Google AdWords to Drop On Hold & In Trial Status

Just logged into AdWords and found the following:

In the coming weeks, your keywords will no longer be evaluated as normal, in trial, on hold, or disabled. Instead, your keywords will either be active or inactive, depending on their quality and maximum CPC. Each keyword will be assigned a minimum bid based on its quality. As long as its maximum CPC meets this quality-based minimum bid, your keyword will remain active and trigger ads.

Not sure if it was causing too many customer support queries or the technology was a failure or what, but Google is dropping the in trial, on hold, and slowed AdWords account statuses. Ads will simply be active or inactive.

Google states the following about the pending change:

  • The keyword statuses normal, in trial, on hold, and disabled will be replaced with active (triggering ads) or inactive (not triggering ads). In addition, accounts will no longer be slowed. Currently, accounts are slowed when they don't meet our performance requirements and your ads appear rarely for your keywords.

  • New keywords will no longer be disabled or have a minimum clickthrough rate (CTR) threshold. Instead, your keyword will trigger ads as long as it has a high enough Quality Score (determined by your keyword's CTR, relevance of ad text, historical keyword performance, and other relevancy factors) and maximum CPC.
  • Ad Rank, or the position of your ad, will continue to be based on the maximum CPC and quality (now called the Quality Score).
  • Remember: The higher the Quality Score, the lower the CPC required to trigger ads, and vice versa.
  • You can move an inactive keyword to an active state and show ads by (1) improving its Quality Score through optimization, or (2) increasing its maximum CPC to the minimum bid recommended by the system.

It will be interesting to see if using higher bids allows you to run ads with low relevancy scores for fairly generic terms. If it does it may mean that at least for a short period of time there may be a good number of underpriced terms (depending how high Google makes the minimum suggested bids to tax the poor relevancy - currently AdWords defaults to a 5 cent minimum or whatever some other low amount in other currencies).

It is sorta interesting to see because this is clearly Google moving away from keeping ads relevant and may cause sooner text ad blindness (similarly to how people became blind to banner ads). Google recently allowed people to pay to run untargeted ads on partner sites via CPM ad sales. The fact that Google is willing to accept low relevancy ads on it's own site should really show that Google wants to be all nearly all things related to internet advertising.

Many people did have complaints with good words getting disabled before trial, so this new system will help accomidate them, while allowing bulk upload of relevant longer search queries and taxing away the profits from the buy dead children at eBay and other off topic bulk eBay ads.

Searchday is running an article about the new AdWords change where they state:

Pegging minimum bids to a quality score that considers all of these factors effectively eliminates Google's previous de facto minimum bids. For ads that receive a high quality score, Kamangar said the minimum bid as little as a penny. Conversely, for ads that receive a low quality prediction, the new minimum bid could be higher than the previous minimum of five cents.

Published: July 15, 2005

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