WHAT IS THE GOOGLE SLAP?
We don’t know what Google calls it internally, but it was first “affectionately” termed “The Google Slap” by Perry Marshall. That’s as good a name as any, so the rest of us in the AdWords community have adopted that name.
(I should mention that my “casing” of Adwords will be all over the place. Officially it’s “AdWords”, but I’ll be writing “Adwords” and “adwords” depending on my mood. Hopefully Google won’t protest too heavily!)
The slap is best described in terms of symptoms:
– Bids (i.e. Max cost per click) on keywords going up, making keywords inactive (showing “inactive for search” and “increase quality or bid to activate”).
– High minimum bids, such as $1, $5, $10.
The punchline is that it’s really all about the “quality score”.
Or more specifically: quality score for a keyword in your adgroup. (more on that later)
Some people break the Slap in two different ways:
The Little Slap
The Big Slap
WHY DID GOOGLE DO THE GOOGLE SLAP? WHAT DOES GOOGLE WANT? WHY MOTIVATES GOOGLE TO CHANGE THINGS?
Google wants a relevant “Message To Market Match” Relevant search results for what people want I like to call it the “chain of relevancy”.
1. Person searches on Google for an answer to a problem 2. Person clicks on ad with a preconceived notion of what the landing page will have. 3. The page title matches the search. 4. The landing page has the content that the person wants.
Google wants users to be happy when they come to your site. They want people to find what they were looking for. If you try to trick the search engines, you always have to play catch up and will eventually lose.
Google receives complaints from dissatisfied users and tries to change its processes to make users happy; the slap is Google’s best guess attempt at the change. Google suddenly realizes that long term success is based on a positive user experience.
From a Google Adwords Product marketing manager “we’d rather show one less ad than to show an ad which leads to a poor user experience -since long-term user trust in AdWords is of overarching importance.”
When Google first started Adwords anything went, then controls were put on ad content, then limitations were put on ad landing page(1 URL per search results), now relevancy is a factor, the next step may be a tighter integration of your business and Adwords, perhaps more Adwords affiliates will become product creators, perhaps Google will switch to a cost per action model, perhaps Google will highly value user review sites, one common thread has been increasing the perceived value of the ad landing page to the user.
IMPLICATIONS OF ANSWER:
Make your present and future sites based on giving the client what they think they want.
HOW DOES GOOGLE CALCULATE QUALITY SCORE?
From Google: “Quality Score is a value placed on an individual domain that reflects the quality of the content contained within it”
The whole structure of the internet has not changed for the last 10 years: 1 domain, 1 subject, lots of pages that support that subject.
Quality Score is about 1/3 the landing page(initial QS calculation). About 2/3 quality and quantity of content on your entire site, and your site’s reputation.
Google likes sites that have been around a long time. Google likes sites with good articles. Google likes sites with lots of pages. Google likes sites with links to other good sites.
But don’t get too hung up on reputation and how long your site has been around. For a new site, just know there’s still a lot you can do to improve your QS.
Then as your site has been around and “gets a better reputation”, your QS will get better over time.