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Updated : Google AdWords Quality Score Update ... Now Live



8:30 am on Feb 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Im still waiting for them to drop the bomb.

Excite to find out, how much is it going to affect me.


11:53 pm on Feb 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

And they said during last weeks "glitch" that caused plurals to go to $10 was unrelated. Funny how this update is doing the same thing, just more mildly. It's obvious they have decided they want to herd people into more competitive arena. Rather than having the advertiser base split between singular and plural keywords, they knock out the ads on plurals as "poor" forcing everyone into heavy competition in the singulars. Clearly they have decided that they just won't make any profit on long tails and plurals and now want to force heated competition on more general terms. This is the exact opposite of what they had been preaching since adwords was launched. It looks like the bean counters at G are now wielding far more power then the eggheads who had this view that all keywords could be monetized when logic always dictated that general terms would create the most competition, and thus the most money. You can expect the next update to whack people using exact and phrase match.


3:30 pm on Feb 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

A continuing cluster boink.

15% of keywords went 'inactive' with a doubling of min bid. QS still 'ok'. However, ad still shows in #3 slot. I can't tell anything anymore about the state of my campaign keywords.

Let me know when they fix this dog pile. In the mean time I'll continue to work on my Yahoo listings.

Google: Hire a software development manager who has a clue.


8:55 pm on Feb 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I think I have been visited by the QS (hmmm) update.

Here is a very unsophisticated analysis of what has happened:.

The Min CPC on our most successful keywords has gone up by 0.05cts or around 20%(E.g. before min 0.18 now 0.23). All these keywords have around 5% CTRs and generate the most impressions. These particular keywords also have the most competition in our field.

Some of our less successful keywords with lower CTRs have stayed the same. Some of these keywords have less than 1% CTRs but with a lot less impressions.

Other keywords don't seem to have been effected at all.

I must be an unlucky coincidence that the ones we spend the most money on have gone up ;-)

P.S. The Min CPCs that have gone up, all seem to have gone up in increments of 0.05


10:20 pm on Feb 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I keep reading that there should be some new quality score column per this new update that ranks my ads from low to high. I'm not seeing that column however. Anyone know when this should be live?


12:31 am on Feb 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member


You need to go into the keywords tab of an adgroup then select 'customise columns' (which should be to the right of 'search this list'). Select 'show quality score', and you'll get a refresh with the scores.

You should note that you need to do this for each campaign, every time you log in if you want to see QS. Take from that whatever you wish (tinfoil hat for the conspiracy theorists).


12:36 am on Feb 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Under the keywords tab you should see customize columns. It should be the first setting on the drop down menu.


1:13 pm on Feb 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Greed is the word. No other explanation.

No reason to up min bid from $1 to $5 when the keyword is totally relevant to ad, landing page and website topic.

And these are keywords that convert the best... and no wonder!


1:55 am on Feb 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

A wide variety of opinions and experiences, as usual. It's early yet, but for my own campaigns and the campaigns I manage for clients, I am already seeing about 10% lower CPC across the board, and somewhat better average positions, with not one adjustment to any ads or keyword bids. But then I spent a lot of time last year improving ads and landing pages, which a lot of my competition probably did not do, so I think I am getting some advantage from their lack of preparation for this change. We'll see if it lasts.


2:13 am on Feb 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Yes, but that proves my point exactly. You have spent this past year doing all of this work creating and fixing landing pages not for the benefit of your visitor, but for the primary purpose of making google happy.

It is odd that for adwords, they encourage all of this landing page creation and efforts focused at improving your score in the algorithm,yet for natural serps they preach the exact opposite. They want you to design for the visitor and user experience without a focus on their algorithm. They have always objected to creating landing pages for the sole purpose of gaming their natural serps, but seem to be encouraging you to do it for adwords.

I just don't have time, or enough roi from them to completely redesign my sites for their benefit every time they think its a good idea to turn the knobs a little.


5:25 am on Feb 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Today, I noticed a huge amount of words disabled. They upped the bid on many from .10 to .20 and up higher. I am not going to up my bids. Really getting tired of this on again off again. Who can run a business with google and have this constant on and off business.


