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Unsolved problems being marked "solved".

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# 1
Follower ✭ ✭ ☆

Some time ago, I posted a question about why my quality scores were low.  I received a bunch of advice from a bunch of people, and I took all of it, but none of it helped, and I reported that it hadn't worked.  Later, I noticed that my problem had been marked "solved."  I thought maybe I clicked "solved" by accident, so I just quietly marked it "unsolved" and moved on.


Later, I also noticed that a guy named DH was having the exact same problem as me, and he asked the same question as me, and was given the same advice.  He said "thank you, I'll try that," and left.  I notice that his problem is marked "solved" too, despite the fact that we have no evidence that the advice worked for him - he certainly didn't report that it worked.


Is somebody marking unsolved problems solved?


2 Expert replyverified_user

In general, the advice offered may have "solved" the prob...

Badged Google Partner
# 2
Badged Google Partner

In general, the advice offered may have "solved" the problem, in the eye's of the administrators. You can't please all the people all the time. I know how much it sucks to pour your heart and soul into a response, and have it be all for nothing...


The reality is, there are no right answers, and no issue is ever really "solved". Even what seems a simple question (such as this) is always quite complex. The only people who could really answer your question, regarding a specific thread, probably won't. How many hundreds or thousands of the "same" questions get asked every day? How many regular or top contributors have tried to "answer" that question once and for all, and failed in the eyes of someone.


What was the question, what were the answers, and what is the continuing frustration about your issue, that was not addressed? 


In my particular case?   The question was, "why is my QS...

[ Edited ]
Follower ✭ ✭ ☆
# 3
Follower ✭ ✭ ☆

In my particular case?


The question was, "why is my QS so low, despite my respectable CTR - around 6%?"


People gave all the usual suggestions, all the stuff in the FAQ.  Landing page quality, keyword relevance, all the generic answers.  Reasonable answers, but I'd already researched this stuff to death before I attempted the forums.  I'd tried hundreds of ads, I'd reworked my landing page in multiple ways.  I'd already verified that I was in compliance with all policies. Basically, if it was in the google documentation, or posted on a forum, I'd already tried it.  Despite that, I tried again, making even more ads, changing my keywords again, and even reprogramming my landing page to attempt to please the algorithm.  Nothing had any effect.


Now, I don't know what the correct answer was, but I can speculate.  Most of my keywords were 3/10.  But about two months in, I noticed that two of my keywords suddenly started rising - 4/10, 5/10, 6/10, 7/10 over a span of days - and the score appears to be still rising.


I also notice that the two keywords that are doing this are my highest-volume keywords.  I also had a third keyword which had risen a little - to 5/10.  That's my *third* highest-volume keyword. So that really strongly suggests a pattern.


Here's my current theory: everyone says is that until you rack up some data, google uses an initial estimate for the QS.  But in a low-volume business, perhaps google may use that "initial" estimate for months and months.  If that's the case, then the correct answer to my question was "There's not a thing wrong with your campaign.  Your landing page is fine.  You just have to tolerate the high CPC for a few months, and have faith that it will eventually come down to a reasonable level."


If that's the right answer, and I think it was, then the advice to spend a lot of labor changing every aspect of my campaign was, at best, expensively pointless, and at worst, actively destructive - making changes tends to reset the statistics, which could add months in a low-volume business.  But I don't hold that against any of the advice-givers - they were trying their best.  And the answers they gave *were* reasonable things to try.


But to mark an incorrect solution "correct" is harmful - it's going to cause other forum members to search for solutions, and they're going to find these wrong answers, and they're going to follow them.


What I see happening is that the administrators are seeing answers, and they're saying "oh, yes, those are the answers that worked for us, so we're going to judge them correct."  But google's algorithms may function differently on low-volume, low-dollar businesses than they do on the high-dollar campaigns that advertising consultants get hired to work on.  Furthermore, they may work differently today than they did back when those administrators were first building their accounts.  Frankly, the vibe I'm getting is "I know from experience that my recipe works, so if you're following it and reporting that it's not working for you, then you must be doing it wrong, so I'll just re-iterate the recipe again." 


I think the right person to judge whether a problem is solved is the person in front of the adwords control panel.  If I report that my quality scores are too low, and you give me a solution, and I type in the solution, I'm the one who knows if the quality scores moved or not.


So yes, if they follow that rule, they'll have fewer questions marked "solved."  That's unfortunate, but it's the scientific thing to do.


