Avoid the “Google Slap”

Leave the first response September 20, 2009 / Posted in Google AdWords

googleslapThe Google Slap is an adjustment made to AdWords that penalizes advertisers who have landing pages and sites with little content and value.

It especially slapped advertisers that use “name squeeze” pages, since name squeezes tend to have very little content.

Lately, it also slapped a product review sites which happen to most affiliate marketer. They suddenly had high minimum bids for many of their keywords and its quality score dropped to 1 overnight.

Surprisingly, some of the review sites are well build out and consistently updated. They have all the elements that meet Google’s quality criteria.

Now, Google is recommending them to bid $10.00 on each keywords to appear on first page!

Based on the research from several well-known marketers, a major telltale sign for Google is when the landing page is heavy with affiliate links to other vendors and sites.

One quick fix that I find helpful to overcome Google Slap is to move the landing page to a content site with a high page rank. Pause the exisiting campaign that slapped by Google and copy it into a new campaign.

Building a good quality content site is always helpful to overcome such situation and I’m grateful that I’ve several content websites to leverage. My first SBI site is even treated as an authoritative site where I enjoy a Google top listing with submenu. 🙂

For affiliate marketer, the most important lesson from Google Slap experience is to shift the mindset from traffic broker to value added affiliate.

We can turn it into something of value for ourselve by

  1. offering our own legitimate content
  2. building our own mailing lists

This is a long term approach to build a true asset.

Below video from Google’s Chief Economist, Hal Varian, is worth watching to understand the quality score. He explains the AdWords Ad Auction and how the max CPC bid and quality score determine how much we pay for a click.

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