Google recently announced changes to its approach to Quality Score. Quality Score is the bane of my existence. It turns previous ‘best practices’ into bad practices and dooms the long-tail to obscurity.
Sure it makes sense to have the keywords relevant to the ad and the landing page relevant (duh!), but in practice Google weighs click thru rates (CTR) in the overall campaign to judge what you should be paying and if your CTR drops too low for the ad group, you’ll receive a Quality score minimum bid “penalty” of $5 or $10. This means you need maintain only small campaigns grouped with only top performing keywords.
Unfortunately when you launch a new campaign you don’t know what your top performing phrases are going to be. Many times it the second tier phrases that provide the most cost-effective conversion for your clients and finding those takes time. The problem is during the time when you are trying to build effective campaigns you are getting soaked by Quality Score penalties.
I can only hope the upcoming changes to Quality Score will improve the current strangle hold.