5:35 am on Feb 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

It probably wasn't that bad for most of us.


7:27 am on Feb 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Its back to SEO for me. Not going to bother about this quality nonsense.

Adwords is not the only elephant in the jungle,LOL


4:43 pm on Feb 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I have a keyphrase with CTR between 1-2%, avg. position #2, and conversion rate 26% for a period of time more than 6 months. Average CPC was $0.34 - the conversion costs were great. Now this keyword, suddenly, has "Poor" QS and min.bid is $0.40... it ranks #1, CTR tripled, but no conversions within last week, kinda weird though.. But the most ridicules part is the Quality Score for this KW... c'mon, 26% conversion rate at $0.36 per click with average sale over $120? You must be kidding me.


7:14 pm on Feb 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I agree with these last few threads that have been posted, I am seeing similar scenarios also in my account. Much of this simply smells 'greed' and it seems the mighty G is really losing touch with it's advertisers I feel.....in the end it will be only those that are willing to pay the high cpc's and then one can only ask 'WHERE IS the quality'?


9:08 pm on Feb 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

I've had some 30% of my keywords disabled due to this change so far - one batch on Friday and another batch on Sunday. Surprisingly this has had little or no effect on the number of click I've received.

OTOH maybe this week would have been really, really good were it not for the loss of 30% of my traffic due to the QS change reducing thing to "normal".


9:37 pm on Feb 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Has it finished yet?

The Adword's blog said "over the next 3 to 4 days" and that was posted on the 21st.


9:55 pm on Feb 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Sometimes we miss the thing that is right in from of our eyes. The QS is not real per se. It exists as a justification for Google to eliminate arbitrage and SEM marketing for anything but very real products. I know this is not new thinking but there method is different than I first thought.

Google is reverse engineering their Qs algo by looking at who's bidding on what and deriving a bid price slightly above or around the break even point. I don't believe in coincidences and it is not competitors entering the market so it has to be reverse engineering.

EVERY Campaign I have seems to always rise just above break even. And it's not like they are showing comp ads.

The reason I say the QS is bs is that it is derived from bidding and not from factors on your page except for very real products and service.

Example a) If I am marketing ringtones, and I have the basic run-of-the-mill pick-your-carrier landing page how can the min bid for artist A be 4x times higher than Artists B? (just a simple example). There is no artist info on the page, so .... the page is just as irrelevant to one as the other.

Google has figured out through bidding history (i.e continued bidding) where the price point lies and then sets it's min bid there. Off course there are going to be some who still make money.

I am still dabbling a bit in Google but it's just not worth the time except for isolated cases. I much rather deal with YSM and MSN albeit with much lower levels of traffic.

I know many people think Google wants to get in the CPA space and that remains to be seen.

There Quality logic for QS is nonsensical as well as the discrepancy is only <.20 lots of time between what one would pay and what is required and there will always be people who try the .40 bringing low quality while keeping those who know better away.

The point! - in most cases .05 to .10 cents per click is the difference between me spending $100,000 or more per month and spending 5-10K instead. The fact that there QS always keeps me very close but just below even leads me to believe that it's not QS but a bid algo and what can you do?

YSM and MSN love my money and with Yahoo's financial difficulties I have already seen a more "open" policy for me.


11:10 pm on Feb 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

At this point I don't care what G's motives are.

I just wish I could tell what is going on with my keywords by looking at the indicators on the screen.

For 11 days now I still have keywords with a:
QS score of 'Great'
Min bid of .03
current bid of .08
Status 'Active'
QS spyglass tool says keyword inactive because QS is too low and bid needs to increase.
Keyword not showing.

What the f am i supposed to understand from this?

I also have keywords with basically the opposite indicators and the keyword is showing!


12:46 am on Feb 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

monkeyman41's breakdown/overview nailed it! You are dead on with what you've spilled out here!


2:39 am on Feb 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

that it's not QS but a bid algo and what can you do?

