Google AdWords Quality Score is the overall grade of the efficiency and success of your ad. It can range from one to ten, one being the lowest grade and ten being the highest. Having a high Quality Score means that your ad has proved to be relevant and useful for the “clickers”. However, having a low Quality Score means that your key elements (such as keywords and landing page) are proved to be irrelevant to someone looking at your ad.
Just like it is in your personal interest to have a high Quality Score ad, it is in Google’s interest as well. Google rewards high Quality Score ads by reducing the cost of the ad and putting it in a better and more visible position (higher on the page). But how do you get higher Quality Score? Well, for that we will have to examine the factors that influence your Quality Score grade. In other words, we will have to see how Google calculates the Quality Score.
Every time someone does a search that triggers your ad, Google calculates a Quality Score by means of which Google takes several things into consideration. Here we will examine three factors that can influence Quality Score – Expected CTR, Landing Page experience and ad relevance.
Expected CTR (click-through rate) is a prediction of how likely it is for your ad to get clicked when shown for the specific keyword. There are three possible statuses you can get for your Expected CTR – average, above average and below average. To measure this Google takes into account how well that very keyword has performed in the past by comparing it to all other keywords across AdWords. Google only looks at exact matches when determining your Expected CTR. As mentioned above, Expected CTR is a prediction, so it differs from the actual CTR shown in the “CTR” column of your account.
Landing Page experience refers to the experience a viewer gets when he goes to the landing page (the page your ad sent the viewer to when he clicked on it). Just like the Expected CTR, Google AdWords doesn’t rate Landing Page experience with numbers but rather with these statuses – Average, Below Average and Above Average. But how do they determine the Landing Page experience? To determine Landing Page experience, Google AdWords go through several criteria.
First of all, your landing page (or destination URL) must be original. By offering useful and unique features or content will do the trick. Secondly, your destination URL must be directly relevant to your ad text and keywords. For example, if you are offering a discount or any kind of special offer, make sure it appears on landing page as well. Moreover, your landing page must be user friendly. It must provide all the possible information the user needs. Make it easy for them to find your contact information or any other information considering your business they might need. And finally, don’t be afraid to use strong call to action. Phrases such as Buy now or Sign up or whatever you want the user to do on your landing page, will help and inform the user of what he should do next.
The third factor that influences the Quality Score is Ad Relevance. This factor describes how well your keyword matches the message in your ads. In other words, how relevant your keyword is to what a customer searches for and how relevant your keyword is to your ad. For example, if the user searches for the very keyword and your ad shows up will your ad is directly connected with their search?
Just like two factors mentioned above, can be graded with three possible statuses – average, below average and above average. Having an average or above average status means that you have managed and chose your keywords correctly and carefully. However, having a below average status means that your keywords are not specific enough or that your ad group is too general. Including the keywords in your ad text and creating more specific keywords will help you resolve your issue.
Google AdWords is the perfect match making system leaving everybody satisfied – advertisers, customers as well as Google. Relevant ads attract more customers thus earning you more clicks and appearing in a better position and bringing you more success.
Ever tried to search something in the internet and ended up annoyed by the top search result’s poor content? Good news. Google has announced that it is making a way to fix that. It seems that in order to achieve the birth of a pleasant internet experience, we have to wish for the death of over optimized blogs and the extinction of over optimized SEO voodoo.
What Is an Over Optimized SEO?
It is a rat race even in the internet. Web pages compete for every view and visit. When you search the net for anything, the search responds with search engine result pages (SERP). SERP ranks web pages that are likely to give you what you need. Search engine optimization (SEO) largely influences the SERP ranking. Over optimized blogs target to get to the top of SERP and not really to help the user.
Search engines devised algorithms to determine relevance to you search based on keyword matches, popularity and authority but because these cannot really review content, users often find themselves in over optimized blogs with low-quality content.
When we say over optimized SEO, websites such as over optimized blogs are using too much key words and hyperlinks to manipulate its way to the top of the SERP.
