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Adwords Nightmare

Not applicable
# 1
Not applicable

I have a 4 year old campaign that has always been very successful. Recently all of my ad ranks started falling off the table and my quality scores started dropping for what have always been excellent keywords with fantastic relevance and click through rates of 5-10%. Google advised me to raise my bids and just wait. I followed their advice, but my quality scores kept dropping and my best keywords stopped triggering my ads. Every time I called they said to raise my bids and just wait. I am now paying about 4 times per month what I usually pay, but my ads still aren't showing for pristine keywords with an excellent history of success. No one seems to be able to help me, when I call they just don't have any answers. Google is destroying my business and I don't know why or what I can do.

1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Adwords Nightmare

Rising Star
# 2
Rising Star

Good afternoon.

 

First, a few questions.

 

Have you made any changes to your campaign that might have triggered a change in performance? This includes changing keywords, Ad Groups, or ad messaging.

 

Have you made any changes to your website that might have triggered a re-review of landing page quality?

 

Did you make any significant changes to budgets or to campaign settings--changing ad serving or geographic targeting or anything like that?


Theresa
Google AdWords Top Contributor
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Re: Adwords Nightmare

Not applicable
# 3
Not applicable

Hello,

 

I have only made very minor, insignificant tweeks suggested to me during the course of two Google in-house consultations. These were things like adding negative keywords and getting rid of some poorer performing keywords (poorer performing means getting 2-3% click through rates for my campaign). The only changes to budget have been to increase my bids from around .60 cents to around $1.30, and this caused me to have to double my daily spending limits. That is why this really doesn't make sense--my campaign has always performed very well, and the things I have done should have improved it. No significant changes have been made at all. When I call to ask Google, they basically say everything looks great but they don't know why this is happening to me, just to wait and see what happens, but meanwhile my business is in the tank.

 

Jason

Re: Adwords Nightmare

Explorer ✭ ✭ ✭
# 4
Explorer ✭ ✭ ✭
HI, you didn;t mentioned if you have made changes to your website.
Quality score depends upon the website relevance too. If it change then QS will also change and so your cost.

Check and confirm it.

Re: Adwords Nightmare

Rising Star
# 5
Rising Star

This is one of those problems that can be very difficult to find a solution for without looking at the affected account. Because of that, everyone trying to help you is going to be asking you if you've done this or that and requesting that you go look at something and tell us what you see. Smiley Happy  With luck, we'll be able to help you identify some potential solutions.

 

Anil_Singh's question about website changes is an important one.

 

Now, about the campaign and the changes.

 

First, it's quite possible that those "poorer performing keywords" were of more value than the single, generic metric of CTR suggested, so if it were me, I'd resume service on those. CTR is a good metric but it's not the be-all and end-all of results.

 

Second, I'd spot-check my existing active keyword list--hovering my cursor over the bubble in the Status column.  I'd probably check all of my keywords (if my list was short) or up to 10% of my highest and lowest traffic keywords (if my list was long) to see what kind of status and error messages were appearing.

 

Third, has it been a week or two since you made the changes you mention?  

 

If it has, I'd run two search query reports--one for the two weeks before you made the changes and one for the two weeks since. I'd look for changes in search traffic--identifiable patterns of previously good traffic you're no longer seeing and, possibly, patterns of new kinds of traffic that you're getting now but aren't as good for you. It's possible that some of your new negative keywords are blocking traffic you actually want to receive.

 

Are you using Google Analytics and AdWords conversion tracking?


Theresa
Google AdWords Top Contributor
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Re: Adwords Nightmare

Not applicable
# 6
Not applicable

Hi there Ma'am,

 

Thank you very much for responding (and Anil, you too). I haven't made any recent changes to my website. This all started a few months ago when Google started sending me messages encouraging me to do a consultation with one of their adwords specialists. I didn't really want to, so I ignored the offer for a few weeks. Then I started noticing that my ads were dropping in position from where I customarily had been, in position 3. The quality scores for my keywords also started to decline. I figured they were just nudging me to do the consultation, so I called them, and had 2 or 3 sessions over the phone listening to their suggestions and making the tweeks that they recommended. This was really minor stuff like adding negative keywords, deleting some keywords to get down to a list of 15-20 which is what they recommended etc. Over the next few weeks every day or so I would see that 5 or 6 of my keywords were saying "below first page bid." So I would increase my bids to what they suggested, and then in a day or two the same thing would happen--they would again say my bid was below the first page bid. This is for keywords that had an excellent track record for several years. Also, I advertise in a niche market, so usually only 3-4 ads show up for my search terms, so at worst, I should have been in position 4 or 5, not off the first page entirely.

 

Over the next several weeks this continued happening--I doubled my bids and eventually tripled them, which I can't really afford, but have to do to stay in business. During this same period all of my quality scores also tanked. When I hover over the keyword most of my keywords are in the 3-4 range, and every few days they stop triggering my ads due to low adrank. Yesterday my ad stopped showing for almost all of my keywords for this reason. I called Google, and although they can't explain what is happening, they said they would monitor my ads for the day. Within about an hour they sent me an email saying my ads were showing again, but there was no indication as to what was happening or why. They just fixed it by magic. 

 

Today my ads are showing but my quality scores are still very low--to me, irrationally low. When I hover on the keyword it will indicate my quality scores are low due to lack of relevance, or poor landing page experience, or lower than expected clickthrough rate, but my landing page is very effective I think, my clickthrough rates are usually 5-10 %, and my ads are perfectly relevant to what Google searchers are looking for. When I checked the auction results for my main keyword it showed that I was actually in position 1, getting more traffic and clicks than my competitor, but my ad wasn't showing and his was. I feel like I am in a parallel universe, or stuck in a glitch in the Google algorithm that I can't escape.  It just seems to not make sense to me.

 

I did reactivate several of my keywords as you suggested. I will run the reports also. This has been going on for about 6 weeks or so.