A word of warning to those trying to run their PPC campaigns: this month Google AdWords has been experiencing another Quality Score bug.
This is reminiscent of another Quality Score bug that occurred in October. In fact, it was initially thought by some that the current bug was merely a recurrence of the previous one. The Google team even posted information to that effect in the AdWords Pro online forum but later retracted it, clarifying that:
“It is understood that what is being described here is what appears to be a similar but separate issue that folks started seeing on Friday evening, November 19th. Engineering is taking a look into this, as a priority – and I will report back in this thread when I know more. In the meantime, my apology for the inconvenience and upset this issue has caused you.”
The long and the short of it is that the Google Adwords interface is showing inaccurate Quality Scores in some cases. However in actuality the Quality Scores have not changed.
People running their own PPC campaigns who are unaware that AdWords has begun to misrepresent Quality Scores may be influenced to change their bidding behaviour based on the false data.
How to tell if your campaign may be a victim of the bug: if you notice that your Quality Score has decreased, but that Click Through Rates (CTR) and average Cost Per Clicks (CPC) for the affected keywords remain the same.
Until this bug has been cured, we advise that those of you running your own PPC campaigns should be closely monitoring CTR and CPC, instead of making drastic changes to your bidding structures.
We will post further updates as they occur.