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Google AdWords Makes Significant Changes

August 27th, 2008

google-adwords-marketing-information.jpgInternet marketers who are trying to sell products, gather leads, and make money through Google’s pay-per-click AdWords system will have to cope with some significant changes that are being rolled out over the next few days. After introducing the idea of a “quality score” for individual ads back in 2005, Google has complicated the AdWords equation somewhat in recent months by factoring things like landing page quality and the loading time of the landing page into the quality score. This is important because the quality score influences the position of an ad (including whether or not it is actually displayed) and how much money the advertiser ultimately must pay. Here is a summary of the most recent changes:

  1. The quality score for any given ad will be recalculated in real time for each search query rather than being fixed for each keyword. This is supposed to improve accuracy and relevance for both searchers and advertisers. As with the old system, relevance of the ad text and landing page will still be a major factor in determining whether or not the ad is displayed and can draw traffic.
  2. There will be no more “inactive for search” labels attached to keywords. This means that ALL keywords will have at least a small chance of being displayed on both the organic search results pages and throughout the search network (which includes the AdSense publishers) unless they are paused or deleted from within a person’s AdWords account.
  3. The concept of a minimum bid will be replaced by “first page bid”. The first page bid will be an estimate of how much money per click would be required to have an ad displayed on the first page of Google’s organic search results for the given keyword. This figure will be based on the exact match version of the keyword (that is, putting the whole phrase in quotes), the quality score, and competition from other advertisers.

For a more detailed summary of the upcoming changes to the AdWords system, see the latest Quality Score Improvements post on the AdWords blog. For even more details, don’t forget to click through on the “frequently asked questions” link near the bottom of the post.

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