Last week was marked by significant changes rolled out on Google AdWords, one affecting the Ad Rank thresholds, and the other concerning Quality Scores.
Google announced the rollout of new Ad Rank thresholds since the beginning of the month, but it implemented the changes slowly. The Ad Rank is the value used to determine the position of an ad on a search or web page and is calculated using your bid amount, the components of Quality Score (expected clickthrough rate, ad relevance, and landing page experience), and the expected impact of extensions and other ad formats. With the new changes implemented to Ad Rank thresholds this month, bids will carry more weight and Ad Rank thresholds can also be based on the meaning of the query.
The changes have already impacted many AdWords users, while others can notice them closer to the end of the month, or beginning in June. To clarify, the two changes are significant, especially with an official statement from Google that confirms that bids will carry a larger weight in Ad Rank than in the past for some queries:
While ad quality continues to play a very important role in the Ad Rank calculation, this particular improvement adjusts the thresholds such that bids may carry a larger weight in Ad Rank than in the past for some queries. You may notice that on these queries, even though you continue to have high keyword Quality Scores, that you experience a change in your core ad metrics.
Since the change also means that CPCs could increase, advertisers should now monitor and adjust their bid terms to ensure that they are not paying more than what they are willing to pay and value a click at. Another possible side-effect of the changes is a lower impression volume for keywords with bids that are not high enough.
The second important change rolled out last week by Google AdWords concerns the reporting interface, which now includes an easier way to get more visibility for the keyword Quality Score components. Google has added three status columns for Quality Score - "Exp. CTR," "Ad Relevance" and "Landing Page Exper," - and four for the historical Quality Score - "Qual. Score (hist.)," "Landing page exper. (hist.)," "“Ad relevance (hist.)," and "Exp. CTR (hist.)."
According to Google, there are two important things to know about these columns: they reflect the last known score for the date range you selected, and they show daily values that reflect what your scores were at the end of each day if you apply the "Day" segment to your Keyword reports. Since Quality Scores are important to improve Ad quality, you can always see the official guide provided by Google to understand how to use them to improve your ad performance in AdWords.
Besides new Ad Rank thresholds and improved Quality Score reporting, Google has also quietly announced updates to the Conversion Import feature:
Starting today, you can schedule these uploads to save time and reduce errors. AdWords will automatically upload offline conversions from clicks and calls into individual or manager accounts on a daily or weekly basis.
The new features are explained in detail in this guide that shows how to import conversions from ad clicks into Google AdWords.
Google has just admitted that its AdWords product is too complicated for small business owners who have little digital marketing experience.
“Over the last decade, AdWords has gone from a very simple platform to a very complicated platform for someone who is a busy small business owner, and for someone who isn’t a digital marketer, let alone an expert in AdWords,” said Google product marketing manager Duncan McGrath cited by AdNews.
Therefore, Google now offers free training to help business owners boost their digital marketing skills via a new online training tool, aptly named Digital Garage.