Following up on its July decision to begin factoring landing page quality into its bidding algorithm for search ads, Google today tweaked that algorithm, and expanded its use into contextually targeted ads in addition to its search ads. Google says landing page quality will not affect ad rank, it will only force those with a poor-quality landing page to pay more.
How does Google determine what makes a quality landing page? They’re not saying, except to suggest, “it may be instructive to put yourself in your customer’s shoes and closely examine what it is that leads you to explore and do business with a site rather than simply click the ‘Back’ button,” according to “Andrew C.”, product marketing manager for Ads Quality initiatives, on the Inside AdWords blog. They did release a testing tool last month that incorporates Google Analytics, which may give more clues to what Google is looking at.
For advertisers who may be providing a poor experience on their site, this will likely cause their traffic across the content network to decrease, and their minimum bids for Google.com and the search network to increase. In most cases, Google expect the higher minimum bids to force out low quality ads on search. Google expects this to affect a “very small portion” of advertisers.