Adwords Minimum Performance Standards

Source Title:
How many imps does a keyword get to run before it is "disabled?"
Story Text:

At the SearchEngineWatch forums Heidi has some interesting questions about Adwords Keywords being disabled before they've had enough impressions to get proper stats...

ads can be disabled with NO impressions?

Someone suggests

I seem to recall reading that when a keyword is disabled although impressions are very low, it is because the overall history of that keyword is being used. For example, if the keyword "glass" has a history of having a very low clickthrough rate across many AdWords accounts, when you create a new keyword "glass" it can immmediately be disabled based on the performance of that keyword in the past in other advertisers' accounts.

The idea is that AdWords can be "smarter" based on the aggregate experience of many advertisers, so you don't waste your budget on irrelevant or underperforming keywords. However, it can seem unfair to the individual advertiser. (What if my ad is more well-written than past ads for the same keyword?)

and Google confirm by e-mail

Your keyword has been disabled because it has gained a high number of impressions but few clicks. This suggests that your ad is not as targeted as it could be and is not relevant to a number of users viewing it.

It is not possible to re-enable a disabled keyword. Keyword disabling is a system generated change and it is not possible to reverse this

before AdWordsRep chimes in with

A very brief answer is that a keyword will be disabled when the AdWords system has gathered enough information to be certain that it will not meet the minimum performance standard over time. This can happen in a very few impressions, or in can happen over the course of many thousands of impressions.

(their bold not mine).

To be honest I never agreed the switching off the ads because of a low CTR thing anyway - I know Google exist to make money but some of the low CTR ones are some of the best converters IMO and either the extra ads increase the high bids or the ad appears where nothing else does and could earn Google a few $$ so they loose either way. Order in part by CTR, sure, but disabling seems overreacting to me.

If they're now disabling ads based on other peoples performance and not allowing you to reactivate they're treading dangerous ground with Yahoo and MSN both trying to pinch the business.


just need to indulge in a moment of sarcasm

One last note: the minimum standard that keywords must meet to be marked as 'normal' is not particularly high. In fact is well below the average.

well, duuuh!

but it answered the question I guess.....


I've had keywords disabled or put on hold with zero impressions.

When Ebay is allowed to advertise lawyers and dead cats for sale, it is flatly unfair that a small advertiser is allowed no chance to see how their ad for [perfectly targeted blue widgets] would perform!

When the terms accurately reflect the product being promoted, and the ads are crafted with care, it is extreeeeeeemely frustrating that they get zero chance to prove themselves.

It really makes a lie of the promo text on the Adwords signup page that our ads could be active in just a few minutes!

Grrrrrrrrr .....

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.