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Quality Score Clarity is HERE!

Google is rolling out a GREAT new feature in the UI that should help paid search managers of all shapes and sizes. About 18 months ago I gave my friends at Google some grief over calling Quality Score "quality" score, arguing that that choice of words implied that a low score meant the search manager was doing something poorly. It never has meant that. A QS can be low for a well written ad for any number of reasons including inherently ambiguous user intent suggested by the KW. In many many instances all the ads in an auction will have a relatively low QS because only a fraction of folks searching with those words have commercial intent. That means the CTRs will be low due to no fault of the person writing ad copy. However, with just a low number staring us in the face, we have to guess (across hundreds of thousands, sometimes millions of keywords) whether more copy testing was required or whether everything was in fact fine. It gave folks with little knowledge something to harp on, and caused many a paid search manager to waste countless hours trying to raise QS's that simply weren't going to get better. Google is now giving us a better sense of how we're doing relative to other advertisers. Search managers will be able to hover over the keyword status to see how your ad stacks up against competitors in expected click-through-rate, ad relevance, and landing page experience. We'll know whether we're average, above average or below average in all of those attributes so that we know what should be improved, and where we should focus our efforts. This is HUGE! There will be times still when a "below average" doesn't mean you're doing it wrong. If other advertisers are offering free puppies and your puppies aren't free, you might be stuck with a below average CTR and the benefits of qualifying traffic may outweigh the QS penalty. This will certainly be true of folks selling goods and services catering to the higher end of the market, rather than the mass market. Nevertheless, this is a big step forward, and I'm delighted. Now, what we'd like next is to be able to pull this info through the API so we can dynamically identify and address problems, and potentially even throw these relative rankings into our bidding algorithm to see if there are any interesting correlations we can use to enhance our bids. Being able to pull it through Desktop Editor to do the same in spreadsheets would work, too. If I can have those things I promise I won't ask for anything else ever again....HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA Thanks Google Engineers! We appreciate the help. This will help every paid search manager use their time more effectively and that will benefit advertisers, agencies and Google at the end of the day. Resources are inherently constrained and this will save folks valuable time to be used productively elsewhere!
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