We’ve known for a long time that your Adwords Quality Score affects your Minimum Bid on keywords.
So when Google announced they were adding a new “Quality Score” column, there was excitement among Search Engine Marketers - perhaps this would give us a better insight into how to improve the Quality Score of our ads?
But there was something they didn’t tell us…
…An important piece of information about how the “Good”, “OK” and “Poor” Quality Scores relates to your ads.
Here’s the Truth: It turns out your Quality Score is just represents your minimum bid on a particular keyword - nothing more, nothing less.
In fact, in Google’s own words:
“…minimum bids provide a more accurate estimate of your Quality Score.”
Here’s the full text of what AdWordsAPIAdvisor had to say about this on the Adwords API forum:
“The new Quality Score column (https://adwords.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=53024) displays a keyword’s quality and minimum bid at a glance. The idea is to provide traditional users of the web interface with a simple visual cue. Since a minimum bid is a direct reflection of the Quality Score, the data in this new column (values: Great/Okay/Poor) can help advertisers decide if they should take any action to improve the quality of their keywords.
That said, we currently do not plan to release this column’s data via the API since minimum bids (already available via the API) provide a more accurate estimate of your Quality Score.
Just to give you a rough estimate of how minimum bids and these quality “buckets” currently align… “Great” keywords have a minimum bid less than or equal to $0.04, “Okay” keywords have a minimum bid between $0.05 and $0.30, and “Poor” keywords have a minimum bid that is higher than $0.30. Please note, these ranges may change over time.”
This means the information displayed in the Quality Score column is representative of your Minimum Bid - not the other way around.
At least now we know.
So we can all turn off our Quality Score columns - they don’t provide us with any more valuable information than we already have - and focus on the Minimum Bid instead what’s displayed as the Adwords Quality Score.