Quality Score Transparency

    February 20, 2007

Excuse my giddiness, but it’s definitely addictive to look at your keyword quality scores. You could have guessed them before by the assigned minimum bids, but these are fun to look at anyway:

Yet confounding, too – no doubt seeing this stuff will cause some advertisers to overthink and to try to divine the impossible. The one with 5.1% CTR today is called "great" but there is one with over 10% CTR that is being assessed as merely OK. Presumably, that’s based on some predictive stuff around the generic nature of one of the keywords (the OK one is too general maybe). And presumably it would only be a few hundred more clicks over a week or so at a high CTR and it might kick into "great" territory. We’ll see. I guess that would be my advice in the "avoid overthinking" department: realize that an established CTR history will give you a more stable quality score than the stuff you see on new keywords.

I also think it’s cool (laugh if you like) that Google makes it slightly difficult to display this, so it doesn’t confuse newbies. You have to drill down a fair bit to find the place to turn on QS info.

At the campaign summary level, if you click on "customize columns," the only non-default column you can add here is "CPM." (I find this cool too. You don’t need to do the math – you can measure the eCPM on your campaign by enabling it in the interface. On this ad group – a brand new campaign – we’re getting a rock-bottom $0.85 CPM. So far, so good!)

Anyway, once you drill down past the ad group level to the "keywords" tab you can "customize columns" and enable the extra quality score information in the interface.

Speaking of new stuff… at the bottom of your keyword list in the available options is a button for "pause" and "unpause". Shut up! I’m pretty sure Google slipped this in without telling us. Some time ago they added a feature that allowed you to pause an ad (handy for testing and sharing info internally), but this pause a keyword was something I’d been hoping for. Heck, who knows what you’ll use it for, but power users always come up with something.

UPDATE: OK, so via the Inside AdWords blog I see the "pause keyword" feature was added on Thursday. I spent Friday on an airplane… So by now it’s still only five days old. And my spidey sense tells me that my colleagues here in the office are already pausing keywords! LOL, gotta love ’em. The "pause ad" feature was added some time ago, as I recall.


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