This morning I reported at the Search Engine Roundtable that several webmasters began noticing three values being displayed under some AdWords ads that might reveal some details on how Google may rank AdWords ads. The scores include the “Pscore,” “mCPC,” and “thresh.”
Danny and I took guesses at what each might mean and the mCPC seems likely to be the minimum cost-per-click for the ad. Thresh might refer to a threshold score for if or where the ad displays, while the Pscore might be a Google quality score metric of some sort – we guess.
Shown above is a screen shot of one of the many ads displayed with these scores. It appears no one in the United States has seen any of the scores. All the ad examples I have are from Google international specific search engines.
Danny discovered a document via a Google search, which might reveal some more information about what this pscore is. The document says:
Another is pscore which is used for storing the value calculated by PageRank. according to the score. The value of pscore represents the linked …
The pscore might be related to PageRank and could indicate that ads are having PageRank criteria used as part of AdRank or quality score.
Postscript: Loren Baker at Search Engine Journal has posted a response from Google, which in short says it was a technical issue and Google won’t discuss what those values represent, outside of them being related to ranking the ads. Here is the statement:
Yesterday, a technical error caused ad ranking information related to a small number of advertisers to be displayed alongside a limited number of ads served. We won’t share what the variables or numbers that were shown mean, but in conjunction with information that was not shown, they are related to ranking. It wasn’t possible for a user to systematically reproduce the bug, and capture the displayed information on a large scale so in the end there were few occurrences of the ranking being displayed.
The problem was resolved this morning, and our product team is taking steps to ensure this does not occur in the future.