In the coming weeks, Google is planning to make some fundamental differences to the way each keywords quality score is calculated.
Previously, the AdWords quality score was worked out based on the past behaviour of the keyword and the click-through rate of the ad (and a multitude of other semi-enigmatic factors). And once the score had been calculated, it was fixed.
Google’s new dynamic method will take into account such factors as the location a user is searching from and the exact form and relevancy of the search query (and surely a plethora of other enigmatic factors as before).
The effect of this is Google making a more accurate and up-to-date decision as to whether or not to show an advertiser’s ads, and how much you’ll pay for that click.
According to Google:
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.”
Sounds good in theory.
Along with the changes to AdWords quality score, the other thing Google is changing is that minimum bids are to be scrapped. They’re to be replaced with first-page bids instead – an estimate of the bid necessary to get your ad showing on the first page of Google’s search results. A consequence of this is that keywords will no longer be marked as inactive for search – simply because this status only appeared when bids didn’t meet the minimum bid, and the minimum bid won’t exist anymore. Whether this will result in any fundamental changes to PPC management or is simply a re-naming of the same old concepts, remains to be seen.