Google: The Quality Hunter
This March 2012, Matt Cutts, head of Google search spam team has announced in SXSW panel that they are trying to work on a new algorithm that can outwit over optimized SEO strategies and bypass over optimized blogs. Google is also planning to penalize over optimized blogs by placing them last on the SERPs, or never at all.
Cutts said during the panel that they want to “make the playing field a bit more level” between those who use over optimized SEO and those who are just trying to make useful sites.
Is This the End of SEO?
Punk and metal might be dead but not definitely SEO. The Google’s banshee cries are only about over optimized SEO techniques and over optimized sites or blogs.
Cutts clarified that SEO techniques that marketers have been using will stay around because they are undeniably useful. He said they make the internet “crawlable” and they make the sites more accessible. So it seems that white hat wearers have to fear nothing at all.
Black Hat: Over Optimized SEO
White hat is good. Black hat is bad. And although some may complain that this sounds like stereotyping and racism, these are really the two categories of SEO. The former is the sort that employs no deception, sticks to a search engine’s rules, gives you what you need to know and refers you other helpful sites. The black hat is the opposite and it’s what over optimized blogs are wearing. Over optimized SEO is definitely a black hat. Soon enough this terrible faux pas will die once Google is through with its algorithm.
It seems Google is serious in playing the hero (which is the good thing) but there is absolutely no reason to panic unless you are running over optimized blogs. If what you have is low-ranking but legit and view worthy, it’s safe and sound.
How To Avoid Over Optimized SEO and Over Optimized Blogs
As mentioned earlier, SEO is an important and indispensable aspect of internet search. However, your parents are right: anything is bad when overdone. To keep out of Google’s shunning and ill-favor, here are the basic steps:
- Do not over-stuff with keywords
SEO relies on keyword density use. It means it can calculate the degree of your web content’s relevance to a search by how many times a keyword appears. An over optimized SEO or black hat (you know what that means now, don’t you?) will saturate its content with those keywords. You’ll pretty much be reading a lengthy article with little help. An ideal keyword density is said to be only between 1% to 3%.
- No link toxicity
Aside from content, search engines’ algorithms judge your web page’s rank by popularity. You are popular when you link is posted in many other web sites.Likewise, you’ll get higher in ranking when you post other links in your web site. This move is supposed to help the users over optimized SEO strategists will fill their webpage with futile, irrelevant links and hyperlinks.
- Don’t Tolerate Over Optimized Blogs
If you spot what seems to be an over optimized blog, get out of there! Some theorizes that the length of time you’re staying with a site affect its ranking. Don’t even add a link of an over optimized blog on your own site. It makes you seem like an accessory to the crime.
- Site Goodness: Mean It
It seems safer to be genuinely kind. Don’t deceive users by appearing to be helpful when all you want are views. Ironically, the more you want visits so desperately that you use over optimized SEO, the less likely you will get it.
Apparently, the more a web page concentrates on the quality and not on the visibility of its content, the more likely it will get more views and make it to the honor roll of Google’s SERP. Just go with what the users need, not with what the search engine wants. Very soon, over optimized blogs will be history but maybe now we can already start saying, ‘adios over optimized SEO, hello better and satisfying internet experience.’
Reddit has been continually rising in popularity since first emerging on the scene back in 2006. Today, it is one of the most popular social news sites of its kind, proving to be a great alternative for those who have grown tired of competitors such as Digg and StumbleUpon. Reddit often calls itself the front page of the internet to play on its growing reputation as a digital newspaper of sorts. And just like newspapers have categories and sections, this site has something similar known as subreddits, a feature that can come in handy for the savvy social marketer.
A subreddit is essentially a category or subcategory that has a community of reddit users built around a specific topic or area of interest. These categories are finely targeted and can be set to either public or private by the creator. Examples of popular subreddits, as chosen by the user community include:
- World News
These examples represent broad general interests, of course, but the subcategories on reddit go much much deeper. For instance, you can find subreddits on specific topics such as World of Warcraft, Indie Gaming, and even presidential hopeful Ron Paul. While each area of interest has its own moderator, community members are able to contribute by submitting and rating content from around the web that is related to the topic at hand. For everyday users, subreddits provide an easy way to quickly access the content that matters most. For marketers, they provide a way to generate visibility and meet business objectives.
