Recently, Google's Internet marketing platform AdWords underwent a fundamental change in its algorithm that determines ad position and cost. The new system greatly increases the importance of the landing page that visitors are directed to from an advertisement. This part of the ranking/cost algorithm dubbed the "quality score" is causing an epidemic of complaints on Search Engine Marketing forums everywhere.
At WebMasterWorld Forums, a member shows a 2000% increase in cost, and discussion indicates this is directly attributed to the quality of the landing page. Later in the thread, a test shows a ten-fold increase when the same page is moved to a different URL.
A Digital Point Forums thread has a member claiming that a large amount of minimum bids were raised to $10, but that most of these were seemingly targeted to "Made For AdSense" sites (MFA's). "Some legitimate sites have been hit," however. One member states
My average CPC increased 20% from yesterday to today. My average position dropped (significantly)...This AdWords update is gonna cost me a few thousand dollars per month
A monster thread at WMW also discusses these topics in detail, and one member this morning complains
An algo that cannot differentiate between an ecommerce site and an MFA cannot be good and has to be flawed...So my main keyword has been hiked 400% and is no longer cost effective for me.
Seems as if Johnson and Johnson may need to come up with a new version of Alka Seltzer specifically formulated for AdWords/AdSense advertisers! Join the discussion or catch up on the epidemic at any of the threads above, and feel free to post links to further related threads in the comments.