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Posted on May 15, 2008

What is Quality Score?

chris
What is Quality Score?
chris
Posted on May 15, 2008

Quality Score & Why it Matters

Many of the recommendations we make each month to improve the performance of an Adwords account focus on improving quality scores. A healthy quality score forms the cornerstone of a successful pay per click advertising account. If your Adwords account is not performing well, then take steps to improve your Quality Score!

Quality Score as it Relates to Search

Although Quality Score can refer to the Content Network and Site Targeted campaigns, herein, we are speaking primarily about Quality Score as it relates to keyword targeted ads on Google Search.

Why did Google invent Quality Scores? Following the creation of the world wide web, it came to pass that rascally advertisers were attempting to invade ad spaces in which they did not belong. Google noticed this, and smote them with Quality Score.

Quality Score represents Google’s mechanism for ensuring that ad spaces are filled with relevant ads. Quality Score is based on secret formulae which have been repeatedly tweaked by Google over time. Although Google doesn’t reaveal the actual formulae, they do provide us with sufficient information about how to improve the performance of advertising campaigns, by earning higher quality scores.

A Simple Explanation of Quality Score

You can think of quality score as a measure of the efficiency by which a search is converted to a conversion. If a phrase on which you bid is relevant to: 1) phrases entered by users; 2) your ad text; and 3) your landing page, then you have provided a user with what they were seeking and Google rewards by blessing you with a high quality score (and a relatively lower minimum bid).

An example: Someone seeking your product uses the search phrase “yellow submarine cd.” If you sell cd’s then your ad may be displayed by virtue of a purchased keyword, “beetles yellow submarine.” In terms of the first part of the calculation, your purchased keyword phrase would win a reasonably high, but not perfect quality score, because your purchased keyword phrase matches pretty closely with the search phrase entered by the user.

The next step in the process measures how well the keyword phrase is represented in your ad text. If you have included all of the search phrase in various elements of your ad, then this will positively affect your quality score for the keyword phrase you have purchased. As the final step, if the search phrase is included in your landing page, then this will positively impact your quality score for the related keyword phrase.

So, in order to earn high quality scores, make sure that your purchased keywords include really relevant search phrases, and that the most popular of your keywords are included precisely in your ad text, as well as your landing page. Understanding these basics will lead to sound decisions about account structure and better written ads.

How do you know if you’ve earned poor quality scores?

If your minimum bids (set by Google, not you) keep increasing, then this may be a hint from Google that you should take steps to improve your quality scores. Google tells us our Quality Score in two places:

1) go to the ad group view in the Adwords online interface. Choose “Customize Columns” up top, and then “Show Quality Score.” Sort low to high, and all your “Poor” quality scores will be shown for the ad group.

2) for any keyword,

While the Quality Score Basics are essential, there are other Factors which affect Quality Score. For more information, read Applied Strategies for optimizing Quality Scores.