A Closer Look at AdWords' Update to Keyword Quality Scores

By Tinuiti Team

Have you noticed any interesting changes with Google Adwords Quality Score data during the week of September 12th? Google has officially decided to apply a null Quality Score to keywords that are new or have low recent impression and click data.

By default, Google will exclude keywords with null Quality Scores from reports and automated rules that include Quality Score filters but you do have the option to include them. Google advised marketers to check any reports, filters, rules, and scripts including Quality Scores before September 12th to ensure their effectiveness.

Before this recent implementation, in July 2015 Google decided to assign new keywords with a default Quality Score of six until their actual score could be determined. At that time, Google thought assigning a single Quality Score to new keywords would simplify some of its core systems. But Google has come to find that technique was insufficient for an excellent search marketing experience.

Why Did Google Update Keyword Quality Scores?

There was a time when Google assigned Quality Scores to new keywords based on their performance across the entire system of AdWords and the performance of marketers’ accounts. Google is trying to mirror this process.

It’s about authenticating the process of assigning Quality Scores to new keywords and recent keywords with few impressions or clicks. By doing this, your search marketing efforts can afford to be clearer. Competitive keyword usage among you and other marketers will turn out to be more honest.

This update encourages marketers to work from the ground up in order to optimize keywords so they will rank highly. In other words, competition is better structured this way. This more easily divides keyword optimization experts from those who don’t know what they’re doing. Overall, this change is in your favor.

How You Can Make the Most of This Update

It’s up to you to engage in keyword optimization techniques to boost Quality Scores. And this is an ongoing process from the very beginning of your search marketing efforts. Research, analyze, and select the best keywords based on search trends of your target audience. Make the best effort to align your choice in keywords with the main categories of your business.

Google’s Keyword Planner tool can help you figure out what keywords are trending along with the number of times people have searched for those terms during a given period. Understand the competitive nature of keyword usage to strategically use your keywords from a data-driven approach with this tool.

Add negative keywords to enhance your click-through rate by only allowing desirable terms to show in search results. This will help you save money that would otherwise be wasted on irrelevant keywords. Also, use the search query report to gain information about what terms people searched when they saw and clicked on your ads. Use this information to find new relevant keywords to add to your account and irrelevant or low performing keywords to exclude. Use this information to find new relevant keywords to add into your account while excluding irrelevant and poorly performing keywords.

As our name suggests, we are experts in search marketing techniques that promise short-term and long-term success for our clients. We understand that keyword Quality Scores are best measured by the legitimate performance of each term, for a sound experience. For more information about Google, read How Feed Quality Affects Google Shopping.

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