We have been working closely with Google’s keyword quality score for quite some time. The Quality Score that Google assigns to each keyword in an account is an important component in PPC Management.
The way Quality Score worked in the past is that Google would take a combination of the keyword, the Ad Copy and Landing page and other “historical” information from the account and the industry and would assign a quality score to the keyword. Just recently, they added landing page load time to the quality score calculation as well.
This quality score would impact the CPC (Cost Per Click), the position of the ad and the minimum bid required to show your ad on that keyword. One of the biggest impacts of the quality score algorithm was that Google could make your keyword “Inactive for Search” by increasing the minimum bid based on this score. If an advertiser does not look at their account often or does not have a PPC management firm overseeing their account, they could have very important terms inactivated with little notice (Google tells you about the keywords that are inactive only when you display Ad Group in a campaign).
The New Quality Score Changes
As with everything, Google’s goal is to improve the quality and relevance of advertisements displayed to their visitor.
In order to improve relevance, Google is moving to a real-time calculation of quality score. The new per-query Quality Score will use more accurate performance information and will take into consideration the account location, the language and timing.
No More Inactive Keywords!
Google is getting rid of the minimum bid and the “Inactive for Search” status. This will definitely have a positive impact on accounts that struggle with improving their quality score and getting their ads to show up for certain keywords.
They are replacing “minimum bid” with a “first page bid” which will tell us what we need to bid to appear on the first page. This may help in managing our campaigns and predicting performance. However, there is also a chance it could create artificial bidding wars as inexperienced PPC users bid for position instead of bidding for ROI. Of course, as with anything, we’ll need to see how accurate this new “tool” is among all of our accounts.
When? Where? Who?
Google’s announcement was vague as to how they plan to implement this change across all accounts. For now, they are saying that “select” advertisers will have this feature enabled so that they can receive and process feedback. The Google API and Google AdWords Editor will be updated “in the future”.
With all of our accounts here at JumpFly, we will certainly see this feature very soon and will report on our experience.
More From Google
To find out more on this new feature see their blog post on Quality Score Improvements.