So I go away for a few days and come back to not just 389 blog spam comments to disapprove but the news that Google has launched another quality score update which has subsequently sent some advertisers cpc’s through the roof.

The Seroundtable also reports that an advertiser has been charged for clicks accrued while their Adwords campaign was paused. I am willing to take a bet that these impressions and clicks were from the content network, as I reported previously, this technical problem has STILL not been resolved by Google.

Further news on the quality score update suggests there was a bug in the system causing minimum cpc’s to rocket, as reported by Jeremy Mayes -

Unfortunately, due to a technical issue, you may notice that the minimum bids for some of your keywords increased dramatically, despite them being high performing, good quality keywords. This is a temporary issue that our engineers are aware of and they are working to resolve it as soon as possible. I am sorry for any inconvenience.

Seroundtable has now reported that the bug has been fixed by Google. So what caused the problem?

We won’t find out, but we do know that Google were specifically tweaking the minimum bid area of the quality score algorithm again. As the Inside Adwords blog explains -

First, we’re improving the way that we set minimum bids for keywords where we have limited data. For example, if the system does not have any data on a keyword, we’ll try to assign that keyword a lower initial minimum bid until we have enough data to make a more accurate assessment of the Quality Score for that keyword in your account. Second, we’re improving the Quality Score algorithm to make it more accurate in predicting the quality of all ads.

Not all went quite to plan then?. On a more positive note Google have introduced new features that allow advertisers to pause and resume keywords, adverts and sites (if its a site targetted campaign) aswell as rolling out the much talked about quality score column to the masses.

Definitely the most useful of those will be the ability to pause adverts. Why? Because it means you can KEEP ad history which makes up an important part of the quality score algo.

Take for example a client who runs the same promotional adverts once a month. Previously advertisers have always had to create NEW adverts which would have no history or amend current ads to reflect the promo which would in turn mean you lose the ad history upon edit. Furthermore, when the promo period ends, the advertiser was once again forced to delete or amend adverts back and lose history all over.

Now you can simply pause and resume them when it suits you while maintaing the history you have built.

Pausing keywords could be useful in some circumstances, but unlike adverts, keyword quality score is kept at account level. If you delete the keyword then re-add it, it will still hold the same history.