Back when the stock market crashed in 1929 — or more recently in 1987 — a lot of people lost their livelihood, their savings and their businesses.
And from reading the Internet Marketing blogs and forums these days, it seems that a lot of people are going through exactly the same thing.
Where they used to be able to spend a dollar and make two, now they’re being asked to spend $10 to make $5.
And that’s not something you can fix with more volume.
Regular people who provide good content, good service, and good products are now losing their ability to earn a living based on Google’s new rules. . . rules that were designed to increase a user’s search experience.
Google realizes that without searchers, there is no search marketing. Their billions of dollars depend on a good user experience and repeat visitors. Unfortunately, Google isn’t fessing up about what they consider a “good user experience”, so its up to us — internet marketers like you and me — to figure out what that is.
Some things to keep in mind before you post your own comments here.
1) Google has multiple data centers, and not all of them get updated with the new code at the same time. Further, not all websites have been reviewed to the same degree. (What that means is that in addition to dealing with user reports, we have to be aware of the signal-to-noise ratio.)
2) What you see is not all that can be seen — by Google. Two identical sites, or two identical Google Campaigns are not the same in Google’s eyes. So, you aren’t seeing what you think you see. (Take everything you observe and learn with a grain of salt. Including this post.)
3) You should know that Google *does not* hate landing pages, or squeeze pages. What they seem not to like are sites with no content outside of the direct sales effort. What they HATE are sites that are built exclusively for the purpose of displaying more advertising.
4) The determining factor does not appear to be solely the landing page itself, but the overall quality of the domain, too. (At least, that’s what we’ve observed – so far.)
I’m putting together a series of recommendations — or at least things to try — which I’ll publish based on my findings. Still doing a few tests, but I’ve got some relatively simple things brewing that should help out quite a bit.
To help out the research, please post your own user experience. If you’ve got a website where the cost per click has gone up significantly, let us all know. Includ the URL of your landing page, too, and any other relevant info you can volunteer.
If you’ve got a site where the CPC has remained low — or even dropped — PLEASE post that too.
One client of mine had his minimum bid jacked from 15 cents to $5 and $10. I suggested a few tests and we got those rates dropped back down to 15 cents just a few minutes later.
What we don’t know yet is if those better rates will stick, or for how long.
I’ll post findings here, but the more data we all have, the better our results will be.
Will you help?
–Mark Widawer, author