Last week we got hit by the Google slap on one of our Adwords campaigns that we’ve been running for a long time. Overnight, traffic went to zero – the domain was nuked – even the content ads stopped running.
The irony is that we had just shored up the site to be better quality for both SEO and PPC. I know Google has been waging war on affiliates for a while now – so we thought we’d create better quality content and really make the site into a great resource with the end user in mind. We surveyed our users, answered their most common questions on the page, added useful outbound links to non-affiliate pages, and worked hard to make the site into something useful.
Then BAM – we got hit. I’m not sure whether it was a manual review or an algorithmic adjustment that caused our domain to tank from a 7/10 landing page quality score to 1/10 with the dreaded “below first page bid” penalty.
Our competitors in paid search have very crude and basic affiliate pages that add little value to the buying process, but they’re still running, just under different domains. I guess the name of the game is – create crap landing pages, move domains, get slapped, move again – rinse and repeat.
Our lesson has been – why spend time creating good quality content when doing so still gets us penalized? It’s sort of the opposite effect of what Google engineers intended. Instead of creating quality resources, we’re now more likely to just throw crap up and move domains every time we get slapped when it comes to our PPC efforts. As a matter of fact, we threw together a lower quality domain and quality score on the new pages is back to 7/10, even though the content is nowhere near the same quality. *sigh*
Anyone else have similar experiences?