I spoke with Catherine at Google AdWords this past week and as she and I were talking about the quality score for an account, she mentioned something that I thought was important to share with my blog readers.
First, I was speaking to her about a top performing AdWords account that had gotten hit with some “poor” quality score ratings on seemingly important targeted keyword phrases. She commented to me that Google weights by default all general phrases with a location description at a lower quality than a phrase without the location description. For example, bed bugs New York City will not perform as well in Google search results as bed bug exterminator New York City or for that matter bed bugs. She mentioned that when there is a location descriptor, Google is looking for an additional context clue about the services provided on the landing page. So bed bugs New York City would be a good phrase for an information site, but not one for a pest control firm. A better phrase for a pest control firm would be bed bug control New York City, or bed bug exterminator New York City.
Additionally her insight was on location description in the Google quality score index. She said by default these keywords will not be searched with the frequency that keywords without the descriptor will be in the Google index and so by that very nature these phrases will carry a lesser quality score regardless of what YOU do. That is interesting news, particularly for advertisers that are targeting a local market in campaign settings.
Google has long said that adding your city name to your keywords is not necessary when you are advertising in a radius or city targeted setting. Now we know that actually, if you have those keywords in your list, you may get a poor quality score simply due to the way people search and the way that Google weights those words in their index. You may receive this lowered score regardless of the fact that you may be highly optimized on your landing page for that geographic descriptor — very interesting!
Thanks Catherine for these important tidbits that will help locally targeted AdWords programs and help us to understand better the evolving changes to AdWords quality score!