Exactly right. I can't blame G for trying to squeeze a bit of the "consumer surplus" out of us, but I think they're blowing it in their approach. Calling it a "Quality" Score, implying that with hard work on your ads/pages/business model you can avert its wrath, making huge overnight changes that blow apart big chunks of historical volume and any ability to forecast. Not only does Google show a total lack of respect for its paying customers, they make it suicidal to continue spending a large share of ad dollars on Adwords.

I can't say I'm done with Adwords, but I can say I've been aggressively shifting spend away -- both from QS-affeced and QS-unaffected accounts -- ever since April. ROI on Adwords has a heavy, heavy discount when held against ROI from other sources. In other words, I'm willing to pay another source more for the same result if I can expect not to be jerked around. Unpredictability carries a price, and I think this has been underestimated in G's execution.


5:19 am on Feb 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Funny thing happend today. I upped my bid for a very relevant keyword and Google instantly disabled that keyword.


10:48 am on Feb 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

It will get a lot funnier than that!

This is what you may also notice: (the last remaining) active keywords will be instantly disabled right after registering clicks.

Iíve got my share of ďfunĒ with this one.


2:06 pm on Feb 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I could use some laughs right now....


3:38 pm on Feb 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Hi all,

I have been present for the last 3-4 google changes.

As usual everyone is fighting against google and not discussing solutions.

Does anyone have any INFO on how often google scans websites?

Does good content really make a difference to their bot when submitting/resubmitting ads?



4:12 pm on Feb 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

This thread started with excitement on how googles new adwords "momoney algo" would effect AW campaigns. Now we all know. Is anyone still excited!?...

Like everything in life, it boils down to: MONEY. Always follow the dollar and you'll have your answer.

Our campaigns have seen about 35% of our words go dark. This move had nothing to do with quality. If you start to research you'll find that the words going down are the ones that likely get the highest actual clicks - since those KWs (typically) also get more impressions, the CTR will be lower. G is wanting more for the higher number of clicks, while claiming it is lower CTR/quality that "forced" them to shut it down.

Someone pointed out the plural issue - definitely going on, and this is the other group of words most will notice if they research what has been shut down.

My support tech is trying to explain that issue now by saying it is "user behavior"...what a joke.

Using their own tools (which we used to construct the campaigns), one can derive no difference in approx traffic or searches. Simply put, if you have (for example) "shoe" and "shoes" running to the same page, with shoe or shoes in the url, title, headers, tags, and content/text - there is no excuse for shutting down a plural except to increase revenue.

Google is driven by profit - the only language they understand is money. The only way to reverse this squeeze is to hit their bottom line, and refuse to up your bids. Shift some funds from your google budget, and focus on other campaigns with other providers such as yahoo (yoverture), or msn (mighty sad network).

So - here's the bottom line, and my question to all:
What are you going to do about it?


4:28 pm on Feb 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

What are you going to do about it?

I don't know the exact figure off the top of my head but I've diverted somewhere in the lower 8 figure range of USD for many clients away from Google recently.

Ironically the shotgun approach is starting to give a better return meaning it used to pay to have a sure shot on Google and get a certain return but now it is not so sure anymore and paying a few pennies on the lower tiered engines is having a better return. It's like we've come full circle or at least are almost there.



4:47 pm on Feb 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I agree.

Adwords is one big "take away".

Google provides no SOLID info on what they are up to with their latest changes.

We have several 10+K accounts and I am getting to the point where I do not even bother speaking to our reps over the phone anymore.

It is the same vague vague vague vague discussions about what is going on.

Google is one big take away.


4:58 pm on Feb 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

I for one have not had these experiences in any of my accounts. I suspect others have not as well.


5:38 pm on Feb 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Google has not fully rolled out the update based upon what some of their reps have told me. In other words don't go thinking you're a genius yet. I think Google learned after "Florida" not to risk rolling out anything all at once. They want to break up crowd support against them. There are things just now striking me in the search engine that people have been reporting on for three months. Things could stall even more with the rumblings in the stock market. I also suspect many accounts will go unaffected because its seems to be based on bid history and what they figure they can get out of you in particular categories. Donít worry they wonít forget your wallet.


6:20 pm on Feb 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I remember Google when it was a private company, no stockholders to answer to. There were nice then..
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