Yes, Google is once again refining the way advertisers’ Adwords quality scores are to be calculated. Here’s what you can expect to see:
A more “accurate” quality score since it will be calculated more on a real-time basis for each search query.
Google clarifies that account history, CTR (Click Through Rate) of keywords and ad texts along with landing page quality will continue to be factored in. What they don’t say is which elements will carry more importance so testing will remain key to keep your campaigns running optimally.
Keywords will no longer be marked as “inactive for search”.
Google claims that all keywords will “remain” active since they’re now going to be evaluated on each and every search query. However most keywords currently marked as “inactive” will continue not to accrue impressions or clicks except in certain circumstances where Google deems that they perform better.
Unfortunately Google did not provide more details on what some of those circumstances might be, but we suspect geographical targeting may play a role.
“Minimum bids” will be replaced by “First page bid estimates”.
Google states that this move will “provide a more actionable and useful metric to advertisers”. Personally I’ll wait to see how it’s rolled out to see if that statement is accurate.
Our contacts at Google did clarify that there will be a numerical value by which you’ll be able to gauge at what position your ads will appear depending on your bids and what grade of quality score individual keywords are marked at (Currently advertisers use minimum bids to gage at what level of “Great”, “Ok” or “Poor” their keyword quality scores are at – I would not like to lose this insight!).
Opportunity for Adwords Advertisers? Possibly…
As search marketers that spend hours each day monitoring and optimizing campaigns in Adwords, we wait with anticipation for this change to finally take effect. As with many recent changes to Adwords’ quality score, we suspect that savvy advertisers and search marketers will be able to capitalize on the opportunities these changes will likely bring about so keep your eyes open in the coming days.
Just the same, we’re hoping that Google implements this update smoothly!