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Google Tackles Click Arbitrage

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Google is putting its Birkenstocks down hard on AdWords clients with less-than-quality landing pages for their websites, in an attempt to clean up those made-for-AdSense pages found all over the web. Click arbitrage is a modern version of the “buy low, sell high” advice many have learned over the years.

Google Tackles Click Arbitrage
Cleaning Out Search Advertising Trash

Has click arbitrage impacted your keyword strategy? How have you improved the quality of your landing pages for your visitors? Post a note about it at WebProWorld.

The problem starts with advertisers who purchase keywords at the minimum bid price on Google AdWords, a ClickZ report noted.

Users who click that ad end up on an AdSense page. This is usually a low-quality page filled with AdSense or other contextual advertising that pays the advertiser a higher cost per click than the advertiser paid for the keyword in AdWords that delivered the traffic to that loaded page.

It’s a poor quality experience for the visitor, one that Google feels diminishes the trust and value of its AdWords product. To combat this, Google announced on its Inside AdWords blog that changes would be made to landing page quality requirements:

From time-to-time, we improve our algorithms for evaluating landing page quality (often based on feedback from our end-users), and next week we’re launching another such improvement. Thus, over the coming days a small number of advertisers who are providing a low quality user experience on their landing pages will see increases in their minimum bids.

We realize that some minimum bids may be too high to be cost-effective — indeed, these high minimum bids are our way of motivating advertisers to either improve their landing pages or to simply stop using AdWords for those pages, while still giving some control over which keywords to advertise on.


Staying on Google’s good side with regards to having a quality landing page should not be too difficult. If a search ad leads to a page full of AdSense and no relevant content, Google will likely find it is a low quality experience and boost keyword prices accordingly.

Pages that obey Google’s guidelines on providing relevant content, properly handling personal information, and offering an easily navigable structure, should not have any difficulty with their minimum keyword bids.

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

Google Tackles Click Arbitrage
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  • http://www.compellingconversations.com Eric

    Thank you for writing a clear, concise primer that explains how and why I so often get misdirected to websites when using search engines.

    I’ve often wondered who and why people would set up these lousy websites that only redirect you to other websites. Your excellent article clarified why this was occurring, and how Google is trying to correct this abuse of the internet’s great potential.

    Again, thank you.

     

    PS. I also submitted a review to Stumble about your article because it deserves to be widely read.