Today Google announced new quality score improvements. These are nothing new this year, however, this most recent update is significantly different from others because it changes the way Adwords has been operating for a while now.
-Quality Score will now be more accurate because it will be calculated at the time of each search query
-Keywords will no longer be marked 'inactive for search'
-'First page bid' will replace 'minimum bid' in your account
The biggest change is of course no more minimum bids and no more inactive bids. It looks like the frustration of constant rises in minimum bids has finally been removed but how does this change things?
Personally I feel its a step in the right direction for both Google and advertisers. Its obvious that Googles strict minimum bids that have been plaguing Adwords for ages are finally starting to hurt Google pockets, less advertisers are using Adwords because its not affordable and so Google loses money. With minimum bids removed advertisers should now be able to have their ads show more often with less restriction, this is especially key in areas that previously had been unprofitable due to high minimum bids despite no competition and a clean looking, adwords policy abiding website.
Another area thats fairly grey right now is Googles new way of applying quality score based on live data.
A more accurate Quality Score
Most importantly, we are replacing our static per-keyword Quality Scores with a system that will evaluate an ad's quality each time it matches a search query. This way, AdWords will use the most accurate, specific, and up-to-date performance information when determining whether an ad should be displayed. Your ads will be more likely to show when they're relevant and less likely to show when they're not. This means that Google users are apt to see better ads while you, as an advertiser, should receive leads which are more highly qualified.
This raises more questions than it answers and I'll be watching closely to see how this will affect advertisers in the coming weeks. I will be writing a follow up post shortly that will outline my findings and feedback.