Adwords Quality Score
In the previous chapter we discussed the importance of the
position of your ad and mentioned that your Quality Score is one of
the major factors that determine it. Now, we'll have a more detailed
look at Quality Score and why it matters.
Ad Rank and Ad Position
First, the Quality Score is used to calculate your Ad
Rank. Your Ad Rank determines where your ads are shown on a page.
You might have thought this is determined solely by the amount you
bid per click but this isn't so. Your bid amount matters for sure but
the basic formula to calculate your Ad Rank is generally this:
Ad Rank = (Bid Amount) x (Quality Score)
You see, your bid amount is only one of the components of the
formula. If you have a higher Quality Score, then even if your bid is
lower than the bids of your competitors, your ad will display ahead
of their ad. This is why it's common the ad in the first position to
be cheaper than the ads in the 2nd, 3rd, etc. positions. You
definitely want to get there – you pay less and you are on top!
Quality Score Explained
Quality Score was introduced by Google in 2005 as a response to
the increasing amounts of irrelevant ads submitted by advertisers
because these irrelevant ads undermined the trust of users in AdWords
as a whole. The idea is that relevant ads AND landing pages are to be
rewarded, while irrelevant ads that lead to crappy or misleading
pages are to be penalized with a lower quality score.
In the most blatant cases, even though this isn't related to
Quality Score directly anymore, an irrelevant ad/landing page will be
suspended altogether. Because of all the frequent abuse of the system
in the past, long ago Google started to use human reviewers of ads
and landing pages.
A Quality Score is a number from 1 to 10 and the general rule is
the higher, the better. A higher Quality Score basically means:
Your ad will be shown more frequently
Your ad will be shown in a top position
You will pay lower per click
When you are new to AdWords, Google will assign you some starting
Quality Score based on their estimate of ad relevancy. Later, when
you start getting actual clicks, the CTR will be the most important
factor that makes your Quality Score go up or down. If you want to
learn more about how Quality Score is calculated, this Google Help
tells it all.
Sure, a higher Quality Score is better. However, you shouldn't be
obsessed with it. As practice shows, campaigns with a lower Quality
Score can do better than campaigns with high Quality Score, so don't
lose your sleep over your Quality Score.
How to Find Your Quality Score
Since Quality Score is calculated for each keyword, you will find
a separate number for each of your keywords. Open the Campaigns tab,
open the Keywords tab and click the white speech bubble next to any
If you want to have easier access to your Quality Score, you can
make the Qual.Score column visible all the time. Here is how:
Open the Campaigns tab
Open the Keywords tab
In the statistics table, find the Qual.Score column. If the column isn't visible, you can display it as
Open the Columns dropdown (located in the toolbar above the statistics table).
Select Customize columns, then selectAttributes.
Find Qual.Score and clickAdd, then click Save and this is it.
How to Improve Your Quality Score
Obviously, the most straightforward way to improve your Quality
Score is to make your ads relevant. This means:
Your ad must match your landing page – i.e. if you bid on
"natural skincare", your landing page must be about "natural
skincare", not about "natural cosmetics" or even worse
"cosmetics" in general.
You get rid of all bad keywords – i.e. include as many
negative keywords as possible because this will dramatically
increase your CTR, and as you know, your CTR is the most important
factor for your high/low Quality Score.
However, sometimes it can be very frustrating when your ads are
relevant and your CTR is good and still you have a low Quality Score.
This could happen because Google uses account-level Quality Score,
too. This means that if your account is old and trusted, you will get
a a higher QS as bonus for this. Till this time comes, don't get
desperate, if your Quality Score isn't as high as you want it to be –
just try to improve and hope that sooner or later Google will
appreciate your efforts.