Google revises AdWords Quality Scores

Quality Score, Google’s estimate of ad and keyword merit, got an update last week — the first since July 2013.

While the changes won’t affect the ad auction, new keywords will now start with a default Quality Score of 6. Previously, the Quality Score for a new keyword was based on the recent performance of that keyword for all AdWords advertisers, as well as the advertiser’s account Quality Score.

quality score

What’s the reason for the change? Google says it will remove the heavy processing required in computing actual Quality Score for keywords that have yet to receive an impression or click. Once enough data has been accrued – often within a day or two of new keywords going live — actual Quality Scores will be shown in reporting.

Why should you care?

Quality Score is, for good reason, a focus for search marketers — when an account has a high Quality Score, the reward is improvement in Cost Per Click prices and ad rank.

This change is a relatively minor one, but will help settle search marketers’ nerves when adding new keywords to their accounts.

Other search marketing news this week:

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About the Author Jeremy Templer

Jeremy is a Partner and Senior Consultant at SureFire. Jeremy has been working in search since 1996, when he joined the Australian search engine, LookSmart. After relocating to San Francisco, he was instrumental in the development of the company’s paid search ad platform. At analytics company Coremetrics (now owned by IBM) he established an in-house search agency managing campaigns for Coremetrics clients such as Macy’s, Bass Pro and Lands End. At Acxiom he managed members of the pioneering SEO firm Marketleap and worked with clients such as Capital One, American General Finance and Kaiser Health. Joining SureFire in 2009, he is the head of Paid Search Advertising and oversees the delivery of AdWords and other PPC campaigns. He also helps clients make sense of their website data.