Friday, November 23, 2007

Google "Quality" Score Woes

Shira and I were setting up some AdWords campaigns for i2x and thought it would be wise to buy the phrase Ideas2Executables. When we attempted to do this, we were greeted with the dreaded:

... keyword(s) are currently inactive for search. These keywords are marked in the Status column of the Keywords tab below. Improve their quality through optimization, delete them, or raise the keywords' bids to the minimum bids indicated.

And check out the amount they want us to bid:

That's right, for $5.00 we can make the listings active. What measure, exactly, are they using to determine quality? The words we are bidding on are found in our URL, and plastered all over the place in our site. It's the name of our business for heaven's sake.

I just don't get this Google Quality Score. It always feels more like the Google Extortion Score. Actually, I'm willing to give Google the benefit of the doubt that the Quality Score is a good thing. I just would love more details about how it's calculated and what I can do to actually improve my quality.

Update: In the past, when we wanted to understand about Google's Quality score, we would usually end up at the following page, with generic help:

Turns out, what we needed to do was to find the following screen:

Google's telling us what we need to do - our landing page is fine (well, duh), but the ad text is not relevant. So, in theory, all we need to do is add Ideas2Executables to the text ad and Google should be happy. This screen could provide more info, but it's certainly a start.

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