Elizabeth Marsten // Aug 22 2008
Once again, it’s that time when Google AdWords announces to the world that they will be tweaking their Quality Score algorithm. Rather, as they put it “making an update.”
Each time these “updates” occur, I end up on the phone with a Google rep. Each time they’ve done this though, I will give credit where credit is due, they’ve gotten smoother and smarter about the transition. Claiming to be rolling this out to a “very small segment” of advertisers and gathering feedback before unleashing their changes system wide, is a far cry from the day I would login and find over half an account was suddenly irrelevant and being dinged with $5 and $10 minimum bids.
In this update, they will be doing away with the minimum bid column and replacing it with “first page bid.” Thus effectively admitting, that in their eyes, unless you bid for the first page, you may as well not bid at all. Interesting that the last major update was the tightening up of the minimum bid, now it is going away completely, along with the classification “inactive for search.”
Personally, I liked the inactive for search classification, it gave me an idea of how low I could go, in conjunction with the minimum bid, yet still keep the keyword going. Instead I get to guess and give Google more revenue than it should get.
The popular consensus so far is that these are just that, additional ways for Google to increase their revenues, which I guess is to be expected.
What makes me nervous though is the “real time” Quality Score calculations that will be going on per search. Something just tells me that this has the potential to be very messy. In theory, it’s not a bad idea, I’m just wondering how the practical application is going to turn out. And if I should start getting comfortable for that long phone call.
So check your accounts regularly, take some before and after shots and get ready for the ride!
Elizabeth supervises the overall search division at Portent, which includes PPC, SEO and Social Media. Check out her modest brag link bundle if you really want to know more: http://bitly.com/bundles/ebkendo/5 She has also written ebooks, is a regular on the Portent blog and speaks on PPC across the USA at various conferences. Read More