Yesterday on Search Engine Journal, Eric Lander posted some screen shots of Google openly serving confidential advertiser information in their AdWords results, such as the max CPC and quality score variables such as thresh and Pscore.
The sharing of max cost per click numbers by Google has sparked concern from some advertisers, fearing that their competitors can reproduce the variable numbers (if they weren’t lucky enough to catch them yesterday) and find out how much their competition is paying for Google clicks.
According to Google, the search results which include the quality score numbers cannot be reproduced.
A Search Engine Journal reader sent this response from Google on the issue of these quality score variables publicly being served to Google users yesterday morning.
Yesterday, a technical error caused ad ranking information related to a small number of advertisers to be displayed alongside a limited number of ads served. We won’t share what the variables or numbers that were shown mean, but in conjunction with information that was not shown, they are related to ranking. It wasn’t possible for a user to systematically reproduce the bug, and capture the
displayed information on a large scale so in the end there were few occurrences of the ranking being displayed.
The problem was resolved this morning, and our product team is taking steps to ensure this does not occur in the future.