Well, after much bemoaning from their internet advertisers, Google has finally improved upon their “Quality Score” rating for keywords inside of Adwords.
Previously, a keyword would be labelled “inactive for search” if it didn’t meet the quality guidelines set up by Google. e.g. your ad for new sneakers includes a bid for the keyword “milkshake” – google looks at your ad, your landing page, and the landing page load time – if it doesn’t cut the mustard with their algorithm, your ad won’t show when someone types in that keyword.
Admittedly, this is an over-the-top example. Most advertisers wouldn’t waste their time including keywords that are THAT irrelevant. Where it became an issue is when someone might be selling milkshakes in their ad, and their landing page is focused on dairy products – they bid on the keyword phrase “ice cream milkshake recipes” – only to find out its’ quality rating isn’t high enough, thus the ad never appears when someone types in that keyword phrase, or you’re forced to increase your bid amount to show for those terms.
Hopefully, this new “dynamic quality score” improvement will help ease the pain-
Here’s a quick snippet from Google’s adwords blogpost announcing the update:
* 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 snapshot of what you might see now when looking through your keyword performance in your adwords campaign.
At first glance, and probably for MANY keyword searches, it’ll be helpful in determing which ads, and keywords perform best consistently or across different content sites, but looking deeper it means advertisers will have to spend a significant more amount of time optimizing landing pages and creating more targeted campaigns for keywords that may or may not have been relevant to the end-user in the first place.
Here’s a better example – you sell fasteners on your website. Your ad for “cheap galvanized nails” with a previously active bid of $1.00 for the search term “wood connection hardware” is no longer “relevant” enough to show up on the first page of the ads, unless you modify the content of your landing page, or more likely, pay the new bid cost – which will probably be double. (I’m not saying this is actually happening for this keyword search, but it IS happening for many of our clients in similar scenarios)
At this time, it looks like Google’s just trying to make some more cash off of its’ advertisers. And advertisers, it looks like we need to analyze what we’re charging for when managing a clients’ ad campaign.
read what google says about their recent update – google’s quality score update.
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