Google Confirms Major AdWords Quality Score Reporting Bug

Oct 28, 2010 • 8:15 am | comments (7) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google AdWords
 

If you visited any Google AdWords help forum in the past day or so, you would have seen dozens of complaints in the form of threads and posts from advertisers worried about their quality score. As you know, quality score is a major factor in determining the AdWords ad rank and price.

Google confirmed the bug in a couple threads, including one at the Google AdWords Help forum and one at WebmasterWorld. Google said it is just a reporting glitch and ad serving, I assume pricing and placement, have not been impacting by the reporting glitch.

The confirmation comes in two parts.

AdWordsPro said:

Many accounts are experiencing an unexpected drop in quality score for high performing keywords, starting around the 24th/25th of October 2010. This appears to be a reporting only issue, meaning that we display the quality score as incorrectly low in the account interface, while ad serving itself is not affected.

Please know that our engineers are looking into this as a top priority.

I will update this thread when I have further information.

The key word above was "appears," where program manager of AdWords, Adam, confirmed later on saying:

As earlier reported by AdsWordsPro, I can confirm that this issue did not impact serving (i.e., the system has been correctly computing auction-time Quality Score this entire time for ranking and pricing purposes).

This issue was limited to the reporting of Quality Score, and the fix should be live for all within the next 24 hours. For those keywords with a status of Low search volume, the fix should be live within the next few days.

Thank you all for your patience as we resolve this.

Things should be getting back to normal and you should not have been impacted, unless you made changes to your campaigns based on the reporting glitch. If so, put things back.

Forum discussion at he Google AdWords Help and WebmasterWorld.

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Comments:

Justin Seibert

10/28/2010 03:56 pm

Barry - that's not accurate to say advertisers who experienced this "should not have been impacted." Many chose to raise bids when they saw the issue as they were told they weren't estimated to be on the first page.

mugshot

10/28/2010 05:10 pm

that's why advertisers shouldn't panic so quickly :)

Bradd Libby

10/28/2010 07:09 pm

> "Many chose to raise bids when they saw the issue" > "that's why advertisers shouldn't panic so quickly :)" I think advertisers shouldn't react to changes in QS. See '<a href= "http://www.thesearchagents.com/2010/10/quality-score-never-shined-my-shoes/" rel="nofollow">Quality Score Never Shined My Shoes</a>'.

Jarad

11/03/2010 04:35 pm

Yeah... I'm sure it was a 'glitch'. "Opps, sorry guys. Reporting error." Meanwhile, advertisers are updating their bids to the 1st page bid estimate to ensure their ads stay on top of Google. Nice profitable 'glitch' Google. I'm sure your accountants are tallying up how much additional revenue you made from this scam right now.

Ad

11/12/2010 02:09 pm

It's not over, is it? two weeks later and no update from Google, but lots of dropped quality scores..

Mike

11/12/2010 04:53 pm

Our cost per conversions went up %50 since that `bug`. Even if they fixed it now we have to live with new market `prices`.

Roy

12/02/2011 02:25 pm

I agree with Justin

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