Google AdWords is changing the Quality Score for new and low-activity keywords, with both set to be reported as “null” from 12 September onwards. However, the changes won’t have an impact on any ad auctions or on how ads are served, and are just an update on the current Quality Score default of 6.
Google announced the move on Monday. It urged publishers, brands and marketers to review any content that includes a Quality Score, such as reports, rules, filters and scripts, to ensure that it will still work as required when the null, which will be represented by a dash, is rolled out on Monday 12 September.
The search engine giant announced last year that it would be making visible changes to how an AdWords keyword Quality Score is reported, and the latest change is an update on that decision to assign new keywords with a default of 6.
Google said at the time that the update would enable it to optimise its accuracy of keyword reporting. It added: “Behind the scenes, this change will allow us to simplify some of our core systems, letting us focus our attention on improving reporting accuracy for keywords with traffic.”
Google stressed that any changes would not have an impact on ad serving or ad ranking calculations. Prior to the update in July 2015, new keyword scoring was based on a more in-depth method that required heavy processing and calculations based on an account’s historical performance. The changes were made to reflect the fact that this processing was often unsuitable for keywords that had yet to receive any meaningful impressions.
Basically, the number six was a placeholder for a keyword’s initial activity, with Google revealing that it did not use a Quality Score of 1 by default, as this may have caused unnecessary panic for marketers and SEO content specialists. The new dash will ensure that any unwarranted analysis of the early score will not be required, and it is a clearer indication compared to the default of 6.
This means that Google will have updated Quality Score for the second time in less than 14 months. It previously took two years for an update.