Dynamic Keyword Insertion and Quality Score

// // December 04th 2010 // PPC + Rant

I recently fired up a new AdWords campaign for a client that was perfect for Dynamic Keyword Insertion. But it didn’t seem to be working, so I emailed AdWords support and got this answer.

No Dynamic Keyword Insertion

Dynamic Keyword Quality Score

First off, my name isn’t John. This isn’t the first time I’ve been addressed like this though. Since I go by AJ many customer service folks seem to transpose the J onto my last name (Kohn) and come up with John. Now, at one point in my youth I told my parents I wanted to be called Tom after the cat in Tom and Jerry, but I’ve never used John as a pseudonym.

What was more surprising was the fact that Dynamic Keyword Insertion as a feature is gated by Quality Score. Was I supposed to know this? Nowhere does it mention that you must achieve a certain Quality Score to use Dynamic Keyword Insertion. But more to the point, does it make any real sense?

AdWords (il)Logic

The advice they have is to create static text ads (for the nearly 10,000 keywords I have) until such time as they grant me the ability to use Dynamic Keyword Insertion. You tell me to make it more relevant. I can do that … by using Dynamic Keyword Insertion. But I can’t use that until I make the ads relevant. It’s a Catch-22.

I wrote back explaining that it seemed like an onerous amount of work. You really want me to create static ads until the Quality Score increases to a point where you turn on Dynamic Keyword Insertion?

AdWords WTF

Yeah, still not John. But here’s the kicker. This is a new campaign! Yet users are not finding my ad very relevant to click on? So – how did you figure that out before it was launched? (Okay, I actually know they’re probably using an account or domain Quality Score. But tell me if that’s the case.)

And lets talk about relevancy. While I can’t divulge the exact keyword set, it is very specific. This ad is relevant if you’re searching for any of these keywords.

Making Relevance Difficult to Achieve

I’m still trying to figure out why Google would decide to gate this feature. Dynamic Keyword Insertion is a fairly advanced strategy. You’re not going to get a lot of small businesses using it, particularly if you’re playing these types of games.

Using the keyword in the ad is a pretty good way to make the ad more relevant. That seems to be one of Google’s goals. The advice is essentially to make a static ad that would be the same as the dynamic ad. So … Google wants the ad to look that way and include that keyword, they just don’t want me to use the feature that makes that easy to do.

It makes about as much sense as a smiling Spock.


Can anyone give me a good reason for this policy?

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