Dormant for five years, the Google AdWords Quality Score algorithm has just been updated. Last month, Google’s chief economist, Hal Varian unleashed a video on AdWord Auction, AdRank and Quality Score to accompany Google’s new white paper, Setting the (Quality) Score. Here’s what you need to know about it:
Most importantly, Google has changed their stance on Quality Score altogether. In Google’s previous guide to Quality Score, it said:
“Quality Score is important in order for your ads to be successful. However, Quality Score also plays a key role in determining your ad’s position and how much you’ll pay for a click. In general, the more relevant your ad, the higher your Quality Score and the higher your Quality Score, the better your position and the less you will have to pay for a click.”
This position no longer seems to stand. The new document says:
“Your Quality Score is like a warning light in a car’s engine that shows how healthy your ads and keywords are. It’s not meant to be a detailed metric that should be the focus of account management.”
The shift marks an integral change in Google’s algorithm and attitude. But the key is still relevance, as targeting unrelated terms can ultimately be injurious to your profits. Google implores AdWords advertisers not to spread yourselves too thin, but to optimize for quality — to “focus your efforts on high-value areas where you can affect change”.