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Friday, August 22, 2008

Quality Score: Changes Coming

- Quality Score will now be more accurate because it will be calculated at the time of each search query.

- Keywords will no longer be marked inactive for search.

- First page bid will replace minimum bid in your account.

Here's a link to the FAQ that covers these changes.

I'm excited to see these changes pushed live, especially the real time calculation of the quality score:

"Most importantly, we are replacing our static per-keyword Quality Scores with a system that will evaluate an ad's quality each time it matches a search query. This way, AdWords will use the most accurate, specific, and up-to-date performance information when determining whether an ad should be displayed. Your ads will be more likely to show when they're relevant and less likely to show when they're not. This means that Google users are apt to see better ads while you, as an advertiser, should receive leads which are more highly qualified."

That's followed by an example that does a nice job of explaining how that would work:

"Nancy's Dairy advertises on the keyword 'milk.' Nancy's ads perform better on the keyword 'milk' in the U.S. than in Canada. Her ads also perform better on the query 'milk delivery' than on 'milk,' and better on certain search network sites than on others. Instead of one static Quality Score and minimum bid that determines whether the keyword 'milk' is eligible to trigger an ad for all search queries, we will now determine eligibility dynamically, based on factors such as location, the specific query, and other relevance factors. For that reason, Nancy's keyword 'milk' will be able to trigger an ad for search queries where it's likely to perform better, i.e., in the U.S., on 'milk delivery' and on certain search network sites."

In theory Nancy's account should be more efficient, even if she didn't change a thing after these quality score changes are rolled into her account. Assuming she's just broad match bidding on the term milk this change should essentially prevent her ad from showing for unrelated (low ctr) terms...unless there's an extremely shallow pool of advertisers and Google's stretching the expanded broad match envelope in order to keep some ads on the page.

It should also be interesting to see if these changes have any noticeable impact on the local space. I know a lot of local advertisers who are frustrated with vast escalation in average CPCs they have seen over the last two years. When Google "expanded" it's broad matching technology a lot of high bid deep pocket general keyword buying advertisers starting appearing in and dominating local results, relevant or not. The update indicates that factors such as "location" will be one elements used to determine ad eligibility. Maybe, just maybe, this will let the local advertisers reclaim some of the ground (positioning) they have lost over the past two years.

In any even it should be exciting to see these changes roll out in the coming weeks. Here are a few posts on this update from fellow bloggers:

Apogee ~ AdWords Quality Score Overhaul: First Page Bids
Merjis ~ Quality Score Changing
Click Equations ~ Quality Score Changes (Bid Taxes Going Up?)
Dave Martinez / PPC Fool ~ AdWords Quality Score Now in Real Time

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At 6:27 AM, Anonymous Martin said...

I heard about these changes before the official announcement, no mention if these quality score measures will be available to download in reports?

At 3:53 PM, Blogger Jeremy Mayes said...

Hmmm...good question. I don't know what (if anything) will be updated in terms of reporting. IT would be great to see the per query QS rating in a report but I'm not holding breath...


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