Dear Agony Aunt...

If Google Adwords had an Agony Aunt, I could write her about my problem:My ads have been approved, the keywords have reasonably high Quality Scores, the bids are high enough. Still, Adwords wouldn't show my ads!The truth is, the Google Aunt would say, that she doesn't love you really. Or, in other words, AdWords displays inaccurate keyword status and Quality Score values. Here's the whole story:

The symptoms

My keywords don't trigger ads for no obvious reason.Quality Score & display infoCross-negatives are in place, none of the keywords has a negative set against it in the campaign or ad group.Still, the ads are not triggered, and Adv=words gives no explanation:Adwords keyword problemIt does, however, give a hint: the Quality Scores are surprisingly low, while the landing page-keywod-ad relevance is very high. It's not too big a problem in itself at this stage, but it points to a possible reason for the AdWords ailment.

Scalpel, please!

First, we edit the keyword text by changing one of the elements - in this case, 2012 to 2013:The result is as follows:The keyword status has naturally changed to "Low search volume" - few users are searching for tours in 2013. At the same time, the Quality Score changed to what we think would reflect the keyword relevance. The keywords attributes are correct now.The third step is to revert the keyword text back to "2012":The result is what we would expect to see in the first place! A high Quality Score, but too low a search volume for the ads to be triggered. Voilà!

Conclusion

We have seen occasional Quality Score irregularities in the offline AdWords Editor. Now, more seriously, we've seen them in the online interface. While the bug is not serious, it could still get one a small headache and cost an hour or two of looking for a problem with the campaign.The problem, however, is on Google's end. And our advice is: do not fully trust keyword attributes (Quality Score in particular) before the keyword attracts clicks.