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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

adCenter’s New Quality Based Ranking has Issues

On April 16th adCenter introduced "Quality Based Ranking".

Since then, like others, my traffic has dropped. Looking at what adCenter is now showing for ads makes me wonder if this "quality based ranking" update is a complete flop. The ads I'm seeing being served by adCenter now are the worst I've ever seen...on any search engine.

I'm not going to post 100 examples (just search on MSN/Live yourself and you can find plenty of your own) but did one to post at least one example query to demonstrate just how messy the paid results are right now.

Term: gold watches. (screenshot here as ads may change)

Paid result # 1 - display url (www.officialsite.com) does not match destination url (www.amazon.com).

Paid result # 2 - display url (www.seeourtsite.com) does not match destination url (www.amazon.com).

Paid result # 3 - display url (www.mainsite.com) does not match destination url (www.amazon.com).

Paid result # 4 - display url (www.popsearch.com) does not match destination url (www.fastsearchs.info/gold.htm ). The actual landing page is 3 blocks of adsense and some garbage text.

Paid result # 5 - display url (www.bestsearchs.com) does not match destination url (www.informations4you.info/gold.htm). The actual landing page is 3 blocks of adsense and some garbage text.

Paid result # 6 - display url (www.bestbuy.com) does not match destination url (www.girl-hot.info/watches/). The actual landing page is 3 blocks of adsense and some garbage text.

Results 7 & 8 go the same kind of garbage landing pages.

I'm seeing this same stuff - and a lot of the same sites - across dozens and dozens of search terms. I even checked a few places where I'm competing and my ad - which actually includes the keywords and brings people to real pages with real content - sits in spots 6 - 8 behind some of the same sites highlighted above.

adCenter team, I hope what I'm seeing is part of what appears to be a failed quality based ranking update that can be rolled back or fixed quickly. I can't even justify leaving adCenter active at this point as I don't want my ads/services associated with the garbage that's showing up the paid results right now.

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7 Comments:

At 12:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am having the exact same problem, I run a legitimate website and my traffic is basically at 0. I paused my campaigns until all of this resolved.

 
At 1:11 PM, Blogger Melissa said...

Yep, this is definitely a huge problem - it was going on before the Quality update, and is definitely worse now. I blogged about it here.

Melissa

 
At 1:36 PM, Anonymous JD said...

Having the same problem as you two (and many others I assume). Looks like it's a single arbitrager taking the top spots.

What the hell were they thinking?

 
At 1:37 PM, Blogger Jon12345 said...

I concur. MSN has completely messed up their ranking.

Jon12345

 
At 2:08 PM, Blogger Jeremy Mayes said...

Thanks for the comments everyone.

Melissa, I read your post earlier this month - it's a good one and does a nice job of describing the issue. It seems to me like the issue with poor quality ads/sites got even worse after the last "quality" update.

I've been pulling for adCenter since the early days but it's stuff like this that make me wonder who's behind the wheel over there and how much they've had to drink.

 
At 4:53 PM, Blogger Jeremy Mayes said...

I've been watching the "gold watches" query since I first made this post. Yesterday it looked like things were "right" again...but today it's back to showing a bunch of ads who's display url does not match the destination url.

On the bright side, at least the MFA sites are not showing up...for the time being.

 
At 9:46 AM, Blogger Melissa said...

Looks like you're right, Jeremy. Today's results are much better than they were. Still, your question of who's drinking and driving at MSN is a valid one...

 

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