Google announced that it will also include metrics based on the relevance and quality of landing pages in the quality score, which affects ranking and CPC of sponsored links.
AdWords Quality Score basics
The Quality Score is a number used by Google to evaluate the quality of your keywords in order to determine your minimum bid and the position your ad is shown in for a given maximum bid value. The Quality Score was normally determined for each keyphrase you bid on, by the clickthrough rate for the keyword, relevance of the actual ad’s text, historical performance, and some other factors.
The Quality Score multiplied by the Maximum Bid gives you the value Google uses when deciding whether to set your keyword’s status as active or inactive, and to decide the position of active keywords.
Changes in calculation of AdWords quality score
With the new system for calculating Quality Score, Google will now also include the quality and relevance of the landing page and the site to the keyword.
This means Google will probably spider your entire site from your AdWords landing page(s), evaluate it in a manner similar to how it evaluates sites on its organic listings, use techniques like Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) to determine what the site is all about and then decide how relevant the site and the landing page are to the keyword.
Moreover, there is a high likelihood that Google will also use your conversion tracking values to provide an indication of whether or not their users are judging your site to be valuable and are converting into leads or sales on it, and include this as yet another metric when calculating the Quality Score.
How does this affect your search engine advertising?
On the face of it, this new metric does not change much for a scrupulous advertiser, who follows all of the Google AdWords editorial guidelines. The guidelines merely state that your landing page should be relevant to the ad copy and the keyword you bid on, it should include the main elements of the ad, should ideally provide details on any special offers quoted in the ad and should not attempt to mislead users.
If you follow the editorial guidelines and use AdWords scrupulously, the effect of this change should either be positive -marked by a lower CPC or better position – or none at all for your campaign.
Advertisers who chose to bid on low-price, high popularity keywords just to gain visibility with the hope that a few inquisitive visitors might buy something from their site, will now find that they need to bid much more to keep these keywords active.
Keywords that don’t convert well into sales or leads might also be negatively effected. This again, can be good for you, since you don’t want to continue paying for words that are not winning you any money. This can be problematic, though, when your conversions tend to be offline, or over the phone for some keywords and not for others.