Update: A Google spokesperson sent us this clarification:
Some reports have stated that all inactive keywords will be eligible to run and that advertisers will see increases in traffic and spend on those keywords. While it’s possible that some keywords may start accruing impressions once the changes go into effect, a keyword and
its corresponding ad, landing page, etc. must still merit a high enough Quality Score and have a competitive CPC bid to be eligible for placement. We will evaluate Quality Score on a per-query basis, but
our quality measures remain, such that even if a keyword is technically considered active, the system still will not deliver poor quality ads to our users. The key change is that the decision to show
an ad will be made at the time of the query, rather than by assessing the keyword’s active/inactive status once per day.
Sometimes I wish I didn’t have such a cynical eye. That way, when I saw news–such as Google’s Quality Score improvements–I could simply enjoy the updates in my naivety.
This is what Google announced:
A more accurate Quality Score
Most importantly, we are replacing our static per-keyword Quality Scores with a system that will evaluate an ad’s quality each time it matches a search query…
Keywords no longer marked ‘inactive for search’
The new per-query evaluation of Quality Score affects you in that keywords will no longer appear as ‘inactive for search’ in your account. Instead, all keywords will have the chance to show ads on Google web search and the search network (unless you’ve paused or deleted them)…
‘First page bid’ will replace ‘minimum bid’
As a result of migrating to per-query Quality Score, we are no longer showing minimum bids in your account. Instead, we’re replacing minimum bids with a new, more meaningful metric: first page bids. First page bids are an estimate of the bid it would take for your ad to reach the first page of search results on Google web search…
This is my translation:
“A more accurate Quality Score” – more revenue for Google.
“Keywords no longer marked ‘inactive for search” – more revenue for Google.
‘First page bid’ will replace ‘minimum bid’ – more revenue for Google.
I’ll admit, I use Google AdWords about as often as I wash my car–which is not often–so, if you’re a big time AdWords user, please tell me what you thought, when you saw the new Quality Score updates.