Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Google refreshes the rules on low quality landing pages

Google has a page that discusses which types of websites may merit low landing page quality score. It was updated in the early hours of this morning.

One of the biggest changes to the documentation was the opening paragraph. Why would Google give any type of site a low quality score? Google says;

Users have consistently provided negative feedback on several types of websites.

So, what are those sites?

  • Those that offer free items for data collection.
  • Arbitrage sites that are designed for the purpose of displaying ads.
  • Low quality affiliate sites – such as poor comparison shopping or aggregation sites.
  • Get-rich quick sites
  • Sites that go against Google’s Software Principles
  • Sites that feature false of misdealing claims – this includes competitive claims and generic superlatives
  • Sites that go against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, use cloaking or other inappropriate technologies.

So, let’s take a look at that.

Sites that breach Google’s Webmaster Guidelines can harm their PPC quality score. Link buying can push your PPC costs up. That’s an interesting fact to bring out in a pitch. I think I’ll do that in the future.

It’s interesting that the rules about generic superlatives and competitive claims are cited. They’re well known for being risky in the ad creative; but for the landing page too? One to watch.

It’s also interesting to consider Google explicitly calls out “poor comparison shopping” or “aggregation” sites as a low quality score risk because there certainly is legal action brewing in EUland for Google from some shopping and aggregation sites who claim they’ve been treated unfairly, in general, by Google.

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