So I haven't blogged in forever now after getting nominated under the Marketing Sherpa Best of Blogs 2005. Without disclosing anything, my blog may be getting moved under my current company where I've been promoted recently. I am very aware that there are many readers of this blog and I will still be maintaining one with all of the same data and whimsical posts, but it will be under my current employer's domain. Check back for updates as this may happen sooner than later.
For anyone interested here is a recent note from the Google Adwords Team:
Google AdWords™ Announcement
Keyword Evaluation Changes
Hello from the Google AdWords Team:
You asked, and we listened. In the coming weeks, we'll simplify our keyword status system and introduce quality-based minimum bids, giving you more control to run on keywords that you find important. We believe these changes will result in higher quality ads.
Simplified account management: Your keywords will be active or inactive — instead of normal, in trial, on hold, and disabled. In addition, accounts will no longer be slowed. Currently, accounts are slowed when they don't meet our performance requirements and your ads appear rarely for your keywords.
Quality-based minimum bids: Soon, each keyword will be assigned a minimum bid based on its Quality Score. Keywords with a higher Quality Score will be given lower minimum bids to stay active and trigger ads. Keywords with a lower Quality Score (including those that are currently on hold) will have the opportunity to run if your keyword or Ad Group's maximum cost-per-click (CPC) meets the minimum bid.
The Quality Score is determined by your keyword's clickthrough rate (CTR), relevance of your ad text, historical keyword performance, and other relevancy factors.
Ad Rank, or the position of your ad, will continue to be based on the maximum CPC and quality (now called the Quality Score).
What you should do
Here are some suggestions for what you should do before and after we implement the changes described above:
Before implementation: If you're happy with your current keyword list, there's no need to make any changes. However, if you have any on hold keywords that you don't want to trigger ads, we suggest you delete them from your account. This is because any keywords with a high enough Quality Score and maximum CPC could be activated and accrue ad clicks. You can use our Find and Edit Keywords tool, available in your account's Tools page, to quickly search for and delete any keywords in your account.
After implementation: We'll email you after we implement these changes. You should then log in to your account and monitor your keyword performance under these new guidelines. Any disabled keywords at the time of implementation will remain labeled as disabled in your account. Several weeks later, we'll delete them. This period of time is meant to give you an opportunity to review your disabled keywords and activate them.
Finally, to ensure your ads are optimized for performance, we suggest you continue to improve your keywords and ad text for relevancy. Here are some resources that will help:
How to create a targeted keyword list.
Optimization Tips page.
For more information, please visit our Performance Changes page.
The Google AdWords Team