Changes to Adwords

Guest Entry by Erin O’Brien, SEM Analyst-Bruce Clay, Inc

In the coming weeks, Aug. 2 to be exact, Google will be changing their keyword status system and be introducing quality-based minimum bids. In the past Google has evaluated keyword selections for Adwords based on clickthrough ratios. Keywords with poor clickthrough ratios were placed “in trial”, “on hold” or “disabled”. This was often confusing and words could be" disabled" before they got a fair run. In their new keyword status system keywords will be assigned a “Quality Score”. The minimum bid for the keyword will be inversely proportional to the Quality Score — the higher the score, the lower the minimum bid.

What’s changing?

  • Simplified account management: Your keywords will be active or inactive – instead of normal, in trial, on hold, and disabled. In addition, accounts will no longer be slowed. Currently, accounts are slowed when they don’t meet our performance requirements and your ads appear rarely for your keywords.
  • Quality-based minimum bids: Soon, each keyword will be assigned a minimum bid based on its Quality Score. Keywords with a higher Quality Score will be given lower minimum bids to stay active and trigger ads. Keywords with a lower Quality Score (including those that are currently on hold) will have the opportunity to run if your keyword or Ad Group’s maximum cost-per-click (CPC) meets the minimum bid.
    • The Quality Score is determined by your keyword’s clickthrough rate (CTR), relevance of your ad text, historical keyword performance, and other relevancy factors.
    • Ad Rank, or the position of your ad, will continue to be based on the maximum CPC and quality (now called the Quality Score).

You can read more about the AdWords keyword evaluation changes here.

Susan Esparza is former managing editor at Bruce Clay Inc., and has written extensively for clients and internal publications. Along with Bruce Clay, she is co-author of the first edition of Search Engine Optimization All-in-One Desk Reference For Dummies.

See Susan's author page for links to connect on social media.

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