Since I was one of the "small number" of advertisers affected by the "quality update" back in July I had hoped I wouldn't be affected when they announced another "quality score" update announced earlier this week. Looking at my data (published below) I can say these updates aren't about "quality" at all. Instead they are about jacking up the prices and pricing out the riff raff.
The data published in the screen shot above is yeasterdays data, the keywords have been sanitized, but other than that the data is unaltered.
Looking at keyword #1, this keyword is now disabled for low quality and I need to raise my bid to $0.40 to activate it. Looking a little deeper we see it's running in position 4.1 with an 11% CTR and a 41% conversion ratio. So my ad is compelling enough to get clicks, and delivers what it promises since 41% convert, wouldn't fit my definition of "low quality" but don't forget to look at the average CPC price of $0.33.
Keyword # 2 running in position 4.5 with a 7% CTR and a 71% conversion. That keyword seems ok but take note of the higher CPC of $0.52.
Keyword #3 running in position 8.1 witha 2% CTR and a 0% conversion. Now if any keyword was to b flagged for low quality this should be it, however look at that CPC at $0.47.
Now the your next question might be well what are the keywords and are the related? They related in the way "soda", "cola", "pop", and "soft drink" are. The next question you may ask is what about the landing page, well I can tell you they all go to the exact same landing page.
Looking at all of the keywords for this site I was only able to find one below $0.40 per CPC running at $0.38. Is Google rigging the game? Are they so dominant that they can raise prices arbitrarily under the guise "quality improvements" with impunity and without fear of repercussions. Should they be allowed to? With the ability to "give themselves a raise" whenever they want is it any surprise they have profits every quarter while others do poorly.