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Outrageous Minimum Bids: New AdWords Quality Score in Action

Forgive the odd characters (alphanumeric ones, not people) and layout, we're having a technical issue, soon to be resolved by switching to WordPress!

We've seen the first results of the new AdWords quality score improvements, something Josh Williams observed:

"$100 for first page position on 'University of South Carolina'?" says Josh.

That's the highest minimum bid we've ever heard of.


Josh continued, "Interesting, it seems Google doesn't want ads in university searches.  With a $100 bid I can understand why there are no ads. It would be interesting to see what other searches Google jacks up the price on to prevent advertising."

I'd add that these changes are supposed to be automatic- so it could be that whoever USED TO advertise for university searches just wasn't getting a good CTR.  This PPC algorithm could auto-identify phrases where searchers only want natural results. 

The downside there for Google would be that those keywords can't earn ad revenue- and future ads that could have been good there might have a harder time... unless Google gives all new ads a time-frame to prove themselves- but bad advertisers could try to exploit that with lots of new accounts.  All of this could be taken into account by Google. 

Contrary to all the press that Google just wants to raise their click revenue, this kind of thing argues that they actually want to increase quality results for searchers first.

Note, we don't disagree with the changes- and we're going to do a more in-depth review of September PPC trends in October.  The changes were implemented September 16th, so that's the magic date after which we're going to watch.

To be continued...

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