Understanding Google’s Quality Score

May 20, 2015 12:53 pm Published by

Google’s Quality Score report is a 1-10 ranking system reporting the estimated quality of your ads and landing pages. The quality of ads and landing pages are triggered by keywords and their ranking. By ranking highly on the scale, Google values your ads and landing pages as useful and relevant information to someone that views your ad.

Key Factors of the Quality Score

quality-scoreThe main driving force behind the Google Quality Score is the click through rate (CTR). Many people have come to realize the CTR you see in your AdWords accounts are not necessarily the most accurate as it is being influenced by the device type, the network, and the ad placement. Therefore, Google does not use the average CTR presented in the AdWords account, but rather a small slice of the overall CTR by utilizing a 3 level evaluation. The CTR is evaluated on 1) the account level, 2) the keyword level, and 3) the ad level. The Quality Score is then calculated with a secret formula that equates to the keyword – level Quality Score

Landing pages are a new factor used when Google calculates Quality Score. Landing Page Quality started as an attempt to counteract poor sites that lured users into clicking on their ads and, in turn, receiving a higher CTR. However, this did not better the user experience in many cases. Now, the Landing Page Quality can further help improve your Quality Score.

Numerous studies suggest that while landing pages contribute to the overall Quality Score, the biggest Quality Score factor is still the CTR and therefore one of the most important element for advertisers to focus on optimizing.  Two smaller attributing factors to keep an eye on are the bounce rate and the time spent on site. Tracking high bounce rates or low time on site provide an ideal way to notice keywords that are not relevant to the users and capitalize on those that are.

Quality Scores for New Keywords

When a new keyword is added to the keyword sandbox in AdWords, there is rarely a strong history for how the keyword performs with its correlating ad text. The Quality Score of new keywords is most often based on Google’s system-wide data for that specific keyword in other accounts spread across Google’s database.

How Quality Score Affects Your Business

Google is constantly calculating and the Quality Score your ads are given and the score is only intended to give you a general sense of the caliber of your ads. With that being said, Google’s algorithm does not take any auction – time elements – into account. These include someone’s location, device type, language preference, time of day, or the actual search term used. Overall, Quality Score is continuing to become overwhelmingly important in the ranking and cost per click of ads, and therefore, an important factor to keep in mind when creating ads and tracking the progress of your campaigns in AdWords.

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