Google & Yahoo Ranking Look at Domains Rather Than Individual Pages

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Google AdWords Quality Score may be giving more critical evaluation to campaigns which are consolidated to one domain.

If that domain has had issues in the past with Google results, unethical SEO, cloaking, or other techniques which may cast it as being a negative in the eyes of Google, hosting the landing pages on such a domain may bring down its Quality Score.

From a Digital Point thread:

Clearly there is a domain name Quality Score that is affecting us. It seems when using individual domains names the success or failure of an individual ad group/keyword does not affect the others, but when it all goes to the same domain name it seems tied into each other.

Of course, if your domain is clean and Google considers it an authority, hosting AdWords landing pages on that domain can be beneficial.

Peter Da Vanzo adds:

It’s not so much that the domain name itself is tagged with authority, but if the domain contains enough pages that are deemed authoritative, then it can be assumed that other pages on the domain are also highly likely to be authoritative, even if the authority of those pages hasn’t been individually calculated yet.

It’s like trusting someone who has given you good advice in the past is likely to give you good advice in the present. That assumption may not be true, but it is a reasonable assumption to make, especially if you are unable to check credibility by other means, at the time.

Google AdWords is not the only paid search vehicle to look at the quality of a domain. The new Yahoo Search Marketing ‘Panama’ Quality Index also enters site history and behavior into its equation.

According to the Quality Index patent and conversations with Yahoo, the YSM Quality Ranking considers the following factors:

Yahoo Search Marketing’s ‘Quality Ranking’ could look at these factors as being the most important:

  • Bid or Click Price
  • Domain’s historical click-through data
  • Conversion data
  • Organic Rankings of the Domain
  • Whether the query word/phrase appears in the title
  • Keyword in URL
  • Keywords on Landing Page
  • Possibly other Keyphrases in Campaign
  • Comparison between other sites advertising for keyterm
Loren Baker
Loren Baker is the Founder of SEJ, an Advisor at Alpha Brand Media and runs Foundation Digital, a digital marketing strategy & development agency.
Loren Baker
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  • Glen

    Interesting find. Just a bit OFF Topic here but I sent you an email a few days ago Loren to no reply. Can you confirm you received it?

  • Barry Schwartz
  • Peter

    Can’t recall seeing the Digital Point thread or the SER post.

    I think it’s fair to say a lot of people are speculating along these lines because more examples of domain-related authority appear to be cropping up in their day to day SEM work.

  • John Scott

    Domain based (as opposed to page based) algorithms are not news. Not new news at least.

    To quote myself,

    A single web page on a domain ranking without any external links. The conveniently overlooked factor is that the domain itself has hundreds or thousands of inbound links, and those links are the foundation of the rankings. Put the same web page on another domain without the links, and it will lose all ranking.

    Neither SERoundtable or V7N quoted me. Boo hoo.