If you’ve been unable to get into your Account Access area or have seen a drop in Quality Score for your campaigns, don’t worry – you’re not alone.
AdWords appears to be creaking under the pressure of increased PPC activity before Christmas. Quality Scores have again been nose diving across numerous accounts in a repeat of issues seen by some users at the tail-end of last month [see: Google Confirms Major AdWords Quality Score Reporting Bug | Search Engine Roundtable]. Adding to the PPC confusion, Account Access pages are also returning an error (shown below), making it impossible to make changes in this section.
Therefore if you have returned to your account this week and found that your Quality Score is a fraction of what it once was, don’t do anything rash. You won’t need to make any major site changes, update your keywords or increase bid levels – it is just a glitch within Google’s system, not an issue with your campaign/pages.
Whether the reported Quality Score is the same as the figure that Google holds behind the scenes is up for debate in any case. Therefore if you have seen a temporary drop in QS it doesn’t mean that your PPC performance will necessarily suffer. Of course, if your positions within the AdWords rankings do fluctuate massively, then you might want to review your ads or contact Google.
The Account Area issue is a little frustrating, particularly for those managing client campaigns, but again we’re told this is a problem that Google is aware of and will hopefully be fixing soon.
So if you’re closely managing your Christmas PPC campaigns, hold tight. Your Quality Score may not actually have dropped from eight down to one. As such you shouldn’t be rushing to make major changes to your ads or landing pages until you can be sure that it isn’t part of this wider glitch. Keep optimising by all means and hopefully your QS will ping back shortly.