If you make use of Google’s pay-per-click Adwords program, you may have had a nasty surprise recently.

When I left the office last Friday the Adwords accounts I manage were looking the best they’d ever been. Saturday morning, was a different story.

The Quality Scores assigned to each keyword had plummeted overnight. One of the standard account management tasks is to ensure all your keywords have a Quality Score of 5 or above out of 10. Friday, they all did – with many 10/10 scores. Saturday at least half my keywords were 3/10 and only a handful were over my cut off point of 4!

My initial response was to start pruning by deleting the 3/10 keywords – until I realised the extent of the issue. I would have had to delete almost all of them!

If you’re in the same boat, we’re not alone. The current consensus seems to be that there may be a bug in Google’s bot that crawls accounts and assigns the scores. Everyone who has experienced this problem is continuing to see the same performance from their ads.

But conspiracy theories abound – is this a new algorithm? With no announcement? It’s probably a profitable mistake, with lots of advertisers forced to up their bids to regain footing.

No official word from Google. 

In the face of comparably overwhelming complexity and seemingly insurmountable inconvenience, the HitchHiker’s Guide to the Galaxy always presented it’s users with the words – Don’t Panic! 

So now we wait. The alternative would be to delete what are still quite good performing keywords, despite their scores.

Adwords users – Don’t Panic!
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2 thoughts on “Adwords users – Don’t Panic!

  • November 24, 2010 at 7:32 am

    Lately I have seen a lot of bugs in Adwords. Such as ads pending for reasons such as trademarks even though all trademarks used in the ad have been whitelisted (and confirmed by Google Support) and also the ads were completely and fully live. Another time, I had a new account live and after 4 weeks, keywords were showing as live (limited), due to geo settings, however this is not a possible status for UK targeted ads as Google support reliably informed me. These bugs even baffled Google Support! Seems the whole system is going to pot.

  • November 24, 2010 at 7:58 pm

    I wonder whether they can’t make announcements about serious problems without accepting liability and all that might entail. Anyway, fingers crossed their gurus will set everything right soon.


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