Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 3.227.249.234

Forum Moderators: buckworks & eWhisper & skibum

Message Too Old, No Replies

Big name competitor keywords suddenly drop in quality score

Has Google changed its policy about using company names as keywords?

     
6:59 pm on Mar 7, 2015 (gmt 0)

Full Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Mar 15, 2004
posts: 241
votes: 0


Hi,

I noticed very recently that keywords containing competitor names (in particular one multinational company) have suddenly had a drop in quality score from 3.0 to 1.0. Nothing has been changed to the ad group at all or the website the ads are linked to. The quality scores were always quite low (unsurprisingly) but the ads still got a reasonable amount of clicks and conversions, with ad positions averaging 1.x. Now I'm seeing that ads for these keywords are 'Rarely shown due to low quality score' and first page bids have risen dramatically.

Has there been a change of policy by Google over this? Or is the company in question twisting Google's arm?

Any comments or help will be appreciated.
8:53 pm on Mar 27, 2015 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

5+ Year Member

joined:Aug 17, 2010
posts: 188
votes: 2


Quality score is partly based on your history with the keyword. So if you've ran these keywords with a fairly low CTR, your QS may have dropped to a point that Google won't run them.

The policy on trademark terms is different depending on your location but, if I competitor files a complaint, your ad will get removed in the areas they file the complaint as opposed to Google just dropping your QS.
9:55 pm on Mar 27, 2015 (gmt 0)

Full Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Mar 15, 2004
posts: 241
votes: 0


Thanks for your reply. There doesn't seem to be any correlation between low CTR and this drop in QS. One or two of the keywords in question have good CTR (4 - 8%) though the majority are indeed quite low. But also, other keywords with equally low CTR have not seen the same QS drop.

I will continue to investigate...

By the way, once a keyword QS drops to say, 1/10, is there any way to 'salvage' it? Surely if ads won't show for that keyword from this point on, then it's effectively 'dead'?
12:29 am on Mar 28, 2015 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

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

joined:Aug 4, 2008
posts:3661
votes: 374


Hmm... the quality scores for my three main keywords (all exact matches) have been 8/10 for several months, but when I checked this morning, all of them were 4/10. But I just checked again, and now they're back to 8/10. What could cause them to jump around like that in such a short time period? Could it have been some kind of glitch or database error?
1:24 am on Mar 28, 2015 (gmt 0)

Full Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Mar 15, 2004
posts: 241
votes: 0


The keywords I was referring to are all in an ad group that's all about competitor company names. From very local to multinational. Anything that's in the same target region as the campaign.

Note that the company names are not (and have never been) used in any of the ads. Could this be why the keywords are now suffering?

The ad group has been running for over 3 years.
12:25 pm on Mar 30, 2015 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

5+ Year Member

joined:Aug 17, 2010
posts: 188
votes: 2


Aristotle, to your point about the quality scores jumping, I talked to a Google rep about that once, and he described QS as a snapshot of that keyword, and that number reflects how Adwords interpreted it at that point of time and they can fluctuate and actually be higher than what is represented. Roodle, maybe they'll change back.

Putting the company names in the ad could get your ad disapproved if the competitors file a complaint. If you do end up using their name, make sure you have a comparison of your product/service vs theirs validated by a 3rd party on your landing pages.
9:08 pm on Mar 30, 2015 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:June 20, 2006
posts:2165
votes: 92


maybe this...
[searchengineland.com...]
11:21 pm on Mar 30, 2015 (gmt 0)

Full Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Mar 15, 2004
posts: 241
votes: 0


As I understand it the QS bug is a very recent thing that is now officially fixed?

Either way, the QS of the keywords in question I think went down a few weeks ago at least. No change today.
12:30 am on Mar 31, 2015 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

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

joined:Aug 4, 2008
posts:3661
votes: 374


RhinoFish -- Thanks for the link to that Search Engine Land article. I think that must have happened to my quality scores on March 27. Several of them went from 8/10 to 4/10 then back to 8/10 in less than a day.