What You Need to Know About the New Google Adwords Quality Score

Posted by Vivek Parikh

September 18, 2013

PPC 11 min read

In late July, Google announced an update to its Adwords platform. Through Inside Adwords, it announced:

“As part of our ongoing efforts to help improve the quality of our ads, we’re announcing an update that changes how each keyword’s 1-10 numeric Quality Score is reported in AdWords. Under the hood, this reporting update will tie your 1-10 numeric Quality Score more closely to its three key sub factors — expected clickthrough rate, ad relevance, and landing page experience.”

Quality Score

For the most part, the changes don’t require anything from you. If you have automated rules directly tied to that 1-10 score, you need to tweak those. Although the company isn’t changing the way it measures quality, it is changing the way it relates this information to you.

Why Does It Matter?

Google uses your quality score to help it determine a number of rankings and numbers. The idea is that by giving quality ads more opportunities to show up in front of users, Google will also make its ads more relevant and useful. As a search engine, the name of the game is relevancy, even in its ads. When users feel they can’t find what they need there, they’ll go elsewhere.

In short, that means that Google will make it easier and cheaper to use Adwords with higher quality scores. Higher quality scores will lead to higher ad positions. A higher quality score make it easier and less expensive for you to place your ad for auction. You’ll also pay less for cost per click fees, first page bid estimates, and top of the page estimates.

Calculating Factors

Each time someone performs a search that triggers your ad, Google calculates a quality score using the following criteria:

* the frequency that keyword has led to clicks on your ad

* the past frequency of receiving clicks on your domain’s URL

* the overall past click through rate of all of your keywords on your account

* the relevancy and navigational ease of your landing page

* the relevancy of the keyword to your ad

* the relevancy of the keyword to what your customer is searching for

* the level of success of your ads in your target region

* the past performance of your ad

* the past success of your ad on certain devices, like laptops, tablets or mobile devices

As you can see, clickthrough rate (CTR) is very important. In fact, if you see a drop in quality score, the first culprit you should be checking is your CTR.

How to Check It

To check your Google Adwords Quality Score, you can run a keyword diagnosis. Click “Campaigns” on the tab at the top. Click “Keywords.” Click the white talk icon next to each keyword to see the quality score and some of the metrics that play a part in determining it.

You can also enable a column for the quality score. Click “Campaigns.” Click “Keywords.” Click “Columns” and select “Customize Columns” from the drop down menu. Click “Attributes.” Click “Add” next to Qual. Score and then click “Save.”


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