Andrew Goodman over at Traffick has interview Nick Fox about Googles pay per click quality score, which seems to be pretty much the hot topic of the moment. There were a few interesting points made by Nick Fox, but probably the most interesting was that Google are looking into changing landing page quality from just influencing minimum cpc and instead incorporate it into the rest of the ad rank algo.

If you read my interview with Graywolf about the whole landing page quality update, you will know that many deemed having the landing page quality as a independant factor which only determined min cpc meant that advertisers could still rank if they were prepared to pay the price for it. Which kind of makes Google look more interested in cash than being completely focused on ‘user experience’ as they preach. If the advert isnt great quality then don’t rank it.

I have outlined the interesting points of the post below;

Traffick: So, I’ll assume a whole range of factors are involved in deciding ad rank but that along with bid, CTR History is, as Google has said in the past, “predominant.” But you’re saying that landing page quality does not currently affect ad rank; landing page quality only affects minimum bids.

NF: We’ve been debating this internally, and it’s my feeling that our users will benefit even if we push the landing page quality measure into the quality score that affects ad rank. Basically, I advocate all of the factors being used in the actual rankings of the ads, not just affecting minimum bids. So I’m pushing for landing page quality being included in the ranking formula and I think you’ll see that soon.

Nick also confirmed the rumours that I posted a few days back regarding the possibility of having quality score shown at adgroup level

Traffick: How can you provide more information to advertisers who have low quality scores, and is there some way advertisers can appeal high minimum bids that might be based on “algorithmic false positives”?

NF: Google is currently exploring ways of providing more of this type of information to advertisers. The problem is, if we give too much information about the process to the bad guys, they’ll turn around and use that to circumvent the process.

Traffick followup: So they try to “fix” it, but the intent is not to really fix it.

NF: Right, the intent is not to really fix it. In any case, Google is running a test now — we haven’t formally announced it yet, but I guess I’m going to tell you now — showing in the front end, quality score information to the advertiser. This is sensitive. Potentially it helps the bad guys optimize, so we have to be careful how we implement this. As for the editorial process and appeals, today there is an escalation process, and Google can correct mistakes if it sees that a mistake has been made. There are actually few enough of these appeals that I get to see all of them personally.

Interesting stuff.