Are Low Google AdWords Quality Scores Due to "Penalties"?

Jan 6, 2009 • 8:14 am | comments (6) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google AdWords

You don't hear the word "penalty" come up much when you are talking about Google's AdWords program. I hear it all the time with Google's web search algorithm, but rarely when it comes to Google's AdWords quality score algorithm.

In a AdWords Help thread a Google representative actually used the term penalty, to describe why a person has a low quality score.

The advertiser asked why his Quality Score is so low, in which AdWordsPro Sarah replied, "the bad news is your page is probably being penalized for the redirect." She goes on to explain how the redirects are "misleading," and recommends that instead of using a redirect, he/she should create his/her "own unique content" that adds value to the affiliate product that is being promoted.

It is funny, because the last time we used the word "penalty" with AdWords was when it came with the affiliate business.

Forum discussion at AdWords Help.

Update: Sarah from Google did update the thread to explain redirects can be used professionally. But still interesting that redirects can cause a penalty when used wrong.

Previous story: Daily Search Forum Recap: January 5, 2009



01/06/2009 03:12 pm

Affiliate links or redirects by themselves are not a problem. Some very well known bid management and tracking solutions use redirects for example. I'm pretty sure she is mixed up on this one.


01/09/2009 01:11 pm

Barry, might be worth updating this one as Sarah has added a little more information to her previous comments which might of been misconstrued.

Barry Schwartz

01/09/2009 01:56 pm

Done, but that really wasn't the point. But done anyway.


02/01/2009 04:19 am

This sounds similar to a problem I've had and I'm curious your opinions. I'm new ot AdWords (signed up aroudn Xmas) and started running affiliate links for arbitrage. The trainers suggested just creating an iframed offer which others in my course are having success with. However, a few of my ads have run really well for about 8 hours - using up my small offer testing budget and making me a small profit. When I go to up the budget, pause keywords with a CTR < 1% and add an ad variation my QS drops to 1 or 2. From that point forward the ads gets no more than a couple dozen impressions a day after having gotten thousands in the first 8 to 12 hours. I've gotten so desperate that I've even copied a competitor's landing page (which was just text copied from Wikipedia in a hidden <div>), made minor tweaks and created an ad for it to see if my QS would rise. In one instance my QS rose to 7 for the copied/tweaked landing page but the ad still never ran. Any thoughts?


02/01/2009 04:20 am

My other comment got clipped. It should read: When I go to up the budget, pause keywords with a CTR less than 1%, and add an ad variation my QS drops to 1 or 2. I have not touched the original ad. I've only added another.


06/26/2009 04:11 am

How can I correct following and reactivate campaigns Active Ads rarely show due to low quality score

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