It’s All About The Money
The entire face of PPC has changed recently with the recent overhaul of Google’s Quality Score. Many advertisers, including myself, have seen massive changes to their accounts. It used to be Quality Score meant whether your ad and keyword were relevant to the landing page of your website. Just do a decent job and you’d get a 7, which is good. Do things well and it would rise to an 8 or 9 (very good). Only on terms that really weren’t relevant did I see quality scores of 5 or 4 (bad).
Now things are very different, and as an example I use one of my own ads. I advertise on a word for one of my web sites that ranks organically in Google at number 10. That means Google thinks it’s one of the top ten web sites in the world on this subject. The ad has the keyword in it, the page is relevant. And so what is my quality score on this highly relevant, and optimized ad? A 3.
Three, which is terrible.
Google has gone rogue. Or should I say, it has gone mercenary. Now, to be honest Google has always stated that the Quality Score was based not only on the quality of the ad, the relevancy of the keyword, and the CTR.
And what is the CTR? The Click Through Rate. Which means in a nutshell the historical performance of the ad. And why would Google care about that? Because the more people click the ads, the more money they make. So how much money they make off you has always been a factor in quality score. But now it is the PREDOMINANT factor.
And so back to my ad. Why does my quality ad on my relevant website have a quality score of only 3? Because I don’t try to bid to get into the top three. I stay around 5 or 6, which means I don’t get a good click through rate, which is fine with me. But not with Google. Not anymore anyway. Google says that the Quality Score is based on its position on the page, but I’m having a hard time believing it. I think Google wants to do two things: to motivate the less competitive advertisers to try to try to get into the top three, creating more competition and bringing in more money. Or having them quit and get out of the way.
It’s about the money now and it means changing tactics for advertisers.