Higgins Marketing Group - Heads Up! Google Makes Changes to AdWords Quality Score ReportingAdWords Quality Score Reporting

If you’re in the process of making modifications to your AdWords account, you may have walked into a surprise this morning!

All the great work you’re doing to create tightly aligned keywords, ad groups, ad copy, and landing pages was yielding solid quality scores of 7s, 8s, and 9s. But POOF – as of this morning, all your pending keywords are showing 6!  OUCH!

Google announced this week they are updating how they report the 1-10 quality score for keywords that are yet to receive impressions.  For these keywords, you’ll simply see a quality score of 6.

Here’s the scoop from Google:

Starting today, we will be updating how we report 1-10 Quality Scores for keywords. This update only affects reporting. There is no change to ad serving such as how auction-time quality signals affect Ad Rank and CPC. The most significant part of the change is that keywords without traffic will now, by default, receive a score of 6, and Average for the three components of Quality Score. Once keywords gather enough impressions, scores will update about a day or so later.

Behind the scenes, this change will allow us to simplify some of our core systems, letting us focus our attention on improving reporting accuracy for keywords with traffic.

So what does this mean for you and me?

First, it’s just a change in the reporting methodology.  Nothing has changed in the way in which quality scores are calculated.  This reporting should not change the strategies and best practices you’re currently using to maintain solid quality scores.

This does, however, present a challenge during initial creation of a campaign.  No longer will we receive instant feedback as to whether our strategies (keyword selection, match type used, alignment of keywords, ad copy, and final URL) is on target.  We’ll need to be more patient, enable the ad groups, and wait to receive enough impressions to receive a quality score.

Honestly, I’m not thrilled about this change… We’ll all just need to adapt and trust that continuing to use known best practices will still lead to high quality scores – and wait a couple more days to see the proof!

What do you all think of this change?
Until next time…