Friday, October 03, 2008

Important Google Adwords Changes

It's been two weeks since the implementation of new Quality Score changes at Google. What's been the effects?

(If you don't know, Quality Score is a factor Google uses to determine how much you have to pay to bid for any spot in the sponsored search results for a key phrase. A low quality score will force you to pay more than others for clicks on the same position.)

Quality score is getting more important - and more manageable
Since quality score focuses heavily on click through rate it does put pressure on advertisers to get more in line with Google's interests, but they aren't entirely against advertisers interests either.

Now that Google is showing us a score on a scale of ten versus the old display of a few words like "poor", "good" or "excellent" we can see to a greater degree of accuracy where the relevancy problems may exist and address them.

How do you improve your campaign?
Tightening the focus of campaigns and ad groups, more closely matching ads to keywords, having better landing pages - all of these changes will improve your quality score, and therefore decrease your average cost per click for the same traffic.

Below is my short hand version of the factors that affect the Google Quality Score:

  • Click through rate (based on keyword and your whole account)
  • relevancy of ad text to keywords (in the matched ad and the ad group)
  • quality of your landing page
  • and "other relevancy factors" (no kidding)
The bottom line is we need to keep optimizing
I just heard an interesting tip listening in to the PPC Rockstars podcast with David Svetela interviewing Brad Geddes:

Consider how Display URL is a factor. In display URLs the root of the domain has to match, but everything else is OK to change. This is important to understand. Giving the searcher information about where they are going to land, in the form of the display URL, is going to help.

Tweaks like this will influence click through rate, which of course influences quality score, which in turn helps us pay less for the same traffic. Or more likely - help stop from paying more.

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