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How to Make Large Changes without Negatively Affecting Your AdWords Quality Score

One of the first instincts when inheriting a PPC account is to start making changes immediately in order to start making progress. The spirit of this instinct is great, but you need to be aware of how changes within your account can potentially harm its performance if done incorrectly and without caution.

The effects of making rash changes to a PPC account are the most apparent in Google AdWords due to the Quality Score. Thankfully, there are some common-sense strategies to ensure that when you are ready to put your optimization skills to the test, your pay-per-click accounts will emerge working just as well, if not better than before.

In no way is this section designed to ward you off from making major optimization changes to your accounts. On the contrary, this is merely intended as a lesson in doing it the right way. After you’ve taken over the reins of a PPC account, you need to plot out any and all changes you plan to make. This will serve as a “map” for reorganizing the campaign and ad group structure; but more important, it will force you to think through all your planned changes.

Some of the core principles of optimizing a PPC account involve creating new, more targeted campaigns and ad groups. This is followed closely by the shuffling of current keywords between these new campaigns and ad groups in tandem with any new keyword research you may be completing. The “shuffling” part is what should trouble you as a pay-per-click manager. Because of the Quality Score, your keywords and ad texts have a relationship that bonds them together. If you don’t take this into consideration when making major account changes, you will inadvertently sever that bond and reset your Quality Score. And even with this in mind, there is still a Quality Score transition period after moving a keyword as AdWords reassesses the keyword, ad text, and landing page in their new campaign and ad group.

How can you avoid completely resetting your Quality Score?

  • For starters, don’t move all of your keywords at the same time. While you are still planning your changes, plot out your maneuvres in phases, methodically moving keywords and ad texts in order to give each set a chance to settle into its new home.
  • Second, never delete a keyword and create it anew in another ad group. Always use the AdWords Editor to move the keywords from one ad group to another.
  • Third, you must always copy the best-performing ad from the “old” ad group to the new. This will allow you to carry over a portion of that Quality Score bond in the transition.
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