Google AdWords Quality Score : Affiliates Worst Nightmare?

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It wasn’t too long ago (in internet marketing years I guess it is) that affiliates, at least a lot more than there are today, had great success simply advertising in Google.

The process was way more easy than it is today…that is until the almighty quality score came to play into the GOOG.

Although the rest of the players followed into making their own algorithm changes in paid search quality score, Google is making an art of cutting affiliates out of the picture.

I’m not saying affiliate marketing is dead in Google, but if you are just starting out, you’d better know exactly how to comply with Google’s quality score criteria if you want to have a reasonable bid price on keywords.

Even then, as of last weeks quality score change and implementation by Google left many in the dark not knowing why some of their best compliant and converting keywords became inactive or their bid price was raised to $5 or $10 minimums.

Aaron Wall from SEOBook believes its Google favoring big brands and states, “As soon as enough brand advertisers find your space you are no longer needed.” Wall continues…”Thanks for sharing the keyword data needed to tell the brands what to bid on, and best of luck getting traffic from somewhere else.”

Pablo Palatnik
Pablo Palatnik is the author of the blog PalatnikFactor, focusing on all things Online Marketing and Search Engine Optimization specialist for Fortune3, a shopping cart... Read Full Bio
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  • Money From Home

    I have noticed quality score increase my cost per click on my “regular” website also. Since I sell “cloth posters” google has priced me out of selling “banners”, which are the same thing… go figure

  • Jonathan Mendez

    Affiliates and MFAs built SEM but they were always just of proof of concept in Google’s eyes.

    Though the game is ending as we know it, there can still be lots of winners here as long as Social Media is half the component. It’s not about the paid traffic anymore. It can’t be.

  • CarstenCumbrowski

    First: Affiliates MFA

    Paid search and affiliate marketing is talked about for over a year now and things are not sorted out yet.

    Keep in mind that affiliates do paid search since paid search exists. That is what affiliates do by very nature. Adopt new areas and methods to marketing to untapped audiences, which are not broad and mainstream (yet) to get attention by the slow moving corporate behemoths.

    No matter where an advertiser goes, he will learn that his or his competitors affiliates are already in the space for a long time.

    If you go back in time and look at Google’s paid search results from 2000-2003, you will notice that they are vastly dominated by affiliates, with no sign of big brands anywhere (only their affiliates).

    Once a market becomes big enough and safe and proven, merchants move into the space themselves. What happens is that most affiliates will be pushed out, while a few large ones will stick around and play the game with the big boys. The rest will move on and adventure into new areas of marketing before the big business will follow them again to the big markets that used to be niche and frontier land once before.

    And the cycle continues.

    What Google is doing right now though is different. Google seems to apply a different set of criteria to advertisers who do the same thing. Kris Jones is very outspoken of this. I wrote about it at ReveNews in April.

    Here is the post.

  • Baidu PPC

    Yes Google has become quite expensive nowadays. Maybe time to consider other PPC networks or local players