Well its like bashing your head against a brick wall. So they introduced QS some time back. For many this made little difference. For a percentage of people this was a nightmare. The lack-logical system always baffled me. For example, I remember having a campaign - say for example, it was on fishing rods. All keywords about fishing rods. Landing page was fishing rods, advert was for fishing rods. This campaign worked a treat - great CTR - great sales. QS kicks in and the minimum bids requested jumped to a massive amount - rendering it inviable to continue bidding for them. The anomoly being - that mistakenly 'I had a keyword in the list for fridges - totally unrelated. Now this keyword has a great QS and I can have this keyword active for only 3p.
One can only assume from this that it is a rape and pillage situation - and in fact does bear no resemblance to QS at all. The injustice of QS has been apparent to me for some time - and while we've tried to activate inactivate keywords using the "adwords" guides - its been a painful, time consuming process. Several months back I decided to not waste any more time with it.
I have however continued to use yahoo with some success. Then Yahoo adopt a new QS system - similar in model to adwords. Again, many of the most pertinent keywords with great conversions and CTR were price hiked into oblivion. I thought - to hell with it - so let these words become inactive. A couple of weeks ago I decided to pause everything. Strangely enough today - having made absolutely no changes to keywords, adverts or landing pages, I've been notified that many of these keywords are now active. If this isn't a money grab - I don't know what is.
I have one particularly competitive keyword - one that I would expect to have to pay several dollars for - this today has become active again at only 10p - where as a couple of weeks ago, when I had it turned on - they were demanding over £4 for it.
Today I read that adwords is abolishing its QS sytem and replacing it with a more "transparent" system. Have we all been part of some massive experiment that didn't work? Did they try to squeeze more revenues out of us - which eventually failed? I stronly believe so.
I also think that these QS systems - both within adwords and Yahoo have been the cause of declining earnings for many adsense publishers. I think ultimately most people have a bottom line. They may be happy to pay 10p a click - but not 12p a click. Adwords seem to hike the cost of keyword when it performs well. Then these keywords become inactive as the advertiser reaches that threshold point.
It will be interesting to see what this new, allegedly improved system does to both advertisers and publishers. I'm not holding my breath.
Damon - I couldn't agree more regarding the "dead pope" type adverts. And to a greater extent a lot of these have now been eliminated. But I do think there were a lot of "innocents" that got caught up in this net. I also think that if they had been a bit more transparent regarding how they implemented it. For example, in Yahoo they give you advance warning that certain keywords will be disabled. This does at least give you the opportunity to do something about the problem - rather than having them stop - and then it taking forever to get them enabled again. Yahoo system is far from perfect - but IMHO it is better than the adwords "zap" system.
I also appreciate the fact that there are reasons why Google would not want to divulge exactly what things go into their QS - but perhaps if they could break it own a bit and let you know that there is a problem with:
Relativity to keyword
This would then perhaps enable webmasters to create better sites addressing the situation. The example I sited above regarding "fridges" is a classic example of why it doesn't currently work. I was using dynamic keyword insertion with that keyword - so there is no way it should have passed the QS sniff test. There was no mention of this keyword on the landing page - or even the site. Totally irrelevant. Sure - I should have been far more careful - but when dealing with massive accounts it is not always easy to monitor all keywords - and occassionally a dingbat word slips through the net.
I think the QS was flawed from the start - and I think it may have hit adwords financially. So it will be interesting to see what they are about to roll out.