I am hearing major reports of a major "smack down" on Google AdWords advertisers who have been hit with major spikes in their minimum bids at AdWords. The increase in minimum bids seem to branch off the landing page quality score component, for virtually all advertisers who are complaining.
The landing page component was introduced back in December 2005. The first major smack down was the AdWords Landing Page Epidemic of July in 2006, but not everyone was impacted - many were but not everyone. Since then, we have seen thread after thread with individual advertisers getting hit with spikes (overnight) in their minimum bids due to "quality" reasons.
This is the first time, in a long time, that I have seen such a wide spread of reports on a quality score "slap" from AdWords.
All the reports, like I said, seem to stem from the landing page component of the quality score. Here is what AdWordsPro Sarah had to say at the Google Groups thread:
From what you are describing it sounds like it may be a problem with your Landing Page Quality. The quality of your landing page is a component of your overall Quality Score, and, as you probably know, Quality Score is what determines your minimum bids.
A sudden jump in minimum bids often indicates that your page was recently crawled and marked for poor quality. You can read the complete landing page and site quality guidelines at http://adwords.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=46675. In addition, we recently started taking page load time into account when determining quality. If your page is slow to fully load, this could also be responsible for the bid jump.
Finally, there are several threads on Landing Page Quality on this forum that you may want to check out.
Best of luck, AdWordsPro Sarah
Yes, Google did launch the Page Load Time factor, but it doesn't appear that this is the issue for this group. They all say that the landing page quality and relevancy isn't being reported as quality.