Benefitting From Your Own subreddits
Perhaps the best thing to like about subreddits is the fact that anyone can create them. There are numerous benefits to setting up your own, starting with the community aspect. If fellow redditors share your interest, it could easily lead to a situation where users are commenting, sharing, and engaging in other ways that keep the community alive with activity. The site has millions of active users, all interested in something. What this means is that unless your area is built around an obscure topic like “overhanded Bolivian bowling techniques”, there is a great chance that you will be able to attract others who share your passion.
The big payoff to having your own subreddits is increased traffic. All that activity combined with solid content means it is highly likely that people will want to pay a visit and learn more about what you have to offer. Make sure your newly created subcategory is listed on the subreddits page, pass the word along to your connections on the site, and the possibilities are endless.
Some observers have gone as far to say that subreddits are what have enabled reddit to surpass Digg in the social bookmarking arena. This is not as farfetched as it may sound considering it is one of the platform’s most important features. Whether it is streamlining content discovery or building a community around your own, social marketers can make great strides by putting this essential element to use.
Innovative and creative design is a terrific way to increase user engagement and attract backlinks in the process. All too often, SEO practitioners get caught up in the more technical aspects of link building and forget about the aesthetic appeal of the pages they’re promoting. Though substance will always inevitably trump style, attractive web design can go a long way towards generating organic backlinks. Here a few of the more popular ways to leverage web design for greater link juice.
The famous Nike Better World website from a few years back was largely responsible for popularising the use of parallax design. For the uninitiated, parallax scrolling entails varying the speed at which web page elements fly by as a visitor browses a page. Belting out a solid parallax scrolling web layout is quite easy and such designs can be customised quickly to add your own personal flair. You can vary the scroll speed and implement multiple CSS backgrounds to stand out.
Stellar 1-Page Websites
Modern websites have become so complex that a CMS is usually a must nowadays to keep everything straight. However, 1-page sites for portfolios, announcements and AJAX-dependent interactive web apps still have their place. While crafting a standalone 1-page website that leaves a lasting impression is a challenge, it’s well worth the effort. Minimalist web design is always tricky to pull off, but it has the advantage of focusing the reader’s attention on one specific topic. You can only cram so much information onto one page, so a quality 1-page site will have to be judicious when it comes to selecting the right images and information to present.
As a longtime Web 2.0 favourite, the versatile infographic has been a powerful way to build backlinks. Everybody loves an infographic – I know this from personal experience – and it’s never been easier to slap together a quality composition. The best infographics tell a story with a few statistics and some subtle graphics that can be digested at a glance. Much like a collage, an infographic that’s successful relies heavily on choosing the right constituent elements. Best of all, there are tons of free tools available online such as Visual.ly and Piktochart for building infographics that’ll truly impress readers.
Static infographics are all well and good, but interactive infographics are an even better way to draw in viewers and get backlinks. More and more, interactive elements are being incorporated into infographics for greater user interaction and value. Web apps like Vizify and Infogr.am make crafting an interactive infographic a cakewalk. Interactive data visualisation is going to be the wave of the future, so you might as well hop on the bandwagon now and get a leg up on the competition.
Competition Breeds Excellence and Backlinks
Flexing your design muscles and showing off your skills in a non-commercial venue is a great way to raise your profile and get some link love from your peers. Publishing guest posts on design sites like Noupe, Smashing Magazine and Tuts+ is the smart way to boost web design “street cred” and gain backlinks to your work. CSS competitions are another fantastic avenue for establishing yourself as an expert and obtaining links naturally for SEO purposes.
Putting It In Perspective
It should be stressed that even the most amazing web design won’t disguise lame content that’s devoid of value. Make your infographics accurate, helpful and gorgeous at the same time. When entering competitions and writing blog posts, don’t be overly promotional and transparent about your ulterior backlink-building motives. Give your time, effort and expertise freely, and you’ll reap the rewards in the long run. More often than not, eye-catching web design can end up being one of the most effective link building techniques at your disposal.