Adwords Inactive Keywords are Alive and Well?

September 25, 2008

Feb 23 2009 Update:

I must admit a mistake, and give Kudos to Adwords for the improved system.  My earlier allegations re: First Page bids being synonymous with Min CPC were wrong.  I drew conclusions based on my personal adwords account, which had some geotargeting issues which confused the issue.

That admission of error aside, let me congratulate Adwords on improving the system. 

Yes, even if you are bidding less than the “First Page Bid” price, your Ads can certainly appear.

See Chat re: Adwords explanation of the new dynamic system.

It seems Adwords has taken our earlier feedback, and improved the system so that indeed, keyword are potentially active, even if they do not meet the First Page Bid. This is good news.

dan: the keyword shows as active in the keyword tab...
dan: only when i click on the tool, and digg to the details screen, do i see that the keyword is not triggering ad...
dan: how is this compatible with kw being "active"?
dan: in the past, if kw bid was under min cpc bid threshold... kw showed as "inactive"...
Support: The keyword is active, but is the quality score and CPC must still surpass a threshold for the keyword to enter an ad auction.
dan: what you just said, sounds like double talk. either the kw is active or its inactive.
Support: Yes, you should use the Keyword Analysis page to determine the reasoning if your ad is not accruing any impressions in your account.
Support: Here is an article from our Help Center that goes into more detail about this subject:
Support: Removing Inactive For Search
Support: With the old system, if the keyword was inactive for search, the keyword would never be entered into the auction. With the new system for keywords, a keyword may be eligible for the auction for one search query and not for another.

From: new adwords quality score changes at inside adwords blog:

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Mical Johnson said...

Great case study. Have you figured out what the min CPC for that keyword would be yet?

searchquant said...

I was waiting to get to the bottom of the IM thread, at which point I would see:

Support: Please go away, you are making too much sense!

Unknown said...

That chat with the specialist is great, nice work.

We've had similar problems, and noticed this issue right away when the new quality score system went in to affect. It forced us to completely rethink our bidding strategy.

Unknown said...

There's a difference between being active and inactive, and being active without triggering ads. For instance your keyword could be active, but due to low search volume or a poor QS your ad still may not trigger, despite it being "active". Good article though, I myself was sceptical of this change when it was first enforced.

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