ads, and it increases bids on advertisers with poorly targeted or low quality ads.
          Thanks for highlighting my point again!

          Only the case if the low quality ad owners do not bid the price up in which case Google rewards the high bidder - so it comes right back to the point that you refuse and CANNOT answer - why does Google allow low quality ads to trump better ones if QS is mainly for user experience and quality?

          We all know this deep down - because the system at the end of the day ultimately is not geared for QS but for making Google more cash. Well...at least those of us not drunk on the kool aid.

          Thanks for highlighting the very issue that proves its NOT a pure quality issue at all!

          relevance is the key driving factor behind that as well as the low scoring of barely relevant terms that you might want to advertise on.
          Do you really have any experience with actual campaigns in terms of keyword research?? There have been multiple times in my years of experience when there was little or not competition and yet Google charged much more than is should have despite the ad and the target site being quite relevant. I don't think there is anyone that has does a number of campaigns and done good keyword research that does not know that.

          The main idea that you seem to be missing, Mike, is that your ads compete with organic results, as well as other advertisers ads
          I could never miss that point because its not even a real point. If you bid enough there is ZERO competition between the top four Ad results and Organic. Ever seen a serp where you had one Ad result then an organic result and then another ad result? Theres no jostling between adwords and organic results. Once google deems to place ads at the top of an organic result you can do white hat SEO through the roof the roof or up your content quality to a million "QS" (if it were possible ) and there would NO COMPETITION - organic results can't get the first position no matter how many backlinks, content or relevance they have.

          The only way I can figure you intend on getting around that blunder is trying to redefine what the word competition means - but if you can get first place in a race by buying it its not a real race and not a competition based on speed..


          [B]There is no such thing as a "no competition" search term for advertisers. [/B
          You can even add exclamation marks and put it in caps - your bold means nothing. Everyone knows what I am referring to - no competition means no bids and yes you can OFTEN place an ad there - IF YOU PAY THE MONEY. So all your other gymnastics of logic fall flat - again if Google was about pure quality and it was all about QS then you could never place an ad that did not score very high in QS. However what do we find? It doesn't take high quality just a minimal relevance.

          Do you really do any adwords campaigns?

          and before you attempt to twist it - of course Google wants some relevance. If there is not some relevance then the adwords customer will not continue paying because there will be Zero conversion so the issue is not running completely irrelevant ads but relevant ones that still according to google do not have high QS.

          You might want to read the OP again - he has done optimization and tried to up his rankings. Its the whole point of the thread.

          It is common to see someone that has been trained in the practice of targeting so called "low competition" search terms for easy SEO ranking to make the mistake of thinking that those terms are ideal for low cost ads.
          A) you don't know what I am trained in. I've done PPC, SEO outreach and just about every form of traffic generation. I've contributed more in the past to SEO because it was even magnitudes more active than this section was in the past.

          B) no SEO is merely trained in ranking low competition terms. You probably don't understand SEO very well either if you think that.

          Those terms are typically informational search terms with little or no commercial
          No not what I was referring to - please go and read up on keyword research. Anyone offering adwords management should be versed in that. You can google it

          https://www.google.com/search?num=40....0.-LSpRrivM7o

          I really shouldn't have to tell you about that but since this is about your third admission of not understanding keyword research and how it applies to lower competition for BUYER KEYWORDS its something you had best get to learning. Long tails is NOT something that only applies to organic search.

          I had no idea that the level of adwords expertise had dropped to such low levels here. If I get the time I will try and post some adwords training in here - especially a good keyword research tutorial for you (and others), but as I said Google can help you out in that regard until I do.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
      Originally Posted by dburk View Post

      Thousands will cheer if that day ever happens.
      Come on Don. At least try and stay on the subject. Appealing to a few of your friends to distract from failure to deal with rational points will neither work nor will it come up to 20 much less lying about thousands

      kindly stay on the thread topic.
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  • Profile picture of the author dburk
    Hi Mike,

    I think you are arguing with yourself at this point.

    Most of your objections seemed to be with the things that we agree on. I'm pretty sure that no one in this thread tried to assert that Google is not trying to maximize profit. We can agree on that much, right?

    I do believe that Google cares about ad quality because it is that quality of results that insures their long term profitability. Maximizing profit is the driving motivation behind QS. The fact that they discourage low quality ads by forcing advertisers to pay a higher bid is evidence that quality matters to Google, and it is indeed part of their ad rank algorithm.

    Apparently you feel that Google cannot care about ad quality if they merely discourage low quality ads rather than enforcing an absolutely prohibition. Luckily for most advertisers AdWords has a slightly less jarring approach, it's called Quality Scores.

    I believe Google has demonstrated at every level of their platform technology the ability to treat "relevance" as a relative value rather than an absolute value. A Quality Score range of 1-10 is further evidence of that nuanced approach.

    Your assertions seem to imply that AdWords cannot possible care about quality if they treat it as a relative value rather than an absolute value. That they cannot care about profit while at the same time seek to maximize profit. In my opinion, that's absurd.

    I realize some people see everything in black or white terms, and struggle with the concept of relative valuation. However, relative valuations is something you must learn to conceptualize if you are to ever understand how Quality Score works, or stand a chance of success in the highly competitive arena of the AdWords ad auctions.

    I hope this enlightens the handful of people that are trying to learn more about AdWords.

    Don Burk
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