Since the implementation of the Google Quality Score back in July of 2005, Google has received a lot of feedback regarding Quality Score. From this feedback over the past years Google has decided to make a noteworthy change to their Quality Score system.

The big change is that keywords are no longer ‘inactive for search‘ and require a minimum bid to become active again.  Now what Google is doing is giving each keyword a Quality Score which is calculated at the time of each and every search query. Google deems this to be a more accurate way of calculating quality score on keywords.  So instead of seeing ‘inactive for search’ you may now see, “Bid is below first page bid estimate of $0.15”. This basically tells me that in order for my keyword to show on the first page I would need to increase my bid to their recommended amount.  If I don’t want to increase my bids, I don’t have to and my keywords will still show!

A More Accurate Quality Score

According to Google they are, “replacing the static per-keyword Quality Scores with a system that will evaluate an ad’s quality each time it matches a search query. This way, AdWords will use the most accurate, specific, and up-to-date performance information when determining whether an ad should be displayed. Your ads will be more likely to show when they’re relevant and less likely to show when they’re not.”

No Longer Inactive for Search

As far as keywords no longer being marked ‘inactive for search’, all keywords will have the chance to show ads which is great!  Google warns that keywords previously marked inactive for search are not likely to accrue a great deal of traffic mainly because the combination of their bid and Quality Score probably isn’t high enough to gain competitive placement.

Personally I don’t fully understand why our keywords were physically ‘inactive for search’ anyway. At least turn them on and if they don’t get search queries then fine – advertisers will at least know they’re getting a chance. I’m sure as Google mentioned this comes from constant complaints from advertisers requesting they make a change. I wonder if Yahoo will follow suit?