Google AdWords “Quality Score Update” Lowered Quality Scores

Google announced a quality score update today.

“Starting today, we will be updating how we report 1-10 Quality Scores for keywords []. This update only affects reporting. There is no change to ad serving such as how auction-time quality signals affect Ad Rank and CPC. The most significant part of the change is that keywords without traffic will now, by default, receive a score of 6, and Average for the three components of Quality Score. Once keywords gather enough impressions, scores will update about a day or so later.

Behind the scenes, this change will allow us to simplify some of our core systems, letting us focus our attention on improving reporting accuracy for keywords with traffic.”

This account’s average quality score dropped to it’s lowest level, dropping from 8.2 to 7.1 overnight. Most of the keywords ranging from 8-10 took moderate hits down to 6-8. Another account’s average dropped from 9 to 8.2.

Here are some of the biggest swings

google adwords quality scores

Some of your keywords may have been filtered by your settings

Over the last few months you may have encountered a warning on Google’s Keyword Planner tool.

“Some of your keywords may have been filtered by your settings.”

google adwords keyword planner

I adjusted the “Keyword Options” filter on the left until the error resolved.

Show keywords in my account, ON
Show keywords in my plan, ON
Show adult ideas, ON

keyword planner filters

These keywords aren’t located in my account, they weren’t added to a plan, and they’re not adult related. I’m not sure why these settings matter in this case.

google keyword planner results

It appears it’s just filtering results with 0 searches. I tested a few other keyword variations that had the same result.