New AdWords Algorithm Kicks In; Google Advertisers Upset

Earlier this week, we reported that Google will be launching a new landing page quality score algorithm for AdWords ranking and pricing. It has now been released and Google AdWords advertisers are speaking up. It appears, like in the past, this update is forcing many advertisers to bid higher for their keywords, in order to realize top placement and clicks on their ads. There are a ton of good write ups already on this topic, so let me send you to the ones I found.

(1) Steve Bryant of eWeek was the first to post on this, he named his post Google: Screwing Advertisers Over Before Christmas? and goes through a story of one particular advertiser’s thoughts on this.

(2) Then came graywolf’s post on Threadwatch named Adwords Quality Update II = Price Gouging Round II where he shows some very revealing statistics to back this title. There are over 20 comments at his post, with feedback on his post.

(3) It is always great to hear from Andrew Goodman on these changes. Over at his Traffick blog, he wrote Lack of Editorial Transparency a Nagging Concern with AdWords in a Quality Score World where he explains;

Somehow, in spite of the advantages to Google (and potentially Yahoo) of hiding the details of algorithms, more transparency needs to be injected into the editorial side of what leads to an extremely low quality score.

(4) I wrote at the Search Engine Roundtable a post named Google AdWords Advertisers Up In Arms Again Over New Algorithm where I pull out reports from advertisers at WebmasterWorld forums on the new algorithm change. I pulled out six reports of price gouging and one report of a happy advertiser.

My thoughts? Never do such a big update to the landscape right before a big holiday season! Give people a way to prepare for this change. Yahoo is doing this right now with the Panama update. I trust that advertisers will learn to adapt to this new algorithm, eventually and I hope that Google helps them along. I just think this is all bad timing, right now.

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