Hey Dave, I’ve been told that Google doesn’t like squeeze pages any more and that that is why my clicks now cost about 100 times more than they used to. What gives? How do I get my cheap clicks back?
The short answer is no, Google still likes squeeze pages. “What’s a squeeze page, Dave?” many of you are asking right now. Let’s define that term, then I’m going to hand the digital talking stick to my friend Mark Widawer, author of a book about landing pages and expert on Google AdWords, for more insight into this topic.
First, a squeeze page is a page that offers information, access to content, secret passwords, free stuff, whatever, if you give up your email address and possibly some additional information. This is a widely used tactic: if you’ve checked the number printed on a candy bar or bottle cap to see if you’re a prize winner, you’ve hit a squeeze page that requires you to register for the site first.
Anyway, now that you know what a squeeze page is, let’s let Mark pick up the explanation of why some people think Google’s down on ‘em, and why they’re actually not so bad…
No, Google doesn’t dislike squeeze pages, they just don’t want them to be the only thing your site.
Here’s some background: Back in July 2006, Google changed their policies regarding how they determine the pricing for their Adwords Pay Per Click ads. Clicks that used to cost nickels and dimes might now cost $5, $10 or more. They did this to get rid of tons of garbage websites — sites that had no real value, but tons of ads — from their Adwords listings.
In other words, now Google takes into account the “quality” of the website you are sending traffic to in addition to the wording of the ad itself.
And that begs the question, “What does Quality mean?”
Google makes a half-hearted attempt to describe that on their Site Quality Guidelines page, but they really don’t give any details. They do say this, though:
“Try to provide information without requiring users to register. Or, provide a preview of what users will get by registering.”
So clearly, they are okay with having a squeeze page. The problem is that most people who have squeeze pages on their site make that one page their home page, and have nothing else to offer a user. And to Google, that’s a low quality site. So what Google wants to see is that your website actually has something to offer someone about your topic.
So, in a nutshell, if you want to use a squeeze page, don’t make it your home page, and provide several pages at least of other relevant content on your site that is connected to your home page.
Dave, I know you have limited space for this answer and there really is a lot more to this topic. I just wrote about this a few days ago on my own blog [see Does Google hate squeeze pages?] and I’ve also just written a 27-page special report that goes very deep into Google’s new rules and policies, and how to make your website comply.
You’ll find my free report behind a squeeze page at Free Google Squeeze Page Report. [Note from Dave: it's well worth reading and it's free. What's not to like?]
I hope that helps your readers with this issue.