27th April 2012
News from Google AdWords – April 2012
April saw a flurry of updates from the Google AdWords team. Enjoy this quick summary of some of the more significant changes to AdWords this month.
Quality score transparency increased
Hovering over a keyword’s status bubble now gives advertisers an indication of how their click-through-rate, ad relevance and landing page experience has been rated by Google relative to other advertisers in the same industry. Performance is rated as “average”, “above average” or “below average” for each of the three metrics.
As an AdWords account manager, it is heartbreaking to see that your chosen keyword has been allocated a low quality score despite having what you believe to be a high CTR, relevant ad-text and a useful landing page. This recent update should provide some relief, as it will give advertisers an indication of which factor they need to improve in order to increase their existing quality score. However, it is worth bearing in mind that there are more than just three factors when it comes to calculating quality score. The score is also affected by your account’s history and geographic performance, for example.
New matching behaviour for phrase and exact match keywords
The most significant update to AdWords’ functionality during April came with the announcement that phrase and exact match keywords will soon match close variations of the keyword. According to Google, this includes “misspellings, singular/plural forms, stemmings, accents and abbreviations.”
This change will come into effect “mid-May”, so we will have time to consider the implications of the change before it is set live. If you decide that want to maintain the existing matching behaviour for phrase and exact match keywords then you will have the option to disable the update, but only at campaign level:
AdWords account labels
Google just launched account labels, a tool that allows users to “label” keywords, ads and adgroups into groups. This is really great new feature that will enable advertisers to easily filter and report on related keywords, adgroups or ads that aren’t already grouped together within their campaign structure.
Keyword tool and traffic estimator update
The keyword and traffic estimator tools have both undergone upgrades this month. The primary change to the keyword tool is the new “adgroup ideas” tab, which suggests potential thematic keyword groupings for related keywords. The main difference in the traffic estimator is the introduction of a graph to demonstrate the influence of your max CPC on clicks, impressions and cost.
2-step verification for AdWords
Although it was introduced last year, Google have reminded us of the 2-step verification sign-in option that is available for our Google accounts. Adopting this lengthier sign-in process increases the security of the AdWords accounts associated with our Google accounts. In addition to providing a username and password on sign-in, users opting into 2-step verification must also supply a code that is sent to their mobile phone via a text, call or app.
Images courtesy of the Inside AdWords blog.