Google AdWords Quality Score Updates

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Google AdWords Quality Score Updates

The latest update in the Google AdWords Quality Score algorithm gets rolled out this week. This update, like most other Google updates, is meant to improve the user experience by delivering higher quality ads. As part of the update, Google also introduced a Quality Score column in the AdWords interface, which hints to advertisers whether the algorithm considers the ad to be “Great”, “OK” or “Poor”.

The updates to the algorithm will have to major, and opposite acting effects:

Filtering Out Low Quality Ads

The changes to the algorithm will reward high quality ads by lowering their minimum cost per click even further, and will penalise low quality and poorly performing ads by raising the minimum CPC.

For some advertisers, this will mean keywords that were previously active will now become inactive and they will need to do one of the following:

  1. Increase the cost per click to the new minimum CPC
  2. Make the ad copy more targeted
  3. Improve the landing page quality by making it optimised for the keywords being bid on
  4. Delete the keyword

Lowering Minimum CPC For Keywords With Limited History

Many advertisers who bid on multilingual, non-english terms during the Olympics and the World Cup were faced with extraordinarily high minimum costs per click initially. This was because the AdWords system did not have any previous history and it mistakenly identified the keywords as ones that might not perform well.

Advertisers who braved the initially high keyword prices were rewarded later which much lower CPC and good conversion rates as the click and impression volumes soared closer to the events.

The recent update aims to eliminate this problem, by improving AdWords’ ability to set minimum bids for keywords where Google has limited data. As a result, some advertisers bidding on seasonal keywords, event specific keywords, artist specific keywords or any similar keyword groups that show sudden rises in popularity out of the blue, may see the minimum bid for their keywords decrease, based on the updated algorithm.