The Google AdWords Blog announced that two new changes to the quality score is coming in the next few days.
The first change is to make the quality score calculation score an ad’s CTR based on the ad’s position. The second change is to help enable certain ads to be promoted to the top position.
Google is updating and improving how they normalize the CTR for when they look at an ad’s position on the page. They will use fresher and more updated data to provide a better metric for their quality score. Google said this should make the quality score more accurate, allow ads to “compete fairly” and show searchers more relevant ads.
The second part that Google changed was the formula used to promote an ad from the right side of the page to the top position, above the organic results. In the past, if an ad in the first position did not meet the promotion quality threshold requirement, but an ad in the second position did meet that threshold, ad number two would not be promoted. But with this new change, these ads will be able to jump above the ads above it and be promoted to the top position. Google said this will ensure that “quality plays an even more important role in determining the ads that show in those prominent positions.”
Postscript: Jeremy Mayes reminds me that Google has always normalized the CTR calculation based on ad position. So as Jeremy asks, what is new here? Google made this calculation better? If so, how exactly? I emailed Google to find out more information, I will update this post when I get that information.
Postscript #2: Google gave me this statement, basically saying, this is an update to how they normalize the CTR. “The first change mentioned in yesterday’s blog post simply gives advertisers advance notice that we’ll soon be making improvements to the existing technology that we’ve already been using to account for ad position. We’ll employ fresher, updated data that will help us calculate Quality Scores even more precisely,” said a Google spokesperson.