The quality score update to Google's ad ranking algorithm announced last week is now live, according to the Inside AdWords blog. That means that within the next four days, minimum CPC rates for all ads have now been re-calculated with the new weighting system applied for elements like historical performance of a given keyword, relevance of keyword to ad text, landing page quality, and other factors.
While all of these factors have been incorporated into the ranking system for more than a year, the new algorithm is expected to be more lenient on new ads, without historical data, while also being harsher on ads in other areas.
Advertisers were given an opportunity to preview the effects last week, when Google added a new column to the advertiser interface. Anyone who has not yet added that column should do so now, since the changes are live and affecting your campaigns.
For those seeing higher minimum bids, Google suggests, "if you notice that the minimum bid increases for a number of your keywords, you may want to consider optimizing your ad group to make it more relevant or deleting the keywords that have high minimum bids."
Soon after Google announced the upcoming changes last week, several advertisers began reporting significantly increased minimum bids on some campaigns. Google assured advertisers those problems were unrelated to the new ad ranking algorithm, and were unrelated technical glitches, which were resolved the next day.