This week Google announced some very important changes to the status hover button in their interface.

It’s a pretty awesome update, y’all.

Less than two weeks after a panel at HeroConf where Brad Geddes pined for something like relative quality score as a tool to measure your stock against the competition, this update comes along and gets us a lot closer to just that.  The new update to the status hover now displays three newly-released statistics:

Expected Click Through Rate

This category displays whether your keyword is expected to generate a click on your ad (compared to competition and also based on position).  Google only considers exact matches when determining this (even though the statistic is displayed for every match type, which seems a little bit confusing and something to keep an eye on).

Ad Relevance

This category represents Google’s thoughts, feelings and emotions (of course Google has thoughts, feelings and emotions) about how well your keyword matches the messaging in your ads.

Landing Page Experience

Google is trying to tell you if your site has all of the stuff that leads to an enjoyable time on your site.  Clear and useful page? Related to keywords/ads? Easy to navigate? Are there kittens? A caped, cartoon hero that almost looks like a dentist advertisement because his pearly white chompers are that pearly white?  If you’ve got the right stuff (compared to your competition) then you will be rewarded.

What the New Categories Look Like

If these categories seem familiar, it’s because for the most part they are.  These updates are similar to the tweaks to the location settings from a few weeks ago.  We (meaning everyone) used to diagnose keywords by keyword relevance, ad relevance and landing page relevance.  Keyword relevance is now expected click through rate, which is a much-welcomed upgrade, but the other two are about the same.

The change becomes pretty amazing, y’all when it comes to the new possible statuses for each of these categories.  In each one, your keyword can be above average, average or below average.  It’s a Neil-Armstrong-sized step toward Mr. Geddes’ end goal of relative quality score.  “Above average” or “average” replaces the old “No Problems,” and “Below Average” replaces the old “Poor.”  Now you’ll be able to tell where you stand in your industry.  If you have all above averages but are mired in the muck of a quality score of 3 you can sleep a bit easier at night knowing that you are doing what you can.

Pretty cool upgrade, right?  It was also an opportunity to think about the dearly-departed Friday Night Lights and Mrs. Coach.  If you’re confused, then you don’t click on links in articles.  Either way, we’d love to hear your thoughts about the update.  Above average?  Below average? Average?