An Introduction to Pay Per Click (PPC) - 2012 Edition
Google Adwords has a ranking algorithm for their paid listings called Google Quality Score. MSN Adcenter has quality control, but don't have as sophisticated "ranking" algorithms within their paid search networks. Basically though, they are focusing on the same quality principles.
Google Quality Score was added to prevent the "rich" companies from superseding everyone else within the paid search rankings. When it was a pure "bid for position" model (which is was back in the early 2000's), companies with cash on hand were outbidding the rest of the marketers, even though their search results were not targeted to the initiating search term.
This was creating a bad "search experience" for the users of the Google.
Because of this, Google implemented an algorithm to their paid search that rewards marketers that offer a relevant and valuable search experience to their users. This is called "Quality Score" and is a term you will hear often within the Google Adwords world.
Quality Score is based on a formula that includes the following 7 main components:
- The historical clickthrough rate (CTR)
- Your account history, which is measured by the CTR of all the ads and keywords in your account
- The historical CTR of the display URLs in the ad group
- The quality of your landing page
- The relevance of the keyword to the ads in its ad group
- The relevance of the keyword and the matched ad to the search query
- Your account's performance in the geographical region where the ad will be shown
The core principles surrounding the Quality Score rankings is that if you create something that is relevant to the exact keywords that you are promoting (again what I have been emphasizing throughout this tutorial), it will increase the user experience, and subsequently Google and MSN will reward you for this.
The higher the Quality Score, the lower the cost-per-click, the higher the ad rankings will be, and your pages will naturally convert much better because the are relevant!
Move ahead to TODAY (things to watch out for)
Starting in 2010 and through 2012, Google has earned a negative reputation from affiliate marketers. It is a two way relationship though, Google has lost a lot of its respect for affiliates and has suspended over ONE MILLION Google Adwords accounts.
To be honest I can understand Google's position. Their goal is to make the experience as good as possible as it can for their "users", people that search. Affiliates were creating low quality landers with the sole attention of blatant sales pitches, and in many cases promoting scams, schemes, and illegal programs.
Instead of going through and picking out which advertisers were ethical and which ones where not, they cleaned the slate. 2011 was a tough year for PPC advertisers but as we move through 2012 and onwards, things have become a bit more relaxed at Google Adwords.
There are some things that you SHOULD NOT DO:
(1) Don't advertiser landing pages with no relevant content
(2) Don't advertise pages that offer little to no value to an end user
(3) Don't advertise affiliate bridge pages or review pages with the sole purpose of getting people to click your affiliate links
(4) Don't advertise squeeze pages (with an offer and no content)
(5) Don't advertise products that are knowingly scams (survey sites, acai berry, many dieting products, etc)
These stringent rules have opened up doors for many other networks, including MSN Adcenter and Facebook Ads. If you are having trouble getting ranked with Google, then consider one of your other PPC options.