Google announced last night they are rolling out quality score changes. Specifically, Google increased the "weight given to relevance and landing page quality."
Landing page quality became a Quality Score factor back in 2005. Since then, Google has made many tweaks to the AdWords Quality Score algorithm, some of which has lead advertisers into bankruptcy. That being said, I have seen few complaints so far about this change, although it is not fully launched yet.
Google said, "As the changes roll out, some campaigns will see variation in keyword Quality Scores and typical ad position. Within a couple weeks, things should stabilize and we expect most campaigns will not see a significant change in overall performance."
Google told Search Engine Land that prior, poor landing pages resulted in a negative signal for the ad. Now a good landing page can result in a "strong boost" to the ad's quality score.
"What we always ask our advertisers to focus on is relevance - choose a landing page or site experience that is both relevant to the keywords that you're targeting and also a good experience for end users," said Google. "This is just continuing to sort of push on those best practices. I gives us the ability to really reward those advertisers that have been doing this, whose landing pages really are some of the best in our systems."
One advertiser at WebmasterWorld did complain:
The first thing we noticed is that we put a new account live last week and all keyword QS was over 7/10. That was all Brand and Generic keywords at 10/10 and even longtail product/semi generic keywords had a QS of 7/10. Most random! We guess it must be to do with landing page relevancy following on from this announcement on Search Engine Land, but still...generics with 10/10 QS...sweet!
The second thing we have noticed is that we have had accounts that have just received no traffic from the last week in September. We have not changed anything, budgets are all fine, credit on the accts, etc. When we looked at why there was no traffic, they notification bubble next to the keyword said that it was because the 'campaigns were not enabled.' However, they clearly were. But still there is no traffic coming through to some of the accounts, but then yesterday one of the accounts started receiving traffic again out of the blue!
Honestly, I doubt this is related but who knows.
We will track the forums over the next couple weeks and let you know about any mass complaints.
Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.