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QS - How Low is Too Low?

What is the lowest I should keep in my account.

     
5:27 pm on Feb 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

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The bulk of my keywords are 7/10 - 10/10. (Actually, they are 7 OR 10, never seen an 8 or 9.)

However, for some keywords I get 4/10 or 3/10. Often they are keywords that I am not willing to part with because they convert very well for me and bring me a great ROI. As far as click through rate, some of these are indeed getting under 1%, but sometimes they are doing very well in terms of CTR.

I do want to keep my account in good standing so I am wondering at what point do you pause or delete a keyword to that end. When I see a keyword drop to 2/10 I panic a little and either pause or delete the keyword, thinking it will make my account look bad.

So what I'm wondering is if others here have a threshold for keyword quality score that they'll accept. Will you just let a 4/10 run? (assuming you can't or don't think you can improve it.) What about a 3/10? What is your threshold? Or does it depend?

Love to hear feedback on this. Thanks!

Forgive me if this exact angle has been discussed. Couldn't find it in a search.
5:57 pm on Feb 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I also have this issue. I rarely see 8s or 9s but tend to gravitate around 7s and 10s. I'd be very careful with those 3s and 4s as they can have some pretty nasty long term effects.

Don't delete them though, try and fix them. Spend some time AB testing creative and see if you can't get them up into green.
6:01 pm on Feb 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Does anyone know specifically what those "nasty long term effects" are?

I would like to weigh keeping the keywords against the negative effects.
6:32 pm on Feb 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Mostly it's a penalty on your root domain. There is a QS that lives at that level and it can have an effect on the QS of brand new keywords. A good QS and you'll be able to push new keywords at 7-10s consistently. A bad QS and new keywords with any sort of real competition and you'll be fenced in from the start.
2:50 pm on Feb 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Thanks. Another question on these low QS keywords: If I pause them does that take care of the negative impact, or do I need to delete them?

Sometimes I prefer to pause them so that I remember why I got rid of them, and sometimes the QS actually improves and I can activate them again.
3:01 pm on Feb 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

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If I think there's hope for them, I keep them (although I will put them in a separate campaign and/or ad group) and try to bring the score up; usually with an ad very specifically targeted to those keywords.

If it's kind of a fringe keyword to begin with, then I dump it.

It's not a question of being overly worried about a few low QS keywords poisoning my accounts, but more a question of organization and keeping things manageable. AdWords is time consuming, so I try to minimize distractions that aren't likely to pay off.