How to Bounce Back from “Google Slap Three”
By Bryan Todd
Horror crossed your face this morning when you logged in to find your Google AdWords account “slapped” – with your best keywords deactivated and their minimum bids jacked up to $10.00 a click. What happened, and what can you do?
You’re not alone. Google on February 15th announced “Google Slap Three” – an upcoming change in their “Quality Score” algorithm used to evaluate keywords, ads and landing pages. Unlike the first two slaps in July and November 2006, Google is being more transparent – displaying the exact Quality Score for each keyword in your list – but also more strict.
Google first got famous with killer search engine results and relevant web pages. Now they’re requiring from the right side of the page what they’ve long demanded of the left side.
Here’s how to beat “Google Slap Three.”
Make your landing page “about” your keywords.
Your customer wants to see a landing page specifically about what he searched on. So give him exactly that. For each of your top keywords, send the clicks to a page that’s specifically customized for it. Google will lower your minimum required bid. That may well mean a different landing page for every major keyword in your account.
lean out the keywords that can never be useful to you.
If your site is about how to get free publicity, you’ll get slapped trying to bid on a term like “magazines” by itself. If you sell Toyotas in Phoenix, bidding on “Phoenix” by itself will be a losing battle. Find and pause those hard-to-make-work keywords, or delete them entirely.
Post more unique pages with good information.
Google’s “slap” is not just about having a good landing page. It’s about having a good site. Single-page websites on AdWords will soon be a thing of the past. Google expects to see multiple pages with good, keyword-rich content that keeps visitors there and ensures they don’t reach for the “back” button right away.
A blog the deals with the keywords you’re bidding on is a good bet for getting noticed by search engines and earning a high Quality Score with AdWords.
Make your site completely navigable.
If your visitor hits your landing page but can’t get around your site and find your content without signing up or opting in, then neither can Google. That’s a sure way to get slapped. So provide navigation links on your landing page that give people multiple choices and makes access to your free material possible – even if they don’t sign in. No more forced “opt in or leave” signups.
In the End, Content Always Wins
The same good content that gets your site noticed by the organic search engines will get you high quality scores on AdWords. So over-deliver to your visitors with a surplus of relevant information, and you’ll stay active on Google for a long time to come.
Bryan Todd and Perry Marshall co-authored The Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords,available in bookstores.