Google said the problem with minimum bids skyrocketing after routine maintenance had nothing to do with adjustments to how Quality Score is calculated.
It was a dark and stormy night. Thunder crashed! Keyword prices exploded for advertisers everywhere on Google AdWords. People who had been seeing prices at pennies on the dollar suddenly found themselves being charged $5 and $10 as minimum bids.
There was some consternation in the blogosphere, as this post at PPC Discussions indicated via DigitalPoint's forums:
Google has acknowledged that this quality score update has it's problems and "high performing, good quality keywords" have extremely high minimum bids when that should not be the case.
"I just had a reply from Google about poor quality score for good quality keywords this was the reply:
Unfortunately, due to a technical issue, you may notice that the minimum bids for some of your keywords increased dramatically, despite them being high performing, good quality keywords. This is a temporary issue that our engineers are aware of and they are working to resolve it as soon as possible. I am sorry for any inconvenience."
That resolution has taken place, and Google acknowledged the kerfuffle at the Inside AdWords blog:
Last Friday, during a routine infrastructure update, we experienced a technical issue that significantly increased the minimum bids for some keywords. Because the maximum CPC for these keywords was not changed, a number of impacted keywords became inactive for search, resulting in fewer leads for some advertisers. This technical issue was completely unrelated to the Quality Score updates that we have planned for later this week.
Any ad groups that were paused on Friday should be unpaused, but Google said advertisers should not raise their maximum CPC. Unpausing the ad group should let the minimum bid return to normal.
"Once we have completed our analysis of the impact, we'll automatically issue credits to advertisers who overpaid due to this issue," the AdWords team said. "As soon as these credits have been applied, we'll email the affected advertisers to let them know."