Why did my Google AdWords cost-per-click suddenly become 30 times more expensive?
 by Casey Markee

Why did my Google AdWords cost-per-click suddenly become 30 times more expensive?

  • We've been using Google AdWords for two years, spending about $0.30 per click for most of our keywords.

    Last week we suddenly went from $0.30 per click to $10.00 per click for every single keyword!

    What could have caused this? And how do I reverse it?

Answer: Unfortunately, what you are describing is becoming more common even with long-time Google AdWords customers. It's related to Google reassessing your campaign's current Quality Score (QS). When your QS increases, your keyword cost per click (CPC) decreases; when your QS decreases, your CPC increases noticeably, resulting in the $10 CPC you're currently seeing.

Here is how Google explains Quality Score...

A keyword's minimum bid is determined by its Quality Score. The more relevant your keyword is to your landing page and to the ads in its ad group, the higher the keyword's Quality Score will be. This translates into a lower minimum bid for that keyword and lower costs for you.

Google uses the concept of QS to rate each campaign and those with higher Quality Scores get served more and pay less. Among the factors Google uses to compute this score are; a keyword's click-thru rate (CTR), the relevance of the keyword and ad text to its ad group, your landing page quality and other relevance factors.

The problem lies in these other relevance factors, which Google doesn't disclose and which can lead to the trumping of a good relevancy score due t...

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