Marked as Best Answer.
Accepted by Zee (Community Manager)
September 2015

Marking discussions as closed

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor

Hello jyelon;

Since I took part in those discussions, as well as answer questions on another non-EN AdWords forum, I'll try to explain the method that normally takes place:


First, it is left to the original poster to mark an answer as a solution. This is, obviously, the preferred course of action;


Threads are "abandoned" and are not "marked as solved", mainly because of two reasons:

  1. the original poster got an answer, and did not mark the question "solved",
  2. Or (as in your case), as much advice as we provide, might not solve specific concerns. (Please do remember, that we do not have access to your account, nor we can handle specifics on you account.) . In rare cases, as much as qualified and experienced we are - we (in those rare incidents) are unable to "crack AdWords" Smiley Frustrated Smiley Wink

Many of those threads have valuable content, that might have not help your specifics, but, could be valuable and helpful, or (complete) solutions for others, who search for similar problems in this community or on Google search. (This community is indexed by searched engines). In those events, if community moderators think that valuable and correct answers were given, - they mark a discussion as "solved"





Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
Did you find any helpful responses or answers to your query? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer’
Marked as Best Answer.
Accepted by Zee (Community Manager)
September 2015

I agree with you here captain. What works for one person...

Badged Google Partner
# 5
Badged Google Partner

I agree with you here captain. What works for one person may not work for another, and often "best practices" can be misleading for a particular individual and situation. In the old forum, responses could either be marked helpful or not, and sometimes you could try your best, and have the question marked not helpful. It's kind of disappointing when you try so hard, and your response is dismissed altogehter, just because you didn't get it "right" the first time around. In the new community, the stress is on answering questions, and getting them marked as such. This has been a little frustrating to me as well. Sometimes what you are looking for is an ongoing discussion, not an immediate answer. I definitely understand both perspectives, but I think the new community is still a work in progress, and hopefully the rigidity of answered/unanswered will become more flexible in time.


So, on to quality score... This is a topic which will, eventually get me ostracized from the community, I fear. Smiley Happy I am not a "quality score will cure all your ills" kind of guy. There are some industries where a quality score of 3 or 4 is to die for, for the highest volume keywords. Sure you want to improve CTR, and that may help improve QS over time, but that is not as easy as many (including the help documentation) make it seem. I don't think all your work was for nothing, but maybe the focus should not be exclusively to improve QS.


Do you have a conversion strategy in place, do you know the value of those conversions? If so, forget about QS, just for a minute. What are your top revenue generating keywords? If you focus your optimization efforts on improving revenue and ROI, then you may become profitabe enough to make a "lower" QS negligible. Yes, you may pay a bit more to maintain position, but if you are making more profit, it's easier to live with the "higher" CPC. Once you have a benchmark for profitability, then try to improve the factors of QS, for the most profitable keywords.


In my experience, for single exact match keyword campaigns, running two ads on rotate, after months/years of optimization there is a certain conundrum which occurs. One ad will have a higher CTR (better for QS), the other ad will have a higher conversion rate (more sales). So which ad is more profitable? Do more clicks at a lower conversion rate actually generate more conversions? Even at a higher cost per conversion, do more conversions equal more profit? Or, does the higher conversion rate ad, with lower QS, and a higher CPC bid, generate more overall profit? You have to do some work to find out, but there is definitely more to the equation than QS alone.


I know how important QS is, but after seeing it go up and down across various accounts, for no "real" reason I can see that is within my control, I can't worry about only QS. You actually have control over your site, I don't for any of our clients. Sure we can make suggestions, but whether or not they are implimented is beyond our control. Perhaps, because you have resources and abilities I do not, your opinion of QS may not be the same as mine. In my experience, a CTR of 40-50% for months/years for a single exact match keyword may not alone be enough to raise QS. So, do I get frustrated by it, or try to find some way to work with what I have, and make a profit for our clients? 


I do believe, that it is an absolute mistake for so many contributors to tell (especially beginning) advertisers that QS is a miracle cure, and raising QS is easy as can be. It's misleading, and my opinion on the matter certainly doesn't make me any friends in that regard. Smiley Happy You have so many tools at your disposal to meet the ultimate goal of advertising, to improve the bottom line - Try to let the frustrations of QS go, while focusing on increasing revenue. Watch QS over time yes, if it improves great, keep it up. If not, then try and find a way to work with what you do have. Going from a QS of 3-7 over the course of days is great! Now, do you know the effort you put in that resulted in such benefits was for the highest revenue generating keywords?


Sorry if once again I did not answer your question. Smiley Happy That's my two cents about QS. I don't think there is any right answer, as you have found out. I do agree with your sentiment, and if you want to, I would be willing to continue the conversation. Perhaps eventually I could be somewhat helpful. Smiley Happy


Hi jyelon,   Marked as solved? I know I did this accident...

Top Contributor
# 6
Top Contributor

Hi jyelon,


Marked as solved? I know I did this accidentally once or twice and could find no way to reverse it.


All that QS about keyword, ad copy and landing page relevancy all goes out the window when your ad starts running. If you get a good CTR, compared to competitors for the same keyword, your QS goes up and the CPC should go down.


If all your keywords get a low initial score, it's most likely because other advertisers have not had success with those keywords. That's just how it is. I'm with Tom, concentrate on ROI.


Tom, I wouldn't worry about getting ostracized form the community for speaking your mind. I always do, why shouldn't you?


Best of Luck!




petebardo -- Deadhead doing AdWords