Back in 2005, Google AdWords introduced quality score so to ensure creative to include a decent ad text allowing users finding what they’re looking for. They were also evaluating the CTR.
After a short while, Google added a landing page score to the mix, which was evaluating also the landing page in terms of relevance i.e. the page should reflect the promise made by the ad.
As per all Google claims, the text of the landing page must be original, so users can see a divers landing page while clicking on different ad, there should not be excessive pop-ups, or any means to “trap” users (e.g. disabling the back button). A high-quality landing page should also fast load itself.
These are just a bunch of rules, and as you can imagine many others factors are used to determine whether or not a landing page is good enough.
In many ways, these policies mirror the rules Google uses to rank web sites in the organic SERPs, relevancy to the keyword term being the primary requirement.
But this is so complicated that I don’t know where to look at
It’s easier to fix a problem when you know what it is, and regrettably as the complexity of Google's algorithm improves on a daily basis, quite oftand it is easy to get into some problems and don’t know where to start looking at.
Raise your hand if you have been a so good PPC manager to have been always able to avoid Google Slaps.
As I would imagine, unless you are not managing a very small campaign, it is unlikely everything has carried on regularly without incidents.
And when you are not managing directly the account, so just super visioning it as a consultant, things get even harder as you have to reconstruct the whole story and all the changes that eventually the customer did.
So, you have to dig around and questioning on everything, because most of the time customers forget to tell you the most insignificant part that is the source of your headaches.
A little help for the poor PPC managers
Luckily for us, someone in Google offices should have had such a bad experience with troubleshooting that they’ve made available an easier way to know when you’re affected by a landing page or site policy problem, rather than a landing page quality problem.
Previously, if a destination URL wasn’t compliant with those guidelines, the associated keywords would show a Quality Score of 1/10 as an indication of poor landing page quality. So no explicit mention about a landing page policy violation.
Now, if your keywords are affected by the problem, you’ll see the status column of the affected keywords showing "Site suspended", while the Ads tab will show simply a status of “Suspended”. And since affected keywords aren’t able to trigger ads, a Quality Score is no longer calculated (and shown).
The change aforementioned should make easier to see when you're affected by landing page policy issues and take corrective action(s).
So what else can I say … thank you Google.