If you have noticed your keywords in Google have become inactive for search, or your minimum CPC bids rose to $5 or $10 dollars, for no good reason, then you are not alone. The introduction of Google’s new AdWords quality score has had some major teething issues, with abnormal activity reported in some accounts.
The new AdWords quality score system will see a column added to your campaigns, showing a quality score for each keyword. A new algorithm will take into account factors such as landing pages to improve optimization of your ads and keywords. The system is designed to stop problems such as “click arbitrage”, where sites with nothing but advertising use AdWords for cheap clicks. As people visit these sites, they tend to leave by clicking on a more expensive ad, for which the site owner receives revenue. This practice results in honest advertisers paying more for ‘genuine’ clicks. With the introduction of the new quality score both Google and advertisers can hope to see the end of this behavior.
With the implementation of any new system, there could be some problems, as Google has recently experienced. Many users are reporting an increase in the minimum CPC bids on keywords, even the well performing ones, their amounts raised so high they become inactive for search.
The second major issue relates to campaigns that have reportedly run, and accrued charges, while they are paused. I have had this happen to me recently, and if advertisers are not careful, this problem could cost them quite a lot of money.
Google have assured AdWords’ customers that they are working on the problem and everything should return to normal soon.
To minimize the impact of these problems I suggest monitoring your Adwords account very carefully. Report any faults to Google immediately, so they may issue you a refund. However, if you don’t have the time to monitor your account on a daily basis, or look for these problems, then having a Google Adwords Professional running your campaign is the answer. For only $2 a day you can have peace of mind, knowing that your campaigns are being monitored for any problems such as these!
At least we know that even global billionaires such as Google have a bad day occasionally!