If you’re a Google AdWords user then you’ll definitely want to know that Google has changed a few things about how it analyzes quality score.
Specifically, these are the changes:
- Calculated at the time of a search query
- Not marked ‘inactive for search’
- Replacing ‘minimum bid’ for ‘first page bid’
I like what Andy Beal has to say: These changes are intended to bring in more revenue for Google. But if it also results in more revenue for advertisers, it’s a good thing. Right?
I’m willing to accept that calculating quality score at the moment a search query is made will result in more accuracy. How would I know? But I’m not sure the other two changes will benefit advertisers much.
The ‘inactive for search’ message for your keywords was intended to help advertisers by not showing ads based on those keywords because they weren’t going to help you much. If that was the case then why are those ads going to be shown now? Will that increase untargeted clicks? If so then it will eat into your ROI. It means advertisers will have to take more responsibility in choosing the proper keywords.
Changing ‘minimum bid’ to ‘first page bid’, however, is a bit more clandestine. This is an attempt to increase bids. If you know that your minimum bid to be approved by Google is .50 and you have a small budget then you are likely to spend .50 or a little more, but not much more. But if you are blind regarding the minimum bid and you know that it will cost you at least $1.00 to get on page 1 for your keyword, what are you going to do? Psychologically, most people will try to bid well enough to get on page 1, but not necessarily high enough to capture No. 1. As more people compete for page 1 listings, a bidding war ensues. It won’t be long before that $1.00 minimum turns into $2.00. But what if you’re satisfied with a page 2 listing? You’re in trouble.
I think it won’t be long before small businesses trying to nudge their way into pay per click advertising will have to use a provider other than Google. They’re quickly going by way of eBay and creating policies to help the big spenders by cutting out the smaller competition.