Three items on the Google AdWords beat to report on: a new troubleshooting wizard for advertisers with missing ads, landing pages factored into ranking scores and AdWords headlines going up a font size.
First, via the Inside AdWords blog word of a new Google "troubleshooting wizard" that's been put together by the AdWords team to assist customers when the AdWords customer can't see their ad. Blake, from the Inside AdWords team writes, "[the wizard] will walk you through an ordered list of possible reasons why your ad is not showing." The AdWords Ads Diagnostic Tool remains available.
Incorporating landing page assessment into the Quality Score will help us improve the overall advertising experience for users, advertisers and partners by increasing the quality of the sites we present in our ad results.
More on the blog and this Google AdWords Landing Page and Site Quality Guidelines page that was just released.
When text-based keyword advertising is a large part of your revenue, it's crucial that eyeballs notice as many keyword ads as possible. By being a responsible company it's also important thing to do things to help users differentiate paid listings from organic results. Google has always been very responsible in this area.
However, Rubel makes an excellent by saying that if helping people notice the difference between paid links and other results was of top importance, the text labeled "Sponsored Links" would be increased versus the point size of the actual ad headline. Needless to say, I'm sure that Google has hours of user group results that have assisted them in making their decision but let's not forget that getting users to view and then click on sponsored links is a major key to the company's financial success to this point.
We've asked Google for comment on this change (is it just a UI test? the scope of it, etc.) and have still haven't heard back. When we do, I'll add their comments to the post.
When I first read Steve's post I had to remember to activate and "turn on" Google AdWords since I had been researching with them turned off with CustomizeGoogle. This Firefox plugin, that offers a ton of award winning features, includes one option to easily (just click) turn off the AdWords on most Google results pages. I recently blogged that CustomizedGoogle also makes pages accessible via Google Book Search printable and another option to block all Google Analytics cookies.
Postscript 2: Want to comment or discuss? Visit our Search Engine Watch Forum threads, Landing Page Quality Now Influences AdWords Position and Google Increases AdWords Headline Size