Posted September 24, 2007 12:01 pm by with 6 comments

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By Janet Meiners

Advertisers who want to keep their costs down must keep the quality of their landing pages up. Nothing new. But Google recently reiterated their policies on the Inside AdWords blog.

What does Google reward? In both natural and paid search the answer is quality – from a customer point of view. Google rewards landing pages that are easy to navigate and transparent. I will add trust and credibility. Create landing pages and sites that provide a good experience (quality content) for searchers and customers and Google will be happy.

Google was clear about what is not considered quality. They will:

  • get rid of squeeze pages designed to collect a name and email
  • penalize arbitrage sites that are simply pages of ads
  • eliminate sites that knowingly or unknowingly install software (malware)

Google specifically mentioned they discourage “get rich quick” sites, comparison shopping sites, and travel aggregators. This is where affiliates marketers gasp.

Google is serious about the issue. If your landing page gets complaints you could be kicked out of AdWords for those sites. Google also noted that they will no longer warn advertisers of updates, but they will be ongoing.

Affiliate marketers were hit especially hard. They are kings of landing pages. If affiliate marketers or any advertisers hope to survive the Google updates, they must add more content. Simple landing pages that are essentially just another advertisement will be penalized.

Why the changes? Customers are complaining and that could mean losing money. Google makes money when people click on ads so if people don’t click, Google doesn’t make money. Low quality advertisements cost more. If your Google Quality Score is low, you’ll start getting minimum cost per click at $10 just to show your ads.

However, the opposite is also true. Provide good quality sites and your cost will go down while your ads will start rising to the top of the list.

About Janet Meiners

Janet Meiners always wanted to be a reporter but prefers the immediacy of blogging. Known as Newspapergrl, she has freelanced for newspapers, City Search, and business magazines. She reports on internet marketing and online trends.

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  • I’m honestly getting a little tired of Google overstepping their bounds. My landing page is MY business. Once that traffic gets to me it is mine, plain and simple. I paid for it, I’ll make the decisions as to what converts my audience thank you very much. I might have a little more good will to extend them in that area if they didn’t completely rip people off with charging the uninitiated through the nose for garbage traffic when using broad match (the default keyword match type.)

    You know, I have a little hard of a time accepting the same people taking authority over MY landing page content who have decided that an accredited educational institution should be shown for porn (some child) phrases. Google should get their noses out of the advertisers content and put it where it needs attentions, and that would be their matching technology.

  • Terry- I understand your frustration, but seriously disagree with your philosophy. Your landing page is Google’s business. In fact, as a end user I’m adamant that Google cracks down on gimmicky marketing tactics that people use to get me to sites that I don’t want to go to.

    I feel that Google is becoming more and more a search engine controlled by marketers. I actually am using delicious more and more to do my searches on the web. At least with delicious I don’t have to worry about thousands of people bookmarking crappy–but seo rich–sites!

    Paul Wilson

  • Don’t thinks there’ll be much of a problem here. Just be sure to check your landings…

  • I would (cautiously) agree with Terry. If Google wants control over the quality of the landing page, maybe they should price on a CPA basis. Terry’s paying for the click, he should get the click.

    None of us want to arrive on crappy landing pages, but we have this thing called a “back button” and crappy landing pages just make the good ones look better.

  • this is great news to hear, finally google takes an action on scam and spam that online mareketers or whatever they are caled, do. a year ago i remember searching for something on google and almost all ads on the right of serps were MFA sites, google took an action on that and things got better, i hope this step will give even better results.