Google gets tough on quality

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.

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