Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Google AdWords Quality Score Changes

The Google 'Inside AdWords' blog has announced changes to how they calculate quality score and rank ads. The changes will remove the bias of ad.

Quality Score Update: Google have confirmed that click-through rate (CTR) remains the most significant component of the quality score, because it directly indicates which ads are the most relevant to their users, but they have now removed the influence of ad position on this calculation.

This is because ads higher on the page are more visible and usually get more clicks over those in lower positions for this reason alone, not necessarily because it's a more relevant ad. In an effort to show the most relevant ads, Google will adjust its calculations to remove the influence "position has on the CTR.

Ads Above Search Results: Google have also tweaked for formula to determine which ads are displayed in the yellow section above search results. Previously, ads displayed in this area had to meet a certain quality threshold, and if the first listing didn't have a high enough AdRank (quality score x CPC), no ads were displayed in this section.

Now, Google are allowing ads in position 2 and 3 to leapfrog over position 1 and appear in the yellow section if they have a high enough quality score.

The changes appear to be placing less importance on how much your bidding, but rather what your quality score is.

For those of you who are unsure, quality score is Google's version of PageRank for AdWords. It takes into account a range of factors to rate the quality of each keyword in your ad group/s.

These enhancements will be released shortly by Google, so keep an eye on your ad position, spend and performance over the next few weeks!

Included link: Inside AdWords

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Google Offers Migration Service to Transfer Content from AOL
AOL has recently decided to go for a more open and social approach, not unlike Yahoo. They've opened up their homepage to third party content, and are allowing users to update social network profiles right from there as well.

Ironically, AOL dropped its blogging service AOL Journals (among other services). I find this interesting because I consider blogs to be one of the top forms of social media, in the respect that they give people a voice, and their own community via readership and commentary.

Google sees this as an opportunity to get plenty of those AOL Journals users on board with its own service - Blogger. A post on Blogger Buzz welcomes those people with open arms providing links to a Blogger Tour, help resources, and a user group. But it doesn't stop there.<mpl=aol&continue=
Google is being proactive in the matter, and going so far as to offer a migration tool so that AOL Journals users can easily transport their content to Blogger. To use the tool, follow these steps as outlined by Google:

1. Sign in with the Google Account you would like associated with your blog. If you don't have a Google Account, make one.

2. Once you've signed in with your Google Account, you'll be asked to enter your AOL Journal URL. Do so and click "continue."

3. On the next page you'll be asked to sign in with your AOL OpenID screen name or email address.

4. The import process will then begin and may take a few minutes to complete.

5. After your blog finishes importing, you'll be asked to choose a title for your new Blogger blog as well as a new address.

6. Once you've chosen a new title and address, you can then select one of their blog templates.

7. Click "view your imported posts" to visit your blog at its new address.

Sounds easy enough right?

This is a smart move on Google's part. They knew bloggers would want to continue, and would be forced to find a new service to use. The easier the transition for the user, the more likely they are to use that new service. I wonder how many have gone the Blogger route.

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