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Google Slap:

A term coined by shocked AdWords advertisers mid 2006 to describe a change in Google AdWords policy introducing a quality score for the landing pages of AdWords ads.

Most AdWords advertisers design their campaigns to lead visitors directly to a very simple one-page sales letter. If the advertiser promotes another’s product as an affiliate the landing sales page is not even his own but there might be several other affiliates promoting the same page.

Google’ quality score criteria assign low ratings to such landing pages and as a consequence raise the minimum keyword bids for such ads – in some cases dramatically. There were many advertisers who were put out of business over night by being confronted with a sudden bid raise from several cents to several dollars and the realization that there was no way to continue a profitable campaign this way.

Other quality score criteria are:

  • Whether the landing page is part of a full website which minimally has to include a Contact-, an About Us- and a Privacy Policy-page.

  • Whether there is a complete navigation menu internally linking to each page of the website.

  • Whether there is a site map

  • Most important, whether the content of the page has a high relevancy to the campaign keyword (e.g. if the advertiser bids on the keyword “car insurance” and the landing page is about general insurance this might already be enough reason for Google to require a minimum bid of several dollars)

[Slap is of imitative origin imitating the sound of a slap (in the face)]




Recommended Resources :

  • Here  you find the complete list of Google’s criteria for high quality landing pages

  • The Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords  written by Perry Marshall, generally known as the AdWords expert (you can watch a 2 hrs marketing lecture by him here ).

  • AdWords180 , a very recommended ebook with information on how to deal with the infamous Google Slap and how to structure campaigns to achieve CPCs of 1ct ($0.01!)

  • Affiliate Radar  is a membership site for PPC advertisers which provides almost everything needed to setup and run a profitable campaign, especially the all important tracking of individual keywords. This feature allows for identifying the profitable keywords and deleting the unprofitable from the campaign.

  • The Landing Page System . Similar but less features than Affiliate Radar. The 2 main differences: 1) it is not a membership but a script hosted on a server. Therefore only a one time expense. 2) It allows dynamic keyword insertion on the landing page according to the user’s search phrase. This is a real conversion booster.


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